FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: A GOD OF PROSPERITY, MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Ex 16 : 1 – 15, Matt 13 : 1 – 9.
Our God is a God of abundance; a God of prosperity not poverty, not just physical prosperity, but holistic prosperity. He is able to feed us and provide for us but wants us to trust in him and bring our complaints before him with faith. God understands when we are hungry and complain to him. He intervenes in our situations as he did for the Israelites in today’s 1st reading, providing them with quals in the evening and manna in the day. The Lord gave them bread from heaven to eat, Ps 78 : 24.
But he gives us something more than ordinary bread. He gives us his Word; a divine seed that Jesus the sower wishes to plant in our hearts. The yield of happiness and peace this seed will bring forth depends on the kind of soil we are. The soil condition is our heart condition. Let us examine four of such heart conditions as Jesus expatiates them in today’s gospel :
1. THE WAYSIDE HEARTS ; These are the seeds that fell along the path. They are the people that hear the Word of God from a distance without personal touch. They need to come inside the Church. They have no family background/ habitus of faith so the enemy ( birds) came and devoured them.
2. THE ROCKY HEARTS ; These are the seeds that fell on rocky ground, on hardened hearts. They need harrowing and fertilizers. They need serious and elaborate teaching. But since they didn’t get that they end up as pagans.
3. THE ENTANGLED HEARTS ; These are seeds that fell upon good soil but full of thorns ; the temptations of this life, the allurements of the flesh, etc. They need fasting and penance in order to discipline their senses otherwise these worldly desires will choke them up like thorns.
4. THE FRUITFUL HEARTS ; These are the seeds that fell on good soil and brought forth fruits of holiness ( grains) in different proportions. They just need exhortation and daily encouragement through the sacraments of the Church.
May the Lord help us as a Church to embrace more systematically the ministry of the Word recognizing fully the different seed and soil conditions!
FR BEN AGBO
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