FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 10TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: LIGHT IN THE CHURCH; DARKNESS IN THE WORLD!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR TUESDAY JUNE 7 2022
*1 Kg 17: 7-16, Matt 5:13 – 16.
There seems to be a terrible disconnect between what goes on in the Church and what goes on in the society even after many years of Christianity. After studying the pastoral life of some of the parishes I have worked in, for example, I have discovered that virtually all the commandments of God have social structures that encourage their violation. Social structures of sin are terribly difficult to resist because here individuals are left at the risk of unnecessary martyrdom in a bid to resist such sinful pressures . Take for instance, an SS 111 WAEC Candidate whose colleagues are contributing #2,000 for EXPO – Examination malpractice may find it very difficult to resist because he/ she would very likely be victimized by the teachers during the Exam.
In one of the Parishishes where I worked, the people survive predominantly from trading and so, every market mentality that is set up against the Word of God, 2 Cor 10 :4 poses a colossal threat. There are idols of protection (Ogwu Ashua) for successful business, idols of oath taking by different groups of traders (Iyi Ashua), idols of Sunday meetings (for example, If sellers of onions have their meetings every Sunday Eke by 4pm then they can’t be part of Sunday evening service). There are social structures waring against healthy monogamous family life, structures that hide criminals, encourage promiscuity and alcoholism especially among men, fraud, gossips, jealousy, avarice and all forms of injustice. Funny enough, in this parish, Christians (Catholics) are 99% majority but not a dime of Christian ideology is seen to rule the society yet.
I think the reason is very simple: a specie of Christianity without the Word of God is in vogue today in many Churches. There is no serious Bible study going on among many believers. The only Penny Catechism studied was memorized as little kids. We must study the Word of God from 2 major perspectives; Divine promises, eg as found in Isaiah 58:10 – 12 and Divine instructions, eg as found in the Sermon on the mountain, Matt 5 – 7.
In today’s 1st reading, the man of God, Elijah confidently tells the widow of Zarephat ‘Fear not, go and make a cake and bring to me and afterwards make for yourself for the Word of God says… Without the Word of God, Christianity becomes a lifeless religion powerless and ineffectual… a rolling stone that gathers no moss. When I see the passion with which Muslims follow the instructions of their leader, Mohammed, who is a mere mortal, I wonder why majority of Christians want to operate without the Word of Jesus! The result is obvious : there is light in the Church, but darkness in the world. May God bless you today!