HOMILY OF SUNDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18, 1 Corinthians 3:16-23, Matthew 5:38-48
“You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.”
THEME: WHO ARE YOUR ENEMIES?
QUOTES: “Its becomes an irony when we use our tongue to bless our God and Father, and we equally curse men who have been made in the similitude of God.”
The Yoruba People have a common saying which goes thus, “Adaniloro fagbara koni”. “Those who treat us with wickedness strengthen us.” When we holistically access the actions and reactions of those we call our enemies, we may realize that they are merely actors in designing who we are destined to be. Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Roman 8:28. If we have to judge the story of Joseph only from the point where his brothers sold him out, we will surely condemn his brothers for their evil act. We may not outrightly know that they were simply playing out a divine script.
If we have found favour with the Lord, he will always shield us from those who are like snares to us; those whose evil intention has nothing to add to our growth. If we submit to the will of such people by our own choices, we become our own enemies. But if we always return to God, he will redirect and position us on the path of the ultimate fulfilment which he has mapped out for us.
Therefore, any prayer we say for our enemies is either in thanksgiving for what they have added to our lives or a prayer for ourselves that we may no longer submit ourselves to their malice.
Satan, the author of confusion, is the one who always sow the seed of discord among us. His primary purpose is to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10: 10). We must not give in to his devices so we don’t become enemies to ourselves. Anytime, we consciously try to kill the joy of others or bring them down, we make ourselves channels of satanic antics. We should be loving and kind in our human relationships and have the best of intentions for all and sundry.
Moreover, God can use people to treat us the way we cannot easily come to terms with, in order to mould us into his desired purpose. He may use some people around us to teach us some lessons either through words or actions. The responsibility is on us to read the handwriting behind the various attitudes we come across everyday. We should know clearly that God has special plans for us amidst our daily encounters.
Hatred for God is hatred to our source of being. Let us understand that if God is not our enemy, man can never be our enemy also. If we cannot hate God, we should not hate any human too. It is an irony when we love our God and Father, and we dislike men who have been made in his image (James 3:9).
The Lord God said in the first reading, “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Let’s pray that we may be like God in our attitudes.
May we always be loving. And may no bitter experience bring out the worst in us. Amen.
Thanks for the Homily