HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT
HOMILY THEME: BLESSED ARE YOUR EYES…
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: *Is 11 : 1 – 10, Lk 10 : 21 – 24.
My pastor friend staying in Japan recently told me how difficult they are finding the evangelical business there, mainly because the people think they are okay and don’t think they need the message of Christ. He says the work culture is high. Everybody is busy doing something productive. The discipline is relatively high. You could forget your wallet ( full of money) in a park only for somebody to trace you and return it back to you. Yet, they are not Christians. But here in Nigeria, can you forget your phone in a crusade ground and ever hope to see it again? With all the noise people make about Christianity, bribery and corruption is all over the place. This kept me wondering looking at today’s 1st reading. What is this messianic era when righteousness will be at home with the people? When the wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and lion playing with a little child leading them? When will the whole earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters covers the sea?
What has God hidden from the wise and learned and revealed only to the apostles as we hear in today’s gospel? What was this gracious will of God in the incarnation of His Son Jesus on earth? The Bible says : ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave us his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life’, Jn 3 : 16. It is the gracious will of God that we attain full knowledge of his will through his son Jesus. Every other knowledge we have of God is only the part of a whole. Only in Jesus does the knowledge of God come in its full picture. That is why Jesus told his disciples : ‘Blessed are your eyes because they see what you see!’ We need a brand of Christianity that emphasizes spiritual knowledge. We need a brand of Christianity that prays for the indwelling gifts of the Holy Spirit : wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, more than the charismatic gifts. It is the acquisition of the above gifts that have the power to transform our earth into heaven as is the gracious will of God.
Jesus told his disciples in today’s gospel : ‘Blessed are your eyes because they see what you see’. You just need to thank God today that you are a Christian. Imagine if you were a muslim or a cultist or a pagan? I am not saying they will all go to hell. But the fact remains that the greatest unrepeatable event which ever happened upon this earth is that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (Jn 1 : 14). The apostles who witnessed this event and we who have received the message are more privileged than the ancient prophets and holy men. Those who rejected him (and those who still reject him) were under a curse – They will never find peace until they say : “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, Matt 23 : 39.
The loudest messianic prophesy we find in the scriptures says that, ‘In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails’, Ps 72 : 7. In today’s 1st reading, Isaiah the great man of vision prophesies the coming forth of ‘a shoot from the stump of Jesse’. He said that ‘the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him’ and enable him exercise the 3 principal roles of the Messiah as (i) Prophetic – He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, (ii) Kingly- He shall not judge what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear but with righteousness, (iii) Priestly – Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist and faithfulness the belt of his loins. Through the release of the 7 fold gifts of the Holy Spirit : Wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, piety and fear of God, the power of the Word of God will be enthroned on earth and the result will be that the earth will be full of peace and the knowledge of the Lord as the waters covers the sea.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO