Homily for Tuesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time (Feast of St Lawrence) – Year B
Feast of St Lawrence
HOMILY THEME: THE THEOLOGY OF SOWING SEEDS
– Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
The basic principle of spiritual productivity lies in death /sacrifice. I think that’s exactly the raison d’etre for Christ’s death on the cross. Christ says : ‘Anyone who loves his life loses it ; anyone who hates his life on this earth will find it for eternal life’. I don’t know how it works. But someone said : ‘If you love something dearly, just let it go. It will come back to you. If it doesn’t come back to you then it is not mearnt for you’. Without sounding fatalistic, the fact remains that the destiny of a Christian crystallizes under the crucible of constant resignation and surrendering to the will of God. Sacrifice is the watchword for spiritual growth.
Worshipping God for the sake of reward therefore is theologically not salutary. Yet, the complimentarity of labour and reward – sowing and reaping, offering and blessing are just practical existential issues that one cannot avoid observing how it works. The scriptures are clear about the statements that ‘the labourer deserves his wages’, Lk 10: 7 and that ‘he who sows bountifully reaps bountifully’, 2 Cor 9:6. Starting from the stories of Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Abraham and Lot, David and Saul up till the New Testament story of the Widow’s mite, the message has remained the same – that sincere offering begets favour. Yet it is not automatic, since God does not owe anyone. Offering any gift demands sacrifice and sacrifice is a sign of spirituality.
There are 3 major ways of sowing seeds from the Christian understanding of today; (i) Giving to the Church whether you call it tithe, thanksgiving or the usual offering during mass, Mal 3 : 1-11, (ii) Giving to the priest /prophet of God, Matt 10 : 40 – 42 and (iii) Giving to the poor, Is 58 : 10. Giving to the poor remains a most veritable and salutary kind of offering that God rewards. According to Monsignor Taddeo Onoyima, ‘The only money you have is the one you have given to the poor’. St Lawrence is one man that died fighting to preserve the interest of the poor. May God bless you today as you learn to sow through giving and as you learn to give to the poor around you!