CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 29TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: DEALING WITH THE PASSIONS OF OUR FLESH AND MIND!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: *Eph 2: 1-10, Lk 12: 13 -21
Life in the Spirit is our life -time project of spiritual growth / regeneration. St Paul reminds us as growing Christians in today’s 1st reading that we once walked following our natural temperaments – the passions of our flesh and mind, but now that we are “born -again”, we must make sincere effort to deal squarely with these natural compulsions in order to come out with a new life in Christ, 2 Cor 5: 17. The passions of the flesh are;
1. Sexual Vices; Acts that are considered immoral and unlawful such as adultery and rape/ sexual abuse (which is crime) or fornication and nudity (which are sinful acts that prepare the ground for potential adultery.
2. Impurity; Acts which may be done alone by oneself such as masturbation make us defile our body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
3. Sensuality; These are impure immoral thoughts such as peeping and voyeuring, and all forms of pornography and immodest dressing.
The passions of the mind are attitudes that elicit quarrel with neighbour and give vent to psychological disorders such as megalomania, hypomania or other forms of manic depressions. Personality psychology helps identify the following positive and negative compulsions in human nature and nurture;
1. Passion for perfection and reform/ the resentment that comes when we feel that things are not alright.
2. Passion/ desire to help, to care, to serve, to be relevant to one’s society and the resentment that comes when this is not met or appreciated by others.
3. Passion for achievement and success in life and the fear that comes in the face of failure and lack of fulfilment of one’s dreams.
4. Love of beauty and nature / sensitivity to hurts of one’s feelings.
5. Passion for new ideas and avoidance of emptiness.
6. Passion for tradition, old cultures and fear of new ideas or breaking of rules.
7. Love of pleasure, praise and avoidance of criticism.
8. Love of power and desire always to control people and punish offences.
9. Passion for peace, tranquility and strong aversion for stress and pain.
St Paul encourages us in this 1st reading that all who have been born again by the Holy Spirit has been made alive in Christ by his grace for holiness. We must make sincere effort therefore to avoid antagonism and rivalry. Jesus identifies these two tendencies in today’s gospel as constant sources of quarrels between brothers and sisters. The vice of covetousness,exacerbated by pride, anger and vanity will always end in discord and quarrels. Covetousness is a terrible sickness. Many of our politicians and rich men here in Nigeria are suffering from this disease. We see many of them full of consumerist tendencies which as Christ says in today’s gospel makes death a worrisome tragedy. Saving money for unperceived needs is simply vanity. “Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry”, Jesus mocks them, for “This night your soul will be required of you. All the things you have acquired, whose will they be? “. No, we need to deal with the passions of covetousness!
May God bless you today!