HOMILY: 32ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020
My native province was just recently ravaged by the strongest typhoon in five decades with the gustiness of 310 kilometres per hour. The day before the landfall I phoned my sister to tell her how worried I was for them as they have to courageously endure the looming perfect storm. At that moment, everybody is stressed preparing because it is of great necessity for it is a matter between life and death. Three things, preparedness- everything that you need must be in place. Windows must have typhoon guards; doors reinforced with huge lumbers and food storage. Be awake and alert – no sleeping as much as possible so that you will know what to do to save your life. Be independent- neither you run away from your shelter to ask for help because it is extremely risky that you might be hit by flying objects and you might be blown away from the wind nor open the door when somebody knocks because of the pressure that might suck you out. My last words were, do not forget to bend on your knees to pray and please keep the faith.
We are now on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and the theme is Salvation. It is very scary because it is all about the catastrophic and apocalyptic events however the bottom line is rewarding of life to the faithful people. Salvation must be at the centre of evangelization. The first Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians tells us “we do not want you to be uninformed so that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. Jesus died and rose again so that through Him He may bring with Him those who have believed in Him”. Evangelization means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking conversion of hearts of individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself. We need evangelization more than information. Information is telling the people what is going on in our church but evangelization is tell people how much God has loved them reinforced by our faithful witnessing which is about living the very love of Christ. We need evangelization more than organization. We have already various organizations but very seldom if not at all open the bible together as a group. The church is so much focused on what we can do for the world not so much on what God can do for us.
Salvation is all about personal decision. This is the very lesson of the gospel. We might have a bad impression about these wise virgins selfishness towards the foolish virgins. Although salvation is a collective initiative of a community but ultimately it is an issue of personal conviction. We will be the one to say yes if we wish to follow. Nobody will coerce us to love God and our neighbours and will be the one responsible for our actions before the Lord. This is what we need that we have to declare before the altar of the Lord explicitly, voluntarily and personally that we desire to follow the Lord whatever it takes.
Salvation is all about personal transformation. The Book of Wisdom says wisdom is radiant and unfading and she is easily discerned by those who love her. We have to be lovers of wisdom. Wisdom comes with experience and being able to see the world from many perspectives. It is putting the word of God into practice from which we formulate beautiful and inspiring for others.