HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: THE DAYS OF FAMINE HAS COME!
BY: Ben Agbo (Fr Ben Agbo)
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY JULY 1 2022
*Amos 8 : 4 – 12, Matt 9 : 9 – 13.
Amos prophesied the coming of the days of famine in Israel; a famine not of bread and water but of hearing the Word of God. In Nigeria today, we seem to be face to face with the famine of both physical bread and spiritual bread. Many people are hungry physically and spiritually, and even politically (since Nigerians are very hungry for a good leader). There is both economic and spiritual recession in the land. But that of the spiritual is more dangerous. It can be quite painful when people come into the house of God after a most gruesome weekly hussling, expecting to get at least the satisfaction for their spiritual hunger and all they get is the bickering voice of a desperate priest or pastor who engages them in hours of sometimes unnecessary fund raising (some using very unethical means).
In today’s gospel, we see many tax collectors and sinners coming to sit down with Jesus and his disciples. He was not just entertaining them with stories but was busy bringing them closer to salvation. Yes, the Church should be a field hospital for all kinds of ‘sick people’ not just a toll gate for the healthy to pay their dues. We have a big challenge in our hands today as ‘tax collectors and sinners’ fill up the pews of our Churches. If we concentrate on money, they will convert us because that is their comfort zone, but if we concentrate on the Word of God we will convert them. If we emphasize elegant liturgies without sound morality and care for the poor, we will make the Church no longer comfortable for the poor and the sick but only for the rich who will use the Church for showmanship and even political campaign. Christ says ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’.
May God bless you today!