FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT (1)

FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT

THEME: THE MESSAGE OF THE 7TH HOUR!

BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo

HOMILY: * Is 65 : 17 – 21, Jn 4 : 43 – 54.

FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT

THEME: THE MESSAGE OF THE 7TH HOUR!

BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo

 

HOMILY: * Is 65 : 17 – 21, Jn 4 : 43 – 54.

‘Go home , your son will live’. That was the message of the 7th hour. The man believed what Jesus had said and was on his way home when he got the news that his son was alive. At the 7th hour ; the hour of faith – that was exactly the time when Jesus had proclaimed the message of hope. He and his household believed.

Let’s take a look at the faith quotient of this community called Galilee. It was one of the brightest communities that received the faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. He did one of his earliest miracles there in the presence of a multitude gathered for a wedding ceremony. They had a direct experience of the power of intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her humility and the divinity of her Son. Unlike in Nazareth, his home town, faith in Jesus spread here from the ‘anawims’ (poorest) to the royalties (richest).

Faith is the highest treasure a believer can have. ‘Faith’, Vima Dasan says ‘is to believe what we do not see but the reward of faith is to see what we believe’.

According to John Rose, ‘Faith is the secret key that unlocks the power of God. It is a treasure in a believer like the hair of Samson, in which his great strength lay ; It is Moses’ rod which divided seas of difficulties ; It is Elijah’s chariot, which mounts up to the heavens’. Faith is the grace for believing in God’s promises ( revealed at the 7th hour) and working home without fear as the court official did in today’s gospel. It is an example of an account of healing from a distance. Sometimes, we could be trapped in the shadowed chambers of sickness, the shadowed house of mourning, the shadowed life of fear of enemies, the shattered dreams of disappointments, but when we open our ear to God’s Word at the 7th hour, we get energized to move on with confidence.

The Bible says that ‘Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion that cannot be shaken’, Ps 125 : 1 and that ‘Those who wait upon the Lord will have their strength renewed’, Is 40 : 30. His promises are ever there in the scriptures for his children to claim at their ‘7th hour’. Today’s 1st reading gives us his promise of longevity, divine favour, divine protection and peace. And in today’s gospel, the court official took a 15 mile journey from Capernaum to Cana in search for Jesus and heard just one word, GO HOME, YOUR SON WILL LIVE. He believed it and proceeded back home and the rest was story. We need to pray for this kind of faith.

We all have the opportunities of meeting Jesus at our own ‘7th hour’ in our various parishes ; sometimes through the mouth of a preacher assuring us of God’s words or through the mouth of our neighbour or fellow Christian. Believers must understand that it is better to be in the company of Jesus during affliction moments than to be in the company of demonic agents who keep us far from Jesus’ words. All we need is to be able hear the message of the ‘7th hour’ and believe it.

Our problem today would be the refusal to go home. The son of the officer was cured as soon as he began going home, not necessarily at the point Jesus said the Word. Remember that he travelled 15 miles – a day’s journey from Capernaum to Cana in search of Jesus and now all that Jesus could tell him was ‘Go home, your son will live’. Meanwhile, he was a big man – an important official in Herod ‘s court. He could have insisted on Jesus’ physical presence but what Jesus needed from him was his faith in Jesus’ power of healing from a distance. God always has a word for us after every serious prayer encounter. Let’s have the faith to just go home and relax after such prayer. His Word says : ‘Be still and know that I am God’, Ps 46 :10.

May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO

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