FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: DYING IN FEAR!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22 2022
*Eccles 1: 2 – 11, Lk 9: 7 – 9.
Without salvation, we run into fatalism – Life becomes meaningless and unteleological; happiness becomes transitory, vain and unsatisfying. No wonder why the Book of Ecclesiastes sounds pessimistic since the author (around 3 BC) had not known the prospects of salvation in Christ Jesus. His thinking is closer to pagan existentialism. Death in some primitive traditional religions means annihilation. Our people say: ‘Nkeguekpome’ meaning ‘You are finished’. The only option when someone dies in such religious background (like the ATR) is to celebrate (eat, drink, kill cow) for the living so that the spirit of the dead will rest in peace with the ancestors and allow the living to have peace. This is the concept of funeral ceremony in African traditional religion.
The Jewish worldview before Christ’s coming was not far from this. They believed in reincarnation of spirits. That’s why people thought that Elijah or John the Baptist may have reincarnated in Christ. The Bible says that ‘There will be no rest for the wicked man’ both here and hereafter. Herod Antipas is an example of such a wicked man. He was already feeling the repercussions of his wickedness (He was the man who killed John the Baptist) even before his death. When he heard about the mighty works performed by Jesus he had goose pimples. Yes, *fear and restlessness is always the reward for wickedness.* Although Herod believed in God, in the resurrection of the dead and in miracles, yet he could not repent from his sinful life because he did not know Christ and the power of his grace. He died in fear and restlessness. May this never be our portion and may God bless you today!