Homily Thirty-first Sunday Year A

By 10:59 AM

Homily Thirty-first Sunday Year A

Reading 1: The last two Sundays, we heard the prophet word of God to the Old Testament people: “I am the Lord, your God, there is no other God besides me.” Today, the reading begins “A great King, am I, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.” In this context, what is God’s charge against the priests of the Old Testament? God, through the Prophet, chastises the priests of his day. You do not listen to my word; you do not lay it to heart; you do not give glory to my name. Instead, you have turned away from my word; you do not keep my ways.

In another words, you have broken your covenant with me and have, by your example, led the people under your care, away from me. “You have caused many to falter by your instruction.”

This applied not only to the priests of the day but to the other leaders of the people.

Gospel: The Gospel connects the dots with the lay religious leaders of Jesus’ day.  They were not priests but lay people who acted superior than others in religious matters. They too knew how to preach to others but didn’t practice what they preached.

In their misplaced zeal to be meticulous about the various precepts of the ritual laws, they failed to authentically integrate the faith they professed with the lives they led. They felt that to be holy they had to separate themselves from the common folk by upholding every precept literally in every minute detail.

Jesus is addressing the attitude of their hearts. They were prideful, putting on airs to impress others about their own righteousness. They saw themselves greater than the common folk. In reality, they lacked true humility.

What is humility? What does it mean to humble oneself? Basically, it means to know the truth and to live in the truth. What is the truth? It is seeing all things as God sees; appraise all things as God does. It means not to see oneself greaten than another but to recognize that who I am is by the grace of God. 

Jesus was not opposed to calling people teacher, Father, leader. What he was opposed to was assuming these titles on one’s own and demanding that people treat them differently because of a title not because of relationship.

What is the attitude of our heart? How do we see ourselves? Do we embrace the truth about ourselves so that we are true to God, to self and to others?

Reading 2. Paul in the second reading continues his ministry to the Thessalonians. In contrast to the First Reading and the Gospel, Paul acknowledged how the people heard and acted on the Word of God. In the last two Sundays, in different ways, he affirmed that they received the Gospel he preached, not because of any eloquence on his part, but with the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.  Here he says: “We too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly  is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.

In other words, they humbly heard the word of God, accepted it as truly the word of God by grace, and acted on in by the way they lived. They were not only hearers of the word, but doers as well.

This is what we are called to do. In that way, we live out our baptismal covenant and give true glory to God who does marvelous things in our lives.


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