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Homily for the twenty-Sixth Sunday in ordinary time B

25 Sep 2021, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

In most of my Sunday sermons, I am very used to not emphasizing the first and the second readings; it is certainly not because I don’t believe in the Old Testament or the epistles and letters. I do because “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16).

Today, I want to focus on the first reading from the book of Numbers 11:25-29. It’s about how Moses was tired and frustrated, leading ancient Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses was tired of the people’s complaints and murmurings, but God directed him to choose seventy elders from among the people to be empowered and authorized to help him. “God came down in the cloud, took some of the spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy elders…they prophesied.” (Num. 11:25). But something exciting happened; two of the men chosen or registered among the seventy elders did not come out for the spiritual impartation. Yet, the spirit located them even in their homes, and they prophesied. I meditated on this passage of the scripture and asked why the two absentee elders (Eldad and Medad) still received the spirit, and what implication it has for us today. I got the answers to my questions, and that is what I want to share with you today.

Eldad and Medad, though they did not come out to the meeting place, the spirit came on them as did others because they were chosen and registered. Their names have been presented to God. Eldad and Medad were not just randomly selected; they were known to Moses as elders of the people and officers over them. I believe Moses did not do guesswork; his selection was divinely guided and approved. When this answer came to me, I wondered why Eldad and Medad stayed back and what message the scripture passage holds for our generation.  

Dear friends, in my meditation, I realized that been selected and registered was the key, it was like a mark on the elders, just like many of us here are chosen and registered. Through our baptismal consecration, we are chosen and registered as members of the Church and children of God. Our baptism in Christ is an indelible mark on us; we cannot be hidden from the mercy and love of God. Eldad and Medad stayed back not because they did not believe in God or trust Moses; they probably may have considered themselves unworthy, just like many of us think about ourselves. Eldad and Medad sound like they were brothers, twins, or at least from the same family. They may have refused to come out because their family may not have been reputable as the families of others. But forever reason they stayed back, God proved to them that he knows them better than they knew themselves; he knows those with his mark on them.

So, today I encourage you never to look down on yourself; you have the indelible mark of God on you. Your family may not be the richest or even known, but God knows you. The whole world may point to your weaknesses, but God sees the strength in you, so do not be afraid to step out into God’s presence. Eldad and Medad did not know Jesus, but you and I are privileged to be living in a generation that knows Christ and his finished work on the cross. The available power of Christ’s death, his resurrection, his ascension, glorification, and the work of Pentecost becomes our hope. Therefore, do not let your sins and weaknesses hide you, but come out to be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb.

As we celebrate this Sunday, dear friends in Christ, let us be open to the spirit of revival and boldness and so take our place with Christ. Amen.