Homily - 13th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017 - Fr Kingsley Etoh

2 July 2017 

The readings today dwell on what should be the most important thing in our lives. And here, we are talking about our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we can have in our lives. Our relationship with God is also the most important thing we can lose in our lives.

It means that if God offers Himself to us, we are expected to respond. If we don’t respond, it simply means that we’re telling God that His offer has no value for us. It means we are telling him that His offer doesn’t mean anything to us.

When we take a few moments to look at our lives, we will observe that they are filled with all sorts of activities and “busy-ness”. There are so many things we think we need to do and there are so many things we consider to be important.

In the midst of all these busyness, many of us don’t even try to ask about God.  It is high time we stop in our tracks to find out where God is in our lives. What sort of attention do we give to Him?

We need to ask these questions from time to time and today’s readings challenge us to do just that not only today, or on Sundays, but each and every day of our lives.

The second important point to draw out from today’s readings is the question of how we treat God’s messengers.

We know that God relates to us in different ways. Sometimes, he can relate to us directly. Some other times, he uses intermediaries to relate to us.

These intermediaries are not only the Pope, bishops and priests. They can be anybody, but especially people in difficulties.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the belief that to do our things by ourselves is what matters. We like to take care of things all by ourselves.

But we need to also realize that we are not the only people in the world. There are also other people and in certain times we all need to depend on them one way or another.

We need to realize this truth as it relates to the way God reaches us. The woman in the first reading paid a lot of attention to God’s messengers. As a result, God reached her and changed her life.

Are we open to God’s messengers in our lives? God cares for us. He loves us. He wants our attention and love. We all need to make more room for Him in our lives, our hearts, and our thoughts.

Some people might ask: how can we be of help to the little ones or the intermediaries God will be sending us? It does not require much. Just a cup of water, as we heard from the gospel.

A cup of cold water is the smallest of gifts. It is a gift that almost anyone can give. In essence, Jesus is telling us that our lack of affluence or possession is not an excuse for thinking we cannot do much to help the other person.

But a cup of cold water is precious to a person who is really thirsty. In fact, in some instances, it is the gift of life itself. While we would prefer, in the game of life to be the hero, Jesus’ heart leans toward the person who does the most basic. He is telling us that providing a cup of water is a valid vocation.

Today, we are being reminded that God rewards even the smallest contribution. Although Jesus does not specify the nature of the reward for those who help little ones, he assures us of its certainty.

Let us ask God in this Mass for the grace to turn our thoughts toward him, and to recognize and appreciate the various ways he is present in our lives.

 

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