FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: LAMPS WITHOUT OIL!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY: * 1 Thess 4 : 1 – 8, Matt 25 : 1 – 13.
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 6 : 18. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot be fit to join Jesus in the marriage feast of the lamb. Do you live by the flesh or by the Holy Spirit? Living in the flesh, according to the gospel of today, is like carrying a lamp without oil. This parable was intentionally woven around the imagery of ‘virgins’ to remind us that the purity of the body is a very important aspect of holiness and perfection. Lamps alite portray the state of grace where the light of Christ always shines in a believer through the fire of purity and self control. One single act of immorality extinguishes the whole light.
The 1st reading encourages us to abstain from immorality. Each of us should know how to control his /her own body. There is no single formular for every temperament. Some need to keep off completely from seductive relationships; Some need just to control their thoughts (avoiding pornographies) while some others need to watch more of their utterances . The dynamics of mastering one’s libido may vary slightly from person to person and from family to family but the universal demand remains that we must avoid all uncleanness especially hurting our neighbour through adultery.
Taking sufficient oil is like praying sufficiently; having sufficient quiet time, sufficient study of the Word of God, sufficient devotion to the sacraments especially the holy mass (at least 3 times a week where possible) and going for confessions as soon as we fall out of grace. This is the habit (virtue) of ‘wise virgins’ – and that is the meaning of being spiritually resourceful. Catholic spirituality teaches us to always be in a ‘state of grace’ because we do not know the hour of our death. Our ever readiness for the Eucharistic banquet here on earth is a sure guarantee of our readiness for the marriage feast of the kingdom of God. ‘Eternal vigilance’, says Thomas Jefferson, ‘is the price of freedom – the supreme call of wisdom’. May God bless you today!