Homily for July 5, 2017
We may have heard the story of the healing of the demoniac many times but today there is an aspect of that story we may not have fully reflected upon. It is the fact that the people of the city “came out to meet Jesus and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.”
How often do I kick God out? Especially when it comes to money, investments and business? How many times have I told people not to mention God in my matter?
One obvious reason why the people begged Jesus to leave was because they felt his presence was not for their good.
They begged Jesus to leave not because they noticed the demoniacs who were healed but because they took note of the huge loss of a whole herd of pigs.
In their spiritual blindness, they failed to note that the same Jesus who freed the demoniacs from demonic possession is the same Jesus who made the pigs and has the power to multiply the pigs for each of them even to infinity.
This episode clearly shows how we sometimes underestimate God’s importance in our lives pushing him away when we actually need him most.
How often have I skipped prayer in the name of I have some “important” things to attend to? How often have I denied my faith or gone against the church’s teachings in the name of conforming to what is obtainable in the society?
The Pain of Rejection.
Just as the people begged Jesus to leave, Abraham in our first reading today asked Hagar to go away with her son Ishmeal all because God had finally answered his prayer by giving him Isaac.
What a sad way of paying back Hagar? For all her services as slave and even “surrogate motherhood,” all she gets is a loaf of bread and a skin of water!!! Mind you Abraham was the richest man in the world in his time.
Ever faced rejection before? Especially when it comes from a person you had made huge sacrifices for in the past? Sent away empty despite huge promises made to you? Laid off from work because of a new guy who is sharper than you and more hardworking?
Almost all of us have been in the shoes of Hagar and Ishmeal in one way or the other. Life has been unfair to us but as the Psalmist says: “This lowly one called and the Lord heard him.” Prayer is the key not fighting. Allow God do the fighting for you.
Go down and your knees and call on God. As he heard the cry of the innocent Ishmeal and made a well of water in the midst of a desert, God will also make wells of water appear in the deserts of your life.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I never be so blind as to push you aside in my bid to pursue money. Amen.
It is well with you.
God bless you.
(Wednesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 21:5-20 and Matthew 8:28-34).*