Homily for Wednesday 23rd December 2020 t
Theme: CHRISTMAS PURIFICATION!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Wednesday December 23 2020
* Mal 3 : 1 – 6, Lk 1 : 57 – 66.
Today’s 1st reading says : ‘Who can endure the day of his coming and who can stand when he appears?’ He promised that he would send his Prophet to prepare the way of the Lord who ‘will be like a refiner’s fire’, Mal 3 : 2. John the Baptist was that Prophet. But before every advent of Jesus, there are ‘John the Baptists’ whom we must listen to who will turn our hearts back to God. He preached repentance and a change of heart that will enable our offerings to be pleasing to God. It would be a repeat of Old Testament tragedy for our offerings to be found abominable in the eyes of God, Amos 5 : 22. That is why the letter to the Hebrews made it clear that ‘You do not want holocausts.. But instead you gave me a body with which I say.. Here I am, I come to do your will’,Heb 10 : 6.
What we need is not remorse (‘metamelomia’ in Greek) but repentance (‘metanoia’), Joel 2 : 12. Remorse, like what Judas had is impotent without a return to Christ. It will sin again. Only repentance, like Peter had, is strong, for it can end everything through the grace flowing from a return to Christ. Jesus said that the time has come when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth, Jn 4 : 24. The mass is the highest mileau of worship when we configure ourselves with the most perfect worship – like the ‘ola sacrifice of Abraham, with the ‘ola sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Let us boldly enter into the throne of grace in this new way through his flesh, Heb 10 : 19 in sincere worship with our hearts sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.
The greatest aberration in modern day Christianity is that ‘Christmas’ is being celebrated without the ‘Mass of Christ’. Friends, it is the mass of Christ ‘Christes messes’ that characterizes the aboriginal spirit of Christmas. 3 Masses were emphasized : the midnight mass (mass of Angels), the mass at dawn (mass of the Shepherds) and mass of the day (mass of lights) . Today, people take every other things serious at Christmas except making themselves properly purified for the mass of Christ.
May God bless you today as I wish you ahead of time : A HAPPY CHRIST’S MASS!
FR BEN AGBO.