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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Homily/Reflection: Thirteenth (13th) Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B (June 28 2015)

Homily/Reflection: Thirteenth (13th) Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B (June 28 2015)
Theme: Faith - A Pre-requisite for Divine intervention
Faith is one of God’s gratuitous gifts to man. It is that virtue that enables us to put our whole trust, dependence and belief in God and what He has revealed. Faith is that drive that makes us keep looking up to God even when there seems to be no hope. In fact, it is a pre-requisite for us to receive any favour from God. The gospel reading (Mark 5:21-43) presents us with practical examples of faith in God, especially in difficult and hopeless situations. Here, the faith of Jairus and the woman suffering from hemorrhage become a paradigm for all of us. They were confronted with difficult situations but rather than give up, they strongly held on to Christ in faith who they believed can change their situation.

Like them, we too are not without ugly situations begging for divine attention. Some of us may be currently suffering the death of a beloved one or strange illnesses or even financial hemorrhage. These ugly situations most often challenge our faith in God. Confronted by them, some even begin to question God’s goodness and might. The reality of death, hunger, sickness, poverty, failure, etc assures us that trials and tribulations cannot be totally avoided in life. When they come, we can only look up to Jesus with faith and confidence relying on his compassion for the suffering. In the past, those who looked up to Jesus were never put to shame neither were those who deposited total faith in God disappointed. To be considered truly faithful, one has to undergo several trials and tribulations and still stand firm in God. Abraham had to leave his father’s land and he also attempted sacrificing Isaac, Job had to lose all he had, yet they still believed in God. Today, they are regarded as men of faith.  

Looking at your situation in life today, do you think there is anywhere or anyhow God is testing your faith? Your family problems, your barrenness, sickness, search for a job, death of a loved one, search for a good result or for an admission, etc could be this test. God may have permitted this situation you regard as evil to befall you to test your faith. Like a catapult, when God wants to catapult you to a greater height, He first of all draws you back so that you can shoot far into the sky. In the case of Lazarus, Jesus allowed him to die for four days before he raised him. He also allowed Jairus’ daughter to die that the power of God might be manifested. So your present difficulties could be your ladder to success. It could be an opportunity for the manifestation of divine providence.

However, do not consider these difficulties to be God’s original plan for you. Suffering and death are not God’s original plan for us as the first reading (Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24) tells us. Though introduced by the devil, God permits them as a means to a good end. This is because “all things work unto good for those who love God”. These difficult moments make us stronger to face life, they draw us closer to God because it is only in difficulties that most people remember God and they also make us appreciate the good moments we have had. Therefore, in our difficult moments, let us continue to seek the face of God. Let us seek Him with faith, total dependence, and humility as Jairus and the sick woman did. This faith should not be based on mere words, but on actions because for St. James, faith without good works is dead. Our faith should propel us to extend our kindness and love to all around us. It should make us willing to share with others at least to reciprocate God’s kindness towards us as the second reading (2 Cor 8:7, 9,13-15) reminds us. So our ugly situations in life should not make us hostile to others instead they should challenge us to give to others what we expect from God.          

Therefore beloved brothers and sisters, do not lose hope when trials and tribulations come your way. Even though they are not God’s plans for you, they have positive impacts. Do not be afraid, God is there for you, He has power over all evil and difficult situations. He can restore health and life if only you have faith in Him and invite him to your situation or even touch him. We need to touch Jesus spiritually by our prayer life and power has to go out of him. It is in prayer that we can find Jesus, touch him, have him touch us, hear him speak to our hearts and have a deep encounter with him. Are you ready to invite Jesus to your problem? Sometimes, our situations may seem worse when we invite Jesus, but we must be patient to see the final outcome. On the way, Jairus lost his daughter but at the end, she was restored to life. So many people may have attempted solving your problem but all to no avail. Don’t mind, today, Jesus is there for you. So why not be strong in faith and see your divine healing on the way for God loves you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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