THEME: HOLDING THE TRADITIONS OF FAITH AND LOVE!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 23 2022
*2 Thess 2: 1 – 17, Matt 23: 23 – 26.
Whether the Lord’s second coming is today or tomorrow is not the important question in Christian devotion. What is important is whether we are prepared to meet him whenever he comes. How? Today’s 1st reading says: By holding to the traditions handed down by the Church and the Word of God written down in the scriptures. Some have taken only the latter and left the former. What are these traditions? *(1) The tradition of faith and trust in the midst of sufferings and (2) The tradition of good works; corporal works of mercy, free will donations for Church projects and charity to the poor*.
The Scribes and Pharisees were upbraided for observing smaller duties and neglecting greater ones eg they preached tithe yet perpetrated all forms of injustice and wickedness against widows. The weightier rules that they neglected were that of love; justice, mercy and faith. Injustice makes a mess of charity. Lack of mercy makes a mess of all our prayers. Lack of real faith in God makes all our religious actions merely hypocritical. They cared for the outside but not the inside of religion; extrinsic offerings, liturgical rubrics, etc but neglected deep spiritual areas like issues about love, self discipline, holiness, purity and self control. They were full of greed and self indulgence.
We must learn to examine our heart condition always because the heart is the centre of holiness, not the mouth, hands or legs. We may use our mouths to shout the name of Jesus 20 times a day; raise our left hands to cast out demons 200 times a day; use our legs to attend religious gatherings and crusades 365 times a year, but as long as our hearts remain unholy, unloving and undisciplined, we are going nowhere other than the way of hypocrites. *Let’s hold on to the traditions of faith and love* handed on by the Saints who have gone before and stop all this madness we see today in the name of religion. May God bless you today!
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