HOMILY FOR THE 28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
THEME: THAT WHICH SURPASSES WEALTH
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY OCTOBER 10 2021
HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-EIGHT SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B
The Gospel reading of today tells us the story of a man who wants to follow Jesus after being faithful to the teachings of God in his Jewish faith. He was wealthy, and when Jesus asks him to give up all his wealth and come and follow HIM, he went away sad. God is always asking us make sacrifices, which seem so difficult in human eyes, and we are like the man who worships God in ways that is convenient for him. This story reminds us that the ultimate thing which surpasses wealth, is the eternal life. Eternal Life does not only surpass wealth, health, power and even human wisdom, it also gives us true wisdom, wealth, health, and many more. It is for this reason that the Jesus assured Peter saying: “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who shall not receive a hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life eternal’ (Mark 10:29-30).
Secondly, to inherit the eternal life, we must conform our lives to Jesus. By urging the man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor, Jesus was leading him to the practice love, which implies giving up his possessions and later on, his own self. This wealthy man was preoccupied from his youth with keeping God’s commandments and following the letters of the law, while neglecting the need to have compassion for others. Only God knows where he is at the moment. Heaven or hell, I don’t know. However, we need wisdom and understanding as emphasized in the first reading, to be able to know that our earthly possessions are not the most important things in life. Our life on earth is short, and just a transition to eternal life in heaven where we shall live forever. The man left the presence of Jesus very sad, because he does not want to give his wealth to the poor who didn’t contribute in making those wealth. He must have remembered all the efforts and time he had put in making those wealth, and simply walked away from Jesus. He walked away to protect what he thought was more important to him, while in reality he has lost everything. He has lost the essence of our being as humans. How many of us have walked away from Jesus because we think our expectations are not met in the Church? How many of us so much love their earthly possessions that they are will to forfeit God because of them? Wealth is not a sin, but using them wrongly can lead to our destruction. We must never be like this rich man. We must never allow the reality of being rich to overshadow the necessity of eternal life. We must never be controlled by what we have, but instead use them wisely without destroying our souls. We ask God in this holy mass to give us more wisdom and understanding to be able to make the right choices on earth which will enable us inherit God’s kingdom at the end of our lives. Amen.
Fr. Justin Nzekwe