Homily for the Feast of St. Andrew
Theme: JUSTIFY YOUR SALVATION!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Tuesday November 30 2021
Feast of St Andrew, Apostle:
*Rom 10:9-18, Matt 4:18-22.
There must be a reason why you will go to heaven. It is not just by grace otherwise, everybody will be there. It is also not just by merit otherwise, nobody will be there. What is it that will justify your salvation?
Today’s 1st reading says that ‘If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you are saved’. But lip service alone will not give anybody salvation unless one justifies that faith by believing sincerely from his heart – behaving in accordance with this faith. Yes, the heart is the seat of human actions. Christ says ‘Out of the abundance of the heart comes impurities like; 1. Fornication, 2. Theft, 3. Murder, 4. Adultery, 5. Avarice, 6. Malice, 7. Deceit, 8. Indecency, 9. Envy, 10. Slander, 11. Pride and 12. Folly’, Mk 7 :21. That is Christ’s Magna Carta of sins – 12 in number bothering comprehensively on impure thoughts, words, actions and omissions all proceeding from the heart condition. Christ knows that it is the purity of the heart of a believer that justifies him or her.
And that brings us to the next important point; the role of logotherapy for salvation – the ministration from the Word of God. Salvation comes from hearing the Word of God, understanding it and practicing it. The instruction is: ‘Believe what you read. Preach what you believe. Practice what you preach’. The role of preachers is here emphasized in the process of salvation. They help immensely in the process of logotherapy. Finally, we will address another thing that is very important for salvation and that is response.
In today’s gospel, four apostles were called by Christ: Peter, Andrew, James and John. They all ‘at once left their nets and parents and followed Christ. It was not a mere response but the advanced level response of followership and discipleship. Only by following Christ daily did Christ influence their lives. Without having to write the Bible, Christ wrote it in their hearts. I was so impressed a few years ago, when I went for a revival in a Parish at Enugu Ezike, precisely Umuagama. The programme was slated for 4-6pm but by 3pm Christians had already filled the Church despite the fact that it was their market day. The Parish Priest later told me that they do this on monthly basis. There is no way Christ will not save anybody who makes sincere effort to justify his salvation through sincere response to the Word of God. The Bible says, ‘In fear and trembling, work out your salvation’, Phil 2 :13. The onus lies on everyone of us to justify his/her salvation through our sincere efforts in positive actions. St Augustine put it quite succinctly by saying that “God who created you without you, cannot save you without you”.
May God bless you today!