Homily for Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: ABJURE EVIL; BE FILLED WITH GOD’S SPIRIT
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
Homily for Friday October 11 2019
READINGS: JOEL 1:13-15;2:1-2, PSALM 9, LUKE 11:15-26
I don’t know how right or wrong I’ll be if I said there has never been a nation so blessed yet stubborn as Israel (Maybe Nigeria too). This is a people whose continued disobedience landed them into the Babylonian captivity that lasted about 70 long years. God, whose anger is not forever (Ps. 103:9), brought them back to Israel where they lived in repentance, new vigour and zeal for God. Sadly, this zeal was short-lived. God had hitherto through Moses warned his people; “But if you disobey the Lord your God and do not faithfully keep all his commands…you will sow plenty of seed, but reap only a small harvest, because the locust will eat your crops…all your trees and crops will be devoured by insects” (Deut. 28:15, 38, 42). The locust plague as seen in Joel 1:4 “Swarm after swarm of locust settled on the crops; what one swarm left, the next swarm devoured” was a direct consequence of the people’s disobedience and stubbornness.
Many a times we confess our sins with our lips and profess repentance externally but in the words of Isaiah 29:13, our hearts are far away from God. We are like the Israelites who today repented and tomorrow persisted in their misdeeds against God. Nigeria too can be said to be plagued with heartless hoards of locusts: locusts of bad leaders, insecurity, poverty, corruption and embezzlement; sectionalism, terrorism, etc. Joel charges us today as he charged the Israelites to return to the Lord and beg for mercy, that Priests, kings, rich, poor, farmers, drunks, children and all should fall in contrition before God and he’ll be merciful and save us from the devastating and marauding effects of the many locusts eating up our dear Nigeria. He calls us to “Rend our hearts and not our clothing” (Joel 2:13) so that God may be merciful and save Nigeria from perishing.
Furthermore, through our repentance, not only will our earthly lives be restored, we’ll be safe on the day of judgment, the day of the Lord. To the unrepentant and sinful, that day will be one of destruction, darkness and gloom; a day of thick clouds and thick darkness! It will simply be a day of wailing for the unjust, the wicked, evil and unrepentant. Joel calls us Nigerians to return to God now that there’s time for tomorrow might be too late.
Jesus invites us to be with him who has power to deliver us from all earthly encumbrances, be they spiritual or otherwise. He’d want us to always stay clean and pure: EMPTY of all evil thoughts and sin but FILLED with the Holy Spirit. Remember to be calm but vigilant for the devil our enemy is always prowling round like a roaring lion in search of whom to devour (1Pet. 5:8). If our hearts are not OCCUPIED by God, satan will turn them into his habitat, how terrible that heart could be! For the grace to shun sin, empty our hearts of evil and be occupied by the Spirit of God we pray through Christ our Lord…
FEED AND EDUCATE THE POOR
May your weekend be gracious…