Bishop Banda’s Homily, Wednesday, 3rd Week of Lent
We are invited today to remember that belonging to God is both a privilege and a responsibility. We are privileged to be sons and daughters of God. At the same time we have a duty and responsibility to live accordingly as God’s children.
In the gospel, Jesus calls us to moral responsibility of one another. We are called to be beacons of light. By choosing what is good and disdaining what is evil we exercise an important role of witnessing to the world. We may not change the world, but we can be a positive influence in the lives of others and a model of virtue – for virtue breeds virtue.
Our duty therefore, is not to destroy what has already been established but to enhance it, especially the presence of God in the world. Jesus came to reconcile mankind with God. In the same light, He calls us to be reconciled with one another.
God’s call may be a gentle whisper. Yet His voice is so loud and clear in our hearts.
This is the voice that has attracted men and women to leave their comfort way of life in pursuit of God’s command. St. Francis of Assisi left the riches of his father to embrace a life of poverty – trusting only in God’s providence. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta left the comfort of the convent to go and live on the streets with beggars, the lonely, the sick and the dying – trusting in the mercy and God’s providence.
In our era, we saw Benedict XVI (Pope Emeritus) leave the privileges of the papacy to go and live a life of simplicity and intense prayer in the Monastery. Pope Francis equally left the Papal Palace to live in a transient home (Santa Mattha). In all these individuals
we see a resolve to follow God’s call even when it meant going against the tide. In the pursuit of their calling – they discovered that – God’s law is the perfect law of freedom. Nothing seemed to be more important as to respond with love and loyalty to God.
When we love God with all our heart, soul and strength – it means we have stepped into love beyond all telling; loyalty beyond all compelling. Therefore, when Christ says: “I have come to fulfill the law – and to accomplish it”. It means it is the truth to be told; and a life to be lived. It means it is the light to be lit; the way to be walked; the joy to be celebrated. It is the peace to be spread and indeed the sacrifice to be offered.