HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF 18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME.
THEME: BEWARE OF FAMILIAR CRITICISM OF PROPHETS!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
*Num 12: 1-13, Mt 15: 1 -14.
Community progress is a product of the corporate interface between the leader and the led. According to Fr Oliver Eze, ‘The leader has the duty to protect the led; and the led makes the leader both efficient and effective by obliging him/ her fiducial benefits’. My personal testimonies of success in one of my former parishes of pastoral assignment, was factorized on the simple fact that the people gave me maximum co-operation. The truth is that once the people repose confidence on a leader & the leader does not disappoint them, the result is usually an astronomical feat of success.
In yesterday’s reading, God was angry with the people for complaining against his fatherly provisions of manna & quails in the desert. In today’s reading, God would even be more angry with Miriam & Aaron for leading a domestic mob of insurrection against the man of God, Moses. Yes! It was a domestic affair- an in-house criticism of Moses’ love affair that led to his marrying a Cushite woman. So, Moses broke ranks with Hebrew tradition. But right as they may be, it is a delicate ball game to criticize men of God/ prophets of God. The human foibles may be well established but the spiritual authority of the prophet remains sacrosanct. That was why God struck Miriam with leprosy. It took the passionate interventions of the same man of God she criticized (Moses) to heal her after one week of being quarantined. And by the way, what she said may not even have been very far from the truth about Moses’ love affair with a Cushite woman.
We must always remember that when we see men of God commit sin, it stops there. We may not see when the man of God reconciles with the God he offended. And so, when we go on criticizing or fighting them, we may not know that we are are in a direct battle with God himself. As in the case of Samson, the Philistines thought they had made a mincemeat of him but when he reconciled with God, his energies were redoubled and they met a collosal demise, Judges 16. The scripture warns: ‘Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is only before his own master that he stands or falls’, Rom 14: 4. Let’s beware of familiar criticism of men of God! May God bless you today!
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