FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: BEAUTY IN ETERNITY.
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23 2022
* Eccles 3: 1 – 11, Lk 9: 18 – 22.
Wisdom is the apprehension of beauty in its time. John Hick says that ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’. Wisdom is the grasp of beauty in eternity. Foolishness is a perpetual romance with vanity. And vanity is the illusion with temporal goods on earth as indices of happiness. Immanuel Kant was such a brilliant philosopher who articulated reality from the “synthetic a – priori” categories of space and time. Today’s 1st reading is fully in tandem with the view that ‘for everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven’. Human activities must be morally evaluated according to its suitability in place and time. There should be the right time for the following human actions and their opposites: 1. Birth, 2. Planting, 3. Killing, 4. Destruction, 5. Weeping, 6. Mourning, 7. Building, 8. Embracing, 9. Research, 10. Documentation, 11.Tearing, 12.Silence, 13.Love, 14.and even War. *Even quite esoteric divine – human activities like praying can become wrong when it is done at the wrong time.* The best form of beauty is beauty in eternity.
Next is the question of beauty in identity. And this question says: ‘Who are you?’ ‘Who do people think you are?’ Christ asks the disciples: ‘Who do people think I am?’ He then moves the question from the viewpoint of the “anonymous they” as Martin Hierdegger would say to the viewpoint of the “significant others” according to the psychologist James Macia. This psychologist says: ‘You are not what you think you are; You are not what others think you are; You are what you think others think you are’. But “others” here must be the significant others. In the case of Jesus, in today’s gospel, these significant others were his disciples. And Peter got the answer correctly. What Christ thinks Peter thinks he is became the correct answer, not just what Peter alone thought. *We must be careful to weave our concept of beauty and morality from the mere subjectivity of our individual opinion to the accurate objectivity of the ‘significant others’ in our lives.* This is what gives us beauty in eternity. Even prayer must key us into the realm of eternity. It fixes all our will and actions into the beauty of divinity and eternity. According to Phillips Brooks, ‘A prayer, in its simplest definition, is merely a wish turned heavenward’. *Prayer is not actually saying what you like to God but what God likes you to say to him.* Peter didn’t find it easy learning how to pray. Jesus called him ‘Satan’ until he learnt about his passion. And that brought him into the realm of eternity. May God bring you to the same level!