Homily for Monday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: PURE AND UNSPOILT RELIGION!
By: Fr Agbo Benedict
Homily for Monday, February 18 2019
* Gen 4 : 1 – 25, Mk 8 : 11 – 13.
Do we worship God out of fear – wanting to put God indebted to us, or out of love – acknowledging his lordship over our lives ? In all our human activities, we must never forget our relationship with God as father and our neighbour as brother. We must offer to God always a sacrifice of praise with no hope of reward. That is pure and undefiled religion. In today’s 1st reading, both Cain and Abel performed religious acts but the former was impure while the latter was pure. Both were farmers and their fruitfulness depended on God. Cain was into animal husbandry while Abel was into Crop production. Offering of first fruits, tithes or seed sowing are indices of faith and blessing. The first message of today’s reading is that it is not what we offer God that matters but how it is offered and who offers it.
Cain was both stingy and jealous. When God saw the quantity of envy in his heart against his brother he warned him that sin was lurking at his door ( heart) and that he should master it. But he did not listen to the Word of God. There was a replay of the original sin immediately. Cain assumes the Creator’s mastery over life and kills his brother ( forgetting how he is related to him). Lack of self control remains the greatest time bomb that will always destroy man. Envy is the greatest obstacle to divine blessings and prosperity. Cain ended up a vagabond together with his descendants.
In today’s gospel the Scribes and Pharisees filled with envy and hatred, doubted Jesus and were seeking for signs from him even when they had seen the evidence that He was the Messiah. Signs do not precede faith. They rather follow it. Same with God’s blessings. He rewards those who have a sincere faith in him. One sign of impure and defiled religion is the preponderance of magic rather than miracles. Religion is not business. God reminds all those with ‘Cainlike tendencies’ that he is not owing anybody. He blesses those he wants to bless and we should not envy our brothers but embrace the demands of pure religion. May God bless you today!
– Fr Agbo Benedict