Homily for Wednesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT…
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Wednesday October 14 2020
*Gal 5: 18 -25, Lk 11: 42 -46.
If you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Those who are led by the flesh are under the law. Those at the childhood stage of Christianity are led by mere obedience to the law (legalistic mentality). But those at the adult stage of Christianity are led by the Spirit (spiritual mentality) which is characterized by faith in God’s grace and total submission of one’s life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. St Paul makes it succinctly clear that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with all its passions and desires.
Paul talks of 4 families of Sins committed by those led by the flesh;
1. Sins of defilement; sexual vice (eg the act of adultery or fornication,”Ikwa iko”) , impurity (eg the act of masturbation, “Omume ruru inyi”), sensuality (eg the nursing of impure thoughts through things like pornography,”Aguu ikwa iko”).
2. Sins of Dangerous Communion with Evil spirits; Worship of false gods (eg, “igo ma”), Sorcery, (eg,”nsi na aja”).
3. Sins of Temper and Temperaments; antagonism, rivalry, jealousy, bad temper, quarrels, disagreement, factions and malice.
4. Sins of Intemperance; drunkenness and orgies (eg bad music, “igba ajo egwu”).
St Paul says it emphatically that those who commit these sins habitually cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Pharisees represent all those who claim to be religious but are not led by the Spirit. Jesus accused the Scribes and Pharisees of the following 7 evil practices ;
1. Extreme dogmatism ; They shut the kingdom of God against men ( through their excess emphasis on rules and sanctions), neither entering themselves nor allowing those who would to go in.
2. Scandal ; They make serious efforts to convert people only to end up corrupting and scandalizing them.
3. Materialism ; They compromise spiritual standards by swearing by the gold in the temple ( in order to make money through such ceremonies) and not minding the sacredness of the altar itself.
4. Exploitation ; They pay tithes of different kinds but neglect the weightier matters like justice, mercy and good faith.
5. Hypocrisy ; They are like whitewashed tombs who look holy but are inwardly unclean.
6. Externalism ; They clean the outside of the cup while the inside is full of iniquity.
7. Persecution of prophets ; They shed the blood of the innocent and like their forefathers murder the prophets.
May God save us from all pharisaic behavior as we endeavour to be led by the Spirit ; to follow the Word of God and worship God in Spirit and truth, Jn 4: 24.
May God bless you today!
FR BEN AGBO.