CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Fr. Benedict Agbo
BY: CONTINUING THE MISSION OF THE APOSTLES
HOMILY: *Hos 10:1 – 12, Matt 10:1-7.
The apostles were very unrefined people; men of many mistakes but Jesus polished and chiselled them to become veritable instruments of evangelization. An apostle means one that was sent on a mission of spreading the kingdom of God. Peter was very impulsive, James and John were ambitious and hot-headed, Matthew was a corrupt tax collector, Thomas was a sceptic, Simon the Canaanite was a revolutionary, Philip and Bartholomew were prejudiced, and Judas Iscariot was money minded. Jesus told them: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles and Samaritans but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’.
In the 1st reading we see the historical circumstances that led to the fall of Israel. Just like it happened in Nigeria, the Isrealites began with prosperity. But the more they prospered the more altars they built for the worship of Idols. Their rich men became godless and selfish. The consequence was divine abandonment. So, when they began talking about salvation again in the New Testament, it was first a question of restoration of what was lost, no wonder Christ began to talk first about going to recover the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
According to the Vatican II, evangelization has 4 wings:
1. Missio ad intra; This is the spreading of the Word of God among believers that need evangelization from within.
2. Missio ad extra; This is the spreading of the Word of God among believers that need evangelization outside one’s territory or denomination.
3. Missio ad gentes; This is the spreading of the Word of God among unbelievers that are yet to be converted. Example, going to the Muslim territory. This one needs a special charism and learning. Perhaps the apostles were not yet equipped for that and that was why Jesus warned them to begin from intra until he had to fish out people like St Paul.
4. Missio ad paupulos; This is the spreading of the Word of God among the poor, sick and troubled. This one needs a lot of resources because you cannot preach to a hungry man without giving him food. The white missionaries that evangelized Africa brought a lot of amenities like food, clothing and education before they could succeed.
May the spirit of evangelization not die down in the Church. May God give us the charism to evangelize our leaders and politicians, to stop this mentality of consumerism – this campaign style of distribution of money ( “nrashi”) and so called ‘consensus candidature’ that keeps recycling the old bad eggs. May God give us the courage to evangelize our Muslim brothers and convince them that Christianity is a more sincere religion than what they have – to convert these Fulani cattle rearers that terrorize us everyday, the rich men that loot our resources in this country and also to evangelize ourselves thoroughly from within. If Christ could refine the crude apostles to become great pillars of evangelization, he can still use us inspite of our weaknesses. May God bless you today!
-Fr. Benedict Agbo