Fr. Ben’s homily for Thursday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: CONSIDER HOW YOU HAVE FARED…
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Thursday September 23 2021
*Hag 1 : 1 – 8, Lk 9 : 7 – 9.
One of the laws of success /prosperity states that the more you sow the more you reap, all things being equal. I say that because all things are hardly equal. God’s ways are not our ways. His welfare scheme is not exactly like ours. His blessings can never be measured materialistically. But one promise of his Word is : ‘Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. By the Labour of your hands you shall eat; your wife shall be like a fruitful vine and your children surround your table’, Ps 128. God blesses those who fear him and meets them at their various points of need. He said : ‘Ask and you shall receive’, Matt 7 : 7.
One other secret behind the prosperity of many today is the principle of generosity. Its opposite is the scarcity mentality that always makes us feel that we don’t have enough to give. But this mentality actually holds us down from getting more. The tragedy is that what we cling to ends up rotting in our hands. The 1st reading of today therefore wants us to examine ourselves critically when we are suffering from the experience of wasted labour or what I call ‘leaking pockets’, to know if we have broken one or two laws of prosperity. ‘You have sown much and harvested little… consider how you have fared?…Is it a time for you to dwell in your panelled houses when the Lord’s house is in ruins?’ Have you really worked hard in order to succeed and keeps failing? Have you really been devoted to God? Have you really shown generosity to people especially in the house of God? Have you shut your ears from the cries of the needy around you? Have you defrauded people through violence such as Odo, Omabe or Akatakpa Masquerade cults and now it is affecting your business?
You may also need to examine the secret behind your failures. One of such may be your wickedness or perhaps the wickedness of your ancestors. God no longer wants to punish us from the effects of our ancestors’ wickedness but that is only if we have repented from them, Ez 18 : 22. As Shakespeare will say : ‘The evil that men do lives after them’. The Bible says: Be sure of one thing that your sins will always find you out unless you repent of them, Num 32 : 23. Repentance is always the way to go. You may go to all the pastors in the world to come and do family deliverance prayers for you but without repentance you are going no where.The gospel gives example with Herod who murdered John the Baptist but years later he was still emotionally being tormented because John the Baptist was still alive in his conscience. May God help us in examining our ways to be able to find out the sources of our successes or failures. Where we do not find out, we should learn to unite our sufferings and failures with the Cross of Christ.
May God bless you today!