YEAR II: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE SIN OF UNBELIEF
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: * 2 Sam 24: 2 – 17, Mk 6: 1 – 6.
It is not good to make God feel that you don’t trust in him any more. Anything that reduces our faith in the Almighty God is the sin of unbelief. Unbelief can manifest in various forms. In today’s 1st reading, it manifested as over ambition on the side of David as a King. In the gospel, it manifested as familiarity complex among the kinsmen of Christ. David’s motive in carrying out the census was evil – pride and over ambition. In a theocratic government such as was obtainable at that time, it was completely preposterous to rely on the numerical strength of Israelite army rather than on Divine security. David therefore offended God immensely by embarking on that census, emphasizing a political security which relied solely on military might than on the need for God. But he didn’t go very far in that sin. David had a very sensitive conscience. When he consulted God he was told that God was already fuming. In fact, he was presented with the option of 3 terrible punishments by the Prophet Gad and asked to choose a lesser one: Natural disaster (famine), Human disaster (scourge from enemies) and Spiritual disaster (pestilence from God). He preferred to suffer under God’s fury than man’s. He believed in God’s mercy. And that was what saved the situation.
Our world is fast conferring the creator’s dignity to human beings in the name of humanism, liberalism, democracy or sorry to say, humanized religion. David’s sin was census count in search of political security. Ours today can come in the form of excess material acquisitions in search of financial security when we rely too much on our very fat bank accounts when people around us are dying of poverty, health insurance schemes, retinue of friends, academic accolades and all forms of ‘over igbambo’ – much ado about nothing.
Another aspect of unbelief mentioned in today’s gospel can manifest in form of over familiarity with men of God or things of God. The ‘Carpenter’s son syndrome’ which we read about in today’s gospel is preventing many of us from growing in spiritual life. I remember one Prof (Teacher) Okafor of blessed memory who told me many years ago when I was at St Peter’s Chaplaincy that the reason why he doesn’t like going very close to priests is to enable him take their words and ministrations more seriously. Since then, it struck me how much familiarity, when it becomes a complex (with negative effects) can affect our efficiency as priests and the receptivity of God’s grace to the people through us. There are actually 2 occasions when the Bible said that Jesus was amazed at people’s behavior. Both were in connection to human credulity and incredulity : (1)He was amazed at the faith of the Centurion, Lk 7 : 9 and (2) He was amazed at the lack of faith of his own country men at Nazareth, Mk 6 : 1 – 6. Let’s be careful to guard our faith in God and in men of God to avoid any distractions.
May God bless you today!