HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. AGNES. (3)







HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. AGNES.

THEME: ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.

BY: Fr Francis Onwunali.

HOMILY FOR JANUARY 21ST.

On this 21st day of January, we celebrate the memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin, and Martyr. At a tender age of 13, she bravely accepted death by torture instead of defiling her body. She said that to do so would be an insult to her heavenly Spouse, that she would keep her consecrated virginity intact, accept death, and see Christ. On her feast day, two lambs are blessed at her Church in Rome, and their wool is woven into the pallium, which the Pope confers on Archbishops as a symbol of their jusrisdiction. Today, dear friends, we celebrate purity and chastity.

The readings of today highlight not only the radical *novum* that Jesus brought with the New Covenant of His Blood but also the radical approach and zeal in doing the will of the Father. With Jesus, as the Church Fathers rightly said: *figura transit in veritatem* – “the foreshadowing has given way to the truth itself.”

RELATED: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A

In the first reading (Heb 9: 2-3, 11-14), the author of the Letter to the Hebrews continues to reflect on the New Covenant offered in the “Blood of the Lamb of God”, a perfect sacrifice that need not be repeated; a sacrifice made only once, yet it can, and is still remembered, as Jesus Himself instructed, and made present again in the sacramental celebration of the Eucharist. How privileged we are to share in this radical newness.

In the gospel (Mark 3: 20-21), we hear of Jesus’ relatives’ reaction to His approach in ministering and serving the people. They thought He is now insane and so went out to rescue the situation by taking Jesus away. They forgot that He must be about His Father’s work – bringing salvation to all who seek Him.

Dear friends, the encounter with Jesus always brings about transformation. Such transformation draws us into a deeper relationship with Jesus. This is what His relatives and townspeople missed.

I pray as we journey in life today, we will seek to experience, and at the same time, to create an environment where others can experience this newness that brings transformation. May our actions reflect the Truth that liberates and not shadows that fades. May God open our hearts to accept the words of His Son. Have an encounter-full day!

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