CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: A NEW TEACHING!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Heb 2 : 5 – 12, Mk 1 : 21 – 28.
Christ’s own teaching was a brand of teaching accompanied with spiritual and intellectual authority. In history, man teaches by words, but God teaches by deeds. Jesus’ power of righteousness was impeccable and his clarity of logic was unassailable. Demons had to obey him ; Intellectuals had no option than to listen to him. As Benny Hiln will put it, he had a level of anointing that was kingly because he had attained perfection in obedience through suffering, Heb 5 : 8. The 1st reading says it was fitting that he should make the pioneer of our salvation perfect through suffering.
Christ demonstrated his lordship over evil by exorcising the man possessed by unclean spirit and has given us the power to do the same, Mk 16 : 18. The problem we have is our failure to step our spiritual level up to the level of dignity that God has placed us as believers. As Benny Hiln would again put it, we need to go beyond our leper’s anointing ( the level of struggling with mortal sins) to our priestly anointing ( the level of exercise of our ministry and charisma on earth) and then end up at the kingly anointing ( the level of spiritual authority and dominion over demons) where we need to do exploits in the spirit, Eph 6 : 10 – 18.
God made human beings a little less than Angels, Heb 2 : 5 – 12. But the devil, through sin brought degeneration, suffering and death. Christ came to restore all these with the authority of a recreator. This authority was exercised in today’s gospel when he told the noisy possessed man : ‘Be silent and come out of him!’ He gave the same authority to believers, Matt 28 : 18 – 20, Mk 16 : 18. People called it a new teaching because they were used to hearing the Word of God not accompanied with power and authority. It is the same today when we see deliverance ministries among priests. We think it is a new teaching but it is not.
Noise is the clearest manifestion of demons in the assembly of believers. And there is so much noise in our Churches today because evil spirits make a lot of noise. But the presence of the Holy Spirit among the holy believers should disturb the unholy ones. We want to hear our Holy men of God still saying : ‘Be silent and come out of him!’The presence of the holy one ( Jesus) disturbed the unholy spirit in the demoniac of today’s gospel. Divinity is always a disturbance to demonity. Spirituality is always a disturbance to carnality. Our teaching ministry is always at a higher pedestal when our spirituality is high – when our level of obedience to the Word of God is high. As Pope Paul VI succinctly put it : ‘A man teaches with moral authority only that which he does/ practices. Because when the conscience becomes an obstacle to speech, then what is preached becomes difficult to accept’. Let this be our challenge in this new Year.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO.