HOMILY OF TUESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
Genesis 1:20-2:4a, Mark 7:1-13
THEME: THE DEMAND OF LOVE: KEY TO POSSESSING OUR POSSESSIONS.
“Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over the all the earth, and over every creeping things that creeps upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26.
The first and the greatest gift God gave to man was to create him in his own image. More so, he gave him dominion over all his works. He did all these without consulting man. The is the greatest of all miracles. At times, what we celebrate as miracles are our initial inheritance. It becomes miraculous because we are not used to them as it should be. As a result of the fall, and our inability to cooperate with the redemptive work of Christ, we leave our dominion over them into the hands of the ruler of this world.
However, Jesus came to bring us back to the knowledge of His Father and our Father. Hence, knowing the full content of our origin, and how well-placed we are, we would be able to posses our possessions. In this light, all we need is to plead for God’s mercy for having wandered far away from home. By God’s merciful design through Jesus, we can now enjoy the full content of our inheritance. This is a home-coming. And our journeying back home must be by faith in the love of the Father who made all things by his word. It must be by thanksgiving for reconsidering us for his eternal designs.
There is nothing we can give than to express the same love that God has shown us to others irrespective of who they are. No one invited Jesus to come and die for humanity. He came to save us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8. We too must reach out to others. Literarily, If we are to work with the law of jurisdiction, for example, everyone will simply mind his or her own business. Each man will be at her or his tent. However, a reasonable mind should know that things are not always the way they seem to be. Changing circumstance can make one go beyond the ordinary. This is where the law of necessity comes in.
More so, the main blockage to expressing love is the law. It becomes a stumbling block on our way to love, if we do not interpret it well or if we refused to go beyond its letters. We must not allow the traditions of man or the letter of the law to stop us from expressing true love to others. The law cannot satisfy the demand of love. As we can see in our today’s gospel, the scribe and Pharisees accused the disciples of Jesus of not washing their hands before eating. Jesus condemned them for celebrating mere human precepts and neglecting God’s demand. These were legalistic folks who took more to outward show and neglected the eternal call of love, which goes beyond mere adherence to the rule of black and white. Life is not stereotype. It is dynamic and must put into consideration every reasonable need that may come up at any given time.
The Lord Jesus said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart if far from me, in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” Mark 7:6-8. Legalistic people hardly grow. Their life is always restricted by the dictates of the law. They hardly go beyond the demand of the law so as to do other good things that can serve the purpose of man. For laziness and refusal to change their pattern of live, they rest and hide behind the book of the law, so that they will not be wounded by the demand of love which oftentimes seems like a call to die.
Above all, all that we owe God is love in return for his love so that we can possess all that has put under our charge. To get back to our initial inheritance of dominion we, must conquer by love. We must take the initial move to love without being coerced. We must voluntarily work for the good of others and the world in general. That is how this garden city can match with its prototype, Eden, the garden village. As we journey back home to our Father’s house, may no human law or restriction stop us at the gate. May we always know the mind of God all our days that we may follow his precepts and make good all his commands. Amen.