Homily Tenth Sunday Year B The will of God

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Homily Tenth Sunday Year B

Reading 1: Even though one knows the will of God, we may not act on his will. That is the message of our first reading. It is the message of human beings’ relationship with God from the beginning.

Though God poured his love on Adam and Eve and shared his very life with them, they refused to embrace his will in their life. They knew the prohibition not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This was merely a reminder of their dependence upon God: creature to Creator.

They knew his will. But knowing his will is not the question. The need is to respond by choosing to be obedient to his will, even though we don’t always understand. This choice is based on the realization of what God has done for us and why he has blessed us.  He has loved us beyond measure. Our response is love, not disobedience.

It is not easy to embrace fully the will of God. There is the reality of spiritual warfare and human opposition.  In this case, it was the Devil who was jealous of the relationship between God and these two creatures.  By his choice he had separated himself from the love of God. Now, these creatures, lower than him, a fallen angel, are blessed by God. The temptation is to separate them from God by sowing doubt and questions. They were told by Satan, to eat of the tree is to become equal to God, knowing good and evil. Their love for God was not stronger than their love for themselves. Maybe God was keeping something from them. So they succumb. As a result they came to know good and evil. They were ashamed of their nakedness and realized they lost their intimate relationship with God. He was no longer friend but judge to them. They hid themselves.

God knows what has happened and responds but with justice and mercy. Because of their sin their life would become difficult and hard; their relationship with each other and other creatures, once peaceful would be at odds. Since they no longer shared his divine life, they could not be in his presence. That was the justice. The mercy was the promise that God would send a Savior to defeat Satan and to restore human beings to right relationship once more with God.

Reading 2: The promises of God and doing his will sustained Paul after his conversion. He believed in the promises of God, namely the resurrection of the body and life with God forever in glory.

Even though he underwent many sufferings and trials during his faithful ministry proclaiming the message of salvation to others, he never lost sight of the goal. “For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.”  He chose the will of God over and over.

Are the promises and will of God that motivating for us in our daily difficulties and trials? Or do we succumb to the temptations that seek to distract us from our true goal, eternal life with God?

Gospel: In doing the will of the Father in his ministry as the promised Messiah, Jesus was beset with many oppositions by family, friends and the religious leaders.  They accused him of being crazy or of being in league with the devil. They sought to discredit the signs and wonders he was working for the good of others.
Jesus sees these as distractions and darts from the evil one. One of the ways he ministered God’s love was to free those bound by the power of Satan either through obsession, oppression or possession. Obviously the Evil One doesn’t want to be defeated.

But the message of Jesus to the efforts of Satan is to embrace the will of God, no matter what. This he identifies and underscores at the end of today’s passage.  “Who is my mother and my brothers? Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Like Jesus we are called to act in the power of the Spirit proclaiming the truth of God’s love and we are called to do the will of the Father. Jesus lived this even to the extent of embracing the cross for our salvation. We are called to embrace the daily crosses in our lives, instead of listening to the temptation of the Evil One to reject the cross.

The fire of God’s love has been poured into our hearts. The Evil one seeks to extinguish this fire as he tried to do in the life of Jesus. This fire will never be extinguished as long as we fuel it by embracing the will of God. And if it is dampened by sin, repentance fans the dying embers into a roaring fire.

Remain in the Father’s love by choosing to do his will no matter the cost.

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