Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Be Warned

Bishop Pablo David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), admonished the priests, bishops and other church leaders to take heart their role in the Church as representatives of the “Synodal God in the Body of Christ” and not only as “ordained ministerial priesthood” who are lording it over the church members.  Synodality is a hotly discussed topic in the ecclesiastical circles now.   It is generating a fair share of warning and anxieties for the Church leadership.   Anxieties and warnings to the leadership is nothing new.

In the early Church, Luke the evangelist wrote about the Lord’s warning which was somewhat different.  The problem in the early Church was something more than the lack of consultation (Synodality).  Christians surrounded by hostile Jews were afraid to practice their faith.  To them the evangelist reminded what the Lord taught.  The life of the disciples in this world is an opportunity to prepare for the Kingdom of Heaven.  They are to be mindful that death could steal from them this opportunity anytime and you wouldn’t know when.   What the Lord told them is applicable for us too.  Therefore, as disciples we are to be “dressed for action and have the lamps lit.”  We are to be “like men waiting for their master return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks” (Luke 12:35-36).  

In presenting this message of the Lord, Luke also reflects on the persecution experienced by the Christians then  In the time of adversity, the leaders of the Church are to be “prudent stewards” of their flock. They should diligently work to encourage those in their care to live in a manner worthy of the Kingdom of God.

While the secular world is busy punishing the Church with anti-Christian legislations and aggressive propaganda, we are not to be slack.  Because any complaisance will be answerable at the last judgement.  So if you are a bishop or a priest you need to be pro-active.  If you are a parent or a teacher, you are  a faith leader for your children and students.  The Gospel reminds you also of the importance and urgency to be proactive for the Kingdom of God.