Homily for the 22nd sunday in ordinary time, year b
Beloved in Christ, our readings this morning invite us to focus our attention on the commandments of God and the best way to obey it. Therefore I have chosen ” OBEDIENCE TO GOD ” as our theme for today.
This is to help us understand the need to guard against identifying religion with the performance of external acts. These acts like going to church, saying prayers, reading the Bible and giving to charity do not in themselves guarantee holiness. Thus,if my heart is filled with bitterness and pride,even my best external act will not make me holy before God.
Beloved, we therefore need to examine our motives and intentions as regards the things we do. A story is told of a Catholic who pursued an enemy to kill him. However, in the midst of the chase, he heard the angelus bell calling him to prayer,our Catholic friend got off his horse,said the required prayer hurriedly and then leaped back on his horse and continue his pursuit.
Beloved in Christ, it is with this understanding that Moses in the first reading says obedience to the commandment of God is mandatory and adds that it is for the other nations (ie nations that surround them)to admire their wisdom and prudence (Deut. 4:6). Obedience to the commandment of God is a sign of one’s love and gratitude to God.
Beloved, Jesus in the gospel reading confronted the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy and warns us not to live hypocritical life.
For Jesus we are not to pay attention to the physical, while we are spiritually sick. We are called to examine ourselves properly, knowing that what makes us who we are is what we have in our hearts; the malice,the hatred,the pride and the evil thought; all come from the heart (Mk 7:23).
Beloved, let us resolve to obey the commandment of God not as a show off but as an expression of our heart which is full of gratitude and love.