Homily from Sunday November 14th -33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
With the approach next Sunday of the Feast of Christ the King and the end of the Liturgical Year, our readings this Sunday take on an ‘end times’ feel. Bible scholars are of the opinion that St Mark has in mind the Christians under persecution while he wrote words of Jesus and tried to give hope at that time. Christians of the time thought that their sufferings were end time affliction and tribulations. It reminds us to be prepared always by leading a true Christian life.
We live in a time which provides multiple opportunities to lose our trust and break our relationship with God and neighbour. For example, terrorism, pandemic, poverty, negative aspects of technology, religious persecution, decline in social and moral values, increasing disparity between rich and poor, unprincipled and selfish political system, the recent development of new ideologies of “Woke” social movements in the US with a broad pattern of aggressive anti Christian ideas etc. All these can affect our relationship with God and our neighbour if we are not rooted in faith. Therefore, today’s Gospel provides us an opportunity to look into our own personal life and see what role we give God in our lives. How do we find hope and inner peace and joy in times of trials and tribulations and how to prepare for our eternal life?
We say, we are Christians, and claim to follow Jesus, and love him. We believe that in Jesus, God lowered himself to walk with us whom we can call our friend, our brother, and our saviour. Moreover, he promised “be not afraid and he will be with us. Therefore, a Christian must be hopeful, joyful, and never give way to discouragement and destructive ideologies. Ours is not a joy out of power, material accomplishments, or possessions, but from having encountered Jesus. So, the question is, what is the foundation of our faith and spirituality? There is something wrong if the foundation of our practice of faith is based on attachment to a person, place, ideology, or selfish motives and limited to outward expressions only.
The Joy of being a Christian is from encountering Jesus in our personal lives, knowing that with him we are never alone, even when we face difficult life situations like health, finance, relationships or social and live that faith daily. In difficult times it is easy for negative thoughts to come in to our heart and devil disguised as angels will try to convince us and take over us.
To understand what is coming from God and what is coming from Satan, we need the Wisdom and let us ask God for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which Jesus has promised for us. Where the spirit of God is, there is “freedom”. In those times of afflictions and tribulations Jesus says, “my words of light, life, love, comfort, forgiveness and salvation will not pass away. When the righteous face afflictions, God will deliver them out of it. Like today’s Psalm says, let us pray “Protect me, O Lord, for in you I take refuge”
When we participate in the Paschal Mystery through our own sacrifices and through the sacramental life of the Church, we unite ourselves to Christ’s mission. The sacraments allow us to experience God’s saving power and receive the grace necessary to continue Christ’s mission.. Through the Gospel, he speaks to us. Through the Eucharist, he comes to us in body, soul, and divinity and through prayers, he will guide us. So let us ask ourselves, where is God in my personal life. Be a Christian with Joy, happiness and Hope and conviction that our living God will be with us and help us in our times of affliction and tribulation.