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Friday, 3 June 2016

Reflection/Homily: Tenth (10th) Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Theme: Never you Lose Hope, Jesus is coming to Intervene!

Divine intervention is what so many Christians may have experienced in their lives. Simply described, it is God’s intervention in the unfortunate circumstances of one’s life. Most often people consider it to be an unexpected miracle. For this to happen, God makes use of human and non-human agents. These human agents could be priests, spiritual directors, one’s friends or relatives. The non-human agents could be the Church, a pilgrimage center, an adoration ground, a prayer session, etc.

In the first reading (1 Kings 17:17-24) we see this divine intervention in the life of the widow of Zarephath through a human agent. The prophet Elijah was staying in the house of this widow and through him God intervened in her life by restoring her deceased son to life. In the gospel reading (Luke 7:11-17), we see another case of divine intervention in the life of the widow of Nain. Jesus though God, was the human agent people could recognize. He was moved with pity at the death of the widow’s only son and he restored him to life.

In both cases, we see God intervening in the hopeless situations of the recipients. They lost the taste of life and God revitalized their hope proving that nothing is impossible for Him. The events are not just signs of God’s omnipotence but also signs of God’s gratuitous love and compassion for us especially for the suffering among us. God feels and understands our difficult situations and He is always there to intervene especially when we think all hope is lost.

But one may wonder why God should manifest His love by intervening in our difficulties instead of by preventing us from running into difficulties. That God allowed the widow who gave Elijah all she had and accommodated him to experience such a grief teaches us that our faith and even our good works do not exonerate us from suffering. Suffering is part of our nature and we can’t but undergo it. Even Jesus when he took the human nature had to suffer. Sometimes when we enjoy prosperity and abundance for too long we tend to forget God. Suffering makes us more conscious of the world in which we live. Otherwise there would be no difference between our world and paradise – a suffering free world.

The widow of Zarephath thought that the presence of Elijah would immune her from problems. When it didn’t, she thought her guilt was responsible for her son’s death and she began to confess her guilt before Elijah. This is the attitude some of us put on in the face of suffering. Goodness cannot immune us from suffering, otherwise Job and Jesus would not have suffered. Suffering is not always as a result of our sins. Instead, it is a moment God allows in order to test our faith and to manifest His mighty power. Sometimes, as we see in the readings, divine intervention could be a sign God uses in confirming His messengers. 

Beloved friends, perhaps at this moment you are passing through untold difficulties and sufferings and you have been waiting on God to intervene. Do not forget that divine intervention requires an attitude of faith on the side of the recipient. Believe that God can still do something. It may be too late for you but it is never late for God. Perhaps you may have lost a loved one taking care of your needs, or lost your job, your chances of a brighter future or suffering a terminal illness. Are you the victim or is your loved one affected? The message of today is never lose hope.

Keep on praying and you will encounter God’s agent for your divine intervention. It could be a fellowship you will attend, a mass you will hear, a friend you will meet somewhere, a relative or even a stranger. Do not forget that for those who love God all things work for their good and that God can make the best out of every situation. God can use each and every one of us as an agent of divine intervention in the lives of others. Allow yourself to be used by God if you are in a position to touch the lives of people positively. Are you a priest, pastor, administrator, politician, business tycoon, captain of an industry, legal luminary or a member of the intelligentsia, God intends to use you as a means to better people’s lives. 

Though we have to pray for others when they bring their difficulties to us but sometimes, we may have the answer to their problems. It could be your time, money, energy, approval, cooperation that is needed to put smiles on the faces of people. Why not allow God to bless people through you. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Do not take advantage of people’s problems to exert your influence. St. Paul reminds us in the second reading (Gal 1:11-19) of how God called him to minister to His people. He confirmed that he was only an agent or an instrument in the hands of God.

Therefore beloved friends, always be conscious that you are agents of divine intervention, you are instruments of God and you are the hand of God. For those still suffering now, whose dreams are not coming true, who are having a sense of hopelessness in their lives, businesses, studies, vocation, etc. Do not lose hope. Do the much you can and be sure that the Lord is visiting you soonest. Then he will command you to get up and you will join the psalmist to say “I will bless you Lord, you have rescued me”. God loves you.

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