Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2016
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen!
Last Sunday, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we were reminded by the Holy Mother Church in the readings of that Sunday that acquisition of the worldly treasures should not take the place of God in our lives, because these earthly things will eventually disappear, but the good we did with our treasures in this world would help to get us to eternal life. St. Paul reminds us to always seek and focus our gaze on things of heaven.
On this Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary time, my brothers and sisters, the rejection of elevating the world treasure beyond and above matters of God is shifted to the importance of “Faith” in our lives as Catholics (Christians). The author of the book of Hebrews explained in detailed how important “Faith” is? He used Abraham, our Father in faith to explicate this point. Abraham is not called a righteous man because of his good deeds, rather he was called a righteous man because of his unquestionable faith in God. Isaac was Abraham’s only son that God gave him at his old age, but the same God asked him to sacrifice this only son he has. Why did Abraham not resist what some may call the act of injustice – to kill the only son he has. Abraham is called our Father in faith because he believes that all the gifts and treasures he has was given to him by God, and that if God wants to take it back, who was he to stand on God’s way? It is this absolute abandonment of his will in God’s Love and Mercy that God promised Abraham to make him the Father of a great nation, and assured him that his descendants would be as many as the sand of the earth. I do not know about you, brethren, but when I read this encounter between God and Abraham, I do not only have goose bumps, but also, I become very emotional – I ask myself? Could I have just a glimpse of Abraham’s trust in God? The teaching we are to take away from Abraham’s faith is significantly tied to the message of last Sunday: that we must not find our hope in the things of this world, rather on things of heaven. Abraham has given you and me the road map to God’s heart. Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen!
Father Uche Obikwelu