FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: GET RID OF THE OLD YEAST!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5 2022
* 1 Cor 5: 1 – 8, Lk 6: 6 – 11.
*”Do you not know that a little leaven leavens all the dough? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be new dough”*. The yeast (old leaven) is dangerous; It is any small trace of corruption that is growing among the Church – it could be immorality, materialism, religious syncretism, liturgical rigidity, administrative inefficiency, etc. A priest in America explained few years ago in a homily the sex scandal that broke out in Pennsylvania as a kind of yeast that was planted many years ago when the enemies of the Church (like Communists) planted dangerous trends like homosexuality, radical feminism, abortion, contraception, etc in the Seminaries. Today it has grown into “criminal immorality” in the form of pedophilia or child abuse and the Church is now bleeding. What I call “criminal immorality” is the one that is actionable by law; the one that even pagans / unbelievers would not tolerate in their society such as pedophilia, incest, adultery, sodomy, bestialism, etc, Rom 1: 22 – 27. St Paul speaks in today’s 1st reading *about immorality of such a kind – abnormal immorality and did not hesitate from recommending excommunication as the only ecclesiastical remedy to avoid a situation where ‘a little leaven leavens all the dough’.* For St Paul, there is no such thing as an isolated sin, injuring only the sinner. Just as yeast has its effect on all the dough, so does the evil of immorality endanger the health of the entire Parish, Diocese or Church.
The evil of religious syncretism; inordinate mixture between African traditional religion and Christianity; divination, idolatry, ‘InyamOgbanje’, Odo, Akatakpa, Omabe, etc are affecting the whole Church like a terrible yeast. In my Parish some years ago, as I was coming back from Morning mass, I saw few Akatakpa boys so early moving about. I inquired and found out that the traditional liturgy they are celebrating for that day is called “Ekwensueguru” – that is the kind of things we fail to condemn as Christians? Some theologians ( I call the liberals) say we are the ones “demonizing Akatakpa” that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. *The Word of God insists, not me, that we should GET RID OF THE OLD YEAST!* It is only the Spirit of God that can make this possible. The Church in Nsukka diocese for example is faced with this urgent task. As Franz Fanon will say, “Every generation has an obligation either to fulfill its own mission or to betray it”.
May God bless you today!