Friday, July 30, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - August 1, 2021

Homily of Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15; Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54; Ephesians 4:17, 20-24; John 6:24-35

While the Israelites were journeying through the desert to the Promised Land, God provided them with food for their soul and food for their body. God gave them his commandments as food for their soul. And as we read in today’s first reading, God gave them manna and quail as food for their body. Since the human body is made of material and spiritual components, God warned the Israelites, “It is not by bread alone that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). The same warning is for us today.

In last Sunday’s gospel reading, Jesus, miraculously, fed five thousand men. The men were so excited that they wanted to carry Jesus off to make him king, but Jesus knowing their frivolous intention withdrew from them (John 6:15). Jesus’ action is a message for those who cheat and kill others in order to acquire power or ascend to positions. In today’s gospel, the crowd did not relent. They searched for Jesus and found him across the sea. That became a teachable moment with which Jesus confront the restive crowd, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal” (John 6:26-27). Unfortunately, many people who claim to be Christians do not seek for Jesus as the sign that leads to righteousness and salvation. They look for him to be filled with ‘miraculous loaves.’ This, perhaps, explains why ‘miracle centers’ and ‘prosperity gospel churches’ are in vogue.

Why do the people love the American gymnast, Simone Biles? Is it because she wins gold; or because she is a human being? If people love her because she is a human being, the love is genuine. If people love her because she wins medals, the love is frivolous.

Our earthly life’s journey is like the Israelites’ journey through the desert. God provides us earthly food for our physical sustenance. For our spiritual life and nourishment, God provides us the “Bread of God;” the Word made Flesh, Jesus Christ.

The readings help us to understand that no matter the possessions we accumulate; we will never be satisfied if Jesus is not at the center of our life. Grumbling like the Israelites is a sign that Jesus is absent, and a sign of insatiable desire. But if Jesus is at the center of our life, we are satisfied with what God provides for us. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35). St. Paul says, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). St. Paul warns us in the second reading that without Jesus our desires are futile and deceitful.

When we sing the song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand,” we are, indeed, affirming the words of Jesus in today’s gospel, “For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” This means that in Jesus, God has placed his tag, his emblem, and his authority on us. In Jesus is our identity, approval, and security. Without Jesus, we fall apart. Jesus reminds us in John 15:5, “For without me you can do nothing.”

One would have imagined that considering the world’s scientific and technological advancement, the world would be happy and peaceful. But, since the world is moving farther and farther away from God, there is so much anger and crisis everywhere. Scripture says, “For the Lord has a dispute with the inhabitants of the land: There is no fidelity, no loyalty, no knowledge of God in the land. Swearing, lying, murder, stealing and adultery break out; bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore, the land dries up, and everything that dwells in it languishes” (Hosea 4:1-3). God laments through Prophet Jeremiah, “Two evils my people have done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13). Surely, these passages describe the distressed situation in almost everywhere.

In Ephesians 2:14 St. Paul says that nothing else is our peace but Jesus Christ. Blaise Pascal is quoted to have said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each person which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

Jesus commands us in the gospel, “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Unfortunately, there are people who acquire wealth, position, and power through sinful means. Such people do not care about the food that endures for eternal life. They do not care about integrity, legitimacy, and legacy. They live by bread alone and work only for food that perishes. For us, it is not so. We pray that by the power and seal of Jesus, our work brings us enduring reward here on earth, and eternal reward in heaven. Amen.

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Friday, July 23, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - July 25, 2021

Homily of Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

 2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145:10-11,15-18; Ephesians 4:1-6; John 6:1-15

 According to Leviticus 2:12-15, the first-fruits were to be offered to the Lord. It was in the observance of this Jewish custom that the man in the first reading brought to Elisha twenty barley loaves of first-fruits and fresh ears of grain. Elisha had one hundred prophet apprentices (sons of the prophet) who were in training to become prophets. Elisha directed his servant, Gehazi, to give the offering to the sons of the prophet to eat. Gehazi, believing that the offering would not be enough objected, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha repeated his instruction that the loaves be given to the people; and Elisha prophesied, “For thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’” The reading concludes that the men ate and there were some left over as prophesied by Elisha.

When Jesus raised the idea of feeding the five thousand people, his disciples objected too. Philip questioned Jesus, “Where can we buy enough bread for them to eat. … Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” Andrew wondered, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many.” After Jesus blessed the five loaves and the two fish, the five thousand people ate and the left over filled twelve wicker baskets.

The readings teach us that God multiplies the little we are willing to share with one another. Let no one say, “What I have is insignificant; no need presenting it.” Let us be like the man in the first reading who brought the offering to Elisha. Let us be like the boy in the gospel reading who brought five loaves and two fish. Let us allow God to use us as he used the man and the boy. It means that if we are generous and faithful with the little we have, much comes out of it because God steps in to bless and multiply it.

We can see in the readings that neither Elisha nor Jesus produced what the people ate. It was the little that was available and generously offered that God blessed and multiplied. There is no blessing and no multiplication where people are unwilling to share. What use is a person’s wealth if the person does not allow God to bless other people with his or her wealth? What use is a person’s talent and knowledge if the person does not share them with other people?

When we observe what the second reading calls “unity of the spirit” and “bond of peace,” that is, come together and combine resources and efforts, much is achieved. The achievement that results from unity of the spirit and bond of peace is a form of ‘multiplication of loaves.’ The evidence of such multiplication of loaves are seen in families, communities, parishes, associations, and organizations where there is unity of the spirit and bond of peace. Many institutions and establishments grow to enormous size due to some individuals who come together in unity of the spirit and bond of peace, contribute, and combine their resources. The positive contributions of such institutions and establishments to the economy of their country and wellbeing of many people is a form of ‘multiplication of loaves.’

In the Gospel, Jesus instructed his disciples to, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” By this, Jesus teaches us that it is wrong and sinful to be wasteful. It is unfortunate and sad to see so much wastefulness in our society. In some countries, there is so much accumulation and hoarding of wealth by the political and economic rulers while the citizens are impoverished and hungry. This is wrong and sinful. There are, also, some clergy men and women who accumulate and hoard so much wealth while neglecting the poor. In fact, some of the clergy men and women enrich themselves with extorting from the poor and the feeble minded. This is wrong and sinful. There is so much wastage in some parts of the world while millions in other parts of the world die from impoverishment. This is wrong and sinful. If what is hoarded, wrongly accumulated, and what is wasted are distributed to the needy, poverty will reduce to the barest minimum all over the world, and millions of lives saved.

Also, eating or drinking more than the body requires, wasting food, dumping or trashing usable items, acquiring and hoarding more than necessary, spending and purchasing unnecessarily, extravagance, laziness, and so on are types of wastefulness. They are wrong and sinful. Jesus instructs us, “Gather fragments leftover, so that nothing will be wasted.” O Lord, grant us a generous heart and the spirit of sharing, and deliver us from the demons of greediness and wastefulness. Amen.

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - July 18, 2021

Homily of Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

 Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23:1-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

 The time Jeremiah prophesied in Israel was a time of religious and moral crises. The political rulers and religious leaders were deep in corruption and injustice. The poor were neglected and oppressed. The true God was no longer worshipped with seriousness. Worship of foreign gods became a common practice. In the first reading, Jeremiah confronted the rulers and leaders for their derailment: “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture - oracle of the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds” (Jeremiah 23:1-2).

 The first reading, accurately, captures the disturbing picture of the situation today in crises ridden countries like Nigeria. The rulers in the crises ridden countries destroy and scatter the people and drive them away. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying of sickness, hunger, poverty, and violence. Thousands of people are fleeing their homelands and many are dying across deserts, in seas, and in prisons. Thousands of people are forced to surrender themselves to the humiliation of being refugees in foreign lands. We continue to pray and wait for God’s promise: “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear or be terrified; none shall be missing - oracle of the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:3-4).

 We pray for religious, economic, and political shepherds who will be a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy; the days when righteous and just rulers reign and govern wisely, and when the people will dwell in security (Jeremiah 23:6).

 We pray for religious, political, and economic shepherds who will be “Repairers of Broken Walls, and Restorers of Streets and Dwellings” (Isaiah 58:12); the shepherds who have the mind of Christ, who break down the dividing wall of enmity and establish peace; who preach peace to those far off and peace to those who are near (second reading, Ephesians 2:14-18).

Unlike the wicked shepherds during the time of Jeremiah, when Jesus saw the vast crowd, “his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.” We pray for religious, political, and economic shepherd who are compassionate in their leadership.

We pray, too, that we become a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy since, in one way or another, we have leadership roles in our homes, relationships, churches, associations, work places, and responsibilities. Wherever and whatever leadership role we find ourselves, we pray to have the mind of Christ and be “Repairers of Broken Walls, and Restorers of Streets and Dwellings,” and be able break down dividing walls of enmity and establish peace.

Wherever and whatever leadership role we find ourselves, we pray to govern wisely and be compassionate. Without compassion, we cannot govern or judge wisely. That is why Jesus tells us to “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36).

We conclude this reflection by praying together the beautiful psalm of today, Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

In green pastures he makes me lie down;

to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul.

He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff comfort me.

You set a table before me in front of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life;

I will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.

Amen.

 Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Friday, July 2, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - July 4, 2021

Homily of Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

 Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 123:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6

 Ezekiel was one of the prophets whom God called and sent to prophesy to the people of Israel. The Israelites were rebellious to God, and consequently were carried off to exile by the Babylonians. Ezekiel was among the captives. Even while in exile, they remained “hard of face and obstinate of heart.” Yet, God did not abandon them. He never left them without his prophets. In the same way, God has not abandoned our rebellious world without prophets.

 Unfortunately, all over the world, many of God’s prophets are persecuted rather than listened to. There are countless examples of true prophets who are either silenced or killed; and people who close their ears to truth; and only open their ears to what they like to hear. There are many instances where false prophets are celebrated and glorified because they ‘prophesy’ whatever pleases their ‘base,’ their masters, their admirers, their followers, and their listeners. In the gospel reading, Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith of the people of his time. Blatant rejection of truth and messengers of truth and acceptance of and preference to falsehood and lies are, indeed, amazing. We pray that many people may experience conversion in their life.  

 St. Paul’s mystical experience narrated in the second reading encourages all God’s prophets not to be discouraged in the face of oppositions and persecutions. God’s assurance is, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses.” The reading encourages God’s prophets to be calm and strong in times of weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints.

 In the gospel reading, Jesus was a prophet among his own people, but they rejected him. “They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.”

God did not go to a foreign land to get a prophet for his people in exile. He called Ezekiel from among the Israelite exiles to prophecy to them. Ezekiel’s people did not listen to him. I guess they would have said to him, “Keep quiet, young man. Where did you get all this? We know when you were born; and we know your parents and relatives who are here with us.”

The interchange between Abraham and the rich man comes to mind: “[The rich man] said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:27-31).

 Some people spend so much time, money, and energy, running up and down and seeking for ‘Men and Women of God,’ fortune tellers, diviners, dream analysts, palm readers, psychics, spiritualists, and so on to ‘prophesy’ to them. Meanwhile, these same people neglect God’s words in the Bible, they neglect Sunday sermons, good advice from parents, relatives, friends, colleagues, teachers, and so on. God sends us to be prophets to one another. Let us speak the truth to one another. And let us listen to one another. Jesus says, “I say to you, whoever receives the one I sent receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (John 13:20).

 

You may be the ‘Ezekiel,’ or the ‘Paul,’ or the ‘Jesus’ God has sent to ‘prophesy’ the truth to someone or about a situation. You are encouraged to pray and proceed without further delay. It is not by your power, but by the power of the One who sent you! Let God’s grace be sufficient for you. St. Paul says, “proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient” (2 Timothy 4:2).

 We conclude with Moses’ prayer in Numbers 11:29, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would put his Spirit upon them all.” Amen.

 Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - June 27, 2021

 Homily of Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

Wisdom, 1:13-15, 23-24; Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

 Job 1:21, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” By these two passages and similar ones, we believe that our life and death are in God’s hand.

 But the first reading states, “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome, there is not a destructive drug among them …” (Wisdom 1:13-14). We can infer from this passage that killing and slaughtering of human beings, wars, genocides, holocausts, killing of the unborn, and all kinds of destruction of human life are not God’s making but the work of the devil and his agents. The first reading, further states, “But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world …” (Wisdom 1:24). Unfortunately, many people have embraced the vices that lead to the culture of death from the devil, instead of the virtues that lead to the culture of life from God. We pray for the conversion of the agents of the devil who inflict our world with the culture of death.

 Another kind of death that is caused by the devil is spiritual death, which is why St. Paul writes in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Jesus advises us how to save ourselves from spiritual death. According to the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus began his ministry, his first words are, “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In John 6:29 Jesus says, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” If we stop listening to the devil and falling into sin, but believe in Jesus and obeying his commands (the gospel), we will surely be saved from spiritual death.

St. Paul admonishes us in the second reading, “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus differentiates himself from the devil in John 10:10, “A thief [the devil] comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Jesus, in the Gospel of today, shows that he came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. The woman who was afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years wanted her life back. She spent all that she had and suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors but got no cure. She reached out and touched the clothes of Jesus. Her faith was so great that power came out of Jesus and cured her. “Immediately her flow of blood dried up;” and she got her life back.

Jairus, a synagogue official, also, reached out to Jesus and invited him saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” “While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?’ Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid; just have faith’” (Mark 5:35-36). Jesus put out those who were weeping, and who ridiculed him, and those who caused commotion, and healed the girl.

No doubt, our world is hemorrhaging from the culture of death. We are all hemorrhaging from killings, insecurity, inhuman treatment, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, hunger, sickness, and various kinds of hardship and crises. We pray for our own healing and the healing of our world. In our prayer and Eucharistic celebration, we reach out and touch Jesus as the woman did. May he respond with his healing power. We are inviting Jesus to our helpless situations, as Jairus did. May he visit us, put out those who ridicule God’s wonderful creation, those who cause commotion, and those who bring hardship and agony on people. May he wipe our tears, heal us and our world. May our world experience sanity. We entrust our life and death only in God’s hand. May our faith in him not be shaken. Amen.

 Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Friday, June 18, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - June 20, 2021

Homily of Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021

 Job 38:1, 8-11; Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

 It is a common human behavior, especially for us believers, to ask God questions in our grieving. Often, we hear some people say, “You should not question God.” Questioning God while grieving is a form of prayer in as much as we entrust every moment of the situation into God’s hand. If we question God with faith, he will surely respond to us, no matter how difficult the situation is.

 Many Psalms questioned God. For example, “How long, Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2-3).

 Jesus questioned God while he was hanging on the cross, “And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:35).

 We read in the first reading Job’s lamentation and questions to God. Job cursed the day he was born and questioned, “Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why did knees receive me, or breasts nurse me? … Or why was I not buried away like a stillborn child, like babies that have never seen the light?” (Job 3:1-16). Also, in chapter 30:20-21, Job lamented to God, “I cry to you, but you do not answer me; I stand, but you take no notice. You have turned into my tormentor, and with your strong hand you attack me. You raise me up and drive me before the wind; I am tossed about by the tempest.”

 The first reading is God’s response to Job. The reading says that “the Lord addressed Job out of the storm …” That is, God responded to Job in Job’s storm and assured Job that he is the Lord over his storm. God assured Job that he was in control despite his storm.

 The gospel is Jesus’ disciples experience of a storm. “A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, ‘Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?’” (Mark 4:37-40).

 Storms in our life distress us, as in the case of Job; or terrify us, as in the case of the disciples of Jesus. Sometimes, we do feel that God is silent as in the case of Job; or that Jesus is ‘asleep’ as in the case of the disciples. The readings teach us that God is neither silent nor asleep. He is in control. The wind and the sea obey him, as the disciples later testified.

 Today’s Psalm also testifies about the sailors “who sailed the sea in ships and traded on the deep waters, saw the works of the Lord and his wonders in the abyss. … Their hearts melted away in their plight. … They cried to the Lord in their distress, from their straits he rescued them. He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled” (Psalm 107:13-29).

 We are like Job. We are like the disciples. We are like the sailors.  We are distressed in our various storms. We are terrified by the violent waves breaking over our boat. Our hearts melt away. We lament. We ask questions and search for answers. Sometimes, we think that God is punishing us. Sometimes, we think that God has abandoned us; that he is ‘sleeping.’ We do not understand what is happening to us. We ask, “Why me?” “What have I done wrong?” “What is my sin?”

The first reading tells us that God addressed Job from “out of the storm.” He does the same to us. He addresses us out of our storm; but often we do not listen. Rather, our attention is on the waves of the storm; a clear sign of lack of faith. With strong faith, let us turn our attention to God, and cry to him as the sailors did. He stilled the sea for them. May he do the same for us. With strong faith, let us turn our attention to Jesus as the disciples did. He rebuked the wind and there was great calm. May he do the same for us.

St. Paul encourages us in the second reading (2 Corinthians 5:14-17) that we should not be ruled by distress, or fear, or doubt, but that we be impelled the love of Christ. By that, old life passes away, and we become new creatures. May these words be fulfilled in our life. Amen. 

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Ninth Sunday of Easter Year B - May 30, 2021- Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Homily of the Most Holy Trinity Year B, 2021

 Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22; Romans 8: 14-17; Matthew 28:16-20

 We celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost last Sunday. The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles brings the work of the Most Holy Trinity to its fullness. God the Father is the Creator. God the Son is the Savior. God the Holy Spirit sanctifies and renews.

 As we read in the gospel, when Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, he authorized his apostles to baptize in the name of the Trinity. He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). By extension, Jesus commands us to do all things in the name of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That is why, all our prayers begin with the invocation of the Trinity, and end with the blessing of the Trinity. We invoke the Trinity each time we profess the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt, and sign ourselves with the Sign of the Cross. It is, therefore, important that we profess the holy names and sign ourselves reverently. The sign of the Cross was known in Christian liturgy about 3rd century AD.

 The Trinity is one of the most important mysteries in Christianity. Thus, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three persons, but one nature, one God, equal, undivided, and inseparable. We are not invited to fully understand the dogma because it is a mystery. We are, rather, invited to participate in the nature of the Trinity.

 What is the nature of the Trinity?

 First, the nature of the Trinity is Unity: The Trinity is one nature, inseparable, and undivided. We are invited to witness unity wherever we find ourselves. Separations and divisions are not from God.

 Second, the nature of the Trinity is harmony: There is perfect harmony in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit relate in harmony from creation to the descent of the Holy Spirit. We are invited to work harmoniously with one another.

 Third, the nature of the Trinity is equality: The three persons of the Trinity are equal. None is superior to the other. Therefore, we are invited to provide equal treatment and equal opportunity for everyone.

 Fourth, the nature of the Trinity is love: Unity, harmony, and equality can only be possible where there is love. The Trinity is bonded by love. We pray that we are bound together by genuine love. As we know, everything is possible with genuine love.

 Fifth, the nature of the Trinity is holy: As we celebrate and worship the Most Holy Trinity, may the rays of their holy light shine on us, dispel forces of sin and darkness, and bring us to conversion. May the rays of their holy light bring us healing. May the rays of their holy light guide us to the path of truth and righteousness. May the rays of their holy light grant us protection. Amen.

 Any family, church, community, organization, institution, or country that is rooted in the nature of the Trinity will experience unity, peace, and progress. The crises we have everywhere is because of human beings’ rejection of the nature of the Trinity. Some people are rooted only in human nature that leads to nowhere. Worse still, some people are rooted in the nature of the Evil One and they go astray. Inequality, injustice, disharmony, hate, disunity, crises, and so on are opposed to the nature of the Trinity.

 

Humanity’s trinitarian interconnectedness is in such a way that what affects one affects all. Whatever happens to one part of the world affects other parts of the world. In his Urbi et Orbi (city and world) address, March 27, 2020, Pope Francis says, “We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, …” An English author, John Donne, in 1624 wrote, “No one is an Island, entire of itself; everyone is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main. … No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.”

 The celebration today reminds us the necessity of the unity and oneness. It is often said, “Where there is unity, there is strength, and there is victory;” “United we stand, divided we fall.”

We conclude with St. Paul’s trinitarian blessing in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” Amen.

(Please, share this homily with friends and family. Let us all become instruments of evangelization.)

 Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - August 1, 2021

Homily of Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 2021 Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15; Psalm 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54; Ephesians 4:17, 20-24; John 6...