Local Homilies

3RD MARCH 2021
Jeremiah 18:18-20; Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16; Matthew 20:17-28
Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” (C.f. Matthew 20:22).
▪Let us look at the promptness with which the two disciples responded to the question of the Lord. Their response speaks volumes in their future endeavours. They were seeking for the honour to sit at each side of the Lord in His kingdom, but the Lord reminded them that such honour comes the price of a chalice – the chalice of suffering.
~ During our baptismal promises, similar questions were asked, the summary of which was to believe in God, we responded “I do” to every of the question. At the point of these questions and answers, we were ignorant of the future, but we relied on God’s grace.
~ After many years of these promises in baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, matrimony, ordination, profession and oath of office, do we still say “We can” or are our actions saying “We can’t?”
▪It is in their words “We can” and the “willingness to do the Will of God” that the power to drink this chalice of suffering reside. Our promises to God are strengthened by our willingness to sincerely adhere to those promises. It does not mean that we are not frail to err, but that our frailty will always find the strength in our willingness to rise to our promises.
~ St. Paul reminds us that we can do all things in Him that strengthens us, (c.f. Philippians 4:13). We might have said we can to the promises of God in the past, but now find ourselves weak to fulfill those promises, it is left for us to remember that we can.
~ We can, because for anyone who believes, all things are possible, (c.f. Mark 9:23). We may not be in a haste like James and John, but may we always have the sincerity with which they both responded to the call to drink the chalice of the Lord.
▪Dear friend, if you think you can’t, then you can’t. The moment we decide that “we can” with the help of God, we will always succeed. This means to constantly remain closer to the Lord, so that He will always sustain us in our daily promises. This Lent is a time to remind ourselves that we can still do better in our relationships with God and others. May God grant this grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
He will still help us because He can, so that we can rise again
God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish Stowe, and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA