Homily for Wednesday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Year II
Theme: HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Wednesday January 29 2020
* 2 Sam 7 : 4 – 17, Mk 4 : 1 – 20.
One of the most frustrating problems to deal with as a minister of God is the problem of human conversion/ receptivity to the Word of God. Any priest who has much interest in preaching the Word may be frustrated ( as I have oftentimes been) each time you realize the fact not only that very many may not be listening to you but most people may never comply with what you have laboured to say. Just ask a simple question or make a simple request from the congregation and see how many will obey you after that. One can now realize exactly the import of Christ’s statement in today’s gospel about the heart condition of receivers of the Word of God.
In homiletics ( the study of the art of preaching the Word of God), two things are very important ;
1. The seed (Word) condition, and
2. The soil ( heart) condition.
As preachers, we may do something to improve the seed condition (for example, making better prepations and study of the Word of God) but we may not be able to do much about the soil condition. Only the Holy Spirit can handle that area.
The soil condition is affected, as Christ explained in today’s gospel, by 3 sources of evil ;
1. The devil ; who attacks the seeds sown on the pathways.
2. The worldly values ; which make the ground too rocky or too shallow for the Word of God to penetrate or perdue.
3. The carnal self ; which is usually choked like thorns by the appetites of the flesh, the allurements of riches and the passions of our human temperaments.
Christ said in today’s gospel : ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God but to those outside, everything is in parable’. Come to think of grace as an unmerited gift from God, one is tempted to think of God as partial, but not really. To him whom much is given will much be expected of and not the opposite. What God has given to us ( believers) is a patrimony of grace – a faith condition, a covenant of faith and love which provides us a fecund ground for salvation but does not guarantee it. So, St Paul says : ‘In fear and trembling, work out your salvation’, Phil 2 : 13. We need to pray and fast a lot for the grace to accept and do what the Word of God says. The rest becomes the resultant effect of the use of our human freedom. Yes, he who has ears, let him hear!
May God bless you today!