Fr. Ben’s homily for Tuesday of the 21st week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: DISTRIBUTORS OF GOD’S INVITATION CARD!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Tuesday August 24 2021
Feast of St Bartholomew
* Rev 21 : 9 – 14, Jn 1 : 45 – 51.
Evangelism goes with a level of theological excitement – the type that Philip had in today’s gospel when he encountered Christ and went to invite Nathaniel (referred by some biblical scholars as Bartholomew), our Saint for today. I have forgotten the name of the scientist that shouted : ‘Eureka! I have found it!’ Just at the event of a mere scientific discovery. Right now, we are talking about the discovery of the gift of the kingdom of God. Nathaniel shouted : ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel’. When Peter saw his glory he ‘lost his senses’. St John describes the glory of the kingdom in today’s 1st reading in his vision of the high wall with 12 gates, 12 Angels, 12 foundations and 12 Apostles – a beautiful image that correlates the Church and the Kingdom of God. Jesus told Nathaniel : ‘Look, you shall see greater things! You will see heaven open and the Angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man’.
Our lives as Christians should be punctuated by the zeal for evangelism – the desire to carry about ‘God’s IV’ for the kingdom of God, distributing it for others to come in. For me, the Parish setting is one of the best scenario for the distribution of this invitation card. Those who preach in the buses as people travel or in the Classroom as people study or at the hospital when people are sick or in the prison when people are in trouble, etc are only taking advantage of unofficial opportunities and sometimes doing the right thing at the wrong time. Both priests and laity must understand that one of the best God – given opportunities we have to distribute God’s Invitation cards to the people of God is the Parish environment – every morning mass, every burial mass, every wedding mass, every sick call, every 1st Friday Adoration and other extra curricular spiritual programmes in our various parishes. The Parish apostolate is a fecund ground for evangelism which many priests and laity are yet to maximally exploit. Some are getting tired of it and seeking for other distracting jobs elsewhere not knowing that when this job is excellently done, ‘all other things shall be added unto us’, Matt 6 : 33. May the spirit of St Philip who brought St Bartholomew to Jesus help us always to seek to bring as many people to Christ as possible before we die.
May God bless you today!