Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Your Faith Your Strength

Manipur state of India is burning with violence now.  Taking advantage of the conflict between Meitei and Kuki people, Hindus are attacking Christians and burning churches.  At least 80 Christians have been reported killed since the violence started on 3rd of May.  (The real number may be higher).  To make things worse, the Prime Minister of India has not said a thing until now though the persecution is continuing.  The same Prime Minister was complaining about the lack of religious freedom for Hindus in USA.  In this bleak political situation and physical persecution what do you think would be the response of the Manipuri Christians?

We believe that God is with us in this battle,” says a local Kuki believer.  “Though the churches don’t function as normal, the church is open for the believers to come and pray, and many believers are praying.  We believe that the prayers from Christians all over the world have kept the tribal believers safe until now.  Pray with us that God will strengthen Christians to be on their knees to pray and seek God.” 

The steadfastness of their faith amid such an adversity is simply inspirational!  They trust in the Gospel words, “Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered.”  Our Lord said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” (Mt 10:26, 28).  Ask yourself whether your faith is strong enough to believe in the Gospel promises, as the persecuted Christians demonstrate.

Loss of faith in Jesus makes a person sinful, which no faithful would want.  Out of our frail human nature, we all fail in our love for one another and for God.  Sometimes it may even lead to doing evil things.  That makes us, all of us, sinners.  God forgives sinners.  But when you turn your back to God, showing no trust and faith in Jesus, you become sinful.   Even God cannot forgive sinfulness.  Such outright rejection of the love of God will end up in eternal damnation.   May the love of God help you to face any challenges the world might throw at you, even persecutions and lead you to the fruits of the Kingdom of God, peace, joy and fellowship.  Your faith is your strength.