Fr. Ben’s homily for Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: GO TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Wednesday July 7 2021
* Gen 41 : 55 – 42 : 24, Matt 10 : 1 – 7.
One of the high points of the Jewish history (the history about the house of Israel) is the Joseph’s story. Joseph is one of the most perfect biblical prototypes or forefigures of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament just like Isaac was. Joseph’s story starts with a dream (what looks like a prophesy of a destiny) and ends with the rescue /salvation of his people through the Passover (prefiguring the Eucharistic meal) and showing God as the Lord and master of history. Through a renewal of covenants at different periods of history, God still rescues his people today. Let’s take note of the following parallelism in Joseph’s story and Jesus’ story; (i) Joseph’s brothers tried to kill him as Jesus’ own brothers also did. (ii) When people lacked provisions, Pharoah told them ‘go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you’ ; the same statement that Mary makes at Cana in Galilee, Jn 2 : 5. (iii) Joseph’s brothers finally bowed down before him just like the 3 Wisemen from the East did at the presence of the Infant Jesus, Matt 2 : 11. (iv) Joseph wept just as Jesus wept, Jn 11 : 35. (v) Joseph forgave his brothers just as Jesus did to all who crucified him, Jn 19 : 30.
The new ‘Israel’ is the Church – the community of believers in Jesus who submit to the leadership of the Messiah standing in place of Joseph and Moses. What qualifies us to join this new family is our faith and willingness to learn like the apostles. As crude as the 12 apostles were, they all, except Judas were willing to learn as follows; (i) Peter was very impulsive but learnt to act calmly like an elder. (ii,&iii) James and John were ambitious and hot-headed but they learnt to submit their passions to the will of God. (iv) Matthew was a Publican (tax collector) but learnt to submit to the authority of Christ rather than playing sychophancy. (v) Thomas was a sceptic but learnt to believe and called Jesus ‘My Lord and my God’, Jn 20 : 28. (vi) Simon the Canaanite was a revolutionary but learnt from Jesus the pacifism of the kingdom. (vii & viii) Philip and Bartholomew were prejudiced Pharisees but learnt the sound teachings of Christ. (ix) Andrew was timid but learnt to bring others to Christ. (x) James was too dogmatic but learnt from Christ to listen to other’s view. (xi) Jude Thaddeus was confused about the end time but had his confusions cleared by Christ.
God has no time for avouched unbelievers. He always sends his missionaries to people with believing hearts. In today’s gospel, Jesus calls them the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’. As he used Joseph to rescue his starving brothers from famine, he uses Jesus to rescue us from abject poverty and penury. As he used Moses to rescue his people from bondage in the hands of Pharoah, he hands over to us all authority over unclean spirits and rescues us from the dominion of darkness, healing our infirmities and sicknesses caused by Satan. As it was in the beginning, so is it now and ever shall be.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO