Bishop Banda’s Homily, Friday, 1st Week of Lent
Today, the Holy Father has asked for a special day of prayer and fasting – the world over – for our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the South Sudan. Let us all join in this noble request of prayer and fasting so that an atmosphere of peace and understanding amongst the peoples may be generated. As we pause to pray and fast for these nations, let us pray for a heart that listens and to live up to the plan of God.
God calls us to love and forgive. That forgiveness which knows no limits. It forgives and forgets. The moment we forgive and forget we free ourselves from the hells of our own misery; from the torture of our own minds; the abandonment of our own joy and life; from the defeat of our own complexes. Through love and forgiveness an atmosphere of peace and understanding is attained.
Our Lord teaches us that the way to heaven is through doing the right thing that is expected of us – a virtue that goes beyond that of the Scribes and Pharisees. The call of our Lord goes beyond what meets the eye. He invites us to ascertain underlying attitudes and emotions which lead people to kill or injure one another.
Jesus invites us to look at the root causes and underlying reasons of our actions. It is those root causes and underlying reasons that need healing and cure. He calls for a renewal of heart and mind (the healing of our underlying attitudes and emotions). This season offers this chance of renewal, of healing and cure. Hence the need to “repent” and “convert.”
That deep-seated renewal that Jesus is calling for is not something we can bring about on our own. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to transform us from within. To usher into our lives the love of God that shaped the life and the person of Jesus.
May our prayers and our fasting today help our brothers and sisters in the DRC and the South Sudan to experience a deep transformation within themselves and a desire to start all over again. May peace and understanding amongst themselves be attained