HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B
MK 6 : 30-34
THEME: FOR HE IS OUR PEACE
Beloved in Christ, as we gather in worship , the Church invites us to reflect on the image of God as the Father of all mankind. Therefore, I have chosen ” FOR HE IS OUR PEACE “(EPH 2:14a) as our theme for this sunday. The aim is to remind us how Jesus suffered to gain us this peace and our responsibility as Christians to preserve this peace.
Beloved, a divided christianity is a mockery and a stumbling block to Christ’s message of peace. It is against this background that St. Paul in our 2nd reading this sunday reminds the Ephesian converts and us that Christ has brought unity of brotherhood to Jews and Gentiles; Christ Jesus has in fact brought peace to all who accept him as their master irrespective of their race or status in the society.
For in Galatians 3:28 we are told that there is neither Jew or Greek,slave or freeman…All are one in Christ.
Beloved, it is therefore unfortunate that there are still some Christians preaching a divided christianity. God’s people are being divided along the lines of “have ‘ s “and “have not”. And shamefully even within some parishes there are divisions between “old timers” and “new comers” between the rich and the poor.
Beloved, Christ himself laid down this foundation of peace by reconciling man to God, man to man. And to maintain this peace, Zec. 9:10 says he banishes the instruments of war which brings about divisions among God’s people, namely; horses, chariots and bow. And Isaiah 57:19 also adds that He preached peace to those who are far and those who are near.
Beloved in Christ, Jesus’ intention of bringing us together was to form a new people. And the word ‘new’ has two meanings,namely;
a).order of time
b).order of novelty
And the second meaning is the intention of Jesus Christ when He brought the Jews and the Gentiles to form a new people of God.
Beloved, our first reading then is a warning, telling us what will befall us as leaders of the people of God; should we fail to perserve this peace among God’s people by our action and inactions.
Beloved, having been reminded of this grave obligation towards God’s people before God,let us pray for the grace to rise above the things that divide us and hold on to the things that unite us.