HOMILY OF FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
Ezekiel 18:21-28, Matthew 5:20-26
THEME: PEACE WITH GOD, PEACE WITH MEN
Peace with man is peace with God. When we conceal our sins, we may suffer the danger of wasted worship. In order to make our offering or service to God worthwhile, we must cement healthy relationship with our neighbours.
As in the case of a Jewish practice of atonement, the sacrament of reconciliation is an avenue for open doors to God’s mercy and peace with man. In a typical Jewish religious tradition, the one who committed a sin takes an animal to the temple for atonement, he places his hands on the victim,(the animal), and confesses his sins after the which he hands it over to the priest to be sacrificed. Should in case, in the process, he remembers an unresolved issue he had with any of his neighbour, he is bound to go and reconciled with him or her.
As in the sacrament of penance, having listen to the penitent, the priest, admonishes him and if need be, he tells the penitent the issues he she or needs to straighten out before he could make a good confession.
Unfortunately, many people no longer consider going to confession. “I cannot confess my sin to a man.” Some would say. However, we should know that the priest represents God and not himself. His function as God’s representative is to help the penitent to cement his relationship with God and man. More so, our personal sin has social dimension. If we keep hurting others and go to confess to God without changing our hurting behaviour, we are simply deceiving ourselves. We meet God in the neighbour whose relationship we take for granted.
Hence, let us maintain peace with others so as to go before God with clean conscience.
May we enjoy peace with both God and man. And may our offering and service to God be acceptable through Christ our Lord. Amen.