THEME: LOVE SAMPLE FROM THE FATHER!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY JULY 7 2022
*Hos 11 : 1 – 9, Matt 10 : 7 – 15.
Love is key to everything. When it comes first, every other thing squares up; people misunderstand themselves less, people struggle less for their own selfish gains, injuries are easier to heal, provocations are ignored, weaknesses are more tolerated. In today’s first reading, God speaks to us through the lips of the Prophet Hosea about his love for mankind (represented by the Isreal metaphor). This quantum of love contains compassion, teaching, tolerance and forgiveness: ‘I led them with cords of compassion with the bands of love…I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst’.
This love sample from God the father is what Jesus communicates in today’s gospel when he sends his disciples on a mission of love, warning them; ‘You received without pay, give without pay….As you enter a house, salute it and let your peace come upon it’. Till today, what the Catholic Church calls ‘simony’ is the sin of buying or selling the sacraments or any form of grace coming from God. We must be careful today to distinguish the real ministry of the kingdom from business/ prosperity oriented ministries. They are all over the different Churches; both Orthodox and Pentecostal. Christ says ‘By their fruits you shall know them’. The fruits are not the miraculous signs. It is true that miracles are part and parcel of Christian ministry but asking for more miracles and signs from God even after the veracity of the gospel has been established would be a sign of lack of faith. God continues to do benevolent miracles much more than wonder miracles and for this the apostles and the rest of us are charged to give without charge. Those charging money in order to solve people’s problems are fake. The more people flock to them the more they get poor, sicker, in trouble and are finally enslaved and die in their sins. May we go for the kingdom ministry and remember the sign; it must be without pay.
May God bless you today!