HOMILY FOR 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – 5TH FEBRUARY
HOMILY Theme: YOUR LIGHT MUST SHINE!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Is 58 : 7 – 10, 1Cor 2 : 1 – 5, Matt 5 : 13 – 16.
The greatest tragedy of modern day Christianity is the preponderance of dormant Christians – like tasteless salts and lightless lamps – it is the tragedy of non – practicing Christianity. Why are there so many non practicing Christians in our society today? So many non wedded, non communicant and non cathechised Catholics, for example. Yet they like to come to church like ‘Sunday – Sunday medicine’ – they are only ‘Weekend believers’ who seem to remember that God exists only on Sunday morning. They have no Bible, no knowledge of the Word of God, no serious Private prayer life nor Family prayer life.
The scriptures prophesied that in the last days people will manifest the following characteristics in their religion ;
(i) Lovers of themselves and lovers of money.
(ii) Boastful, proud, abusive and disobedient to their parents.
(iii) Ungrateful, unholy, without love and slanderous.
(iv) Without self control, brutal, treacherous and conceited.
(v) Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
(vi) Having a form of religion but denying its power, 2 Tim 3 : 1 – 5.
(vii) It will be a cross – less version of Christianity.
B. THE METAPHOR OF SALT & LIGHT
Salt is the symbol of sharing and preservation. As we don’t usually like tasteless salt free diets , so is a society where there is no love and sharing of ideas and resources. An unshared life is not worth living. As salt preserves food from putrefaction, so do practising Christians preserve the society from moral and political decay. Christ says we are the salt of the earth.
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Light is the signal for direction. It helps us to see where we are going. Our credo says of Jesus : ‘God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made’. Today’s 1st reading says ‘your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be as noonday’. The gospel says : ‘You are the light of the world – a city set on a hill cannot be hidden… Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven’. This is what Christians should be in our society. So what is happening? What has really gone wrong?
C. CROSS – LESS CHRISTIANITY
A cross – less version of Christianity has been introduced by the enemy – a version of Christianity that wants to manipulate God to blend into our whims and caprices – that makes us command and pressurize God in prayer – that reduces prayer to the mere articulation of our heart’s desires with little or no resonance with the will of God. This is one of the bad influences of pentecostalism and neopaganism. Today’s 2nd reading makes it clear that we should emphasize nothing but Jesus Christ crucified. So much human philosophy, homilitic finese, theological eloquence without the discipline of the Cross denies Christianity of its main kernel ; power, love and self control, 2 Tim 1 : 6.
Your spiritual light must shine this year . You must be born again so that you can exert an antiseptic influence on your society. Find out your own area of assignment and put on the candle of Christ there. It may be to instruct your children properly in the way of Christ. It may be to admonish that corrupt friend of yours. It may be to show others example of how to give generous offerings in the Church or donate land for Church buildings. It may be to show others how to serve or exercise self control during Christian gatherings. It may be to help eliminate examination malpractice among your classmates. It may be to maintain peace and order in your community…. Whatever it is, discover your light and let it shine.
You can’t afford to operate any longer without the knowledge of the Word of God. Get yourself a bible this year and join the evening Bible study going on in your Parish every Sunday. Get more devoted to the Eucharist and try to receive it more frequently within the week and in the state of grace. Seize to be just a ‘weekend believer’ or ‘Sunday Sunday Christian’. Be more punctual with Church activities and let the light of Christ begin to shine in your life.
Happy Sunday dear friends!
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