Trusting in God – Homily by Rev Fr Edmund Nnadozie
The first reading is taken from Isaiah 66 which is taken from the very last line. The book of Isaiah is divided into 3 parts. 1-44, 44-55 and 56-66. Chapter 66 is about the promise of God, not to the people of Israel, but to the whole nation saying that everyone is part and parcel of salvation. In chapter 66: 18-21, God said he is going to send people out to different nations. These are not Jews but people from different areas and different nations. He will make them missionaries. Since the Jews are not the only ones called to be priests, God is saying he will take people from everywhere and make them priests and Levites.
In the gospel, when Jesus was asked, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He replied saying that we should strive to enter the narrow door. Jesus is saying salvation is personal. He said people will come from the east and west, north and south, and will sit in the kingdom of God. Those who think it’s their birthright will sit in amazement when they see others that they least expected in the kingdom of God.
In the second reading, the word son is used. This could mean son and daughter. Now, God chastises and disciplines us. We go through suffering because God is purifying us. It may look like every problem is on our heads but the reading is saying it is not the case even though all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant. We even ask if God is still there. The reading answers us. It says when these things happen, it is not the end but rather a way of purifying and making one stronger. This is why we need a sponsor during weddings and a mentor in life. We need someone who has walked this path to guide us.
Finally, life is rough and tough in Nigeria. We must see what you are going through as something that will purify us and we will emerge better. We must have discipline, persist, and look up to God. It is only when we do this that all will be well. May God bless His words in our hearts. Amen.