Homily for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Easter Year A
Theme: RADICAL VS DIPLOMATIC EVANGELISM!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Tuesday April 28 2020
* Act 7: 51 – 8: 1, Jn 6: 30 – 35.
There is always a big conflict whenever there is a very big gap between the message, the messenger and the receiver of the Word of God. Such is what we find both in the 1st and 2nd readings of today;
In Stephen’s case, he needed to let the Jewish elders and scribes know that the person they crucified was the Lord of life. He wasn’t diplomatic enough perhaps. And he ended up using very offensive words like calling them ‘stiff – necked people, uncircumcised in hearts and ears, always resisting the Holy Spirit’. The end result was that they stoned him.
In Jesus’ case, he needed to let them know that he was both the Son of God and Bread of Life. He was also as radical , although not as offensive and undiplomatic as St Stephen. He told the erring materialistic Jewish crowd point black that it was not Moses who gave them bread from heaven but his father. But that generation was too naive to understand the intricacies of Eucharistic/ Sacramental theology. Yet the truth needed to be told. He lost a big chunk of his followers at the end of that day because there were far more Protestants in number than the Loyalists who accepted his teaching, Jn 6: 67.
How best can we confront a stiff necked society full of greed, selfishness and violence, a society full of stubborn and hardened criminals many of whom seat in the front pews of our Churches and listen to the Word of God only to step out and do the opposite? How can we confront them with the message of our Lord Jesus Christ? Should we radical or diplomatic?
Today, with the kind of leadership Nigeria has, there is a rise in insecurity even in States like Enugu State that has hitherto been a peaceful State. The increase in kidnap and terrorism especially as purported to be sponsored by the so called Miyetti Allah group is alarming.
The rise in neopaganism is becoming also terrible. Our Youths are going back to the religious belief of our forefathers (manifesting in different kinds of masquerade cult, swearing, witchcraft and sorcery. And a new brand of Christianity is fast emerging to fan the embers of this unhealthy religious whirlwind.
It is becoming glaringly clear that the only thing that can save our society is the combination of both radical and diplomatic Christian evangelism – an evangelism that is not money – minded but soul – minded, an evangelical style that is not harsh, yet will not compromise the true message. Christians who receive Jesus everyday as the bread of life can bring love and forgiveness into the world where there is so much hatred and violence.
We could give our world a better servant – leader perspective to leadership and reduce the level of greed and selfishness among our leaders. Jesus Christ is the gift of God the father to our famished world. He is the true bread that nourishes the soul. He is the prophylactic drug that our soul needs. Let’s learn to spread his message of good news with love and diplomacy wherever we are without compromise of the true faith.
May God bless you