Bishop Banda’s Homily, Thursday, 2nd Week of Lent

It is said: “Life is the best teacher and an excellent guide”. When we come to think of the many experiences we have made; the adventures and discoveries we have undertaken; the losses and struggles we have encountered, and all the achievements and accomplishments
we have attained. All these experiences give us an insight and knowledge which inspireus to live better each passing day.

It follows that no matter what life throws at us: love or hurt; satisfaction or
disappointment; merit or mediocrity we have to move on. We just need to take a deep breath and put it in our “book of life” as another chapter, another important lesson learned and move onto the next page. We have to move on without any resignation, resentment, anger nor bitterness in our hearts.

In the face of so many bitter experiences marred with ups and downs, Jeremiah learnt his lessons which may inspire us in life and provide a guide in our decisions. We have to decide for ourselves whom to put our trust in. Jeremiah cautions us: “A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, who relies on things of the flesh, whose heart turns from the Lord”, however: “A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope.”

Jesus, in our gospel passage opens our eyes to see the root causes of human misery.
The root causes lie in the “unholy trinity” of man – the “I”, “Me” and “Myself”. In the beginning God created paradise as a place of harmony, love and peace. But due to selfishness, greed and envy; man turned paradise into a circus of injustice, oppression and marginalization. As a result the vast majority are deprived of every comfort and consolation. This is where we are called to conversion and change of heart.

As long as the attitude of the rich man in us is not changed, the world will continue to be a place of misery. Exploitation and manipulation of natural resources do not only affect the economic balance, but also human relations and the environmental conditions.
Our Lenten observance is a call to practice compassion and love of the poor and the weak within and beyond. This practice will enhance a disposition of sharing.
Sharing brings about the desired social equality and justice among peoples.

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