FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: I HAVE TOLD YOU AND YOU DO NOT BELIEVE!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Act 11 : 19 – 26, Jn 10 : 22 – 30.
Yesterday, we reflected comprehensively on the qualities of a good Shepherd ; knowledge of the Sheep, care for the sheep and eagerness to die for the sheep. Today we also need to reflect a little about the tragedy of a good Shepherd having a bad sheep. Just look at what happened in today’s gospel where the people confront Jesus at the portico of Solomon with their faithless query : ‘If you are the Christ tell us plainly’. How many times will Christ not only tell them but demonstrate it by his works that he is the Messiah? Christ told them ‘ho – ha’ that ‘you do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep’.
Talking about the tragedy of the ‘bad sheep’, we need to underscore the fact that there are different kinds of Christians who fill the pews of churches today. Let me attempt to classify them ;
1. The Norminal Christians ; They have enrolled and are fully initiated but are not regular in attending Christian functions. They only come to church on special occasions. I saw many of them yesterday when the fathers did their celebration.
2. The Stubborn Christians ; They are there always opposing what the Parish Priest and leaders are saying and doing what they like. They either choose to listen more to themselves or to some other voice but not the voice of their true Shepherd.
3. The Hypocritical Christians ; They are the pretenders who occupy front seats and receive Holy Communion everyday but commit a lot of atrocities in secret.
4. The Weak Christians ; They are not pretending. They acknowledge their weaknesses and remain there perhaps relying on the grace of God. They always come for confessions but are too weak to come for Bible studies, extra fellowships or pious societies and so, remain where they are.
5. The Faithful Christians ; They are not necessarily perfect but try their best to attend, cooperate with Christian activities and they live exemplary lives of virtue.
In today’s 1st reading, the followers of Christ were 1st called ‘Christians’ in Antioch because of the following ;
1. Good leadership ; Their Parish Priest, Barnabas, was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. He was doing well together with his assistant, Paul and there was no rivalry.
2. Faith ; There was an effective teaching and praying ministry in that Parish and a large number of people were turning up and confessing their faith in Christ.
3. Love ; There was practical love manifesting clearly in the lives of the believers. May God help us to be good sheep under a good Shepherd. We need more Christians today who are ready to listen to the voice of their Shepherds.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO