FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: SACRIFICING FOR THE KINGDOM!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 27 2022
*Jer 15 :10 – 21, Matt 13 :44 – 46.
Sacrifice means giving up something that is important or valuable to somebody in order to get or do something that seems more important. In today’s gospel, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a treasure hidden in a field or to a pearl of great price which someone discovers, then goes to sell every other thing of less importance in order to buy it. People who sell motor parts will understand this parable more because in their everyday experience, they become rich by selling what they have to buy car scrabs just by spotting useful motor parts in the vehicle.
The church is the kingdom of God on earth, no matter what anybody thinks in the contrary. Christ is telling us in today’s gospel that no sacrifice is too great to acquire eternal happiness of the kingdom of God; whether through celibate chastity, other forms of chastity, poverty, charity works, obedience to the commandments of God and to church authorities, etc.
The church teaches us the importance of these different kinds of offerings done for the sake of the kingdom; (a) Tithe offering, Mal 3 :11. (b) Thanksgiving offering, Lk 17 :11 – 19. (c) Almsgiving offering, Matt 6 :2, Matt 25 :31 – 46.(d) Seed offering, Matt 10 :40 – 42. One posseses the kingdom to the extent one accepts the will of God, understands it and allows it to bear fruits in one’s life, Matt 13 :23. And we must remember Christ’s warning : ‘Seek ye 1st the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and all other things shall be added’, Matt 6 :33.
Today, many Christians find it difficult to make sacrifices for the sake of the kingdom. Many parishes emphasize the levy method just because most Christians have not understood the power behind freewill donations. Free will donations to God and his Church can come in form of land, time, energy, resources, offerings. Unfortunately, so many communities are regretting and reclaiming lands which their forefathers freely donated to the Church so many years ago. This portends doom to the society. I still hear King David reminding us that he will not offer to the Lord a sacrifice that costs him nothing, 1Chron 21 :24.
How do we assess good Christians? One simple way is through their offering of their time and resources for the things of God. In my Parish, I have had frustrating experiences of injustice allowing lay people (zonal leaders) to determine who the priest buries. They simply collect money post mortem and tell you to come and bury an unbeliever in a Christian way. I have therefore created a data base (a Microsoft Excel document) for clearance. My Active Participation Register (APR) has the following 5 parameters;
(i) Participation in the Organizational arms (CMO, CWO, CYMO and CYMO),
(ii) Participation in Sunday activities (Morning and Evening),
(iii) Participation in Daily Morning Masses, (iv) Participation in the Pious Societies and (v) Participation in Church Offerings. I grade each of these points with 20 marks each and every Christian in my Parish is ipso facto cued into the data base for effective Parish administration. My belief is that as it is done on earth, so shall it be done in heaven, Matt 25 :31-46. Christians must be encouraged to offer their resources for the sake of the kingdom. May the Lord bless you today!