Bishop Banda’s Homily, Thursday, 3rd Week of Lent

Today, we honour our women by recognizing them for who they are. Our women are the jack of all trade and the master of their temperament (atmosphere). A woman is like salt.
Her presence is mostly not recognized but her absence makes all things tasteless.

Happy Women’s Day.

Our readings today call to mind the stubbornness of the human heart. Its resistance to listen and to learn from God. There is a tendency in each one of us to see only what we wish to see. Thereby we refuse to take stock of our lives and to chat a better style of life.
In both readings the audiences refuse to take heed the word of God.

In the first reading, the Prophet Jeremiah summons up the cause of his complaint after centuries of Jewish infidelity to God as a people whose: “faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech”. Sad as the statement may read, however, that was his experience – stubbornness of his people.

In our gospel passage, Jesus performed numerous healings and exorcisms. These healings brought people blessings and restored them their freedom from various troubles and oppression of evil spirits. Some Jewish leaders reacted to Jesus’ healings and exorcisms and they opposed Him with malicious slander resorting to character assassination. They accused Him of exorcising the demons by Satan’s own power.

Sometimes we are guilty of this sin too. There is nothing as cruel and uncharitable as slander. However, our society seems to delight to hear the bad and the derogatory remarks rather than the good and complimentary stories. How often do we deliberately repeat slanderous and malicious stories and murder reputations to someone whom we dislike on the social, electronic and print media, at the saloon, at the bar, on the bus etc.?
The truth is that only a genuinely pure heart can acknowledge the works of God. This imposes a necessary choice for or against Jesus. Those with Jesus will definitely do the Will of God irrespective of their position, social status, or gender. “Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters”. With Jesus we cannot evade decision; we cannot remain noncommittal; and we cannot protect ourselves against risks.

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