30th Sunday of the ordinary time of the Yea A

Readings: Exodus 22:21-27 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10 Mathew 22:34-40

Theme: Love is the greatest commandment

Today is the 30th Sunday of the ordinary time of the Year A. The readings we have on this Sunday are linked to love in one way or the other. This is very good, taking into consideration what is happening in different parts of the world. The practice of love in our individual life and also in the world is very important. This will go a long way in changing the practices that we see all around us.  These are actions that are both exploitative and devoid of any form of love. The protest that is presently taking place in Nigeria would have been averted if there is the consciousness of love of God and neighbour.

In the 1st reading from the Book of Exodus, the author admonishes us about the fact that the less privileged should be treated with kindness and compassion, if we do not want to attract the anger of God to ourselves. This is because when they cry out to God, he will answer them speedily. The admonition from the 1st reading can be made possible by anyone whose life is guided by love of God and neighbour. Such a person will not practice or support the exploitation of orphans and widows in our society. There are many cases in our society, where widows are been mistreated with their children because they have lost their husbands. We are encouraged today to desist from oppressing the less privileged if we have been doing it and become the voice of the voiceless in our society. Otherwise we will attract the wrath of God to ourselves when they cry to him.

In the 2nd reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians, he applauds the faithfulness and practice of faith of the people in imitating Christ. This is made possible because of the love and sincerity of St. Paul to the people, and also the love of the teachings of St. Paul to them. Wherever there is love, every good thing is possible. That is why dear friends in Christ, the practice of love is a necessity in our lives. It will bring about so many good things that are in short supply in our world today. There will be no need for protests, like the #EndSars protest presently happening in Nigeria. There will be no reason for nations to go to war, there will be no reason for countries to spend huge amount of money in acquiring weapons of war. There will be peace, unity and progress.

Jesus in the gospel sums up all the commandments as love of God and neighbour. This assertion of Jesus is a challenge to Christians all over the world. We have a role to play towards establishing Gods kingdom here on earth. The question we should ask ourselves today is, am I playing my role by allowing the love of God and neighbour to guide all my daily actions? Dear friends in Christ, we are all encouraged to do all within our power to ensure that we all love to guide all that we do.

As leaders, we must always remember that our duty is to be at the service of the people and not to stifle their voice. Let love rule!

It is my prayer that God will grant us the grace to enthrone love in our lives, families and in the world. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 30th Sunday of the ordinary time of the Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp