Homily for Monday of the 2nd Week of Advent
Theme:AND SEEING THEIR FAITH…
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr).
Homily for Monday December 6 2021
*Is 35 : 1 – 10, Lk 5 : 17 – 26.
There are different kinds and dimensions of faith yet all of one stock;
1. DOGMATIC FAITH : Faith/ understanding of God as he truly is. Example, understanding God as one in three persons (Trinity).
2. PRACTICAL FAITH : Faith/ understanding of what God can do physically or in practical life. For example, in today’s gospel, the friends of the paralyzed man believed so much that bringing their friend to Jesus would be the end of discussion for his sickness. So many people believe in God but fail to believe in what God can do in their concrete life situations.
3. SACRAMENTAL FAITH : Faith/ understanding of how God works through the Church sacramental signs, most times spiritually and sometimes slowly. For example, in today’s gospel when Jesus began the healing process, the 1st power he evoked/released was a sacramental healing power: ‘Your sins are forgiven’ but they didn’t have the faith to understand that, then he released the physical/ practical healing power: ‘Rise and walk’. That is the one everybody saw. Another example is in the healing of the woman of hemorrhage. Jesus was impressed in her desire to touch his garments. That was sacramental faith being exercised, Matt 9 : 18 – 26. When the Centurion told Jesus to only say the Word and his servant will be healed, that was sacramental faith being exercised, Matt 8 : 6 – 13.
4. RESILIENT FAITH : This is a kind of faith/ understanding of God as remaining always faithful inspite of all obstacles or temptations. When Jacob continued in faith and prevailed over the angel of God in his prayer for blessings, Gen 32 : 22 – 32 he was exercising a kind of resilient faith.
In today’s gospel, Jesus praised the resilient faith of the sick man’s committee of friends. They insisted on the man seeing Jesus to the point of getting carpenters to lose the ceiling roof of the house where Jesus was preaching. Sacramental faith and resilient faith are very important but very rare among believers. Dogmatic faith is also very important and foundational because without it we can’t begin our journey of faith very well. Many Christians run into idolatry because according to Robert Wetmore, ‘Idolatry is of two kinds; having a true image of a false god and having a false image of a true God’. Sometimes, even virtues can conflict. Courage, for instance, can come into conflict with endurance and you can see a man of God abusing people in the name of courage where he is expected to endure them. Practical faith can take us to worship the wrong god in the process of insisting on having God do something for us. May God give us the wisdom to distinguish these various dimensions of faith and know which aspect is needed at a given period of time.