HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF 3RD WEEK OF EASTER.
THEME: SEEKING AND SPEAKING IN THE SPIRIT!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
* Act 6: 8 – 15, Jn 6: 22 – 29.
Stephen, full of grace and power ministers to the Synagogue of Freedmen – a kind of dangerous religious cult group of his time. They could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. His face was like the face of an angel. He wore the whole weapons of righteousness and spiritual warfare so they couldn’t just contain him. They had to seek for a way of eliminating him. I don’t know why God allowed them to kill Stephen. But it seems Stephen was too holy and innocent to live in that corrupt environment. God took him but harvested a bigger fish – St Paul!
We are told in today’s gospel that after 5000 men had eaten their fill, they still went to Capernaum the next day seeking not Jesus, strictly speaking, but the bread he gives. Aha! They wanted to turn Jesus into a bakery man. Jesus gave them the stinker message: DO NOT LABOUR FOR THE FOOD WHICH PERISHES BUT FOR THE FOOD WHICH ENDURES TO ETERNAL LIFE. The greatest tragedy of modern day Christianity is that majority of Christians are seeking the bread rather than Jesus, the giver of the bread. Majority are seeking for the food that perishes rather than the food gives eternal life.
Many preachers nowadays, also do no longer preach in the Spirit but only entertain people’s minds. I think Jesus is reminding the whole Church to look for his real presence in their lives rather than the material – oriented miracles and prosperity oriented healing of family roots. We must learn to seek Jesus and preach Jesus not to satisfy the desires of the flesh or even the mind, but the Spirit. Salvation remains the principal target of the gospel, not material prosperity. May God bless you today!
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