Bishop Banda’s Homily, Monday, 3rd Week of Lent
Today, brand names or celebrities seem to be more important and influential on the choices we make. The food we eat, the clothing we put on, the vehicles we drive and the people we hangout with. Celebrities seem to have made it in life. They are considered opinion makers. Their utterances are more authoritative than the law itself. As a result, people are likely to listen to them, even when they are bluffing. Their names have become synonymous with a certain way of thinking or way of life.
Very rare do we care to listen to the nobodies of our society (children, youths, support staff, maids, gardeners etc.). However, it is the nameless slave girl that Naaman, the Syrian Army Commander listened to and set off looking for cure in Israel.
It is through the forsaken and rejected Jesus Christ that our salvation has been granted.
He was born in a manger outside Jerusalem in Bethlehem (City of Bread). He was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem (Golgotha) in order to win us salvation. He rose from the dead and first appeared to Magdalene a woman of easy virtue.
As much as brand names (celebrities) are important and they guarantee the products they sell, however, brand names do not give us always what they seem to offer.
It is however, in listening to that voice that will initiate in us the realization of our purpose – our mission. The story of Naaman gives a great lesson about our mindset. Naaman’s pride would have denied him his miracle had it not been for the intervention of his servants.
Similarly many of us have denied ourselves God’s healing because of our failure to accept with patience what we cannot change: the darker side of our lives, our sickness, our misfortune, our loneliness, the betrayal by others, the pain of old age etc.
We concentrate so much on our miseries than the possibilities and opportunities the dark side of our lives brings along with. Thus robbing ourselves the possibility of a miracle.
“God has no favourites.” God is generous. He is expansive. He is all inclusive. He is the father in the parable of the prodigal son as opposed to the elder son. This is fundamentally the “good news” for all who are willing to receive it.
God’s miracle remains effective despite the vessel used to convey it to us. God is always at work even in the familiar situations or faces of people that we are accustomed to.