HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
THEME: THE LIBERATION POWER OF GOD
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OCTOBER 7 2022
The Memorial Our Lady of the Rosary which we celebrate today, was instituted to honor Blessed Virgin Mary for the Christian victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Pope St. Pius V and all Christians had prayed the Rosary for victory. The Rosary, or the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is one of the best prayers to Mary, the Mother of God. “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium” (St. John Paul II. Rosarium Virginis Mariae – On the Most Holy Rosary). The Church invites all families to pray the Rosary for the mission of the Church and for peace.
The readings of today speak of the liberating power of God. In the thought of St. Augustine, our lives have a God-shaped void which only God can fill. Any attempt to leave it vacant or fill it with something else not of God, then our situation will end up worse.
In the first reading (Gal 3: 7-14), St. Paul reminds the Galatians that their salvation does not come by strict observance of the law, but by responding genuinely to the gift of faith which comes from God alone through the power of the Holy Spirit. Anyone, Jew or pagan, who lives by faith which is manifested in our actions, shares in “the blessings of Abraham… so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit” (Gal 3: 14).
Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, in today’s gospel (Luke 11: 15-26), demonstrated His power over evil spirit, the power of darkness, and Jesus’ power is a sign of the coming Reign of God. The “finger of God” with which Jesus casts out demons points back to Moses confrontation with Pharoah and his magicians who represented Satan and the kingdon of darkness (Ex. 8: 9). This “finger of God” images the Holy Spirit which dwells in our “house” as adopted sons and daughters of God through baptism. Is my body still the Temple of the Holy Spirit, or have I dispelled Him by my way of life?
Dear friends, it is clear that nature abhors vacuum, our lives cannot be lived in emptiness. It is not enough to banish evil thoughts and habits from our lives, it requires us fill it in with God, the source of all good. What do I fill the void in my life with?
I pray as we journey in life today, the words of the Psalmist shall be our guide: “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge of you to guide you in all your ways” (Ps. 91: 9-11). Have a liberation-full day!