HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
THEME: YOU ARE CALLED TO BE SAINTS!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
*Is 49: 3 – 7, 1Cor 1: 1 – 3, Jn 1: 29 – 34.
Today’s 2nd reading reminds us that we are called to be Saints together with all those in every place who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. And the 1st reading warns that it is not enough for us to be servants of God. He says he will make us the light of the nations so that his salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. From the gospel, we must try to understand Jesus better this year. He is clearly addressed as ‘Lamb of God’ by John in today’s gospel.
*B. THE IDENTITY OF JESUS*
There are about 10 biblical titles used for Jesus in the gospel of John alone. These titles speak a lot of volumes about the identity of Jesus and what he should do for us;
(i) He is the lamb of God that addresses our problem of sin – He takes away the sins of the world, Jn 1: 29 – 34. You need to believe this in order to conquer sin and become a Saint.
(ii) He is the bread of life that addresses our problem of hunger, Jn 6: 27, 51 – 68. You need to believe this in order to overcome the temptations that will come your way due to hardships and the problem of survivalism.
(iii) He is the living water that addresses our problem of anxiety and stress. We need to come to him when we are exhausted in order to regain our spiritual and psychological strength, Jn 4: 10, 7: 37.
(iv) He is the light of the world that addresses our problem of ignorance. He illumines our mind and soul with the light of divine knowledge for our success through life’s mysteries (health, wealth, salvation), Jn 1: 4, 3: 19, 8: 12.
(v) He is the good Shepherd who addresses our problem of leadership. Jn 10: 11 – 18.
(vi) He is the resurrection and life who addresses our problem of fear of sicknesses and death. Whoever believes in him triumphs over life”s sufferings and death, Jn 11: 25 – 27.
(vii) He is the Lord and servant of all who presents us with the servant – leader paradigm, Lk 22: 27, Jn 13: 14.
(viii) He is the way, the truth and life who addresses our problem of vocation /direction in life. Anyone that follows his direction does not go astray from the right vocation, right company and right religion, Jn 14: 6.
(ix) He is the true vine, we are the branches. Anyone that remains in fellowship with him never lacks physically and spiritually, Jn 15: 1 – 7.
(x) He is the greatest lover of mankind who solves all our problems of love, Jn 15: 13.
*C. HE WILL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT*
John says emphatically in today’s gospel that he is the one who is going to baptize us with the Holy Spirit. We have all received this baptism but we need to rekindle its fire because that baptism does not give us a spirit of timidity but power, love and self control, 2 Tim 1: 6. We must receive power when the Holy Spirit lives in us, Act 1: 8, power of deliverance and redemption from Satan through his blood, Rev 12: 10. We have 3 ‘D’ s of salvation; Deliverance, Col 1: 12 – 13, Dominion, Gen 1: 26 – 28 and Devotion, 2 Pet 1: 3 – 9 and also 3 ‘R’s of salvation; Redemption, Rev 12: 10, Repentance, 1 Pet 2: 21 and Regeneration, 2 Cor 5: 14.
We must receive the fruits of love, since love is of God, 1 Jn 4: 7. And finally, we must receive the fruits of self control for a new dispensation of holiness, Gal 5: 22. When these things are not in place, we should continue to tarry in prayer asking for their full manifestion. Holiness is not automatic. It grows like every other seed that is planted, 1 Jn 3: 9. We must wait for the maturation stage.
Our society is in dire need of saints. We need a new breed of Christians who will be more of witnesses than “religious noise makers”. We need saints in politics who will not sell the public interest for money. We need courageous prophets of God in our pulpits not the one who will manipulate God’s message in favour of the highest bidder. We need a judiciary that will actually be the last hope of the common man and not the last stroke in the hands of the oppressor.
Our country Nigeria is in a very dicey situation now. Everybody seems to have failed us; the military has long failed us, the politicians have also failed us, the judiciary has also failed us even more woefully, even the priests have failed us. My worry is that we are about to fail ourselves. With the new Electoral Act which has been designed to make our votes count, we fail ourselves by refusing to collect our voter’s card and ipso facto, not participating in this year’s election. We are waiting for the true Christians to show courage otherwise we may face the worst of evils with the menacing signs of Fulanization and Islamization loading.
Our responsorial psalm of the day (Ps 40) leads us through a lively prayer of surrender.
*Dorothy Ipere’s beautiful musical rendition of Psalm 40 (Lee m dinwenu) captures all these in a gyfy.
– Verse 2 helps us surrender our will (Lee m dinwenu, a biara m ime uche gi).
– Verse 3 helps us surrender our tongues for praises (E chere m dinwenu o wee hulata ala n’ebe m no nu mkpu akwa m. O tinyere ukwe ohuru n’onu m otito nke Chukwu anyi).
– Verse 6 helps us surrender our worship with an open ear rather than sacrifices ( I naghi acho aja m’obu Ihe nrunye…)
– Verse 8 helps us surrender our hearts to obey his laws (N’ime akwukwo e dere na m tosiri ima iwu gi….)
– Verse 9 helps us surrender ourselves to the dispensation of his justice (Ekwuputago m ikpe nkwumoto gi n’ime nnukwu ogbakoba…)
Happy Sunday dear friends!
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