‘…I THINK HE IS RIGHT’: A HOMILY ON THE MEMORIAL OF THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS, BY FR. IFEANYICHUKWU NWOKORO CSsR, BENIN
A preacher once began his sermon by saying ‘Jesus said, and I think he is right…’. Wow, this man thinks God is right. Of course Jesus is right. It is impossible for Him to be wrong. To believe that is to be a Christian.
HOW DID HE SURVIVE THAT
Bishop Robert Barron once said that the strongest argument against the existence of God is the problem of evil. The problem of evil is one of the big questions asked by atheists in their attempt to disprove the existence of God. ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ This same question is the central focus of the book of Job which is our first reading for today. The book of Job did not offer a direct answer to that question, but there are other questions we can ask ourselves. How bad are the things we call bad things. A sick child may think an injection is a bad thing, but the doctor does not think the same. Also, how good are the people we call good. The world is full of good-looking people who have mastered the art of looking good, but how many of them have a certificate of goodness from God? So maybe we are asking the wrong question. We often have a thing with fairness, and we say life if not fair, but who made the decision that life has to be fair? If life should really be fair, how many of us will survive it? If God is to destroy anybody who does evil, would I be sitting here writing this blog?
Job did not ask this questions He did not make any reference to his righteousness. Hmm…. I have noticed that really righteous people do not consider themselves righteous. The question Job is asking is even more fundamental. He calls himself a man of grief and wonders why he is alive in the first place. God did not get angry with Job for cursing the day of his birth, but God was certainly angry with his friends who claim to know all the answers. Therefore I will not be like Job’s friends today.
What really surprises me is not that good people suffer. What surprises me is how much we can go through and still survive. Imagine a man who after attending the funeral of all his children and lost every single thing he had, including his patience, still being alive to tell the tale. When I look back to some of the difficult moments of my past, what surprises me is not that I went through them, but that I am not consumed by them. It reminds me of the burning bush where there was fire in the bush, but the bush was not being burnt up. The only answer I could find for this is ‘the amazing grace of God’. God’s love for us is so great that he offers us all the help and graces we need in this hard life.
I have a special love for children and I learn a lot from them. One thing I learn from them is that the little ones are very powerful. If you consider all the risks children take, from the places they go to, to the things they put in their mouth, to the things they touch to the people they encounter, you will wonder with me how they survive it all. I did so many dangerous things as a child, and here am I still alive. How? God gives us all the help we need. One of the special help we all have from God is what we celebrate today. Each of us have a guardian angel and Jesus himself tells us about this in Matthew chapter 18, which is our Gospel for today. Well, I dare not say ‘I think he is right’. He tells us that every child has an angel who is continually in the presece of God.
Every single one of us have a guardian angel. Today as we remember these angels, you may want to say a special prayer to your guardian angel.
Angel of God, My guardian dear To Whom His love Commits me here Ever this day Be at my side To light and guard To rule and guide. Amen
This is not the only way, and not even the main way, but one of the ways by which we, especially children are accompanied, protected and guided through life. It is important to say a short prayer to your guardian angel daily, especially to give thanks. One of the reasons I did not become a diocesan priest is because I have a phobia for being alone. I get scared whenever I cant feel there is someone next door. But since I started understanding that I have a guardian angel who is not only with me in this world, but will be with me for all eternity, I no longer fear being in a house all alone. Over and above our guardian angels is the constant presence of God who is always watching over us. What more can I ask for. So, the next time you are somewhere all by yourself, and you think you are all alone,… Think again.
I am Fr. Ifeanyichukwu Henry Nwokoro, CSsR. I am your fellow child of God and this is my way of sharing my daily reflections with you. Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question. Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord.
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