HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF 5TH WEEK OF EASTER.
THEME: THE RELIGIOUS INSTINCT!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr).
* Act 14: 5 – 18, Jn 14: 21 – 26.
Aristotle says that man is a social animal – He has the instinct to relate with another. He is a political animal – He has the instinct to govern. He is a religious animal – He has the instinct to worship something. He is an economic animal – He has the instinct to do something in order to survive. I just want to reflect on the 3rd instinct – the instinct to worship something. Why do people always tend to worship something or someone. Even those who claim to be atheists, scientists and free thinkers always end up idolizing some personality or Ideology. Why do people worship something?
I think there are 3 reasons;
(1) Fear; Many people worship some spirit because they fear that it will bring on them some harm if they don’t.
(2) Thanksgiving; There are others who worship some gods because they are made to believe that they have received some favours from that god.
(3) Relationship; Only a few worship God out of the need to fellowship with him, do his will and be finally united with him.
RELATED: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF EASTER.
In today’s 1st reading, Paul and Barnabas managed to prevent people from worshipping them after the miracle at Derbe because the people felt they have seen them perform wonders. This is human instinct at work – always wanting to idolize miracle workers, healers or specially gifted people. The essence of true religion consists not in worshiping God out of fear or to obtain some material favours, but in doing God’s will as revealed by his son Jesus Christ and enjoying an inner union with God leading us ultimately to heaven. Thus, the only religion which is of any use is that which brings us back into harmony with the divine will and into the orbit of perfect fellowship with God. According to Allan Charlesmers, ‘The grand essentials of human happiness are ; something to do, something to love and something to hope for’.
The goal of true religion therefore, is that a human being enters into a relationship with God which leads to ultimate union. We need to graduate from being ‘fearers’ of God to ‘knowers’ of God and then to ‘lovers’ of God. Jesus says in today’s gospel: ‘Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my father will love him and we will come and make a home’. We must go beyond the religious instinct in man – the instinct to worship something, to the spiritual instinct – the instinct to be like God and to be reunited with him. As St Augustine succinctly put it in his magnus opus ‘The Confessions of St Augustine’, ‘You have made us for yourselves O God and our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee’. May God bless you today!
FOR MORE HOMILIES CLICK >>>>