Fr. Ben’s homily for Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent
Theme: SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Thursday December 9 2021
*Is 41 : 13 – 20, Matt 11 : 11 – 15.
John the Baptist signifies the end of what I call the ‘era of spiritual violence’; era of trying to take the kingdom of heaven by the force of brutal asceticism, radical self righteousness, noisy prayers and all that. Jesus signalled the era of grace; the era of spiritual gentility, serenity in prayer, resignation to the will of God, especially of martyrdom. When it was time for him to die for the truth, John could not understand it. He sent people to ask Jesus the question: ‘Are you he who is to come or shall we wait for another?’
John did not live to see the Cross of Christ. If he had lived to witness the immensity of the love of God expressed at Calvary, perhaps he would have had a different opinion about his demise. Even Judas Iscariot, the Zealots and other Jewish terrorists of that era, did not understand the message of Jesus until the whole city was routed in the year 70AD by the Romans. Only believers in Jesus’ message were saved.
The time has come when believers will worship the father in spirit and truth; when the gospel of Christ will sell through the power of persuasion and gentility not by force, when political and ecclesiastical leadership would be conferred by the people’s choice not by fraud, when pressure groups like the Labour Union, ASUU, etc, will not need to press their points through long strike actions or violent demonstrations but through objective dialogue and fair hearing.
Today’s gospel teaches us that a humble Christian that makes his / her advocacies through the power/ grace of Christ is greater than a John the Baptist who presses his spiritual points through aggressive asceticism and radical evangelism. John understood the justice and wrath of God but did not understand the grace and mercy of God. Christians operate in the gentility of the Spirit not through what I have called “spiritual violence”. That is what the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit brings.
May God bless you today!