Homily for Monday of the 18th Week in the Ordinary Time – Year B:
Weekday Homily Theme: BEWARE OF THE CUCUMBERS OF EGYPT!
The people of God on this fateful day began to complain against God and his servant Moses. They were complaining about the manna with which God was feeding them in the desert that was becoming boring and monotonous to their taste bud. Manna is said to be a sweet resinous substance exhumed from a desert tree. The manna was like coriander seed and had the appearance of bdellium. The people went round gathering it, and ground it in a mill or crushed it with a pestle; It was then cooked in a pot and made into pancakes. It tasted like cake made with oil – like the burns or kpofu kpofu we used to eat in our primary school days. Some people claim that in the desert areas of North Africa like Angola, the manna still appear there. It was a desert food but given in abundance.
When Moses heard the people weeping, each family at the door of its tent, he was devastated. Somebody must have injected a bad blood in the people and led this revolution. Otherwise, the people were initially grateful to God for the miracle of providing them manna in the desert. Why did they now start complaining about its monotony? Had they reached the promise land? Why should they expect themselves to be comfortable on a journey? They began to remind Moses of the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic and all the spices they enjoyed in Egypt as slaves. This reminds me in Nigeria when people prefer cheap facilities and temporary provisions ( like market moni or n power) by a government that will end up killing and enslaving them. Yahweh’s anger was greatly aroused. Moses too became sentimental and complained: ‘Why do you lay these people’s burden upon me…Was I their father?…Please kill me outrightly’.
That is human nature for you! And that is why we pray for the gift of faith and hope in moments of crises, poverty, barrenness, sickness and death. We must never rise up against our God for he always has plans for us; plans of good not plans of evil, to give us a future and a hope, Jer 29 : 11. We look up to our blessed mother Mary, that woman of faith who stood beside Jesus under thick and thin. She is blessed among women. She is blessed as having the womb that bore Jesus and the breasts that Jesus sucked. And she is more blessed for hearing the Word of God and keeping till the end of time. May God bless you today!
– Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)