KIL’EFE SIR?: A HOMILY ON EASTER TUESDAY
If you ever went to any market in Ibadan, there is no way you will not be asked by so many people ‘Kil’efe Sir?’ which means ‘What do you want Sir?’ Each of them will try to convince you that you need whatever it is they are selling. Even when you try to convince them that you don’t want to buy what they are selling, they will try to convince you that you need it. It is as if they are telling you what you want, rather than waiting for you to tell them what you want. But is that not what we experience everyday in life? The worst thing is when you go to the market to buy one thing, and you end up buying five, thanks to these persuasions. Some will promise you a discount and tell you it is on special, etc. If your will is not strong, you will end up buying what you did not plan to buy.
What is my desire in life? What do I want? In fact, if my greatest desire is a ‘What’, then there is a big problem. My greatest desire should graduate from a ‘What’ to a ‘Who’. In the Gospel, we see Mary Magdalene, the first to see the risen Lord. The two angels asked her a very important questions. They asked her ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ If I am weeping because of a ‘What’ that I have lost, then, what is my priority in life. Mary’s answer is ‘They have taken my Lord away.’ Yes, she is weeping not because of a ‘What’ but because of a ‘Who’. Jesus stands before her and asks her the same question but adds ‘Who are you looking for?’ Of course, she is not looking for a ‘What’ but for a ‘Who’. But like many of us, she graduated from calling Jesus Sir, thinking He is a gardener, to calling Him Master. Then when she went to announce to the disciples, she said she had seen, not Sir, not Master, but the Lord. Sometimes we may know we are looking for the Lord, but even in the presence of the Lord, we still need to grow in our understanding of the place of the Lord in our lives.
Peter in the First Reading tells the people who Jesus is Lord and Christ. To be Lord means that we submit our wills to the Lord. Christ is the anointed one. Peter tells the people to repent and be baptised. We can say we have repented and are baptised, but we have to undergo on-going repentance. In baptism, our original innocence is restored, but this innocence can easily be corrupted by all the things in life that compete for our attention. Like the people in the Ibadan market, we are persuaded from all sides by people who are asking us what we want and telling us what we want at the same time. The pursuit of all these can lead us to tears. But we have to know why we are crying, if it is over something worth crying for. We have to know what we really want. Most importantly, we have to know who it is that we are looking for, but having found Him, we still have to give Him the proper place as Lord and Christ in our lives. Do not wait for the marketers of life to tell you what you want. Let that question resound daily in our minds ‘What do you want?’ or rather ‘Who are you looking for?’ If the Lord is very important to us, we will continue to cry and weep until we find Him.