Homily for the Eighth Sunday in the Ordinary Time, Year C
Homily Theme: CAN A BLIND MAN GUIDE ANOTHER?
- Ecclesiasticus 27 : 4 – 7, 1 Cor 15 : 54 – 58, Lk 6 : 39 – 45.
Homily: Can a blind man lead others? In Nigeria, the answer may be ‘Yes’ through the assistance of an intelligent cabal. Can an ignorant WAEC holder continue to lead graduates and professors? In Nigeria, the answer may be ‘yes’ through the assistance of a federal executive council/ board of advicers. Can a corrupt man lead a nation? In Nigeria, they will tell you that only rich people can get to Aso Rock and most of those rich people are very corrupt. But these are situational arguments that do not stand the test of ethical objectivity.
B. THE DEFECTS OF A MAN
Today’s 1st reading says that the defects of a man appear in his talk and the real test of a man is in his conversations. Therefore, do not praise a man before he has spoken. Americans will never vote for a President without subjecting him/ her series of interviews to decipher his / her ideologies or leadership potentials. Jesus also confirms this in today’s gospel by saying that ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the man speaks’, Lk 6 : 45. The 2nd reading also advices that we should never give in to corruption. We should never accept defeat in evil but should keep on labouring at the Lord’s work always knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain.
Human weaknesses abound in a man but children of God must continue to struggle to purify our heart, our conscience, our utterances and our actions as much as possible.
C. CAN A BLIND MAN GUIDE ANOTHER?
Jesus asks this pertinent question in today’s gospel : ‘Can a blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit’. Applying this to our practical situation, we must talk about the argument for exemplary leadership and the argument against hypocrisy. The 1st argument as Paul Paul VI will put it is that ‘A man preaches with moral authority only that which he does and practices. Because when the conscience becomes an obstacle to speech then what is preached becomes difficult to accept’.
The challenge is therefore for leaders and teachers to lead by example. The next argument is the argument against hypocrisy. Jesus says : ‘Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own eye?’ He calls such people who do this ‘hypocrites’. John Rose says that when we look at the speck in another’s eyes without looking at the beam in our eyes then we are using two pairs of spectacles ; one for ourselves which diminishes our offences, and the other for others which magnifies their offences.
- Listening yesterday to Buba Galadima’s interview with the brilliant journalist, Charles Aniagolu at Arise news kept me cogitating. As Galadima was fuming against APC’s purported rigging of this year’s Presidential elections, the journalist drew his attention to Adam’s Oshiemole’s counter accusation of similar riggings by PDP in the past and Galadima quite sharply asks him whether Nigeria should ipso facto remain at that level for ever.
THE CAVEAT here is that we cannot pull far the argument that since PDP has rigged elections in the past, then rigging should be justified to continue. If Atiku has taken advantage of the developments in science and technology to catch red handed his opponents and put rigging of elections to a stop in Nigeria, then we should have the political maturity to come to that level.
Arguing that you are less guilty of an offence because others have done it before is a fallacy of band wagon effect. Yet, judging others in an offence you yourself is guilty of is always a moral problematique. A balanced argument from J Mason would say : ‘Judge yourself with the judgment of sincerity and then you will be able to judge others with the judgment of charity’.
It is time to either sanitize Nigeria and purify it from the evil roots of corruption in order to embrace true democracy OR allow corruption, bribery and rigging of elections to continue and face the danger of going under a fascist government.
It is time the Seminary formators and all who have a hand in producing priests and pastors, tighten their belts also in the formation of religious leaders because the truth is that the trouble with Nigeria is not only lack of good political leaders but also lack of good religious leaders. The corruption of the best is always the worst evil. When the secular and religious leaders are corrupt, blind men would be leading blind men and the entire society will be in a mess.
It is also high time men and women who enter the marital states in our Christian (and even Muslim) Churches are monitored closely, before, during and after their marriage according to the recommendations of Pope Francis’ exhortation letter “Amoris Laetitia”. Granted that we may not disqualify any candidate that comes for wedding because he/ she does not have the requisite moral soundness, but special ongoing teaching/ guidance should be arranged beyond the usual 2 or 3 months Marriage course ( which only God knows how it is done in most of our churches). The rate of divorce is growing higher simply because most couples are simply immature to face the responsibilities of marriage. Yet we know that marriage is for grown ups. Many young men and women don’t know how to talk when they are angry even to their so called lovers and so, just before one year a marriage is already in shambles and they come knocking at the door of the tribunals.
Jesus has said it boldly that ‘a blind man cannot lead a blind man’ whether it is leading in the home, in the office, in the church or leading the whole nation. If this statement of Christ is taken in more seriously, then our political, academic and religious appointments/ elections in Nigeria will be most sacred from primaries to the tertiary levels. Only a sound tree can produce a good fruit! Happy Sunday beloved friends!
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