HOMILY FOR THE 23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B
Beloved in Christ, the readings of today invite us to reflect on the compassion and the inclusive nature of God. Our attention is therefore drawn to God’s universal table fellowship – where we are all treated equally without distinction. In view of that our theme for today is ” GOD, THE FATHER OF ALL”.
This is to impress upon us to accept all people and not to discriminate against anybody. For in Proverbs 17:5 we are told that whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for the Maker.
Beloved, our God protects and cares for the outcast ,the helpless in the society. For this reason ,Isaiah in the first reading highlighted the imminent return of the Israelites from the Babylonian exile as well as what the Lord in his compassion will soon do for them. He comes to save them , Isaiah 35:4. Consequently, their broken hearts will be healed and their dignity as a nation restored.
Beloved, this vision dreamed in the midst of disaster provided a joyful picture of confidence. With this the faithful among them saw it necessary to rely on God. Poverty like illness was deemed to be a judgement from God. However this changed with the exile when the whole nation was plunged into poverty and hunger and sickness.
They came to understand that the true poverty of the people was their separation from God.
Beloved, James in the second reading admonishes us not to show partiality for appearance can be very deceptive. For the way of the Lord is not to show favouritism (James 2:5).
Let us therefore make a conscious effort of identifying with the poor for they are the preference of the Lord.