HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: THE PRESENTATION OF THE OMBUDSMAN (THE FEAST OF PRESENTATION OF THE LORD)
BY: Fr. Livinus Igbodekwe
“Ethical pollution”, according to Archbishop Fulton J. sheen, “demands a solution. It needs an “Ombudsman””. In the fullness of time both the Steward (man) and the Garden (Earth) became contaminated with evil giving rise to ceaseless acts of wickedness. Every known option was exhausted like provision of judges, kings, prophets, priests and animal sacrifices.
The Almighty had another plan – the sending down of the “Ombudsman” ( a victim, a scapegoat) who now would possess what lacked in the previous options. These requirements include:
A. Birth: he had to be our kinsman in the flesh given to necessities and temptations except commitment of sin so that He would be a merciful high priest to us, sinners (Heb 2:14-18)
B. Innocence: He must be an unblemished victim (2 Cor 5:21), in order to take away, not His sins, but those of the world (Jn 1:29). This innocence is symbolised by the two doves or pigeons in the Gospel of today.
C. Refiner: He must play a refinery role just as a blacksmith or a goldsmith sits by the fire to refine metals, so shall He sit to refine Jerusalem and Judah to make them and their offerings acceptable to Yahweh (Mal 3:1-4).
D. Transference: our sins must be transferred upon Him as our Ombudsman and victim to suffer the rejection, the pain and the death meant for us. This is the way the old Seer, Simeon sees Him in the Gospel – a sign of contradiction for many and as a Saviour for Israel.
So, friends, today our “Substitution” is presented in the temple of Jerusalem for official certification and cleansing by the high priest Simeon to identify with our unclean state. The ceremony was called “Purification”. In the same way Jesus is being presented today in the temple of our hearts. How purified are our hearts. Even if our hearts are full of wickedness, unforgiveness, and all sorts of sin let us welcome Him today for these roles of our “Ombudsman”, Jesus to play out in our hearts.
I wish you a blessed Friday!