Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Henry Makawa
June 9th, 2024 - 8:30 AM

Audio Recording

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon. Fascinated, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. After waiting for some time, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and nipped the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But alas, it did not unfurl its wings and fly gracefully away. The butterfly had a swollen body and shrivelled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly hoping that the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that, it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
The story teaches us two things. Firstly, that we should not haste in life. Patience is divine and there is always a reason to everything, if we would just wait and watch. And secondly that every struggle makes us strong and teaches us to be better/fly.
God consistently intervenes throughout the course of salvation history, spanning from the ancient era to the New Testament. He is loving and exercise patients when we fall away from His grace, he does not use force on us to come back to Him. However, he gives us different resources for us to be aware of this boundless love and mercy. Today is the tenth Sunday in ordinary time. We are being reminded of our sinful nature and inclination towards sin. We sin because we are not committed to God’s love and call. We are also being reminded of the temptations of worldly glory, desires and cravings that plunge us into sin. By being God’s people, we should always strive to do what is good, right and just. Thus, being mindful of our weakness and ask God to forgive us.
The creation story in the first reading, highlights how mankind fell from the grace of God into sin when they disobeyed God. Adam and Eve were tempted by the falsehoods and lies of Satan to choose vice from virtue. The consequences were that, they suffered the trials and hardships of the world. God does not want us to suffer or die, but we choose to be deceived and lured into world glory, power, knowledge, and everything that the world offers to us. All these desires and cravings are not inherently bad in themselves, however, they become vices because of the excessive desire for them. The desire tend to blur our love for God and neighbor. If we have them, let them make us stewards, fostering and cementing our connection with God and neighbour.
In the second, Paul reminds us his faithful that, through Christ, God had revealed the fullness of His love and the intention to be reconciled with us. All of us are meant to overcome the limitations of our worldly and earthly selves and become other oriented, (in the same way a larvae becomes a butterfly). Our human existence and sufferings in this world are part of this journey, of repentance and reconciliation, renewal and regeneration with God (our struggles makes us strong and teaches us to fly).
The Lord has sent us His only begotten Son to bridge the gap between us and Himself, and to show us all, the truth of His salvation and love. Adam plunged humanity into the state of sin, whereas Christ bestowed upon us the gift of eternal life. Through Him we have received the assurance of eternal life, and the new life in God. He gifted us with His own Most Previous Body and Blood to partake/ that by partaking in Him, the Bread of Life, we may have life in us, a new life that is truly blessed and filled with God’s grace.
We have to be aware that, the incarnation did not diminish the potency of the evil forces that tempted Adam and Eve. That is why the Gospel passage today invites us to be on guard and be aware of the continuing and constant efforts by the evil one, and all of his allies in sowing seeds of doubt and divisions in our midst.
The text retells a scene from the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. After being baptised by John and choosing his first disciples. He fasted for forty days in the desert. Upon returning to Galilee, he began his ministry in Capernaum and other villages. He healed numerous individuals, including Simon Peter's mother-in-law, leading to concern and backlash from the scribes and his family. Some of the initial healing miracles performed by Jesus were truly remarkable and left a lasting impact.
His ability to command a demon to leave a man demonstrated his authority and power. He also showed great compassion by healing a leper, a paralytic, a man with a withered hand, and numerous others. These miraculous healing were done in public, in front of large crowds, making it impossible for the scribes to ignore or discredit them.
In an attempt to undermine Jesus' miracles, the scribes and scribes accused Him of healing and casting out demons from a possessed man, they claim that Jesus is colluding and working with evil spirits, especially the prince of demons, Beelzebul. A clear indication of the existence of sin and temptations. The Lord rebukes them and challenges them that whatever He does comes from the Lord. The Pharisees themselves had in fact allowed these evil and wicked forces to tempt and mislead them down the wrong path, by persuading them to oppose the Lord and all of His works out of their jealousy, arrogance and desires. And by doing all that, they were in fact helping the devil with his works against us.
During this Eucharist celebration, let us give thanks to Jesus, firstly for having defeated the devil, above all, for having made us members of his great family. We should thank God for being patient with us, even when we desert Him. Jesus brought us graces that Adam and Eve lost because of disobedience. He reminds us that, we should always strive to oppose the temptations of sin, the allures of wicked desires and evils all around us.
We should always do His will, and do what He commands and teaches us in our every moments throughout life. We are constantly reminded not to allow the evil one to tempt and to drag us into our downfall, but instead, continue to remain firmly faithful to the Lord and put our complete faith and trust in Him at all times.