On the 19th February a big crowd of faithful and invitees gathered in Kokstad for celebrating Bishop Zolile P. Mpambani’s 60th Year Birthday as well as his 30th Anniversary of his Priestly ordination.
The Holy Mass was said for the two-fold celebration held at the St Patrick’s Cathedral in Kokstad at 11h.00am. The readings were taken from the 7th Sunday of the Year A. In his homily during the Eucharistic Celebration, Bishop Jwarha of the Vicariate of Ingwavuma called all the faithful and those who were present to understand that Jesus has given us a new law. This is the law of love. Therefore hatred belongs to the past.
“ …I hope you understand that hatred belongs to the past. Jesus said I give you a new law. This is the Law of love.” He said. He also reminded the faithful that, we should not hate those who make us suffer, but pray for them and do well to those who persecute us. There is nobody who may say that he/she does not have an enemy. And if somebody does not have an enemy that means there is something wrong with that person. But we should go and love our neighbour and greet them. We should not retaliate with hatred or wrong doing. If we only greet those who love us that means we are not yet true followers of Jesus. We should not live in the past with hatred. We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Therefore hatred can make a mess of this temple. To hate another person is to put shame on ourselves.
He also brought to Bishop’s Zolile’s attention that as the Gospel of the day speaks about enemies, he (Bishop of Kokstad) also in all these 60th years of priestly ministry may have experienced it in his life. He also added that to have enemies is not a synonym of being a bad person. Some enemies come to our lives without our invitations. There are some who come to our lives because of what we have; there are others we have in our lives simply because they do not want to hear the truth. A person may also be hated because of his/her righteousness.
It is painful for a faithful to be an enemy of another faithful. We cannot say at the time of our baptism that we reject Satan yet after baptism we still carrying on developing hatred and become enemies of our fellow Christians. In the same regard it is painful to be hated by a faithful who know God who may happen to be a prayerful person.
We cannot receive the body of Christ, calling ourselves Christians and yet still living the past and still want to revenge or hate our fellow brothers and sisters. He also reminded the Bishop that the work God gave him is not as easy task but he should only persevere in prayer and ask God to help him not to be any person’s enemy.
He also put it clearly in front of everybody that it is a shame when people have to hate one another in the Catholic Church. How can I hate my brother or sister and yet I approach the table of the Lord to receive the Holy Communion? Before doing so we should firstly encounter the Lord in sacrament of reconciliation. This will therefore help us to love our neighbour, our brothers and sisters and pray for those who hate us. And the Scriptures remind us that it is better to forgive before the sunset. One of the reasons we should regularly visit the sacrament of reconciliation is because we cannot eat the body of Christ with anger and hatred in us.
Finally he called everybody to bear in mind that nobody should have anything against his/her brother. And we should always know that hatred belongs to the past…