Bishop Banda’s Homily Friday 2nd week of Lent
1. “Nothing about our lives is an accident. Everything that happens in every moment of our life has a reason and a purpose. Our life and our future are in the hands of God. Even when we have to climb a few mountains and walk through some dark valleys, God is at work. He is quietly writing our personal histories straight with crooked lines.
2. It follows therefore that -whenever something happens, the question should not be: why has this happened to me; but rather what do you want to say Lord in this event? The “what” may find a response, but the “why” may not give a desired satisfactory answer.
3. Looking at Joseph we see how his life was marred with a lot of tragedies. Yet he got through. He was a slave who became the master. He was a victim of his siblings’ rivalry which he overcame with love. He was the poor immigrant in Egypt who struck it rich. He was an employee who succeeded in business without really trying. In strange ways, God can bring a difficult, complicated and even a misguided life to a positive end.
4. God is continuously bringing salvation history to its close, exactly by choosing events that also include our personal histories. Looking at the story of Joseph it seemed a tragedy that his brothers sold him to an Ishmaelite slave trader. As if that was not enough, he was falsely accused of seduction by Potiphar’s wife and he was imprisoned for several years. But in God’s good time he was exonerated. God’s time is the best.
5. The story of Joseph in our first reading and the ministry of Jesus in the gospel passage demonstrate God’s providence and that our existence is shaped by His divine plan. Every human life is a vineyard planted by God. It is to be nurtured and cared for by consistent and faithful human efforts. However, the real owner and author is God and all the fruits are due to Him. The earlier we realize that God directs everything towards some good, the sooner we shall be serene in the face of challenges. We shall be contented in times of dissatisfaction; and we shall remain calm in times of turmoil – because God is in control and at all times.
6. The foregoing should help us to examine and consider our blessings, our deliverance from evil and be able to identify the hand of God in the events of our personal histories. This will help us in the renewal of our sense of God’s providence in our life. Jeremiah rubs it in: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord … plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).