Bishop Banda’s Homily, Thursday, 5th Week of Lent

It is said: “A promise is a promise.” It ought to be fulfilled not in the distant future but here and now – in our life time. This applies to all promises that we make. Promises during our baptism, when we renounce evil and promise to uphold Jesus. Those in married life, they promise: “Till death do us apart.” Equally for those in the holy orders, when it is said: “You are a priest forever, in the Order of Melchizedek”.

However, when promises are broken; the baptized turn their backs on God. The married couples walk out on each other and servants of God desert their ministry for whatever reasons. How can’t there be no disappointments among the people of God?

However, when God made a covenant with Abraham to become the Father of many nations. Abraham understood that it was not going to be in his lifetime because he was already advanced in age. Yet his faith and trust in God revealed to him that this promise was beyond his life time, beyond what meets the eye and he understood it far deeper than what human reasoning could imagine.

Abraham did not expect to see a multitude of descendants to appear before him in his lifetime. Yet, he was so expectant that this promise would be fulfilled beyond the present, beyond his life time. Today, Jews, Arabs and Christians alike we all look to Abraham as our ancestor – our father in faith. Through Abraham, God made a covenant with us in perpetuity and Jesus is the expression of this covenant.

Jesus is the perpetual presence of God. He is ever present to His people. The words of Jesus make so much meaning when He says: “Whoever keeps my word will never see death”. -A promise of eternity for eternity. – When we believe and keep the words of Jesus, death is not a factor, not even decisive or final over us. Rather, life will have the final say and life will be for all eternity. Jesus Himself is the first fruits of the Resurrection – life in eternity for eternity.
Let us not harden our hearts by clinging to the safety and security of the status quo but to take consolation in the promise made by Jesus and keep faithful to His word.

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