HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER
THEME: THE HOUR OF PRAYER!
BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY APRIL 20 2022
*Act 3 : 1 – 10, Lk 24 : 13 – 35.
The greatest secret of success of the early Christians was that they maintained the habit of fellowship at the hour of prayer. The hour of prayer, called the ninth hour, could be likened to our own 3 ‘O clock pm or thereabout. It was a moment of praise worship, breaking of the Word of God and breaking of bread. The Lord confirmed their fellowship with signs and wonders as we read from today’s 1st reading. And this continued to increase the faith of the people in joining them. Even when they were pursued out of the temple, they continued to gather in their private homes.
The gospel presents a kind of antithesis to this 1st reading by talking of a group of dissent disciples who backed off from this ritual of fellowship and were on a travel 7 miles away from the region of grace (their place of fellowship) on their road to Emmaus. It is theologically interesting to analyze what happened here in 3 stages of faith encounter;
1. WORD – PRESENCE – UNDERSTANDING; At this stage they were discussing about Jesus but with complete despondency, no deep understanding and Jesus was not there. The gospel was a mere propaganda or fairy tale to them until Jesus came into their lives again.
2. WORD + PRESENCE – UNDERSTANDING; Jesus came in but still they did not understand that it was him until they begged him to stay with them.
3. WORD + PRESENCE + UNDERSTANDING; At the breaking of bread, they now understood everything and had to return immediately at that hour back to fellowship at Jerusalem. Righteousness begins from rightstandi
The power of fellowship (sharing the Word of God plus the Eucharist) should never be underestimated. We saw during the Pandemic the danger that avoidance of this Meeting together created. But we thank God who saved us from what the enemy planned. The Eucharistic presence imputes on us a level of deeper insight and understanding of the Word of God that is beyond mere human fellowship. Righteousness begins from right standing – being in the right place of fellowship, being within the region of grace. That was the greatest privilege which the Prodigal Son lost.
The Catholic Church provides us this wonderful fecund ground through the daily Morning Mass, Sunday Evening Bible Study and our Pious Society fellowships. If we take good advantage of these hours of prayer and fellowship, I believe our Christian Life will be enriched. Happy Easter beloved friends!