Bishop Banda’s homiliy, Monday, 2nd Week of Lent

Today, we seem to have a problem to admit being ashamed of anything. But while shame can be destructive it can also be purifying and transforming. Sometimes when People reject shame they lose all sense of moral right and wrong.

However, genuine shame removes pride and it brings about a wholesome humility and honesty in spirit, in trust and in charity.

Accepting our human condition and confessing it with repentance is the first step towards a reformed way of life. Self-acceptance makes it conducive to accept others as they arewith a greater understanding and compassion.

It is our judgmental behaviour that comes as a big hindrance to accept and understand others.

We find fault with others easily. We find a thousand reasons to justify ourselves and find every reason to accuse others. It is through prayer and the grace of God that we can be helped to be transformed from within. A prayerful heart listens and it pursues to live the plan of God.

Daniel in our first reading shows us a listening heart at prayer. His prayer brings out the contrast between our reality and our ideal. On the one hand, we see the steadfast love and faithfulness of God and yet on the other hand we see the wickedness and the rebellious nature of man.

However, Daniel makes a sincere admission of the human frailty as he says: “To the Lord, belongs righteousness, mercy and forgiveness, but to us confusion, disobedience and treachery”. In humility, Daniel asks for mercy as he says: “…we have sinned against you” and we seek your mercy and forgiveness, because “To the Lord our God belongs mercy and forgiveness…”

May our prayerful Lenten Season bring about a complete admittance of our own
indiscretion, our guilt and our remorse of all those things that we have done wrong to others and ultimately to God. These may be either in public or in secret.

However, they still haunt us and make our lives miserable. Let us ask for God’s mercy on ourselves and above all the grace of God to start afresh.

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