HOMILY OF SATURDAY OF THE FIRTH WEEK OF LENT YEAR B
Ezekiel 37: 21-28, John 11:45-57
THEME: THE REIGN OF GOD AND MAN’S QUEST FOR RELEVANCE.
In our first reading, the Lord promised to make his people one nation. But when he came through his Son to fulfill this purpose, his own people could not recognize him. He was more relevant in the street than in his own temple. Jesus came to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
Moreover, the life and works of Jesus has always been a threat to the existence and the relevance of the chief priests and elders of his time. On account of the signs and wonders that he was performing, they felt that more people will believe him and thus crush the system which service their significance in the society. They said to themselves,
“What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.”
Jesus came to save people; the elders were out to protect a system. Jesus came to lead man to heaven; the elders were set to maintain an earthly kingdom. They feared that the relevance of Jesus could lead to civil disorder. They feared what the government of the day can do to their temple for breeding such a revolutionist. In order to keep their political and social power they have to silence the Saviour of the world.
At times, as a church, we may be tempted to refrain from speaking the truth to power because we do not want the government to put search light on us. As church figures, we may romance with politicians in order to protect our religious structure. On the other hand, when the servants of God come out to make some statements that may question the government of the day, we tell them to face their God’s work and do not dabble into politics, simply because they address issues that bother on the anomalies of the men in power. The reign of God cannot be subjected to human system.
However, a church that do not understand herself and what God is doing within her fold will surely sell herself out. The Lord was already in his temple, but the custodians of his temple would not recognize him, neither by his words nor by his works. As leaders and custodians of the God’s kingdom, let us put God first and be open to him when he announces his reign among us. As pilgrims, on the way to heaven, let us welcome the Lord into our lives and allow him to take pre-eminence. To gather us to himself, we must humbly surrender our will to his.
May the Lord enlighten our minds and hearts that on account of our quest for relevance, we may not fight against his reign. Amen.