Homily for Tuesday of 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)

Homily for Tuesday of 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II


By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

Homily for Tuesday January 25 2022


*Act 22:3-16, Mk 16 :15-18.
The evangelical mandate of Christ to his disciples says: ‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not will be condemned’. Salvation, therefore, requires conversion. And conversion requires faith and baptism. This in turn requires evangelization since ‘faith cometh by hearing the Word’, Rom 10:14.
Ipso facto, there is no condemnation without prior evangelization. And if condemnation happens only in the context of rejection of the message of the gospel, then it means that it happens more within the region of the evangelized. That means that the Christian territories are in more trouble here than the unevangelized who may never be blamed for what they have never heard about. This is serious!
The Bible says that ‘there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’, Rom 8:1. Who are they? The people who merely belong to the Church? Surely not, but the people who do the will of God, Matt 7:21- the people who have heard and accepted the Word of God and are living according to its dictates. It is not necessarily the perfect but the repentant and the converted.
Conversion is practical. It has got signs and symptoms as today’s gospel reveals:
(1) Faith manifesting in the power of deliverance and healing.
(2) Baptism manifesting in a new life (new tongues) marked by the spiritual sign of invulnerability. The devil can no longer overpower you. Even when you drink deadly poison (demonic attacks), the Word of God says you will be unharmed because the Lord is your Shepherd, Ps 23.
I am worried at the fact that many who claim to be Christians have not yet experienced these signs. It means that something is wrong somewhere. Either the conversion is incomplete or there is no conversion yet even after many years of Christianity. An electrician once converted a gas stove to electricity but did not have time to adjust it. He had to do it the next day. So, he took a piece of cardboard paper and wrote on it: ‘Converted but not adjusted’. And that captures exactly what has happened to very many of us Christians. Many have received Infant Baptism but growing up, there was no follow up of sufficient evangelization. At baptism, we are all expected to get converted to the Spirit of Christ. But are we really and properly adjusted to the Spirit of Christ? Are we really born again? Do we have a sufficient experience of the new life in Christ?
At this feast of the Conversion of St Paul, we can borrow a leaf from his experience. He persecuted the way of Christ before and was made blind by the light of Christ. Through the assistance of a minister of God, Ananias, he was made to see the light of Christ. We may not have persecuted Christ to the extent Paul did. But we can discover any moment that our lives are in contradiction to Christ’s principles and that we are living as ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’, Phil 3:18. So, we need to make a U – turn and surrender our lives to Christ as Paul did. Then, the signs will begin to manifest – the signs of our conversion. As Ananias ministered to Saul, I now minister to you: ‘Brother, Saul (replace with your own name), receive your sight’. Be converted and be readjusted to a new life in the Spirit.
May God bless you today!


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