Homily for the Thursday of the 30th Week of the Ordinary Time, Year A.

Thursday, 29th October 2020 : THE 7 WEAPONS OF WARFARE!
* Eph 6 : 10 – 20, Lk 13 : 31 – 35.

Today’s 1st reading says “Be strong in the Lord. Put on the whole armour of God…so that you may be able to withstand the evil day!’. Being spiritually strong is not exactly the same as being holy. The former presupposes a knowledge of the wiles of the evil forces of the underworld and the power to resist, fight and overcome them while the latter emphasizes an inner configuration to the heart of Jesus – the heart of love, purity, honesty and self control. But both are connected by the possession of the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit. St Paul tells the Ephesian Church to make efforts to be strong in the Lord so that they can overcome the spiritual forces of darkness usually at war with Christians. To do this, we must protect ourselves with the following 7 spiritual weapons of warfare :
1. The belt of truth; Knowledge of the correct Christian doctrine is like putting on a belt around one’s waist. If we have the wrong ideas about God we may find our clothes slipping away at the middle of the fight.
2. The breastplate of righteousness; Purity and holiness here acts like the breastplate (bullet proof) that protects our hearts from the bullet of the enemy. Many Christians are easily wounded by the enemy because they quickly embark on a battle with strong occultic forces without making sure that they are living righteously.
3. The gospel of peace; A Christian is supposed to be a peacemaker, Matt 5 : 9 which precludes in the first place the possibility of groundless war with enemies. Many Christians nowadays are provocative and quarrelsome. And by so doing, they have already started losing the battle.
4. The shield of faith; The highest weapon of defense we have against the enemy is our faith, 1 Pet 5 :8 – 9. Faith makes you never get tired because ‘those who wait upon the Lord will have their strengths renewed’, Is 40 :31.5. The helmet of salvation ; Every Christian must know this : that you have been saved – not by your own merits, but by the grace of God, Rom 6 :1. While we should not relax in sin because of this knowledge, we must also never allow the enemy to accuse us , Rev 12 :10 when we fall as if Christ did not die on the cross for our sake.
6. The sword of the Word of God; Our main weapon of attack is the knowledge of the Word of God. Look at how Jesus used that to rout the devil during his temptations, Lk 4 : 1 – 13.
7. Praying in the Spirit; It is not all prayers that is done in the spirit. Most times, a lot of Christians pray in the flesh (in a state of sin) or in their own mental imaginations (wanting to indulge God with their own whims and caprices. James says : that is why our prayer is not answered, Js 4 : 1 – 5, Matt 6 : 7. Prayer that is done in the Spirit is prayer that is in resonance with the will of God ; humble prayer, not like the Republican’s, Lk 18 : 9 – 14 and selfless prayer – praying with the universal Church .
The gospel of today begins with a warning for Jesus : ‘Herod wants to kill you!’. Herod was a cult man. He belonged to the world rulers of darkness of his time. Jesus called him ‘fox’. He did not use a simile, he used a metaphor to describe him. The 1st reading warned us against the principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, the members of the occult kingdoms; the ‘Illuminati’s, the ‘Freemasons’, the ‘Ogboni’s, the witches and wizards, the ‘Inyama Ogbanje’s, etc. As spiritual men, we need to recognize and challenge the occult grandmasters of our time. If we do not challenge them they will continue to rule out society whether we like it or not.
I pity priests and lay believers who still do not recognize the kingdoms of darkness; the demonic forces that govern this world. Such priests easily allow them control our Churches with their donations and monetary gifts. Such people are easily deceived by evil politicians who continue to imprison our people and are still given front seats in our churches on the special days they decide to come to Church. Such people think that major calamities like the present CoViD 19 is an ordinary pandemic without spiritual manipulation. And that is why they easily fall ‘mugu’ to their antics. Friends, we need to put on the whole armour of God. We need to learn especially how to fast and pray in the Spirit because the days are evil. May God bless you today!

– Fr. Benedict Agbo