CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WE NEED PROPHETS!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Jer 26 : 1 – 9, Mart 13 : 54 – 58.
‘Opinion’, they say ‘is free but fact is sacred’. Moral facts ( truths) are even more sacred. And truth is bitter. No one, especially those in power, enjoys being faced with the harsh truth against himself, his actions, his morality or conduct. In today’s 1st reading, Jeremiah confronts the Israelites with the harsh truth about their corrupt life and their verdict is that he must die. In today’s gospel, the Nazarenes couldn’t bear hearing certain truths come from the mouth of their kinsman Jesus. Prejudice is one enemy to the truth. Prophets are therefore often rejected because of prejudice.
Prophets are God’s spokesmen. When our words are spoken at the right time, in the right place, to the right person and in the right manner to others, we become prophets onto them. According to William Barclay, ‘A prophet is the man who has Gods wisdom in his mind, God’s truth on his lips and God’s courage in his heart’. And when we become prophets, we must be ready to suffer like prophets do and be misunderstood, blackmailed, intimidated or rejected by our own people as Jesus was rejected.
We need prophets in our workplaces, offices, neighbourhood, etc. We need prophets in the legislative arm of our secular and ecclesiastical governments in Nigeria. We need prophets who can create sufficient checks and balances. We need prophets also among the judiciary which remains the last hope of the common man. We need prophets among the academia in Nigeria to checkmate the high falling of standards. We need prophets among the council of priests who can tell the bishops and Church leaders the true situation of things.We need prophets among the military and the police to stand against tribalistic and religious intimidations happening there. We need prophets among our politicians who will expose the corrupt intrigues going on behind the scene. We need prophets even in this period of pandemic among medical personae to unravel what the enemy is doing with and through this pandemic. May God give us more prophets in this country especially as we come close to another very decisive period of nationhood!