BE THE ANSWER! A HOMILY ON THE MEMORIAL OF ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY
In a particular church, there is a little chapel of adoration. People always go to this chapel to pray. There is a sign in that chapel which says ‘Please, do not leave your wallet or phone(s) behind. Someone may think it is the answer to his/her prayer.’
In a particular movie I watched, Nkem Owoh went into the chapel to pray because he was into a bad business, which is expected to give him millions of dollars. When he got to the chapel, he saw so many people praying. He felt that his problem required an undivided attention from God. So he asked each person in the chapel what they were praying for. Then he give them the amount of money enough to solve their problems and asked them to leave the chapel. That way, he can talk to God alone and God can give him full attention.
Many of us would have heard the idea of PUSH, which says ‘Pray Until Something Happens!’ This idea is seen in the parable in our gospel of today. It is the parable of the unjust dudge, who did not want to listen to the poor widow who is asking for justice, but after many persistent visits, the unjust judge granted her the justice she sought. This passage is good when we are encouraged to pray without ceasing, to pray in faith, knowing that no matter how long it takes, God will never abandon us to a bad fate, but that he will grant our prayers.
However, our first reading gives us another side to this. St. John thanks the early christians for their faithfulness in looking after those who ministered to them. He thanks them for the charity for which the early church was known. The early missionaries went out carrying nothing, just as Jesus had instructed and they depended on what they got from the early christians. The early missionaries also gave out part of what they got. This way, they recieved charity from people, but also did charity from the charity they recieved. Charity is one of the true marks of a christian. In the responsorial psalm we are told that the good man takes pity and lends. He is compassionate to those in need.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary was a woman of charity. This is evident in her pictures. Most times, she is shown either carrying loaves ofbread or giving out loaves of bread to the poor. She was married to Ludwig, the Landgrave of Thuringia, but after the death of her husband she devoted herself to a religious life of poverty and she built a hospice for the sick, where she worked as well.
It is very easy for us to talk about PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), but we need to know that God does not send his blessings through the physical sky above. He gives things to us through other people. For example, if you pray for a job, God will not directly give you the job, but He will appoint someone through whom you will get the job. In other words, God uses one person to bless another person. You as an individual need to know that you are the answer to someone’s prayers. Sometimes we blame God for not answering our prayers. But many prayers have been answered, but the persons who are the answers to those payers have refused to deliver.
If God has blessed you in one way or another, then He has also made you the answer to someone’s prayers. One way to answer this call is through acts of charity. St. Elizabeth of Hungary knew she was the answer to so many people’s prayers. So she devoted her life to caring for the poor, the needy and the sick. Each of us, as much as we have something we are praying for should also know that, the reason why we encounter delay in recieving God’s blessings, is not because God Himself is so wicked as to hold onto our blessings, but because the person who has been sent to deliver it has either refused or is delaying to delivering it. However, sometimes the delay could be for other reasons.
Each of us must tell ourselves today ‘I am the answer to someone’s prayers!’ God can give people what they want directly, but his mode of operation is to bless us through other people. Yes, you may have something you are praying for, but dont forget, you are the answer to someone’s prayers and you are the reason why someone’s prayers has not been answered. Each time you do good to someone, know that you have become the answer to someone’s prayers, and because of you, God will no longer have a bad reputation.
I am Fr. Ifeanyichukwu Henry Nwokoro, CSsR. I am your fellow child of God and this is my way of sharing my daily reflections with you. Please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or question. Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord.
View all posts by Fr. Ifeanyichukwu Henry Nwokoro CSsR