Daily homily for Wednesday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: THE POWER OF CORPORATE INTERCESSION!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Wednesday September 22 2021
* Ezra 9 : 5 – 9, Lk 9 : 1 – 6.
Reverend Father Stephen Njoku, of blessed memory, always insisted that corporate sins required corporate intercession. When a community unanimously sins against God, that community needs to unanimously ask for forgiveness. When a family unanimously asks a deity to be their god, that family may need in future to unanimously break their covenant with that deity and ask God to take over. Repentance must be comprehensive and reconciliation is a ministry in the Church, 2 Cor 5 : 18. Priests are intrinsically connected in the ministry of reconciliation both personal and collective. Even the Church’s teaching on Indulgence let’s us see that there could still be lingering effects of even already forgiven sins which only the power of intercession and good works can remedy.
In today’s 1st reading, we see the priest Ezra taking the lead in one of such programmes of corporate intercession. It was a prayer including confession of past national sins (that is, corporate sins requiring corporate intercessions), gratitude for God’s forgiveness and rededication of the people to the service of God after their exile experience.
The Church exists for intercession. The mission of Christ is a mission of intercession. The gospel of today makes it clear that Jesus gave the Church the power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and then to preach the kingdom of God. It is often not possible to preach the gospel of the kingdom when people are under the bondage of idolatry and demonic obsessions leading to so many sicknesses and curses. We find many baptized Christians still living functionally under this bondage partly because even after their baptism (usually infant baptism) they still don’t have sufficient faith and understanding to bring themselves out from the yoke of idolatry. Here I think priests should, like Ezra did in today’s 1st reading, lead them in corporate intercessions. According to Vima Dasan, ‘The task of mission for today is not so much to get non Christians into the Church as to get the Christians out of the Church into the world’. That is a serious task that requires serious strategic prayer. We must evangelize and liberate our people from the bondage of sin and death. It is not enough to see them gathered in the Church yet many are still living in bondage. We must confront them in their sins and lead them through corporate intercession back to the bossom of God’s mercy.
May God bless you today!