Homily for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Easter
Theme: A CHARISMATIC CHURCH!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Wednesday
* Act 12: 24 – 13: 5, Jn12 : 44 – 50.
There are so many things that pose as Church today. And so, it has become pertinent in today’s reflection to examine critically whether all these could be really called Churches.
What kind of Church do you worship in? In my reflection on today’s readings, I just developed 5 images of a Church depending on what they do majorly there as follows;
(i) A TOLL GATE CHURCH; The major thing they do there is to collect money from people as in ‘toll gates’ without feeding them spiritually.
(ii) A REFRIGERATOR CHURCH; They are characterized by cold rituals. They just keep Christians reciting old rituals without any new life in the Spirit.
(iii) A MUSEUM CHURCH ; Here is a Church full of exciting events/ activities where people go to watch interesting events like spectators in a stadium ; It may be the presence of entertaining preachers, good choir/ band or even dramatic pastors doing their magic with people dancing hysterically and falling.
(iv) A FORTUNE TELLING CHURCH; This is a Church where people mainly go to consult ‘dibia pastors’ like they do to diviners in the ATR who tell them what they want to hear – the causes of their setbacks in life. A common example in our environment is one so called Fr Chilaka that moves from place to place claiming to be a Catholic priest but acting fully like a dibia / diviner.
(v) A CHARISMATIC CHURCH; A Church where the Holy Spirit actually speaks and people listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through their leaders – a Church inundated by real prophets and teachers who say the mind of God about people’s salvation not mere prediction/ explication of future or past events.
The 1st reading of today presents the Church at Antioch as such a Church. It was led by Barnabas and Paul; a Church characterized by praying and fasting. The Spirit still speaks to us in prayer when we fast and listen to his Word.
Whenever a Church stops praying and fasting, their leaders will relapse into taking decisions that are not guided by the Holy Spirit ; their projects, ideas, postings and overall religious activities will be worldly, money minded and not soul saving.
Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel that He is the light of the world. Whoever believes in him will not remain in the darkness. He who rejects him and does not receive his sayings has a judge and the judge is that Word which he has spoken.
We pray for a Church that is charismatic; a Church that does not joke with praying in the spirit, fasting and discernment and studying of the Word of God. We pray for a Church that will always discern the signs of the time and be able to read what the plans of the enemy the devil is doing especially at challenging times like this period of pandemic. We pray for a Church that will be able to guide its followers aright! May God bless you today as we joyfully await the miraculous end of this pandemic!
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