HOMILY, 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
[WORLD MISSION SUNDAY]
Isaiah 45:1.4-6, 1 Thes 1:1-5b, Matthew 22:15d-16a
We are all on a mission in this world. We simply need to know and ascertain who has sent us forth at a given time. Both the civil authority and religious authorities are ordained by God. For the heart of a king is channeled water in the hand of the Lord. Proverb 21:1
In our first reading, the Lord said to Cyrus the king. He referred to him as the anointed one, for God has a purpose to achieve through him. And he said,
“For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by name; I surname you, though you do not know me.”
The Lord chose Cyrus, though he [Cyrus] did not know him. The Lord Jesus said in the gospel of St John, “It was not you who chose, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain. John 15:16. many of us did not choose to follow God. He took the initiative by inspiring his own thoughts in us. Ours is to appreciate the good move of God in us and respond to it appropriately.
Likewise, there are some people who do not know God, but whose actions are inspired by God. God can use whoever he wants to use to achieve his purpose here on earth. For “the earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, the world and those who dwell in it.” Psalms 24:1. If we don’t work on our sense of judgement, we may attack God in the persons of those who we think are the people of the world.
Additionally, there are some of God’s own servants who are conscious that they are working for God, but who do not know God or who only know him dimly. Prophet Isaiah was among those ones. Having worked for God for years and having performed a lot of wonders in his name, but the day he had a spectacular encounter with God, he confessed,
“Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts! Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with thongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it. See, he said, ‘now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged. Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘whom shall I send? Who will go for us? Here I am, I said send me! Isaiah 6:5-8
It will be painful, after spending the whole of our energy thinking we are serving God, to realize that we are doing child play. However, it is clear that the Lord is the Lord of all flesh. Wherever we find ourselves, it is good and safe to create a niche for God in our hearts. Let us give him a space in our lives. He is sending us every day to make his name known among his people. How beautiful it is to realize that we are one of those special ones he has anointed and appointed for specific purposes.
More so, oftentimes, we pay our allegiance only to religious leaders and scorn civil authorities. We are up to date in our religious observances, but are found wanting in our civic responsibilities. We are comfortable cooperating with government headed by people of our own religious affiliation, and we forget that the Lord has said that, “I am the Lord from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
The Lord Jesus made it clear in the gospel, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”
Today is world mission Sunday. God is sending us either as a church as a nation to make his presence felt. He wants us to be responsible in our religious duties and civil responsibilities.
May our words, works and life win souls for the kingdom of God.