Fr. Ben’s homily for Friday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: A KINGDOM DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Friday October 8 2021
*Joel 1 : 13 – 2 : 2, Lk 11 : 15 – 26.
The priest is a leader of praise worship and fast/sin offering. When the people offend God, as we find in today’s 1st reading, he is the first to put on sackcloth and raise the cry of lamentation; when there is positive testimony, he is also the first to blow the trumpet of joy. It is always a sublime religious tragedy when priests are found soaked in bounteous reveries and enjoyment at those moments of great societal danger; and when they should be praying and fasting for the deliverance of their flock in moments of great danger and penury, it is often scandalous to find them competing together for the dividends of the apostolate. We are at such a dangerous moment in Nigeria when the future of Nigerian unity is being dangerously threatened; when the future of Christianity is highly on the stake. The ecclesiastical leaders have blown the whistle for special prayer and fasting yet many are yet to key into this new spiritual mood.
Christ warns us in today’s gospel that ‘He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters’. This is another perspective to the issue of ecclesiastical strength and unity – the principle of exclusive tolerance. The Church is constantly engaged in a spiritual warfare against evil and needs a lot of spiritual power to win this war. All workers in the Church are supposed to pull resources together in order to fight this war. Unfortunately, the spiritual family of God is always experiencing the dual effect of 2 kinds of workers; one is anabolic and the other catabolic – the builders and the scatterers, the pastoral collaborators and the pastoral disasters. Christ said ‘By their fruits you shall know them’. That is why, whichever Parish or location the pastoral collaborators are, the people of God are rejoicing but wherever Parish or location these Pastoral disasters are, the people of God are crying.
The reality is that the kingdom of God has been established in Nigeria. Some ‘men of God’ are helping to build it up while some others are helping to scatter it. Examine yourself as a worker in the house of God, whether cleric or lay: Are you working for personal gains or for the glory of God? Are you actually flourishing your personal ministry (business) or Christ’s own? Are you gathering or scattering? Are you fake or real? Christ said : ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste’. Oh my God! I have not seen a kingdom divided against itself like the Church in Nigeria where two Churches will hardly ever agree to work together nor two Charismatic ministries ever truly cooperate.
Let’s not forget this one point – that the moment Christ called Peter, the 1st Pope ‘Satan’, was the very moment when his concept of Christ’s ministry became personal. He became an obstacle to Christ’s salvific walk towards the Cross. He went selfish and carnal. There is just a very thin line between Christ’s ministry and Satanism. We must be very careful not to turn Christ’s ministry into our private ministry so that the love of money and worldly pleasures will not make us cross over to the other side of the battle line – a kingdom divided against itself is a disaster! May God bless you today!
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