…As Ss. Mulumba and David holds Harvest of Amazing Grace
Catholics have been urged to be conscious in expressing due gratitude to God, especially in the aspect of sacrificial praise, which people often do not treat seriously. This was the position of Rev. Fr. Sylvester Omohale CM, in his homily delivered during the adult harvest thanksgiving of Ss. Mulumba and David Catholic Church, Lawanson, tagged, “Harvest of Amazing Grace”, held Sunday, October 14, 2021. While explaining praise as meaning expression of gratitude to God, and comparing gratitude with sacrificial praise, Fr. Omohale described sacrifice as an act of one offering what is valuable to them to others. Speaking further on sacrifice, the priest said that even in the occult world, to get to the next level of promotion, members need to sacrifice something very dear to them. He added that those who did money ritual or other kinds of bad things to get money; are told to bring those dear to them.
He said: “That’s why some of them offer their mothers or their fathers or their wives, as the case may be, or any other person because in the spiritual realm, for your sacrifice to have presence, it needs to be something valuable. No wonder for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son because a lover is a sacrificial giver. “Am not talking about giving out of your luxuries, am talking about the kind of giving that when you give, you will know that power has left you, something left your account, something left your purse. That is the kind of giving that am talking about. The type you are conscious of and you are telling yourself, ‘God, as you are blessing me with this money, see your own. How many of us when you get alert, you sing, ‘I don get alert, na God win.’ Did you keep any percentage for the God that won?”
Giving instance of Abraham, Fr. Omohale noted that Abraham was filled with the spirit of sacrifice because he knew what God did for him, how God brought him to a strange land and blessed him. “For years, Abraham believed God for a child. Later, Isaac came and one day Abraham was admiring Isaac, ‘Oh, thank you Lord. At last I have somebody that will take care of me.” And God said, ‘That son you are admiring, offer him to Me.’ if you were the one that heard that voice, what would you have told God? Abraham took his son, but Abraham taught him something. While they were going, Isaac asked, ‘we have everything for the sacrifice, what about the animal?’ Isaac was just 12years old, but he knew the importance of sacrifice. Have you taught your children like Abraham taught Isaac the importance of sacrificing for God?” He asked.
He said a child will be hungry while in Church and the parent gives him 200 naira to buy biscuit, while they give him 20 naira for offering. He added that in doing this the parent is teaching the child that his stomach is more important than God and unconsciously storing that knowledge in the child’s reservoir of knowledge. He urged parents to teach their wards how to make sacrifices, adding that if they teach the children how to make sacrifices, they (children) will learn contentment. He added that these days, contentment is missing from people’s lives and this has led to crash in marriages and relationships. He said: “People want too much comfort. People want too much luxury, and they forget the contentment that is needed. Teach them what to sacrifice for God. If you want to take them out, you take them to Mr. Biggs, buy expensive food, but when it comes to giving to God, you are always conscious of giving them 20 naira.
“That’s why Jesus said in Mark 12:17, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. In my own interpretation, giving to Caesar means giving to ourselves; many of us when we want to give ourselves, we know how to give ourselves the best. Jesus says it’s not a crime, ‘give to Caesar.’ But when you want to give to Caesar, remember to give to God what belongs to God. “Many after this harvest now, may be next week or anytime will go and relax in the beer palour, and by the time you get there, with excitement, you will order for bottles of beer, and end up consuming four or five bottles, meaning you have spent about two thousand naira for drinks. But what are offering on Sunday is 100 naira, for four Sundays 400 naira and you are saying God bless me.”
The priest noted that some people spend millions of naira to celebrate their wedding; some save millions to buy luxurious cars, but have no plans for the God that supplied the money. He added that some will come for child presentation and spend so much to celebrate and feed people that may disappoint them tomorrow, but when they come to Church they bring little things for thanksgiving. “Even as poor as Mary and Joseph were, when they wanted to present Jesus, they brought livestock; pair of pigeon, turtledoves”, he said. Speaking further on generosity, Fr. Omohale noted that there is gratitude attached to giving to God, as he advised that people should learn to give to God, so that they do not lose what God has given to them.