"As the Father sent me, so I send you."

04-15-2018Weekly ReflectionFather Barnabas Duniya

Today's liturgy invites us to appreciate lovingly the riches of the Paschal mystery which is the sum total of the work of creation and redemption, of all the reality of humanity and of all the revelation of God. For us, every Eucharistic celebration renews the presence of Christ who died and rose again.

Jesus comes into the midst of our assembly for the Eucharistic celebration and through the Eucharist He makes us touch His Body, His Blood and His real presence. Christ is also present and communicates through the Scriptures and through His witnesses who are sent to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, His Apostles who are today His Priests.

When Jesus tells us to preach the Gospel to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem, He means for us to preach the Gospel to as many people as we can, beginning with those closest to our souls: those within our homes, in our classrooms, and in our neighborhoods. It's to the people there that Jesus is sending us when he says, "As the Father sent me, so I send you."

There are many ways of "preaching". We should keep in mind the saying of Saint Francis of Assisi: "Preach always, and if necessary, use words." That is to say, you can preach without opening your mouth. The Christian's example is usually more persuasive than his words, since most of us Christians are not gifted speakers.

The greatest example we can offer is forgiveness. As the Father forgave us through Jesus' Death on the Cross, so we are called to forgive others. There are different ways to forgive, but our example of forgiving has to be a Christian example. The Christian, however, offers forgiveness first, not seeking an apology from others, and not even expecting it at the same time: just as Christ on the Cross not only did not receive an apology from those around Him, but received instead mockery and scorn.

For us, too, Jesus does not wait to forgive us until we are good enough to appear before Him and offer an apology. He offers to cleanse us of our sinfulness when we are yet babies, unable even to speak or realize that we are born into the world as sinful members of the human family. We in our turn should offer forgiveness from our hearts and through our words and actions before someone who has wronged us. "Peace be with you." "Have you anything here to eat?" The gospel describes how the apostles came to believe that Christ had risen and had entered the glory of His Father. Our faith journey is one we must make too. With faith comes conversion, forgiveness of sins, and generosity in sharing and new life. The first and second readings show us what this new life is like.

On a personal note: The building of the Zaria Diocesan Hospital comes at the time of great need in our Nigerian country. Why? Because Nigeria today is not the country we were born into in terms of health and the social needs of the people. This long awaited dream will give health opportunity and hope for a new living for the people. Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Parish, Havasu City has always been the standing pillar for the Catholic Diocese of Zaria in terms of her financial needs and structures. The Diocese of Zaria has the Havasu Parish as her founding Mother.

God's healing powers and blessings upon you all. Amen.