Are you a Brother or Sister to Jesus? (Homily for July 24, 2018). 



Are you a Brother or Sister to Jesus?(Homily for July 24, 2018). 
“Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:49-50).  

A few hours ago, someone sent me a story of how some kidnappers were caught and it turned out that their leader was the general overseer of a thriving church in Asaba. At the moment, this man together with his wife and children are on the run. He and some of his church members had planned a failed kidnap and were demanding a ransom of one hundred million naira. 
The amount of atrocities we Christians commit these days betray the very name that we bear. There is now a new breed of paganism masking itself as Christianity and like the wheat and weeds, it is not so easy to distinguish the two. God, like the patient farm owner, does not want the servants to uproot the weeds lest they uproot the wheat as well. However, harvest time will come when the weeds will be gathered and burned. 
I think the harvest time is here already. People are now beginning to see that it is not all those who say “Lord, Lord” that are fit for the kingdom of God. It is not all those working miracles and wonders in God’s name that are really God’s ministers. Some are in it for the money like Simon the magician who offered to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit from the Apostles. 
Note that the issue of paganism among the Christian fold cuts across every denomination. It is neither a Pentecostal, Catholic, Anglican nor Methodist problem. It is a problem of greed and the worship of mammon. Not long ago, there was the story of a priest in a neighbouring African country who shot a sister to death. 
Jesus made a very important distinction in today’s Gospel passage. It is only those who actually do the will of the Father in heaven that deserve to be His brothers and sisters. Many persons flocked around Jesus, some even received miracles directly from Him but in the end, only a few proved themselves worthy of being called His brothers and sisters.
Let us ask ourselves: “Am I one of Jesus’ brothers and sisters? Or am I a devil-worshipper who happens to go to church?”
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, the prophet Micah describes your infinite mercy, forgive me for the times I have strayed from you and restore me to spiritual wholeness. Amen. 
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Micah 7:14-20, Psalm 85:2-8, Matthew 12:46-50).*
Fr. Abu



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