HOMILY FOR MONDAY, TWENTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: THE AFFLICTION LACKING IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
BY: Fr Livinus Igbodekwe
Most christian folks find this expression of Paul very difficult, even bible scholars. The problem ranges from the fact that Jesus completed the whole salvific work, crying ‘it is finished’ on the cross, to the problem that no other sacrifice would ever complement or suffice for it. What then could Paul mean by supplying that which is lacking in the afflictions of Christ?
It is worthy of remark that the apostle does not say παθηματα, the passion of Christ, but simply θλιψεις, the afflictions; such as are common to all good men who bear a testimony against the ways and fashions of a wicked world. In these the apostle had his share, in the passion of Christ through persecution and affliction. The church is the body of Christ still undergoing affliction in all quarters. Every Christian must supply for it because tribulation would abound in the Christian’s life (Jn 16:33). Paul recounted his many ordeals for the sake of the gospel: his imprisonments, chains, floggings, shipwrecks, waylays, etc. These marks of affliction would form our testimony on the last day before the risen Lord that we have fought the good fight and still have kept the faith (1 Tim 6:12).