CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: LET THEM HAVE DOMINION!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Gen 1 : 20 – 2 : 4, Mk 7 : 1 – 13.
God designed and destined man to be powerful and to live in dominion over all natural and supernatural forces under the universe. He designed him to be spiritually powerful by creating him in His own image and likeness. He designed him to be psychologically strong by creating human sexuality in the form of male and female, so that through a healthy synergy between these two species of creation, man would look healthy, happy and sound. He also designed him to be physically strong by giving him the wisdom for hardwork and prosperity. He said : ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion. He now rested on the 7th day and blessed that day so that when man worships him by partaking in that 7th day prayerful rest, he will be as powerful as God himself. Our responsorial psalm for today ( Ps 8) says that God made man little less than the angels. But as Bishop GMP Okoye ( of blessed memory) put it, when we become chaste, we become even more glorious than angels who don’t have physical bodies and may never compete with us in that virtue.
Hypocrisy is wrong idea of worship – teaching as doctrines the precepts of men and ipso facto, reducing man’s spiritual power of resemblance of God, reducing man’s psychological power of healthy sexuality and reducing man’s creative power of prosperity through hardwork, science and technology. Bad approach to religion does all that! Bad attitude to religion has kept man under occultism in the name of worship ( sin against the 1st commandment), observing useless rituals and regulations ( in a bid to observe the 3rd commandment), some in the name of religious revelations have branded their old parents witches and abandoned them in their old age ( sin against the 4th commandment), some have legalized abortion/ the killing of innocent children in the womb ( sin against the 5th commandment), some have encouraged adultery and immorality indirectly through their religious ignorance, apathy or insensitivity ( sin against the 6th commandment), some have embarked on stealing even in the name of God ( sin against the 7th commandment), to mention but a few.
Love is more important than the law. In Jewish history, two funny rabbis did funny things ; Rabbi Joses legislated that to eat without washing hands is as grievous as adultery. Now another Rabbi, Akiba in a bid to keep this law to the letter found himself in a prison and when given only a cup of water and a plate of food, preferred to use the water to wash his hands than to drink. When Jesus saw this kind of mentality among the Jews he changed the water which was kept for the ceremony of purification into wine in order to put an end to such useless regulations. Let us imitate Jesus in spiritual maturity so that we will prosper and live in dominion.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO.