NO CROSS, NO CROWN
The above is how Rev. Fr Patrick Okon decided to theme his homily today.
He drew inspirations from the following readings: Jer.20: 7-9; Rom 12: 1-2; nd Mt 16: 21-27.
Noting that life is full of ups and downs, he said that there are moments of joy and sweetness as there are difficulties and trials.
Rev. Fr. Okon who recounted the difficulties and trials of Jeremiah in the course of evangelism, said in our lives as christains, we have had similar experiences. Insisting that nothing happens without God’s knowledge–Isaiah 40:28, he said troubles are real experiences of life and that without a cross, there can’t be a crown. Jesus Christ carried the cross to bequeath salvation to mankind.
Rev. Fr. Okon who was delivering his homily at St Jude Police Catholic Chaplaincy MOPOL 55 Aba Abia State today, mentioned a number of lessons to be learnt from today’s readings as stated above. They are thus:
**Virtue of Self Denial. While noting that as human beings there is tendency of being selfish—cutting corners, diverting public funds for personal wants etc, he said service to God is not about self but self denial. He recalled that Jeremiah denied himself a lot and went to serve God inspite of his short comings. For him, to make heaven, self denial is a virtue to behold.
**Lesson of the Cross. According to the homilist, cross whether, spiritual, financial, marital,social etc, add value to our lives. Making a graphic presentation, he said when one looks at the shape of the Cross, it presents different images depending on how you position it. He said at a point , it represents a weapon, i.e a gun. At another point , it is a bridge which helps us to jump over obstacles.
**Life of Consistency. For Fr. Okon, life of a true christain must be consistent, money or no money.. it is necessary to be a christain in season and out of season. Don’t backslide in the face of difficulty or abandon Christ when in affluence. “Always rebuke and resist the devil. And the devil can be anybody”, he admonished.
Concluding, he said “may God help us to carry our cross”.
And as we carry the cross, may we be blessed with the rewarding crown in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
NO CROSS, NO CROWN