HOMILY OF THE 4TH SUNDAY OF LENT
Joshua 5:9a.10-12, 2 Cor. 5:17-21, Luke 15:1-3.11-32
THEME: BEING AT HOME
True reconciliation is all about reaching a truce. It is about forgiving and forgetting.
“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”
Reconciliation becomes possible when begin to know why fortune brings us together. We begin to feel at home the moment we ourselves as members of the same household. Outside a home, there is no reconciliation. Hence, we must create a home wherever we find ourselves.
No matter what we enjoy outside our home, it is always good to remember home. There is nothing like belonging to a household or a family. One cannot be established as a vagus or a vagabond. It is either you have a person, a family or a community who creates a home for you. Then you can bloom. You cannot survive in a strange land.
More so, no matter what we may be passing through in our root, our home remains our home. God knows why we are born from a particular place.
The Israelites forgot to return to their land after the famine, and they were subjected to slavery. When the prodigal son saw what it means to be outside the home, he longed to return, even if it means being hired as a paid servant.
Our home entails,
- Our biological root.
- Our immediate community.
- Our place of work/Union.
Above all, our religious community. The strength we draw from our heavenly Father helps us to face the challenges in the other homes. God remains our heavenly Father. His hands are swift to welcome. When we come into his house, we must see ourselves as brothers and sisters.
We must not behave like the elder son of this merciful father, who said, “Behold these many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots; you killed for him a fatted calf.” Luke 15: 29-30
He did not see the returning son as his own brother. Who knows whether it was his character that led the younger brother to leave the house? He had already assumed the position of a hired servant. He did not see himself a bonafide member of the family. That was why he became disgruntled and broken.
The moment we begin to lose the sense of our common bond, we set in motion the spirit of division. Irrespective of our age, position and economic status, we all belong to the same household of God; we must create a home for our brothers and sisters.
It is not about being an active member of the church that matters; the spirit in which you serve is the most important. It is what determines whether you are simply serving yourself or sowing seed for an eternal reward. The elder son was full of the sense of entitlement. That was why he became bitter. Some believe that they have served the church enough and feel that they should be recognized or rewarded. Those who feel and believe that they are serving God feel that they need to do more.
Furthermore, we must not take the posture of the Pharisee who looked down on the tax collector while praying with himself. [Luke 18:9-14] We should stop condemning ourselves.
“When you bent on condemning others on account of their weaknesses, you may not know how many times you have sinned on account of your own strengths.
When you forgive others, you are opening the door of mercy for yourselves
Who told you that you are better than others?
Forgive and set yourself free.”
Charity begins at home. Wherever we belong, let us try our best to maintain peace and reconciliation. Let us see ourselves as brothers and sisters. Let us be fully responsible wherever we find ourselves. We must stop living as strangers in any group we belong to.
May the love of God fill our heart. May he drive away from us every spirit of division. Amen