HOMILY FOR SATURDAY DECEMBER 31ST.
THEME: HAPPY OLD YEAR!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr).
* 1 Jn 2: 18 – 21, Jn 1: 1 – 18.
The 1st reading boldly declares that we are at the last hour. Many antichrists have come; They went out from us (Protestants). They do not know the truth (Heretics). They do not have the anointing (Fake Priesthood). Their Christianity has become more or less a private enterprise (Private Ministries). Vima Dasan calls it the ‘me – generation’ of Christianity because of its emphasis on privatised spirituality – a pragmatic spirituality whose emphasis is on whatever works. Some churches concentrate on providing the Youths with job opportunities; some concentrate on helping them find life partners; others pray for their deliverance from satanic dominion and healing from sicknesses; some others provide good music and motivational homilies. These are good. Yet my bishop (Most Rev Godfrey Onah) insists that Religion is not business. Religion is faith. Religion is sacrifice. Christian religion is cross – oriented. The antichrist is therefore the anticross!
We draw the energy we need to grow into mature Christians not only from Christ but also from his Church – the community of believers in Christ. People should appreciate their privilege of belonging to the Church and resist the temptation to break with it for insubstantial reasons. Those who leave the Church because of the weaknesses found among its members misunderstand what the Church is. The Church is not yet the kingdom. It is only a gathering of pilgrims on their way to the kingdom. It will always fall short of the kingdom ideals and hence needs constant renewal and purification. But the Church is not just human; It is promised the presence of the Spirit, Matt 28: 20.
On this last day of the year, let us ask ourselves these questions;
(i) Have you fought the Church of Christ or supported it this year?
(ii) Have you stood for the truth or denied it this year?
(iii) Have you pleased Christ or offended him this year through your sins?
(iv) Do you belong to the right sheepfold of Christ or to the fake, business – oriented ones who falsely interprete the Bible to suit their crime?
(v) Are you configured to the Word of God or are you far away from it? If you finish answering these questions and some are in the negative, then you need a rethink before the new year comes. Meanwhile let me say to you: HAPPY OLD YEAR dear friends!
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