Homily 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo· 1Kings 17:17-24;
· Ps 30; 2-6, 11-13;
· Luke 7:11-17
Last Sunday on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ we encountered Christ the compassionate High Priest, Incarnate of God the Father, God of Elijah and of ancient prophets, a miracle worker, healer, who feeds and blesses the multitude. In today’s readings he heals the sick and strengthens the widows, skeptics and those who are physically, psychologically, materially and spiritually weak and helpless in our world today.
Many of us may think that we cannot make it; that the war will never end, that terrorism will never cease, that the economy will never be better, the kidnapping has started again (in Nigeria); schools, hospitals, and social infrastructures are still below standard, compared to other nations; that our government and politics will never be better; the racial divide in our world today; or we will never be healed of this or that illness; or manage well the grieving of the loss of our loved ones...; the hunger, the poverty! With the readings of today, the story is different. There is hope. There is a healer on the way and in our midst!
In the Gospel, Jesus sees the coffin of the only son of Widow of Nain. Moved by the sorrowful mother, He touches the casket, and the deceased child of the widow was brought back to life. Christ is acknowledged as “great prophet... arisen in our midst.”
In the first reading, similar incidence happens in Zerephath between Elijah, an ancient prophet and the sick child of another widow, who is healed and brought back to life (1 Kings 17:17-24).
These incidences are great reminder to us that our God is a merciful God. He is compassionate and forgiving. He is committed to the poor, the afflicted, the weak, the needy, the sick, the suffering, and the dying, and of course their entire families. He manifests himself to us through the loving and pastoral presence of not only our prophets and pastors, but through our sincere presence for one another.
We are called to be prophets, men and women of God, like Elijah: God’s mouthpiece, spiritually dynamic, able to bring God to others, and others to God; consciences of our society, communities, parishes and dioceses; courageous in faith and good deeds, conscientious, merciful, forgiving and truthful, and conduits of God’s healing love like Israel’s prophets. We are called to be intercessors, proclaimers of the Gospel, and prayer warriors for one another as Elijah and our Lord, Jesus did throughout his ministry. He prayed and touched the widow’s son to life, miraculously.
In the 2nd readingGod works the same miracle through Paul. As weak as he was in his former ways– hating and persecuting the Christians, Paul, with the grace of God, changes things around in his life. He is called by God. God reveals himself to him. Paul becomes an ardent proclaimer of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Gal 1:11-19). Paul became a prophet to his own people. He made Christ audible to his community.
Like Elijah, Christ and Paul each of us are invited to be in solidarity with one another, our friends, our spouses, the sick, the weak, the aged, the skeptics, and the needy, the dying and the sorrowful. It is also important for us to remember, to always be grateful to God (Ps 30) and continuously be conscious of God’s presence in our cultures, in our communities, in our homes, in our daily lives!