a sermon by Most Rev. Patrice Byanka Njojo, Archbishop of Congo
Preached at Good Shepherd Parish, Rosemont, Diocese of Pennsylvania
November 26, 2000
Note: the sermon was preached in French and translated simultaneously. This is my loose transcript, taken by hand during the preaching. It is not an exact rendering of the translator said. I hope that it can still have some value to those who hear and heed it. -- Louie Crew
The service tonight has a special significance. Because our brothers and sisters would like to witness to their faith in Christ and to the Holy Spirit who will rain down upon those who are read. We will pray together that the Holy Spirit will come down upon us.
The passages tonight are proof, from the Old Testament and the New, that God wants to send his son to save us. Zachariah's is a majestic description of what will happen at the end -- the coming of a king who is the Messiah, and all will break forth into joy. He is just, victorious, humble, riding on a donkey. The Lord will make every chariot of war disappeaer and will take away the hurts of warfare. The arch of war will be broken. The Messiah will establish peace, and his dominion will stretch from one ocean to another. This message God has sent to his people.
Unfortunately the people of Israel rejected the message, and sold God for thirty pieces of silver. But others received him. Christ rose to heaven and promised to his disciples the descent of the Holy Ghost. 'You will be my witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and to all the world.'
Jesus Christ himself repeated Zachariah's promise of peace, and has dominion from one sea to the next. When the apostles received the Spirit, they preached to the pagans, who expressed remorse, were baptized, and received the Spirit.
This message keeps all its timeliness today, for all Christians who have faith in Jesus Christ, to be read to defend the faith.
We see today people in the world who live without God and without Christ as their Savior, and have no witness to justify their hoppe. That is why there are many things that are indifferent to our Lord. You know them. I know them. Egotism: each on for himself. The countries of the world are still at war. We have famine, assassinations. African countries continue to be exploited by the rich. There is widespread poverty.
The Word of God is not present in all these who want too much for themselves in luxury.
God is asking us today how to be in the world. To be rich? That might be okay, but one must also see all those who are poor. Some want to buy a new car every year. God would like to teach us how to help other people. Peter asks us to recognize how we can help other people, to recognize the Messiah and the work he came to do in the world.
Today we will confirm people and ask them to remain in the faith. They have much to do in the church, and we must pray. God tells us that we must suffer as the disciples did if we wish to gain eternal life. Christ himself suffered for me and for you, to redeem us. We must apply ourselves with zeal to do what is good even if it causes us suffering. It is good and will prepare us for the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is fantastic. Jesus was resurrected for our sins, and now sits at the right hand of God. Fear not other men, only God. So that we can maintain our faith.
I wish to thank all Christians who are here tonight who feel they have Christ in their hearts and witness to others. We continue to pray that this world may be saved, because the world is filled with sin.
I don't know how much time you have to pray. I met someone in Europe last week who told me that he id not have time to pray since he preferred to watch football. A priest there told me that I had only five minutes to preach because of a football match between England and France.
We give a better place to the things of this world than to God.
God today is calling us to eternal life. Let us pray.
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