Homily for Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: CHRISTOCENTRIC LOVE!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Thursday June 4 2020
*2 Tim 2 :8-15, Mk 12 :28 – 34.
Before Christ came, there was so much confusion in Moral Theology ; about the commandments of God, which was more important ; the Pharisees had elongated the decalogue into not less than 613 laws, each scampering for legalistic attention. Come to think of even the 10 commandments, which would one think is more or less important? Should believers respect more the law against Idol worship or the one against swearing or the one against abuse of the sabbath? Killing and stealing, which one is more serious? Is adultery more criminal than stealing or spoiling somebody’s name? Is jealousy more dangerous than avarice? I bet you, by the time you are neck deep in these arguments you will understand why Christ took the position he took in today’s gospel.
Christ summarized the entire commandments in today’s gospel not into 2 as many think, but into one ; not loving God and then loving your neighbour but rather loving God in your neighbour as a single process. What does it mean to love God with all your heart (emotional faculties) , with all your soul (spiritual faculties), with all your mind (mental faculties) and with all your strength (physical faculties)? Christ demonstrated all these in his 33 years of life on earth ; being devoted to God his father in constant prayer, spending all his time and energy in his father’s business, sacrificing his life to save mankind and do his father’s will. Our love must follow this pattern and measure.
The word love is so confused today that even those who claim to love God are embarrassing him and scandalizing us. Those who claim to love their neighbours are also confused by lust and merchandise. Even parents now trade with their children. Even married couples now trade with their love. A particular woman whose husband brought to my office sometime ago to complain of sexual denial was bargaining with the husband who appealed for weekly sex when she said she can only afford it bi – weekly. What annoyed me was when she told the husband that the sex business needed a lot of energy and good feeding and so asked the husband whether he can increase her monthly feeding allowance to #40,000 before she can agree to his bargain – merchandized love? I ran naughts!
That tells you where we are. Both priests and familied men are most times doing business with love ; both politicians and elites, lecturers and teachers are in this tangled web of vocational merchandise. And so, it has become difficult to see where the Christians are claiming to love God and neighbour. Our love is simply not ‘Christocentric’ – not sacrificial.
Paul says in today’s 1st reading that ‘If we have died with him, we shall also live with him… If we deny him, he also will deny us’. He was such a great teacher and a great lover of God and his people. He gave all his time, all his energy and all his strength for the work of God.
We Christians need to imitate him.
May God bless you today!