HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: THE POLITICS OF SERVICE!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
* Sir 2: 1 – 11, Mk 9: 30 – 37.
Inspite of being trained by Jesus, we see in today’s gospel that the apostles still retained their human tendencies; human temper and temperaments, pride, ambition, jealousy and competitive spirit. As they were busy arguing for who was the greatest, Jesus interrupts their altercation to teach them today one of the secrets of sainthood – humility. Anyone who wants to be the first spiritually; anyone who wants to play the politics of sainthood which should be the criteria for ecclesiastical promotion, should get down to the politics of service. Any Church or diocese that wants to impress Jesus should get down to the business of seeking the interest of the poor, the young and the weak.The child is the Prince of God’s kingdom, Matt 19: 14 while the poor are the major stake holders of the ecclesiastical patrimony.
Unfortunately, our world of today is increasingly suffering from the pernicious influence of the anti – kingdom values of glory, wealth, honour, status, power and authority. That is why the rich are becoming more friends of priests than the poor. A priest friend once narrated to me his ugly encounter with a rich parishioner who tried to arrest him with the police. His relationship with the rich woman soured from the very day he arrived in that Parish when he refused all her efforts to dictate for him the Parish programme and itinerary of work. He refused all her enticing gifts and gradually their relationship deteriorated when he could not succumb to her whims and caprices.
When the Church is left for the rich to control, she loses focus and vacillates from one structural project to the other which makes us slaves to the rich. When the Church leaves the child’s world behind and forgets the cries of the poor, she is guilty of a major paradigm shift. May God help us as Christians to always gravitate towards the ‘anawims’ of the society – the poor, the little children and the servants. Christ says that whoever receives them receives him. May God bless you today!
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