FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: LET US NOT SLEEP AS OTHERS DO!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY: * 1 Thess 5 : 1 – 11, Lk 4 : 31 – 37.
The devil knows who you are if you are a holy one of God and he respects your spiritual authority. He feels your light having been subjected to the darkness for donkey years. He is very sensitive to the light of Christ radiating from true believers. We explained Christ’s 5 – fold mission in yesterday’s homily as LOGOTHERAPY, DELIVERANCE, TEACHING, JUSTICE AND PROSPERITY, Lk 4 : 18. Whether we accept it or not, the truth remains that the reason why Jesus came was to undo the works of the devil, 1 Jn 3 : 8. Jesus has come to empower us against all forms of evil; depression, demonic obsession, ignorance, injustice and poverty. Poverty is not evil in itself, otherwise Christ would not have chosen it but abject poverty is an existential delimitation.
Christ’s teaching on the Sabbath with authority in the synagogue calls for sober reflection. This authority flows from Knowledge and holiness. Today’s 1st reading reminds us that we are sons of light. If we walk in the darkness, it diminishes our spiritual authority. If we live a carnal life for instance, we are like the foolish maidens carrying lamps without oil. We must remain awake waiting for the day of the Lord which will come like a thief. The teaching ministry is the greatest ministry of Christ which he has handed over to his priests (and also lay evangelists) today. As ministers of God here in Africa keeps trying to copy the European model of Christianity with its brief Liturgy especially the Word, we need to be careful about the present day African circumstance of ignorance and darkness. The Synagogue model of today’s gospel provided ample time for Jesus to teach the Word of God with authority. Here in Africa we still need more time to understand the Word of God. As the Prophet Hosea said : ‘My people are perishing for lack of knowledge’, Hos 4 : 6. Ignorance provides the most fecund ground for demonic possession and obsession. Please, let’s devote more time for qualitative teaching of the Word of God. 10 minutes homily on a Sunday may not be sufficient, especially in places where people are still ignorant of the Word of God and may likely not come back for the Evening Bible Study.
We need to wake up as a Church and be alive in the Spirit. We need to get more stategic with Catechesis and evangelization because the enemy is really snatching our flock away (especially our Youths) at a very high rate. Christianity is sitting on a keg of gun power yet many Church leaders do not seem to have realized this.The enemy is circling us round here in Nigeria yet many are in spiritual slumber, even some Church leaders. The danger of Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria keeps heightening by the day. The Talibans are everywhere in government and hatching their plans surreptitiously. The level of insecurity is rising on our roads. The doctors and priests are crying out as the most vulnerable because we must be on the roads in order to save life while these sons of darkness are hiding in our bushes. We need to pray more and begin to do something proactive and defensive.
May the Lord bless you today!