REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

TRUST AND OBEDIENCE: LESSONS FROM ABRAHAM AND MATTHEW

First Reading: Genesis 23:1-4,19,24:1-8,62-67
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105(106):1-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:9-13
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The late 19th-century Christian hymn “Trust and Obey” (1887), written by John H. Sammis and composed by Daniel Towner echoes the essence of our reflection today. These words resonate deeply within our hearts, encapsulating the essence of a life surrendered to God’s will, and that there is no greater happiness in Jesus than trusting and obeying Him. Although the words seem so simple, but deeply, we know it is not easy to trust and obey; however, if we must find happiness in following Christ, we must trust and obey Him, because “trust and obedience” intertwine to form the foundation of our relationship with the God. When we trust God’s unfailing love and wisdom, we surrender our will and desires, opening ourselves to His divine guidance. In our obedience to His call, we align ourselves with His perfect plan, experiencing the fullness of joy and peace that only He can provide. Today’s Liturgy presents us with Abraham and Matthew who stand out as shining examples of how surrendering to God’s call by trusting and obeying Him can lead to remarkable transformations.

In the First Reading from Genesis (23:1-4,19,24:1-8,62-67), we witness Abraham, the great patriarch, navigating the challenging terrain of familial responsibilities. The weight of grief and loss pressed heavily upon him as he sought a burial site for his deceased and beloved wife, Sarah. Yet, even in his sorrow, Abraham clung to unwavering trust in God’s promises. Abraham remains steadfast, knowing that God’s providence will guide him. His obedience to God’s call and his determination to fulfill his familial responsibilities serve as an enduring testament to his faith.

Like Abraham, Matthew’s encounter with Jesus in today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:9-13) demonstrates the transformative power of surrendering to God’s call. Matthew, a tax collector despised by society, discovers that he is not beyond the reach of divine mercy. When Jesus calls him to follow, Matthew leaves behind his former life, embracing a new path marked by discipleship and the pursuit of righteousness. In this simple act of obedience, Matthew becomes an instrument of God’s grace, sharing the Good News with others and offering a glimpse of the profound change that occurs when we surrender to God’s will.

As we meditate on the words of the Responsorial Psalm 105(106):1-5, our hearts overflow with gratitude for God’s faithfulness. It is through our trust and obedience, just as exemplified by Abraham and Matthew, that we come to recognize the magnitude of His blessings and the depths of His mercy. In every step we take, and every decision we make, may we emulate the faith of these faithful individuals, knowing that our obedience to God’s call will bear fruit beyond our imagination.

The resonating message from these readings is that trust and obedience open doors to unimaginable blessings. Abraham’s journey and Matthew’s conversion remind us that God’s call transcends societal norms and expectations. It invites us to step out of our comfort zones, leave behind our old ways, and embark on a pilgrimage of faith. In doing so, we discover that our lives become vessels of God’s love and mercy, transforming not only ourselves but also those around us. Moreover, these encounters teach us that God’s mercy extends to the marginalized, the sinners, and those deemed unworthy by society. Abraham’s familial responsibilities and Matthew’s former occupation symbolize the diverse backgrounds from which God calls His chosen ones. In embracing these individuals, God reveals His unwavering love for all humanity, reminding us that no one is beyond His reach.

Dear friends in Christ, in our own lives, we may encounter moments that demand trust and obedience. We may be faced with difficult decisions, trials that test our faith, and the relentless pursuit of worldly desires. Yet, through the examples of Abraham and Matthew, we find encouragement and inspiration. We are called to lean into the arms of divine providence, to trust in the guiding hand of God, even when the path seems uncertain. It is in these moments of surrender that we discover our true purpose and experience the transformative power of God’s grace. Let us, therefore, draw strength from their example, allowing their faith to guide us as we navigate the intricacies of our own lives, always ready to say “yes” to God’s call and trusting in His abiding presence.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S REFLECTION: REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME)

Shalom!
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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