FR. BEN’S MONDAY HOMILY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: THE REAL MISSION OF CHRIST!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY: * 1 Thess 4 : 13 – 18, Lk 4 : 16 – 30.
The mission of Christ is a mission of empowerment – both for the living and the dead. The entire gospel (good news) is a message of hope and confidence. For the dead believers, St Paul says in today’s 1st reading that we should be quite confident that they have only fallen asleep not final death. Life is only changed not ended. We must never grieve for them like those who have no hope.
For those who are still alive, the gospel has the following 5 domains of empowerment:
1. LOGOTHERAPY/ PSYCHOLOGICAL EMPOWERMENT: Christ has brought ‘good news to the afflicted’. We need to take time to study the Scriptures from this perspective. There are many biblical promises that are mearnt to console us. The Word of God is profitable for exhortation, teaching and admonition, 2 Tim 3 : 16. No Christian who listens to the Word of God can be depressed to the point of suicide as many do today.
2. DELIVERANCE/ SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT: Christ has come to ‘proclaim liberty to captives’. The gospel liberates people from the bondage of sin, evil family foundations, curses, demonic obsessions and possessions. We need to take time to study and embrace the deliverance ministry of Christ in all its ramifications.
3. ENLIGHTENMENT/ INTELLECTUAL EMPOWERMENT: Christ has come to give sight to the blind. We have a lot to learn about Christ’s teachings and ideology. Many who claim to be Christians are still blind with regards to Christ’s teachings on love, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, detachment, etc.
4. JUSTICE/ SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT: Christ has come to let the oppressed go free. His mission is a mission of justice and peace. We can’t have wars, injustice, insecurity and terrorism if people actually get to internalize the teachings of Christ.
5. PROSPERITY/ ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Let nobody make any mistake about this: Spiritual as Christ’s mission is, it is also existential. Christ has come to proclaim a dispensation of grace and favour – an era of prosperity which must begin from the spiritual and manifest in the physical. He said : ‘Seek you first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness AND ALL OTHER THINGS shall be added onto you’, Matt 6 : 33. The other things could be good health, riches, friends, etc. When we look at prosperity holistically, then and only then can we understand the true mission of Christ. May God bless you today!