Homily for Thirty-third Sunday C
To many in our world today where secularism is praised and celebrated as a virtue, our first reading this morning from the book of the prophet Malachi will mean nothing. The secular nature of so many nations around the world blinds people to the fact that we live in an “in-between time”. they discourage the realization that when one cuts himself from God he becomes like a branch off the vine that cannot bear fruit; for the Lord says, Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me (Jn. 15:4).
In most cases when end-time messages are preached they sounds threatening like what we heard in our first reading; See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. As threatening as this message sounds, it remains the truth. However, we are encouraged as Christians not to be threatened because the word of God also says, But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.
Though we are reminded in our responsorial psalm that the Lord is coming to judge the world, we as believers in the Lord focus on the blessing that awaits us. St Paul admonishes us on how to live in this “in-between time” to inherit the rewards of heaven, he challenges us to rise above the life of idleness and work diligently not only for physical but spiritual food as well.
We feed ourselves on the word of God, and the word of God reminds us to keep the hereafter in mind as we journey through this world; for that day will surly come when we all will face the Lord to give accounts of our stewardship.
Jesus shocked those he found admiring the beauty of the temple, those talking about how the temple was adorned with fine stone work. He reminded them saying; As for these things that you see, the day will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down. And when he was asked the time for these things to happen, he says, take care not to be deceived; he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “the time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon…Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
The Lord warns that many will come in his name, and I tell you this morning that they are here already with fake visions and prophecies. They claim to come in the name of the Lord, they appear not as agents of darkness that they are but as angels of “light”. Never you forget that the devil was once an angel of light, the most decorated angel in heaven and can still present himself as such for deceptive purpose. St. Paul says; And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2Cor. 11:14-15).
With due respect to the many sincere men and women of God, I warn you to be careful about the proliferation of churches and private ministries operating in our society using the name of Jesus Christ as disguise. Jesus said be careful, they will come in my name, refuse to join them. Do not be lured by the power of miracle, visions and prophecies that are not of God.
The lord promised to give us words and wisdom that none of our opponent will be able to withstand or contradict, stand on the word of God and by guided by it.
As we celebrate this Sunday and continue our journey to eternity, let us allow the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ guide our steps and not give in to the sugar coated tongues of the devil. Amen.