Daily homily for Friday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Jesus teaching(55)

Daily homily for Friday of the 29th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I


By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)


Homily for Friday October 22 2021

*Rom 7 : 18 – 25, Lk 12 : 54 – 59.
Although we are ‘born again’ – although we are redeemed by Christ, there are apparently unredeemed areas in our personalities that still have to be rescued and elevated. Life remains a struggle especially in the area of chastity. No one totally conquers his /her flesh; there is no victor, no vanquished in the spiritual life but an entire life long experience of warfare. St Paul says in today’s 1st reading: ‘I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind – wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me? But thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ who saw all that and went to Calvary to pay the price for this human weakness by dying in his flesh. As long as we identify with this ‘dying process’, Rom 6 : 11, we live in the spirit of Christ. Without going into the error of gnosticism (creating unnecessary dualism between the body and the soul) and without falling into Martin Luther’s despondency against human efforts, the truth is that no matter how spiritual we may be on earth, we are from time to time reminded by our flesh that we are human. We therefore welcome St Paul in today’s readings to the reality of human weaknesses. Chapter 6 and 8 of the letter to the Romans sounded so idealistic but in Chapter 7 St Paul insists on acknowledging sin as an anomaly in human equilibrium. Only the grace of Christ can stabilize it.

In the gospel Jesus asks: ‘Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Why are you not able to read the signs of the time? You know how to interprete the appearance of the earth and the skies but you do not know how to interprete the present time’. If we learn how to interprete the present time, as Jesus asked us to, we will realize that the conflict in the world has its origin in the conflict that goes on in every human heart. As St Paul put it : ‘I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’ – I do what is against my spirit. This internal conflict can take many forms, making people manifest greed, hatred and thirst for power beyond their own imaginations; making many celibates and married people live contrary to their vows / covenants; making many groups begin to rebel against the Church even on social media; making people go into quarrels and wars that they did not bargain for. And before you know it, they have lost their inner peace. If you go to the psychiatric doctor in search of this inner peace, you might only get a sleeping pill; if you go to the supermarket or night clubs in search of inner peace, or go into alcoholism /smoking in search of it, you will only remain frustrated. Only Jesus Christ can give you this peace. Sin remains an anomaly to the human psyche and unless the grace of Christ deals with it, one remains frustrated. May God bless you today!

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