REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR II

‘THOUGH THE SORROW MAY LAST FOR THE NIGHT, HIS JOY COMES IN THE MORNING’

First Reading: Amos 9:11-15
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 84(85): 9,11-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:14-17 
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As we travel through life, we experience many occasions of difficulty and pain, often a product of our sinful actions, careless attitude or foolish indifference towards God or others. But the chastening rod of our Father in heaven is short-lived and the momentary affliction we receive from His Fatherly hand is for our beneficial training and is beyond all comparison with the eternal weight of glory that awaits us, in Christ. Little wonder, in describing the proportion of joy and sorrow in ordinary life, the Psalmist in Psalm 30:5 expresses the persistence of joy and the transitoriness of sorrow: “His anger lasts but a moment, his favour through life; In the evening come tears, but with dawn cries of joy.” Put differently, moments of chastening will always be transformed into a lifetime of grace. Weeping may indeed last for a night but joy comes in the morning. This sentiment summarizes today’s lesson.

Throughout the course of this week, we have been listening to the prophecy of Amos filled with so many denunciations and accusations, harsh and bitter prophecies, etc. However, today, the book of the prophet ends with words of encouragement and hope. According to him, God will grace Israel with a future of harmony and peace. God will raise David’s bumpy and ruined tent again. The restoration of Israel takes on clearly messianic characteristics, with images of the agricultural world, the settlement in the land and the permanent residence there. Eating and drinking in peace, in the land itself, is an image of Israel’s reconciled future. Thanks to God’s infinite mercy and generosity, after the short era of punishment, comes the season of joy and feasting. Similarly, Christ mirrors this sentiment in today’s gospel. Speaking of himself as the bridegroom, he exclaims: “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them…” Needless to say, with his presence, the messianic age has dawned; as such, the era of mourning is gone. Here, it is pertinent to note that the restoration of Israel and the nuptials of Christ with the Church are closely linked with the Eucharist, as a context in which reading is proclaimed. Israel’s hope is fulfilled in the paschal mystery of the Son of God. This is the message of peace proclaimed by the Psalmist of the day: “The Lord speaks of peace to his people.” –  “I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people and his friends and those who turn to him in their hearts…”

Dear friends in Christ, you might be going through a very difficult situation right now, but bear in mind that it would not last forever. Whether or not the seasons of difficulty and pain we all experience are self-induced through our sinful actions, careless attitude or foolish indifference, or whether they are the result of the actions, attitudes and indifference of others beyond our control, today’s readings clearly tells us that God’s anger lasts but for a brief moment but His grace and favour is everlasting. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. May we develop an attitude of continuous prayerful praise – for God is faithful to fulfil all His promises to His children; for His steadfast love never ceases, his mercies never come to an end… (cf. Lamentations 3:22-23)

Shalom!
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, 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.

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