Bishop Banda’s Homily, Friday, 5th Week of Lent

Humility is the single most important attribute in opening our hearts and minds to God. We receive from others in proportion to what we give up of our selves. We only gain in so far as we able to sacrifice. We can give only what we have and we can receive only in
accord to space created within us.

The first followers of Jesus were simple people of very humble education, little social influence and standing. It was these humble, ordinary citizens with little to lose but much more to gain who accepted Jesus. The witness of John the Baptist that: “there is the Lamb
of God who takes away the Sin of the world” and coupled with Jesus’ many signs and wonders, convinced them of the truth of Jesus’ claims.

However, the standoff was with the learned, the Pharisees. They could not free themselves from their acquired knowledge which resulted into being narrow-minded and hard to open
up to the Spirit of God at work. They failed to listen to Jesus’ word and could not understand that God and Jesus are one. Only those who are willing to look at His words and His actions can appreciate the intimacy with which Jesus had with His Father. Without God, He could do nothing, but with God He could do all things.

It demands a lot of courage and conviction to stand by the truth. It may happen that we are not accepted for the work we do as in the case of Jesus. But Jesus went about doing good,regardless. He went about protecting the poor; giving sight to the blind; caring for the
widows and orphans and preaching the good news. These works make proof of the presence of God in our midst as prophesied by the prophets.

Rejection is usually premised by envy, hatred, jealousy or simply PhD (pull him/her down). If I can’t do it, then no one else should be able to do it. No matter how many miracles or good works one may perform; if we harbour envy, hatred, jealousy etc.; their works and their words will not be good enough to convince us. By their very words and deeds, we feel hurt. Unless we are converted and repentant.

Change is always hard and the basic instincts within us always discourage us to undergo change. Let us pray that the Lord helps us to convert, repent and to realize the mercy and love of God in the offing during this graceful season.

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