Fr. Ben’s homily for Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: OUR LITURGICAL FEAST DAYS!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Friday July 30 2021
* Lev 23 : 1 – 37, Matt 13 : 54 – 58.
Liturgical feasts are God’s idea because they celebrate him and make a people truly become a religious community through their sacred assemblies. No wonder why a particular Church decided to call themselves ‘Assemblies of God’. God does not need our worship. It is we who need them in order to grow as individuals and be configured to his will as a people of God. Not to celebrate is to lose our personal and community identity.
Ours is a Judeo – Christian tradition because Christ decided to set Christianity upon the foundations of Judaism. He taught in their synagogues and respected the Jewish celebrations, offerings and sense of morality. It was in that tradition that Jesus instituted the Eucharistic celebration by fixing the Last Supper on the day of Passover. And since he told his followers to ‘Do this in memory of me’, Christians have toed this line in making all liturgical readjustments of the Jewish feasts starting from the Sabbath day which was readjusted to fit into his day of resurrection, Holy Thursday to be the day of Passover when the Eucharist was instituted, Pentecost to fit into 50 days after the resurrection, Ash Wednesday to be the beginning of Lent – the special period of atonement for sins, Corpus Christi to be a special day of celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ as the new source of Shelters / Tabernacles for the new people of God.
As we celebrate on our birthdays the wisdom and wonder of our being alive, the Isrealites celebrated throughout their liturgical year the wonders God had worked on their regard as a chosen people. Such memorial feasts are important otherwise we may not only forget what the Lord has done in our lives as people of God but that forgetfulness may soon turn into a rejection of him as our Saviour. This is what the Nazarenes did to Jesus because of familiarity complex. The ‘Carpenter’s Son syndrome’ and the ‘Mother Mary disdain’ and also over familiarity with Jesus’ brethren; James, Joseph, Simon, Jude Thaddeus, etc made them never able to celebrate Jesus inspite of his wisdom and mighty works. Jesus reminded them that a Prophet is indeed honoured everywhere except in his own hometown. May we learn to honour God , honour his mother Mary, and respect the day of the Lord, especially Sundays and Holy Thursdays and not turn them into days for our own private meetings and agenda.
May God bless you today!