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FAITH IN GOD THROUGH SACRIFICE

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Homily of 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

As Christians, we are all called to be harbingers of the gospel. But most times, the challenges we face as a result of living a true Christian life tend to pose a threat to our faith in God. Due to modernism, many people do not like to listen to sound doctrines again (2 Tim. 4:3), not to talk of sacrificing for the sake of the gospel.

Facing Opposition and Having True Faith in God

Sadly, some people may turn against you directly or indirectly and even falsely accuse you, especially when you tell them the hard truth. Consequently, you may become persona non grata (an unwelcome person) in their midst. If care is not taken, you may lose hope and faith in God. These are akin to the experiences of Jeremiah in the first reading of today. Despite the opposition he encountered, he still demonstrated a strong faith in God.

Sacrifices in Following Christ

Moreover, Jesus Christ told us in the Gospel that following Him would incur several attacks, sufferings, and sacrifices. Nevertheless, we should be courageous and not allow any obstacle to deter us (Jn. 16:33), but to have faith in God by bearing them patiently. This is because accepting our predicaments as our own share of sacrifice or cross in following Jesus Christ will subsequently yield us salvation or eternal life (1 Peter 4:12–19; Rom. 8:17–18).

The Path to Holiness and Divine Transformation

In the second reading, St. Paul affirmed what Jesus Christ said in the Gospel. According to him, we should present ourselves to God as living sacrifices and always have faith in God (Romans 12:1-2). He also urges us not to allow the suffering or riches of this world to deprive us of attaining holiness, which leads to divine transformation (Heb. 12:14).

Conclusion

Finally, dearly beloved, always have faith in God and bear your sufferings patiently. Also, pray at all times for one another, study the Scriptures daily, go to confession frequently, and receive the Holy Eucharist steadily. These will enable you to have faith in God so as to live a life of sacrifice in accordance with the scriptures and pave the way for divine acceptance and intervention in your life (Rom. 5:3-5).

Prayer

May the Holy Spirit strengthen your faith in God even in the midst of opposition or challenges. Also, may all your sacrifices here on earth lead you to Heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Peace of Christ be with you…

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

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