HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: POSITIVE VS NEGATIVE FEMINISM!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR MONDAY JUNE 13 2022
*1 Kg 21 : 1 – 16, Matt 5 : 38 – 42.
Feminism is the struggle for the equal rights between men and women in the society. Every Pagan society seems to oppress women based on such derogatory notions that women are the weaker and less spiritual sex. This ideology is not unconnected to such biblical stories like the role of Eve in the fall of our first parents, Gen 3 and today’s 1st reading account of the role of wicked women like Jezebel in promoting occultism in Israel. Such readings seem to accentuate this position even more that women tend to be more wicked and vengeful than men. Such negative view of women see them as more carnal than men, more avaricious and having more difficulty with letting go of little matters. A little comparison of Campus life in female hostels with that in the male hostels may tend to corroborate these negative notions of women. But these are mere unfounded generalizations because men have their own wicked and violent tendencies also.
For me, positive feminism would not just be about the fight to gain equal rights and privileges for women but the move to educate our women more ( many of whom are lagging behind in intellectual and spiritual maturity) to live beyond their preternatural weaknesses and tendencies if any. When the Bible makes such assertions like ‘It is better to live on the top of the roof than in the same house with a cantankerous woman’, it does not mean that only women could be cantankerous but perhaps unredeemed women find it more difficult to forgive/ let go of matters and offences than men. Queen Jezebel’s story is one example of such situation and the tragedy came from her husband King Ahab allowing her to take over the mantle of leadership.
Jesus gives us a blueprint for peaceful societal coexistence in today’s gospel. Lessons : 1. Don’t pick quarrel easily with people. ‘An eye for an eye’ is old logic. The current cliche is : ‘Turn the other cheek’.
* Story of two little children who tried to implement the above biblical injunction. The idea is for people not to take laws into their own hands not for us to take Jesus literally.
* My Professor carries an emblem in his car saying: DON’T GET MAD, GET A LAWYER!
2. Don’t waste your money in court cases. Lawyers won’t like this but Jesus doesn’t want us to over patronize them. We can minimize our court cases by being more tolerant.
3. Don’t retaliate offences. Two wrongs will not make one right. This is a new dispensation of spirituality and holiness that gives back the power of vengeance to God. Many pagan cultures believe in vengeance. Igbos will say : ‘E mee emegwalu aburo okwu’. If Fulanis for example will hear this gospel, terrorism will automatically stop in this country. Both men and women have the tendency for anger and vengeance. So this is not a matter of chauvinism or feminism. But when a man allows a negative influence from his wife like Kg Ahab did in today’s first reading then it is a big weakness and vice versa. May God bless you today!