Homily for Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter Year A
Theme: EVANGELICAL POLITICS!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Thursday May 28 2020
*Act 22 :30 – 23 :6-11, Jn 17 :20 – 26.
Now I see why the Holy Spirit did not take chances with Paul. He gave him a close marking and gave him no freedom to escape conversion. In fact, some think that He caught him by force – by the arresting fire of the Holy Spirit, Act 9 :4. He was such a useful tool for evangelization – making the tenets of the gospel well refined to reach the ears of the political /elite class. Yes, because he was a very learned lawyer and politician, bred at the best Law school of the time (School of Gamaliel), the elite class just had to listen when he spoke.
In today’s 1st reading, Paul takes advantage of his experience in legal and political matters. Arrainged before a Jewish tribunal of mixed religious and political affiliations, Paul poses a curtain raiser. He professes poignantly that it is because of his belief in the resurrection that he was being arrested. That naturally mopped up the sentiments of the Pharisees in support of Paul. Yes, because their opponents – the Sadducees neither believed in the resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit. Just like a Muslim fanatic may never support a bill moved in the house against religious violence ; a PDP convict for corruption by EFCC may very likely woop up sentiments of being persecuted just because he belongs to the opposition party. Paul woops up similar political sentiments in today’s reading and was able to scatter the orderly proceedings of the house (Sanhendrin). And that’s why I have called it ‘Evangelical Politics’.
I am actually interested, not in the cacophony that was created by Paul to his advantage but in his political sagacity. I don’t like it when I see priests and evangelists who are not interested in politics. You can be very knowledgeable about politics (like our own Archbishop Hassan Kukar) without being partisan. Christian evangelists should have a lot of Political knowledge and be able to use that knowledge effectively as Paul did to influence those at the corridors of power. Ignorance here is no virtue and we must all use our knowledge to influence the political /elite class for the betterment of our Country Nigeria and the entire course of evangelization. A lot is happening today in Nigeria behind the scene. As the whole world is being ravaged by the CoViD 19 pandemic, with all the confusing conflicting conspiracy theories sorrounding its origin, the sons of Uthman Dan Fodio are busy taking over the bushes in the South Eastern Nigeria. And when we continue to argue and disagree as the Scribes and Pharisees did on the right action to take, our enemies may take advantage.
May the Holy Spirit help us (especially our leaders) to know what to do in every situation. May God bless you today!