CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE SKILLED HELPER!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Heb 2 : 14 – 18, Mk 1 : 29 – 39.
Everyone was searching for him. In Jesus we had a melange of all services ; the services of a nurse, doctor, teacher, counsellor, parent, office manager, administrator and what have you. And so, when the priest says at the end of every mass : Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, he is reminding us as Christians that we should replicate the function of service which Christ stands for. The human life is replete with fears ; fear of the unknown, fear of hunger, fear of sicknesses, fear of sin, fear of death, fear of enemies and fear of demons. We are told in today’s 1st reading that Jesus came to deliver us from all these. Because he himself suffered and was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
We must all aspire towards becoming skilled helpers in our various professions. As they brought to Jesus all who were sick and possessed by demons and he healed many, so would we as Christians be expected to heal many that come to us with their problems. That is why we are told in the gospel, that everybody was looking for him. Jesus went about the business of these 2 mega ministeries ; PREACHING AND HEALING. These two ministries summarize the priesthood of Christ and that is why the enemy is attacking the Church most by working against these two ministries. He makes priests and evangelists develop apathy for preaching, deep preparation, delivery and reception of the Word of God. He kills the fire for the Word of God and make priests rush it. He also makes them get too mechanical with the sacraments of healing, especially the Eucharist, Penance and Anointing of the Sick. In the mass, the ministry of preaching and healing is exercised. Everybody is looking for Christ today through his priests to minister deliverance, healing, consolation, counselling and forgiveness as the merciful and faithful high priest.
Jesus was such a skilled helper. He shows himself to us in today’s readings as a merciful and faithful high priest. Since he was himself tested through what he suffered he was able to help those who were suffering. An ideal priest/ christian should have these two qualities ; (i) He must have the empathy for those suffering and provide them with service /help. (ii) He must be a man of prayer who goes off constantly, like Jesus, to a lonely place to pray. Jesus was such a skilled helper that all who were sick or possessed with demons were brought to him and he met the needs of many. Modern day Christians, especially priests, have the same challenge.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO.