HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: MADE IN NIGERIA
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
1st reading – Ezk 2:2-5 2nd reading – 2 Cor 12:7-10 Gospel – Mk 6:1-6
Growing up, I nursed the mentality, just as many did, that only commodities that are foreign are good and durable. Whenever I picked up any item, my interest was in seeing where it was written: made in Japan, made in Italy, made in Germany and so on. Whenever I saw “made in Nigeria”, I would shake my head in displeasure as that was a sign of an inferior good. I am happy to realize that such a mentality is not common among Nigerians only. The Jews too, in today’s gospel had expected that if Jesus had such wisdom and goodness in Him, then He couldn’t have been made in Nazareth. It is bad enough.
One among these notions that do not help includes the disbelief in oneself. A lot of people still have erroneous mentality that they can only find the best good outside of themselves. From primary school, some already had placed themselves consciously or unconsciously in a particular class. I am not intelligent so I can’t compete in academic excellence; I am not good in sports so I cannot be a star in any sports. My parents are not wealthy and so I am not a candidate for the University. Perhaps some have already said to themselves, “I am not as holy and so I am struggling for purgatory and not heaven. Yes every one of us may have one short coming or another, yet these short comings are not barriers to God’s marvelous work in our lives.
In fact, from history, God delights in taking the weakest to make him/her the strongest to prove His wonders. Many of the people called by God were people who in the eyes of men had one weakness or another. Moses was a man who stammered. Esther was a slave girl. The second reading of today was clear to say: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.". Believe in yourself and you will see that the good you seek is within you If one cannot believe in oneself, how could one believe in one’s own people or nation? It is another evil that besets us. Why do we always hear migrants perishing in the seas and desert in attempts to leave their homeland and cross abroad? It is a pity. They have concluded within them that unless they “cross abroad” they can never make it in life. I am not saying that one must not travel abroad for search of greener pastures. All I mean is, we have to believe that where God has placed us is a place we can be and blossom. The moment you give up on your people, your nation which God has given you, I am afraid you have lost it. Speaking to fellow Nigerians, the worst weapon the devil may use against us might be to make us think that Nigeria our homeland is not good any more; nothing good can come out of Nigeria. It would make our gifted sons and daughters who can excel in technological advancement and medicine also think that they can’t thrive well in Nigeria unless they practice abroad. The only guarantee that a medical Dr is capable must not be because he/she is a foreigner. For a company to be able to deliver, it must not be a foreign company. We must be real and believe in ourselves.
God’s goodness can come to us most times from those common and familiar things around us. We must not look out very far before we discover God’s blessings around us. Many people have missed chances of getting blessed because such a blessing appeared in the most common package. Watch carefully, the miracle you seek might just be there very close to you. That’s the way of God sometimes.