Theme: The source of our salvation
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
Homily for Friday February 11 2022
MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Today, the Church celebrates the Memorial (Optional) of Our Lady of Lourdes. It commemorates eigtheen (18) apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette Soubiroux between 11 February and 16 July 1858 near the town of Lourdes, France. On the 16th appearance on 25 March, Our Lady identified herself as “Immaculate Conception”. In 1907, Pope Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the universal Church.
Today’s first reading (1 Kgs. 11: 29-32; 12: 19) continues with the downfall of Solomon’s kingdom. The prophet Ahijah declares the breaking away of ten tribes from the kingdom, leaving only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, for Solomon’s descendants. This is the consequence of Solomon’s idolatrous behaviour. Do you think of the consequences of your actions before embarking on them?
In the gospel (Mark 7: 31-37), we are reminded of the source of our Salvation. It is in and through the power of Jesus *(Yeshua* – “God saves”) – the Saviour of His people (Matt. 1: 21). Jesus restores to wholeness a deaf and dumb man by putting His finger into his ears and touching his tongue with His spittle speaking, *Ephphatha* – “be opened”.
Dear friends, it is only sin that can truncate the flow of happiness and fulfilment into our lives from the source of our being. We can only be restored through the “finger of God”. Are you faithfully open to God’s intervention in your life? Or do you often rely on your strength and ability?
I pray as we journey in life today, we will live to learn from the life of Solomon that one can move from grace to disgrace if one loses focus in one’s relationship with God. May the “finger of God”, the Holy Spirit fill our hearts to be attentive to the needs of others as God has been to us. May we be instruments of your mercy, compassion and peace. Have a wholeness-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali