Bishop Banda’s Homily, Tuesday, 4th Week of Lent

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. In order to put those little pieces of life together, we need first and foremost to look at the whole big picture. Unfortunately, we tend to look at life in a selfish, pessimistic and narrow-minded way. As a result we end up making uproarout of nothing but purely on speculations, assumptions and imaginations.

Jesus came to help mankind to look at the bigger picture of life, but ended up – being misunderstood and persecuted. When He cast out devils; he was accused of doing so by the help of Beelzebul. When He healed the sick, He was accused of healing on a wrong day.

The man at the pool of Beth-zatha was physically challenged and emotionally stressed and very envious of others. When Jesus asked the cripple whether he wanted to be healed, he answered: “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” The cripple complained about others. He complained about his stolen opportunities. He was desperately dependant on chance.

However, Jesus tells him, if you want to be healed: “Stand up, take your mat and walk”. At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. He stood up, walked and went home. Jesus healed the cripple because he was helpless among the sick. Here is a person in a competitive environment with no one to give him a helping hand. Yet, Jesus proves to be compassionate to him.

If we want to be resourceful we need to stop complaining about everyone and everything and be independent from our past and our depressive conditions. We need to unconditionally forgive those we feel have stolen our opportunities, our talents and our chances. This is what liberates us from our emotional and mental stress. Jesus underscores this when He says: “Don’t sin anymore”.

Sufficient grace is given to us whenever we are faced with challenges. This helps us to surmount our obstacles. With our experience of God’s grace in our lives we are able to look forward with faith and hope for the better. Jesus is not only our Healer, but also our Saviour. He leads us to see the beauty in the ugly and victory over malice.

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