1ST NOVENA CLOSURE MASS HOMILY
“THEME: CREATING A HOME WHERE JESUS IS WELCOME”

In today Gospel passage (John 2:1-11), we hear of Jesus attending a wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. Irrespective of his high profile and divine nature, Jesus Christ was invited to the wedding and He attended. His presence saved the wedding host from the shame of insufficient wine for their guests. On a deeper reflection, Jesus comes to turn our imperfections to perfections, refills that which is dry, provides the missing, restores the broken and resurrects the dead. How then do we call and invite Him into our homes?


CREATING A HOME WHERE JESUS IS WELCOME

Pray Often “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. The first step of having Jesus in our homes is to invite Him through prayers. If we want our families to be strong, we must transform our homes into shrines.

Allow change. We cannot welcome Jesus into our homes if we don’t want to change. Think of a crack in our houses, it lets the light to enter in. Now, every home has its own crack in form of a difficult child, spouse or a situation. We should not see these difficulties as the world sees and names them, but as cracks that to let Jesus come in and transform everything.

Ruthlessly eliminate un-Christ like Attitudes and Behaviors. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. Sinful attitudes can be very dangerous and hard to eliminate. They destroy our homes and affect the way we live. Reading the bible regularly helps to spot such attitudes and behaviors that the rest of the world regards ‘normal” or of “no big deal”.


GENERAL ATTITUDES TO AVOID

  1. Judgmental attitude: This attitude never allows you to understand your wife, husband or children. It is very destructive and makes our homes very difficult.
  2. Hypocritical attitudes: This is where one becomes a “moral police “checking the behaviors of others whereas one is doing the same things others should not do.
  3. Overpromising attitude: Don’t promise what you cannot give. Let your children know what you are able to offer them, they understand your struggles.

Indifferences in handling children behaviors.

Do you know of the “screen saver” parents? They keep quite when children misbehave just to appear pleasant while the other parent is seen as the enemy for showing concern. Though this creates conflict, the children eventually get to realize the good intentions the so called ‘enemy’ had for them
Trivializing sin and ranking sin selectively This preferential treatment makes one Childs mistake worse if done by another child and is usually found in blended families, where there are step children.

  1. Make Your Home a Place of Service: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Philippians 2:3. For Jesus to accept our invitation to come and stay at our homes, we must make our homes places for service and not battle grounds and factories of obscene language and insults.
  2. Set Up Physical Reminders “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.” Genesis 12:7 The Israelites in the Old Testament built these altars to remember what God had done for them. As Christians, we also need to have such reminders at our homes showing who God is in our lives through the following-:
    Placing Christian decor around your home.
    Displaying Sacramentals such us the holy cross
    Placing the Bible and other Christian books where can see them often
    Buying clothes with Christian message eg a TSHIRT written I LOVE JESUS. It’s important for parents to check what is written in their children clothes.
    Setting an alarm (or multiple alarms). Alarm should not only be for work but they should also remind us to have time for God.
    God will accept any prayer since he’s always willing to meet us where we are. But if we pray without expecting Him to respond, we limit what we’re inviting Him to do in our lives. On the other hand, if we approach God with faith-filled prayers, we may see something wonderful and miraculous happen.

HOW DO WE PRAY FOR A MIRACLE

Build Your Faith. The simplest way to strengthen your prayers is to increase your faith. Ask God to give you the faith you need to confidently trust that he will keep his promises, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in. Choose to believe that God will reward you for diligently seeking him, as religious texts promise. Pray with a sense of eager anticipation, expecting that God will always act to do what’s best when you pray.

Expect God to do much more than you could do on your own. Surround yourself with people who have strong faith, people who believe that God is as big as he says he is, and who have personally experienced his mighty power and faithfulness in their own lives. Keep a prayer journal in which you record specific prayers that you practice daily until breakthroughs come. Write down the answers to your prayers when they come. Later, read your past journal entries to remind yourself of how God has been faithful to you.

Ask What God Wants for You: When asking God for something in prayer, ask with pure motives. Seek answers that reflect God’s will rather than trying to convince him to follow your own plans. Try to identify any faulty patterns in your prayer life, ask yourself, “Am I praying merely for my own comforts and desires?” “Do I ever pray when things are going well, or only when I’m in dire need?” “Is my motive in prayer my own happiness, or God’s glory? and “Do I pray with an attitude of doubt, just going through the motions of prayer because it seems like the spiritual thing to do?” Repent of any wrong attitudes and ask God to help you approach prayer with pure intentions. Pray in alignment with God’s will and remember that he wants the best for you.

Rely on God’s Strength to Fight Spiritual Battles: To pray effectively, you must rely on God’s strength and allow it to empower you when you face challenging situations. Be aware that the discouragement or despair you feel may be caused by an evil that is opposing your efforts to grow closer to God. Get rid of sinful habits that may be opening doors for evil to come through. Confess and repent of any sin that God brings to your attention, and ask him to cleanse you of it. 8 You’ll never lose a battle when you fight with God’s strength flowing through you. So don’t just rely on your own limited strength; pray for God to empower you to do battle in every situation.

Wrestle in Prayer: Prayer requires perseverance. You must learn to have faith in God’s plan and trust that he will guide you, even when you are going through very difficult times. When something bad happens, don’t say a few brief prayers for God’s help. Instead, grab hold of God’s promises and fight to see them realized. Be persistent, praying until God gives you answers. Don’t give up praying about a situation until God’s power comes into it.

Pray for What Only God Can Do: If you want to pray powerfully, you must pray for things that require great assistance, things that you could not just easily change on your own. Don’t limit your prayers to simple situations that don’t require much divine intervention to change. Instead, make a habit of praying for big things that only God can do. For example, instead of praying to get through each workday, pray for a bigger vision of your vocation and the courage you need to fulfill it, even if that means finding an entirely new job. Invite God to do something incredibly powerful in each situation that you bring before him. God will respond to any prayer, no matter how small. Since you can approach God with confidence, why not pray the biggest, most powerful prayers that you can?

As we continue to invite Jesus into our homes, may Mary our mother, intercessor and perpetual helper take me, you and your family to Jesus her son so that our imperfections will be turned to perfections, our insufficiency to abundance, bad attitude to good attitude, our disappointed into joy, problems to solutions.

God Bless you


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