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

Today the Church celebrates St. Patrick’s – Patron Saint for Ireland. On this occasion, we wish our Irish brothers and sisters God’s abundant blessings on them and the intercessions of St. Patrick.

Jeremiah in our first reading attest that he was warned: “The Lord revealed it to me; so I know! Take care, even your kinsfolk and your own family are false with you and behind your back they freely criticize you. Do not trust them when they approach you in a friendly way”.

Yes, the Lord reveals it to us that as much as there is evil and wickedness in the world, however, the Lord will in the end prevail over evil and malice. He will pronounce a just sentence in which He will vindicate the good and the faithful to Him. Of course the sinfulness and the wickedness of the world will certainly make us shudder and quiver, yet, the Lord is great and in control. He will conquer.

One day I came across a prayer that was inserted in a book I was reading. Unfortunately, the author of the prayer is not known but it was found in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp (1946) and it reads:
“O Lord, remember not only men and women of good will but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us. Remember the fruits we bore, due to this suffering – our friendship, our loyalty, humility, courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have borne, be THEIR forgiveness.”

This is my prayer for each and every one of you. Your experiences have taught you a great deal of true friendship, loyalty, humility, courage, generosity and magnanimity of heart. Had it not been for what you went through; these virtues could not have been developed. Thanks be to God.

It goes without saying that our perceived traitors and enemies are in fact instruments of our virtuous life. Therefore forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you – to live by faith in God. May your fruits be their forgiveness in every respect.

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