REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR II

“YOU TOOK OUR LOVE FOR GRANTED, SON”

First Reading: Isaiah 7:1-9
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 47(48):2-8
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:20-24 
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Francis (Jnr.), the only child of his parents was a spoilt brat. Born with a silver spoon into the Family of Mr. & Mrs. Francis Linus, where he was catered and cared for without stress, having everything at his beck and call. Nevertheless, young Francis was not doing well! His academic performance was very poor, he became influenced by bad peers, living on hard drugs, alcohol, debauchery, and cultism at school, that he was consequently rusticated from school. He showed less concern to his parents in their old age, only waiting for them to die and inherit their massive wealth. Before his dad died, he invited his lawyer and willed his wealth and resources to his domestic workers who had been looking after them, leaving practically nothing for his son, Francis (Jnr.) His reason was explicit! On his dying bed, the dad said: “You took our love for granted, son.” He was cared and catered for, had everything at his beck and call, yet he refused to be responsible. His dad felt that if all that was put in for his upbringing were done for other persons, they would have utilized the opportunity and became successful. Thus, to which much is given, much more is expected. This sentiment reflects itself in today’s readings

Today’s gospel reading illustrates Jesus’ disappointments with the towns (Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum) in which most of his miracles had been worked because they refused to repent; for if the miracles had been worked in other towns, they would have repented long ago. Here, Jesus points them out as prototypes of the “capricious generation,” similar to children who, instead of participating in the game that other children organize in the squares, sit without caring about what is happening (cf. Mt 11:16-19). Also, in the first reading, the word of the Lord was directed to the house of Judah which ends with: “If you do not stand by me, you will not stand at all.” Here, God’s support was addressed to Judah and Ahaz, the king, at a time of national crisis, because Ahaz was attempting to address the crisis without reference to the Lord. It could be understood that the words of Isaiah to Ahaz are echoed in the words of Psalm 127, ‘If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders’ labour; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain do the watchmen keep vigil.”

Dear friends in Christ, oftentimes, ‘we’ have behaved like Francis (Jnr.) the spoilt brat, taking God’s love and care for granted. Put differently, we have the opportunity of being nourished with the Sacraments and Word of God (homilies, reflections, etc., even via the media, etc.), but at times, have proven irresponsible as Christians. Hence, on the judgement day, ‘our’ case would be more horrible than those who had little or no opportunity to hear God’s Word and receive the Sacraments. Again, to whom much is given, much more is expected. If God grants us his graces, we should endeavour to cooperate with it and become productive; and not act as King Ahab who refused to trust in God’s providence; nor behave like the dwellers of Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, or Francis (Jnr.) who was cared for but chose to remain ungrateful and led a wayward life – taking God’s love for granted. May the grace of God continually fill us so that we would not disappoint God or take His love for granted. Amen

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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