YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: GOODBYE TO NOBILITY!
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: * 2 Macc 6 : 18 – 31, Lk 19 : 1-10.
Many people in Nigeria today seem to have said : ‘Goodbye to nobility’. Many now behave like sycophants hobnobbing around the rich and powerful ; and even when they spit out a lot of shit, they are ready to swallow them provided they get their daily bread. Democratic standards have been thrown to the dustbin because no matter how corrupt those in power seem to be, they will still have the majority following them around and singing their praises just because of the paltry crumbs that fall from the master’s corrupt table. And that is what they call ‘the power of incumbency’ in Nigeria. In today’s 1st reading, Eleazer was bent on remaining different even when the leadership was corrupt – even when everybody was blind – even when everybody was soaked in idolatry ; He stuck to the pathways of nobility and gave up his life rather than corrupt the Youths with wrong examples of idolatry and thus say a ‘goodbye to nobility’.
In the gospel, we have an opposite scenario where a rich man had to say ‘goodbye to corruption’ in order to embrace a new life of nobility in Christ Jesus. He wanted to see Jesus but had 3 obstacles ; the crowd, his wealth, his stature. He surmounted all the 3 obstacles by taking a proactive decision to climb the sycamore tree. And when Jesus noticed his effort for salvation, he told him to come down and headed to his house. When people murmured, Zacheus went ahead to demonstrate his seriousness with salvation by making restitution for his past mistakes in life. Finally, Jesus announced that ‘Today, salvation has come to this house’. Zacheus actually had a noble character but perhaps the obstacles of wealth and corruption beclouded his spiritual vision until he determined to see Jesus. Many people in Nigeria have said ‘goodbye to nobility’ by signing the death warrant of sycophancy, bribery and corruption. Yet, some others have remained sober and incorruptible like Eleazer in today’s 1st reading. I know a very brilliant priest who had nursed the idea of becoming a lecturer in one of our nearby Universities but had to drop the idea when he saw many unqualified people paying huge sums of money in order to become lecturers. I just don’t know why many have decided to say ‘goodbye to nobility’ in Nigeria. Does the fact that you have access to the VC or those around him make you forget that certain professions have their requisite qualifications and that everything cannot be sold for money? We pray for the restoration of the sense of nobility and responsibility in this country before it gets too late. Let us insist on wanting to see Jesus like Zacheus did so that we may never lose our sense of nobility.
May God bless you today!