There is need for members of the Clergy to prepare their homilies, handling their ministry in a “professional” way as they feed the people of God with the word of God, Bishop John Mbinda of Kenya’s Lodwar Diocese has said.
In his homily on the occasion of the Diaconate Ordination of 16 members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp.), also known as Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers, Bishop Mbinda reminded the Deacons-elect about the importance of prayer and their vowed life.
“Let us be professional in the way we prepare our homilies because this is one of the ways that we are being called to reach out to those that need the word of God,” the Bishop during the Ordination Mass that was held at St. John the Evangelist Holy Ghost Parish of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi.
Bishop John Mbinda of Kenya’s Lodwar Diocese during the Diaconate Ordination at St. John the Evangelist Holy Ghost Parish of Kenya’s Archdiocese of Nairobi. Credit: ACI Africa
The Spiritan Bishop further appealed, “Prepare your homilies well so that they can be the stepping stones for those who don’t believe in Christ to believe in Christ.”
“Put your preaching within the context of the people you are serving so that it can teach, inform, and direct their lives,” Bishop Mbinda told the deacons-elect, and urged them to preach God’s word as it is put in the Gospel and “to remain within the tradition of the Holy Mother Church”.
One of the seminarians being escorted by his parents. Credit: ACI Africa
“We are also to teach what the teaching authority of the Church – the Bishops, the Pope – teaches so that the people of God can understand what they need to give to the Church, what they need to do so that all of us together with them can reach eternal life,” he told the 16 Spiritan Deacons-elect, who hail from six African nationalities.
The Bishop member of Kenya’s oldest missionary Order went on to appeal to the Deacons-elect foster humility, dedication, and total sacrifice in their ministry as members of the Clergy.
“This is the reason why the Church invites you to proclaim the vow of chastity and celibacy so that you can free yourselves,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop said, adding that celibacy “is a sign and motive of pastoral charity, a sign and motive of pastoral chastity.”
Celibacy, he continued, “means that when we give ourselves to Christ, our interior motive, and all of our body and soul, give ourselves fully to the service of the Lord.”
Credit: ACI Africa
“We do not leave anything behind; we give ourselves fully and we are motivated to free ourselves of family responsibilities so that we can be fully available to the family of God,” Bishop Mbinda said.
Bishop John Mbinda examining the candidates for ordination. Credit: ACI Africa
Turning his attention to the vow of obedience, said, “Obedience is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of humility. Following the footsteps of Christ himself who humbled himself, leaving the dominion of heaven and coming down so that He can show us the way to the Father, be obedient and you will reap the fruits of following Christ fully.”
Credit: ACI Africa
The Local Ordinary of Lodwar Diocese called on the Deacons-elect he was about to ordain hailing from Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia to be prayerful.
“Prayer remains a key component. It remains part and parcel of your Religious Life wherever you will be. Pray hard because now that you are going to join the order of Deacons, the devil is graduating to ‘deacon devil’ and he will be seeking to devour you,” he said, making reference to the first letter of St. Peter 5:8 recited during night prayers.