CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: DANGER LURKING!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Rev 14 : 14 – 19, Lk 21 : 5 – 11
The last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year usually launches us into the final week of the year. All the readings are eschatological and apocalyptic. The 1st reading makes an allusion to the harvest time when the angels of God will be commissioned to gather the elect, separating them from the wicked. The gospel is even more frightening as Jesus contextualizes the day of destruction to the Jewish nation, especially their temple where all their attention had shifted to as if religion is all about building of elegant structures of worship. Jesus said : ‘As for these things you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down’. And it all happened exactly that way in the year 70AD – 37 years after the death of Christ.
Looking at Nigeria today the way we are going, I don’t even know what to think about the next 37 years if we continue the way are going ; If our political leaders continue to share and vandalize the nation’s resources without serious economic development plans ; If our religious leaders continue to emphasis more of the building of Church structures than the building of the real faith ; If the Muslim Northerners ( especially the Fulanis) continue to cling onto power against the people’s wishes ; If religious intolerance grows by the day and Islamic onsloughts ( like what happened in Benue and Southern Kaduna) continue with Fulani herdsmen everywhere having cattle colonies in all the States. What will be the fate of Christianity in Nigeria when all these continue to happen ; If our pastors and priests continue to wallow in materialism and immorality? Then we don’t need to be told that what happened in Turkey many years ago will happen again in Nigeria. But if we repent today and restrategize politically, making true democracy reign in Nigeria again, enforcing religious tolerance and true federalism, surely Nigeria will bounce back and remain the giant of Africa which she has always been. I believe strongly that people determine their destiny by the daily choices they make.
Just last week Nsukka was agog with celebrations as the whole world admired our new elegant cathedral that was dedicated. I got a little bit jittery after listening to the brief but incisive speech/ warning from the papal nuncio, Cardinal Antonio Filipazi. He reminded us of the warning of the Emeritus Pope Benedict that “If the Spirit does not build, money builds in vain” and warned that “when in a country the places of worship are destroyed by violence, it is a sign that the country is a defeated place”. Chai! There is no better prophetic warning than this, going by the recent happenings around us. Let the Church concentrate on spiritual reform (of both the laity and the clergy) and most especially on the spiritual lives of our Christian politicians. It is not enough to collect money from them to build our Churches when they keep plundering the resources of the nation. Nigeria just entered a second recession under the Buhari regime and yet our legislators do not read the handwriting on the wall for urgent need to step down on the cost of running the leadership of this nation. Meanwhile our tertiary education has fallen comatose with the 9 months ASUU strike and the leaders behave as if situation is normal. We must remain a strong voice of conscience to them so that the Church of Christ remains the touch of heaven on earth.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO