Fr. Ben’s homily for Friday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: GO AND SHOW YOURSELF TO THE PRIEST!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Friday June 25 2021
* Gen 17 : 1 – 22, Matt 8 : 1 – 4.
After Abraham’s encounter with the priest, Melchizedek, Gen 14, his life began to turn around. After he made his tithe offering and sacrifice, so many vistas of blessings were catalyzed in his life. It was no longer mere wealth but the blessing of a happy family and the fruitfulness of the womb came upon his beloved wife Sarah at very brutal old age. The promises of today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 128) came to realization in his family. The descendants of Isaac were to carry the seed of the everlasting covenant of peace and prosperity (Christianity has generally been connected to the blessings of this lineage) while the descendants of Ishmael were to carry the seed of fruitfulness, power and multiplicity (Some scholars have traced Islam to this lineage).
In today’s gospel, Jesus upholds this vital role of the priest played by Melchizedek of old by telling the Leper to go and show himself to the priest. The priest remains, even in New Testament dispensation, the bridge between us and God. God’s blessings flow through him as a medium. The priest plays the following vital roles for mankind ; (i) He is the invoker of blessings, Num 6 : 22 – 26. (ii) He is the minister at every covenant and offers the sacrifices, Heb 5 : 1 – 3. (iii) He is the minister of the sacraments, especially the sacrament of reconciliation, Jn 20 : 22, 2 Cor 5 : 18. Part of the madness of modernism and secularism is to deemphasize the relevance of the priest. We must watch against anticlericalism because that is not the mind of Christ otherwise he would not have said : ‘Go and show yourself to the priest’.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO