Homily For 28th Sunday Of Ordinary Time, Year B

God’s Word and Wisdom Convinces, Transforms and Enriches Us

Readings: 1st: Wis 7, 7-11; Ps 89; 2nd: Heb 4, 12-13; Gos Mk 10, 17-30

 This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

On this twenty eight Sunday of ordinary time we celebrate Christ the Word and Wisdom of God which is both alive and active. We rejoice because even though we have nothing, which we could call our own, by having Christ, we possess all things. Both our first and second readings this Sunday bear marks of personifications which refer directly to God. While our first reading speaks of Wisdom as God, the second refers to the Word as His irresistible power that conquers and transforms our hearts.

Our first reading today personalizes wisdom, and attributed to her the highest qualities. Wisdom is God himself from whom all good things emanate and must return to. Hence nothing can be compared with her. Nothing has value without her and all created things only partake of her beauty and splendor. Hence, we must seek her more than any other thing. Like Saint Augustine, our heart must not rest until it united with this precious Wisdom.

By describing “the word of God as a two aged sword that cuts across the bones,” Hebrews simply exalts us that the Word of God is the ultimate wisdom and an irresistible power. It conquers and transforms every heart that receives it. As the fullness of wisdom, God’s truth is all-penetrating and searching. He also brings the real thoughts and intents of our heart to light, and dispels all forms of darkness. Hence, when God through the power of his spirit sets his Word and Wisdom in us, He powerfully convinces, converts, transforms and comforts us. God’s Word humbles a proud heart; and makes a perverse spirit to be meek and obedient.

The rich young man in our gospel today possibly came to Christ in order to parade his efforts and get some praises in return. So, he started by flattering Jesus (“Good Master”). Of course, Jesus appreciated his effort. However, Christ knew that something was really lacking in the man. So like a skilled doctor, and the Wisdom of God, Christ searched and diagnosed him of only “one thing,” attachment to his wealth. It was the “dark spot” or “Achilles heel” of his life. According to his testimony, he had done “all things well.” However, he must allow the Word and Wisdom of God to penetrate and transform his life. Though Jesus’ instruction was “a tough and harsh one,” but He knew that was the only obstacle the man had.

There are important lessons to learn from today’s readings which includes that: Each one of us might have a dark spot unknown to us, which only the wisdom of God could help us illuminate. At times we too do “all things well” yet, something is might still be lacking. So the word of God must convict, convince and transform us. Also, we must not always assure ourselves or be confident that we are running a perfect race. Every day we must ask God to shed the light of His Wisdom on our ignorance. His wisdom will help us understand who we really are. It also helps us to be who He really wants us to be. In this regard, our approach should be that of Job who offered daily sacrifice for unknown sins committed not only by himself, but by the members of his household (Job 1, 5).

Also we must not allow wealth become an obstacle between us and God. By using the example of the Carmel and the needle, Christ intends to teach us that attachment to wealth is the easiest way of losing focus in God. This is because attachment to wealth over burdens one to the extent that the spiritual journey becomes very difficult, if not practically impossible. So, we must not allow what we possess in this world to possess our soul. Instead, we must seek the wisdom and understanding that comes from God in other to be truly wise in dealing with the things of this world without losing our friendship with God, the Ultimate Wisdom.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!!

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