FR. JUSTIN’S HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF SAINT JANUARIUS (Italy)
THEME: YOU ARE NOT ALONE
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19 2022
As Christians, each time we go through difficulties and sufferings, we must remember that we are not alone. When you feel pain on your body, remember that Jesus endured the pain of nail and crown of thorns. When you feel insulted, remember that people spit at Jesus and insulted him many times. When your loved one hurt you, remember that even Peter the head of the apostles denied Jesus. If people hate you, remember that many Pharisees and Sadducees hated Jesus and even plotted to kill him for no reason. When you feel weak and tied, remember that Jesus felt so tired on his way to Calvary that he fell down three times while carrying his cross. When you are afraid, remember that the apostles were so much afraid after the death of Jesus that they have to lock themselves up in a room for days. Every suffering that comes to us as Christians should be able to make us stronger in faith, instead of making us to lose hope. Each time we remember that Jesus understands our sufferings and is always ready to help us, it gives us a sign of relief. Jesus in the gospel reading told his disciples, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they have kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all this they will do to you because of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.” Often we think that those who go through persecutions and troubles are those hated by God. And also, our enemies think that death is the greatest harm they can do to us. The first reading from the book of Wisdom reminds us that, “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, no torment will touch them. In the eyes of fools they seemed to die; their end was considered a disaster, their departure from us a ruin, but they are in peace. Although they suffer punishment in the eyes of men, their hope is full of immortality.” Saint Janarius whom we are celebrating today was persecuted because of his faith, but today he has become a fountain of God’s grace here on earth. Not only that he now enjoys immortality in heaven, but also through him, many people have received miracles here on earth. We pray in this holy mass through the intercession of Saint Janarius that we may receive a miracle that will strengthen our faith in God. We pray also for the grace to serve God faithfully, and to be worthy to inherit his kingdom in heaven on the last day. Amen.