Catholic homily for Friday of the 24th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: BEING A TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS MEANS TO BE CONCERNED FOR THE WELL-BEING OF OTHERS
By: Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus Zereuwa
Homily for Friday September 17 2021
MEMORIAL, SAINT ROBERT BELLARMINE, BISHOP, DOCTOR
1 Timothy 6: 2c-12; Psalm 49: 6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20; Luke 8: 1-3
I pray for you: May the Lord God bless you with all that you need, not only for yourself and your loved ones, but with abundance which will allow you to share with others, particularly in the spread of the Good News. AMEN
Many preachers have brought to our hearing that we all are called to be missionaries by supporting those who spread the Gospel to others. We may not be gifted with the ability to verbally preach the Good News ourselves, but we can make sure that someone does it be giving of our means to those who announce the Message. We also can “preach” through our actions by manifesting that we are disciples of the Lord Jesus who touches the lives of others. Some go to mission by going; some go to mission by giving; some go to mission by going and giving.
Today’s readings challenge us to take discipleship seriously. Paul urges Timothy to be faithful to the teachings which have been given to him and not to be overcome with a desire for riches. Paul is aware that worldly possessions can divert even the most fervent disciple from staying on the faith-filled track. He wants Timothy to recall all the teachings which he (Paul) has shared with him (Timothy). Personal gratification, jealousy, contention, and mistrust can lead to all sorts of distortion in practicing the Christian life. Instead of being so concerned with the ways of the world, the true disciple and leader should focus on being content with what one has, being concerned for others, loving and caring for those whom the Lord Jesus has entrusted to the disciple.
The psalm also urges caution in becoming too attached to worldly wealth and possessions. The psalmist reaffirms trust in the benevolence of the Lord. The Lord God cares for those who trust in Him. All the worldly possessions that one seeks to amass will not follow a person into the next life. In fact, being burdened with worldly concerns can weigh one down and prevent one from attaining the riches of God’s kingdom.
In the Gospel, we hear about those who were the main disciples of the Lord Jesus: the Twelve and a band of women who ministered to Jesus and His disciples from their means. So, the Gospel gives us insight into the traveling companions of Jesus. These women seem to have used their wealth and abilities to help tend to the needs of Jesus and His band of Twelve.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, as I seek to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus and a servant-leader of others, the focus cannot be on myself or the wealth, fame, and prestige I can receive from others. Being a true follower of Jesus means to be concerned for the well-being and healing of others. When I focus on my own selfish desires, it is easy to get off track. If I put more energy in amassing money and possessions, then I have less energy for spreading the Good News of Jesus. This can only lead to seeing others as my opposition who are out to take what I have or what I want. I become jealousy, contentious, and at odds with others. It leads to further isolation and mistrust of others. But if I focus on others and seek to help them grow in the riches of God, then I am also enriched. Being concerned for others means I must be patient, helpful, loving, and full of faith. Surely, it is obvious that sometimes the greatest ministry I can perform is to support and help equip others to do the ministry to which they are called. I don’t always have to be in the forefront and be one of the key people who announce the Good News. True ministry is focused on being sure that Jesus’ and His message is proclaimed. If I am blessed with riches, then I should be willing to use that wealth in fostering the spread of the faith.
Discipleship takes many forms – preaching, living a righteous (good example) life, supporting others in doing their ministry. The most important aspect of discipleship is to know who must be the center of one’s life – Jesus. When we can focus on Jesus, we remove ourselves from the spotlight and focus on being sure that the Good News is proclaimed in word and action and that Jesus and His Father are praised. Truly, we can never amass enough to earn our salvation, but Jesus has redeemed us. All we need do is be His disciples and spread the faith and the truth in loving and caring manner.
*MEDITATION* What does it mean to me to be called to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus? How can I bolster the ministry of others and enable them to minister to people whom I can not minister to directly or as well as other?
*PRAYER* Lord God, help us to do all we can to foster the spread of the Gospel by sharing all that we have been given (physically, mentally, and spiritually). Through Christ Our Lord. AMEN
*O DIVINE WORD WHO TOOK FLESH FOR HUMAN SAKE, REDEEM US IN OUR SITUATION*
© Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus Zereuwa