Thursday, August 4, 2016

Homily [2] 19th Sunday of Year C 2016: Fr. Michael Udoekpo

Homily [2] 19th Sunday of Year C 2016: Fr. Michael Udoekpo
·        Wisdom 18:6-9
·        Ps 33:1,12,18-22
·        Heb 11:1-2,8-19
·        Luke 12: 32-48

Living a Faith Filled Life Always!
Last two Sundays Jesus taught us not only how to pray but how not to be greedy and selfish. This Sunday he teaches us how to be consistently vigilance in our faith, hope and trust in our loving and merciful God, no matter what. Faith, we would remember, as we were taught in our catechism is the supernatural gift of God, which enables us to believe and hope for all the good things God has promised us in this life and in the life to come… without doubting. Faith, whatever you call it in your language, is a realization of what is hoped for and evidence of all things that we cannot see as humans. The readings of today are very clear on this.
The 1st  reading (Wis 18:6-9) reminds us that the night and the liturgy of the Passover must consistently be a reminder to us that God accompanies us today on our journeys, as he would have accompanied our forefathers in the desert, thousands of years ago. He freed them from the hands of Pharaoh, their enemy; saw them through the red sea. And provided food and drinks for them. This is the same God must believe and vigilantly trust in our times.

The 2nd reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews is even much clearer. It speaks of the faith of Abraham, “our father in faith,” as recorded in Genesis 12. Abraham left everything behind in Mesopotamia and followed God- journeying to the Promised with faith and trust in God as his “GPS.” In his ups and downs, threats and dangers, Abraham and his household simply trusted God. In his “foolishness,” uncertainties, conflicts, wars, hunger, sickness, good health Abraham and his household placed their faith in God. The faith of Abraham is not outdated. Abraham is our model in faith. Each of is called today to imitate the faith of Abraham in all circumstances, it doesn’t matter which political party you belong or what language you speak, or what type of academic degrees you have.  Faith is a treasure. The colors of your skin or eyes does not matter.  Constant and active faith in God is what matters.
Today’s Gospel of Luke speaks of this important matter still--- constancy and vigilance in trusting God- in the parable of the good and faithful servant versus the foolish or the imprudent ones. When the master was away the foolish servants misbehaved and turned he house upside down while the faith faithful ones gird their loins and awaits their master return from the wedding ceremony.

We are called to be those prudent and faithful servants. Vigilance in faith and in our prayer lives, acts of charity, corporal and spiritual works of mercy- especially in this Year of Mercy! Christ invites us today to constantly translate our faith into actions- do good things, forgive, love, share your blessings with others, as if today were to be your last day on earth.
There is an anecdote about 3 young college students who were asked what they would do if they received a sudden text message in their phone that the world was coming to an end in less than 12 hours. The 1st student said he/she would run home and say good bye to his parents and siblings. The second said she would run rum to finish her remaining ice cream in left in the refrigerator. The third simply said he will keep doing well, keep busy in what he was doing.

 This third response rhymes with the response given by St. Francis many years ago. While tilling the farm he was asked what he will do if the world was coming to an end now. Francis, we are told, said he will keep till the farm.
We must carry our faith with us, in bad times and in good times, while riding in the bus or while tilling the farm, while studying or while praying, while playing or while raising our families; while casting our vote or while being threaten by wars and terrorism.  In each of these moments, we may not be perfect, like our ancestors. But, just as our ancestors kept the memory of God’s love in the Passover, so we also know and trust that God loves us... We walk by faith and that God constantly loves and watches over us no matter how challenging our times may be!