Archbishop Banda’s Homily – Seminarian Fund Presentation, 2018.
“Kana Mungili bane ee, kana Mungili kalasabanta x2
Nsabantile abana, kana Mungili kalasabanta”
I welcome each and every one of you, from near and far to this year’s Seminarian Presentation Fund – 2018. Our mothers have once again managed to bring us all together to Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. Congratulations our mothers. We are grateful and very proud of you all.
We thank our mothers for this noble task; to meet the training costs of our future priests and indeed their medical expenses. Our dear mothers, for your unwavering support and for your enthusiasm we thank you most sincerely; and we are grateful to the Lord who entrusted you with such a wonderful but demanding responsibility.
The Seminarian Presentation Fund is the culmination of all women events in the Diocese. This event is next to none. You can be rest assured that it is one of its kind and it cannot be replicated in any other form anywhere. You make us proud – wemufyashi wakwa Kopala swaga” kabili twatasha. Nakalebalika.
Let us now hasten and reflect on the word that we just listened to. Reflecting on the various homilies that are preached, you will come to realize that in every homily there is ample food for thought i.e.: to think and to reflect and to decide upon. Thus, whatever message which is communicated should not fall short of the Good News. It is not necessarily good suggestions or good advice or good opinions being shared but the good news of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Good News is that where the Church is; there is the throne of God; there is the step on which He rests His feet; and it is there that God dwells with His people, as we heard in the 1st reading. Hence, the audacity of our mothers to mobilize resources for the training of preachers of the good news. The good news that leads our people to live in harmony and peace, in love with one another and indeed to radiate joy and freedom of the children of God.
During ordination to the deaconate, a Deacon is entrusted with the book of the Gospels, with the words: “Receive the Gospel, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach”. And during ordination to the priesthood, a priest is entrusted with gifts of bread and wine, with the words: “Receive the oblation of the holy people, to be offered to God. Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the ministry of the Lord’s cross.”
The foregoing is an invitation to “Walk the talk”. Therefore, it is incumbent upon a deacon vis-á-vis a priest, to imitate and practice that ministry he has received. The credibility of the ministry largely depends on ones integrity, how one practice what he preaches, and how one imitates what he celebrates.
We as priests as well as our future priests have a duty and a responsibility to enhance peace, love of each other and to radiate joy and freedom in our people. However, if we feel that our religious obligations are a burden and our service in the Church is a means of self-glory and getting into the lime-light, then we ought to ask ourselves serious questions: If at all we do practice what we preach or imitate what we celebrate.
The bedrock of a good priest (or a good Christian way of life) is humility and service. Humility and service regardless of our positions, social status, ethnicity or the political divide. Therefore, to stand out demands that we speak and act in humility as servants of God, practicing what we preach or imitating what we celebrate.