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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Homily for 30th (Thirtieth) Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B (October 25 2015)

Theme: Restoration through Faith

Most often, life challenges us with unfavourable situations that make us victims of circumstances. At such moments, all hope is usually lost. Such was the kind of experience the people of Israel had during the Babylonian exile when they were driven away from their homeland as captives in Babylon. But God took the initiative of bringing them back to their homeland and restoring their lost possessions. That is why in the first reading (Jeremiah 31:7-10), God through the Prophet Jeremiah in the Book of Consolation delivers a promise of restoration, recovery and hope for the Israelites in their captivity where they had lost every sense of peace, happiness and hope.

Amidst the several promises of restoration and hope, God promised to bring back the weak and the helpless, the blind and the lame, women with children and women in labour. These categories of people represent the vulnerable, the poor and the dependent in the society. They were exiled into pitiable situations but God promised to restore them to His original plan. That is why in the gospel reading (Mk. 10:46-52) we see in practical terms the restoration promised in the first reading. Christ who is Himself the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets restored to the blind Bartimaeus the power of sight.

Beloved friends, our personal situations may not be far from that of the Israelites. Perhaps, we are experiencing aridity in our spiritual lives, in our businesses, vocations, studies or even inter-personal relationships. Everything that works for our good may seem to have gone on exile, things no longer work well for us. Perhaps there is a Nebuchadnezzar in your life at the moment that is the cause of your fear, panic, suffering and uncertainty. Then do not be afraid! Behold the Lord, the righteous judge has come to set you free, to restore you to even a better position. He has come to loosen your bounds and make your eyes see again. All that is demanded of you is a disposition of faith.

Above all, faith does not just consist in believing what God can do for you. It consists also in believing in yourself and in the things you can do for yourself in other to attract the presence of God in your life. Bartimaeus believed not only in Christ but also in himself. He knew he was good enough to be healed and that was why he resisted every attempt to silence him. At the moment, could there be something discouraging you or something persuading you to relent in your good efforts and works? Are you sincerely advancing towards holiness of life and your family members or friends seem to be drawing you back? Is your poverty situation or problem drawing you back? Each time you desire to open your mouth and pray is there anything silencing you? Are your sins preventing your voice from rising in supplication to God?

Then do not be discouraged. Only have faith in the God of Jesus Christ who went about doing good. He is on His way to meet you and He will meet you if only you sustain the effort to draw his attention. So like Bartimaeus, what are you doing at the moment to draw His attention to your situation? For this reason, the second reading (Heb. 5:1-6) reminds us of the ever available presence of Jesus in His priests for “no one takes this honour upon himself except he is called as Aaron was”. The priest represents Christ and offers gifts and sacrifices for sins. The reason why we are groping in the dark is because we are spiritually blind and the cause of our spiritual blindness is sin. Therefore, today, resolve to have your spiritual sight restored. This could be done by approaching a priest for confession so that with the scales of sin taken away from your eyes, you can see the wonders of God in your life and also see His plans for you. So let your prayer remain “Lord that I may see”. God loves you.

- Uwakwe Chibuike MFC

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