Homily for the 21st Sunday of the year A

Isaiah 22:15, 19-23 Romans 11:33-36 Mathew 16:13-20.

Theme: Divine Upliftment

In our liturgy of this 21st Sunday of the year, we see God promoting people who have proved themselves worthy and found favour in his sight. We see this in the choice of Eliakim as against Shebna in the 1st reading. In the 2nd reading, we see St. Paul in his letter to the Romans appreciating God for finding him worthy to be an apostle. Lastly, in the gospel reading Jesus promotes Peter after answering the question of Jesus. The three readings we have today, invites us in a very special way to live our lives in such a way that will be pleasing to God and will naturally attract his blessings. Cooperating with the grace of God and our personal efforts is very important; if we truly desire to be on the same page with the Lord.

The consciousness of the blessings of God, like St. Paul did in today’s 2nd reading is very important in our lives. It is important that we always remember that our victories and successes in life are not absolutely as a result of our smartness or intelligence; we must learn to appreciate the grace of God at our disposal. That is why it is very important that in any situation we find ourselves in life, until God who has the final say speaks, it is not yet over. This is very important. You may be going through a health situation and your Doctor have said there is no hope, prepare yourself; he does not have the final say. God is still restoring people to health in our own time. The challenge you are going through in your place of work, all hope is not lost, because God has the final say; he can still change the narrative. No matter the situation you are going through right now, just trust in God, pray and continue to do your best; God has the final say.

The saying that no one can curse whosoever God has blessed is very true. Any attempt to fight such an individual, will be a waste of time; because you cannot win a fight against God. The most important thing is for us to always make honest effort to live a life that is pleasing to God at all times. That way we can be sure that we are on the right part that is pleasing to God. This is an important invitation that we need to accept and take serious in our lives, as we continue to strive for salvation.

In the gospel reading, Jesus presents a very important question to his disciples, “who do men say that the son of man is?” Some people gave their different answers until Peter answered “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” This assertion of Peter brought about his Divine Promotion from Jesus. This is an answer that emanates from experiential knowledge; from Peter’s experience of the person of Jesus. In the same way Jesus is asking us today, who am I to you? The answer to this question will be more meaningful when we speak from experience.

Dear friends in Christ, Jesus means different things to people from our experience of him. This is good and wonderful, as long as it is not an exploitative relationship. It shouldn’t be knowledge of God that begins and ends with what we get from him. Is there anything you are doing for God? Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you do for me (Mathew 25:40). Put smiles on the faces of the less privileged and the most abandoned. Speak the truth, even when you have to stand alone. These are some of the ways we can be on the same page with God.

May God grant us Divine upliftment in every aspect of our life. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 21st Sunday of the ordinary time of the year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp