Fr. Ben’s homily for Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Fr. Ben’s homily for Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: I WAS AFRAID OF YOU!

By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

 

Homily for Wednesday November 17 2021

*2 Macc 7 :1-31, Lk 19 :11-28.
“No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of reasoning as fear”, says Vima Dasan. The fear of poverty has made so many young men throw in the trowel of virtue and sign in for armed robbery. The fear of failure has made many young ladies jettison their mantle of chastity and give their bodies over to garrulous lecturers holding their marks. “Fearlessness”, says M. K Gandhi “is the first requisite of spirituality because cowards can never be moral”. As I read the heroic virtues of the Maccabees family who chose death to the unpalatable option of idolatry, I cannot but wonder whether the specie of human beings we have today are different. Do we now have what one of my colleagues call ‘Tokumbo human beings’?

It is most touching to behold the promises of the King Antiochus Epiphanes to the last surviving son – to make him rich, take him for a friend and give him political appointments… If he can accept to bulge to the sin of idolatry. The mother’s counsel was: ‘Do not fear this butcher … Accept death, so that in God’s mercy I may get you back with your brothers’. Chai! There is nothing that our faith in the Resurrection cannot make us do. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to push on in the face of it. Courage is grace under pressure, for it is fear that has said its prayers”- Vima Dasan. And so, when a man is not spiritual, he fears even an ant. He fears even himself and can never take any bold step. The worst is that he fears God negatively.

Let me explain by referring you to the gospel of today. We are supposed to fear God positively not negatively. The Wicked servant had a negative image of his master – a projection of his own wickedness into his image of his master. And so, he could not invest his master’s talent. Fear stultifies creativity. Many Christians are overridden by fear; when they are sick, they run about and are told by fake visionaries not to go for orthodox treatment because it is poison; when they are jobless, they are told that it is due to curses from ancestors. They succumb to the ravaging forces of poverty. When they have little challenges of infertility after marriage, they conclude that the enemy from the village has blocked their womb. Fear of the devil has done more harm than good to Christians who should by their faith fear less and believe more in God. Sometimes I wonder whether we are actually worshipping the living God or afraid of the living Satan! May the Lord remove the many fears in our hearts and strengthen our faith in him!

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