CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE NEW COVENANT FAMILY
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: *Heb 8: 6 -13, Mk 3: 13 – 19.
The weaknesses in the Old Testament covenant necessitated the New one, a better one enacted on better promises. The Old Testament was a dispensation of law and justice that crumbled at the full glare of the overiding power of human weaknesses after the fall of Adam and Eve (and indeed, all our ancestors). I pity so many believers who still don’t understand the fundamental difference between the Christian faith and African traditional religion. Today’s 1st reading makes it clear that if the 1st covenant had not been faulty, there would have been no need for the new. If the traditional way of worship of our ancestors were not faulty, there would have been no need for Christianity. Therefore, every effort into inculturation must begin by appreciating what is bad in the old religion and what is different and good in the new one.
God promised to establish a new covenant with the house of Israel (the new children of God). What are the characteristics of this new covenant?
1. KNOWLEDGE : ‘I will put my laws into their minds’. They will have a very clear mental grasp of the Word of God.
2. OBEDIENCE : ‘..and write it in their hearts’. They will not only talk about it but they will walk their talk. They will be more doers of the Word than mere hearers.
3. SONSHIP : ‘I will be their God and they and shall be my people’. They will enjoy all the benefits of the children of God.
4. GRACE : ‘I will be merciful towards their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more’. God will overlook our sins like a father overlooks the weaknesses of his children.
CAVEAT: For this new covenant family, the major caveat will be the abuse of grace and a relapse into hypocrisy. In today’s gospel we see that Jesus did not select a coterie of strong learned men as his 12 apostles, but in this new covenant family were weak men, mostly uneducated, primitive, poor but ready to surrender to grace, except Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Every Church (new covenant family) is made up of this weird mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. All that is required is the docility and sincerity towards the grace of God.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO.