Archbishop Banda’s Homily -Requiem Mass for the late Fr. Davies Nsama
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us; and also a man known only by reputation; a man who was loved by many and yet disparaged and despised by others; a man known for great controversy, and indeed for great compassion.
That man is no other than Jesus of Nazareth. It is He Whom we proclaim – Jesus Christ
son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary, Crucified, Buried, and Risen. He is seated at the
right hand of the Father. It is because of Him, His Life, Death, and Resurrection that we do
not mourn as those who have no hope, but with confidence that we commend our brother,
Fr. Davies Nsama to the mercy of God.
Scripture says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebr. 13:8). This
threefold dimension of time sets a good basis for our thoughts and our prayers today.
✓ We turn to our past with thanksgiving
✓ To turn to the present, in humility with petitions, and
✓ We turn to the future, into eternity with hope.
We look to Jesus Christ yesterday, that is, to the past, with Thanksgiving for the blessings
God bestowed upon our brother Davies. In the past couple of days, since his demise many
have recounted what Fr. Davies did for them (both good and bad). For the good, we praise
God and for the bad and wrong we entrust him to God’s mercy. All these blessings and
shortcomings give our Lord honour and glory for they are all His work.
We look to Jesus today in petition, as we mourn the passing on of Fr. Davies. Today we
pray for him, for the repose of his soul. We thank God for His goodness and we know that
Davies believed, and he did so imperfectly like the rest of us, however, tried to love God and neighbour, but like the rest of us did so imperfectly. Only those whom Christ has brought to perfection can enter heaven. We are here to lend our prayers to that perfection. To that final work of God’s grace, freeing Davies from every encumbrance of sin.
We look to Jesus in eternity. Even as we pray for Davies to enter into eternal glory, we
should be mindful of ourselves. Every funeral reminds us of just how thin the veil is between this world and the next, between time and eternity, and between life and death and indexer the moment of our judgment. Therefore, we cannot leave this celebration unchanged. We ought to be attentive and responsive to those realities within our lives. We must allow this encounter with the death of our brother to change us, to turn us from sin and towards the Lord.
The greatest prayer we can offer for Davies is not our prayer but the Lord’s. Our Eucharistic celebration looks to Jesus yesterday. It reaches into the past, reaches to the Last Supper, to the crucifixion, to the resurrection, and it makes those mysteries and their power present here on this altar. Jesus himself becomes present here today under the form of bread and wine so that we can unite all our prayers of thanksgiving, sorrow and petition with Jesus Himself as an offering to the Father. All of this with a view to eternity, stretching towards heaven, where we hope one day to enjoy that perfect union with God Himself and to see our brother Davies again and with him to rejoice in the communion of saints.
May Mary, the Mother of Sorrows intercede for us! Amen.