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EMBRACING HUMILITY: A KEY TO TRUE PEACE AND FULFILLMENT

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HOMILY OF 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A

Many people in our contemporary society are passing through difficulties in life, which tend to hamper their growth and development. Oftentimes, some of these problems, such as sickness, diseases, poverty, etc., occur naturally, while others are orchestrated by fellow human beings. Unfortunately, there are several poor people whose suffering has lasted for many years and whose conditions seem hopeless.

However, Jesus Christ invites the poor, troubled, weary, oppressed, burdened, etc., to find rest in His yoke of humility, trusting in God’s providence. Meanwhile, the prophetic vision of the humble King highlights the importance of humility in our lives. It offers hope through the promise of the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who enters Jerusalem on a humble donkey.

Nevertheless, in a world that often celebrates power, success, and self-promotion, the concept of humility may seem counterintuitive. But the profound wisdom of embracing humility as a way of life cannot be overlooked. In this homily, we will explore the transformative power of embracing humility and its significance for finding true peace and fulfillment in our lives.

The Prophetic Vision of the Humble King (Messiah)

In the first reading, the Israelites, who returned from Babylonian exile after suffering from oppression, and seeing Jerusalem in ruins, lost hope. However, the Prophet Zechariah gave them hope through his prophetic vision, which speaks of the coming of the Messiah, who will enter Jerusalem not on a mighty warhorse but on a humble donkey.

This image highlights the humility of the Messiah, who comes not as a conqueror but as a servant-leader. He further assures them that the messiah will surely come to free them from oppression and grant them freedom and peace of mind. Certainly, it is through this humility that Jesus Christ brings peace to our lives.

Jesus’ Invitation to the Weary and Burdened to Find Rest in Humility

In the Gospel reading, the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, invites all who are poor, troubled, weary, oppressed, burdened, etc., to come to Him, and He promises to give them rest and peace of mind. Moreover, Jesus Christ acknowledges that life can be challenging and burdensome, but He offers us a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. This yoke is the yoke of humility, of surrendering ourselves to God’s will and trusting in His providence.

Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, offers us a profound invitation to embrace humility and find solace in His presence. It is through humble submission to God that we find true peace and rest for our souls. Yes, embracing humility allows us to recognize our dependence on God and acknowledge that we cannot find true peace through our own efforts alone. It is in surrendering our burdens to Him that we discover the peace that surpasses all understanding.

When we are faced with difficulties, we should always go to God Almighty in humble prayer because He cares for us. As the scripture says, “Do not fear; you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged; you will not suffer disgrace; you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more” (Isaiah 54:4). St. Peter also enjoins us to “take all our worries to God in prayers, for He loves and cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). Nonetheless, our prayers should be embellished with a strong faith and trust in God (Mark 11:23–24).

Furthermore, as a gentle and humble servant, Jesus Christ is always on the side of the poor and oppressed because they are the ones to whom the message of salvation is being revealed. Besides, when we say “poor”, “humble”, and “oppressed”, who are we really talking about? What are their characteristic features? Of course, the “poor” that Jesus Christ is talking about doesn’t really mean someone who is impecunious (financially incapacitated). It is someone who does not depend on his or her talents, wisdom, or strength but solely depends on God and believes that he or she cannot achieve anything except by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10Proverbs 3:5-8).

Living According to the Holy Spirit: The Path to Transformation

In the second reading, St. Paul emphasizes the importance of living according to the Spirit. He reminds us that the Spirit of God dwells within us, and it is through this Spirit that we find life and peace. By allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, words, and actions, we can experience the transformative power of God’s grace. It is through this surrender to the Holy Spirit that we become true disciples of Jesus Christ, following His example of humility and finding peace in our lives.

Hence, for us to have adequate peace of mind, we need to have absolute trust in Jesus Christ. Relying on His Words will always help us to bear good fruits (Galatians 5:22–23) through the Power of the Holy Spirit. When we humbly rely on God Almighty, He will surely give us the Holy Spirit, who will renew, empower, and help us to be gentle and humble, having the heart of God. Of course, when we are guided by the Holy Spirit, we will not live according to the flesh or do things in our own way by any means (Galatians 5:18–21).

Conclusion

Life is imbued with a plethora of sufferings that tend to become a stumbling block to our growth and development. However, every problem is ephemeral. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, offers us a profound invitation to embracing humility and find solace and peace in surrendering to God’s will. Humility allows us to recognize our dependence on God and acknowledge that we cannot find true peace through our own efforts alone. It is in surrendering our burdens to God Almighty that we discover the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Moreover, in a world that often values power, success, and self-reliance, let us remember that true peace can only be found in humbly surrendering ourselves to God’s will. May we imitate the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, and find rest for our weary souls. Also, by living according to the Spirit, we become true disciples of Christ, experiencing transformation and bearing the fruits of love and peace. May this vision inspire us in cultivating and embracing humility at all times, and to discover the rest and fulfillment found in our faith journey.

Prayer:

May the LORD free you from heavy burdens, and may the Holy Spirit help you to embrace humility in your life so that you may find rest in God’s presence and fulfillment in your faith journey. May you be instruments of peace, bringing hope and comfort to those in dire need, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Peace be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

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