Bishop Banda’s Homily, Saturday, 5th Week, 2018

“What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs.” He is unstoppable. This is the principle complaint of the chief priests and Pharisees about Jesus. His ability to
perform signs threatened their power base and at the same time it vindicated the lowly and the poor.

The chief priests and Pharisees were like most of the crowds who watched and listened to Jesus. The crowds followed Jesus because of the signs He performed. The powerful and
the enemies felt threatened and agitated. They saw His signs as a means to end their powerwhich led to their annoyance. The poor and His followers saw His signs as a means of empowerment and restoration of their dignity. Hence their enthusiasm.

However, neither group saw beyond the signs and what they meant and contained. For this reason, it’s easy to see why, on Good Friday, at Calvary, His enemies jeered that His signs have come to an end. They teased Him “let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down
now from the cross that we may see and believe” [Mark 15:31-32]. On the other hand, His
followers and the crowds are no-where near to be seen, they all run away (bamutasha kali kwisaya).

Both His friends and the enemies failed to recognize the Sign of the Cross. The Crossbrings forgiveness and reconciliation with His enemies. The Cross brings healing and strength to His followers in the taking up of their challenges of life. The sign of the cross
consist in doing God’s will, taking the risk, moving out of our safety and comfort zone.

It is in moving out that God moves in. It is only when we move out to face the challenges of our daily life that we will begin to realize the power of God at work in our lives and what God is able to do and accomplish for us. When we are vulnerable and when we have
no one to turn to, then we learn to depend on God and God alone.

No one hurts in sharing their superfluous items. In fact we are all anxious to clear our houses of junk. However, Jesus shared His best with us – His life. Yet, because He lost His life in an act of sharing His best with us, His life was raised up to new life in glory by
God. It is in dying that we are born to new life. It is in giving that we receive in bountiful and overflowing measure. That is the sign of our life and of our destiny.

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