Homelitcs on 03/04/2016  Birth Thanksgiving Mass

In 2002, a Pair of 70 yr old identical twin brother in Finland killed by trucks while ridding Bicycles in separate accidents on the same day along the same road about a mile apart. The 2nd accident occurred just 2hrs after the first, the 2nd brother hadn’t learnt that his brother had been killed, eliminating suicide and making truly one for record books. Coincidence happens all the time.

  • we were just thinking of someone when they call us on the phone,
  • or we have this song in mind when it suddenly plays on the radio.
  • Most of the time they don’t mean much, but every once in awhile there is a coincidence that’s outright spooky, or one that has a major impact on world events.
  • When these coincidences are positive in nature, we call them synchronicity or even serendipity; when they are not, however, we call them catastrophes.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT TODAY? There are many gifts:

  • Positive Coincidence. 24th August 1968, 48yrs later. Bp Okoro and Elechi. Always brought together by the office they hold.
  • Successful Marriage: instituted in war time is, celebrated in peace, the scriptures is right: those who sow in tears, sing when they reap. Matrimonial love is a gift. Forced love is rape.
  • Successful public service- Napoleon Bonaparte’s axiom. No one has gone mad. Patriotism is a gift; forced patriotism is a tyranny. Tyrants are absolute, they don’t retire; they die in office.
  • Life at extra-time: Ps 90: 10 says our life time is 70 and 80 for the strong. Life is like a biscuit; it breaks where one does not expect it. And above all, we strive for what is best, but the best gifts are free or bestowed. Life is a gift. A humble man is reverent and thankful.



Thanksgiving is a form of worship. We give God gratitude both for things received and things not received.

  • The Heb. term for gratitude is hakarat hatov,=literally, “recognizing the good” already urs.
  1. If you’ve lost your job= still have your family and health, you have sth to be grateful for.
  2. If you can’t move around except in a wheelchair, but your mind is as sharp as ever, you have something to be grateful for.
  • Worship is a contraption of worthship. It is the manifestation of the worth in which we hold another person.
  1. When you applaud an actor on the stage, or a returning hero, U are worshipping him.
  2. Every time a man takes off his hat to a lady, he is worshipping her.
  • The Gospel is about recognizing received good.
  1. On a border b/w Samaria & Galilee, Jesus met a band of lepers with only one being a Samaritan.
  2. A common misfortune had broken down the racial and national barriers and they had forgotten they were Jews and Samaritans and remembered only that they were in need.
  • If a flood surges over a piece of country and wild animals congregate for safety on some little bit of higher ground, you will find standing peacefully together animals who are natural enemies and who at other time will do their best to kill each other.
  1. Surely, our common need for God should draw us together.
  2. The lepers came to Jesus with desperate longing. He cured them and nine never came back. As it is so often once a man has got what he wants, he never comes back.
  3. Is it not funny that despite what our parents do fr us, a day comes when they become a nuisance.


  • Isaiah 38: 19- Not the dead, the living the living alone can give thanks and praise to him.
  • Ps 8: 5-6- God cares for man, he has made him little less than angels.
  • When man doesn’t thank God, he worships something else, and nine times out of ten it will be himself. Tancredo Neves was born on March 4, 1910 – April 21, 1985. He was a Brazilian politician, lawyer, and entrepreneur. But he was so ambitious and proud.
  1. Doctor’s advice: “You can do whatever you want with me… after I take office.”
  2. Asked for ½ of the Electoral College & not even God could stop him become the president. Got elected as received 480 votes while Maluf received 180 votes with only 26 abstentions. Died at the eve of his swearing in on April 21, 1985.
  • If there is no God, then you are a god; and if you are a god and your own law and your own creator, then I am an atheist.
  • The proud man counts his newspaper clippings- the humble man counts his blessings.



  • Affirmation of goodness. i. Good and benefits we’ve received.” ii. the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves.
  • Jn 3:27- a person can receive only what is given
  • I Cor 4: 7- what do you have that that not be given.
  • There is so little worship of God today is because man denies he is a creature. But then,
  1. Applause is contagious; let two or three applaud in a theatre and everyone follows.
  • Reputation is often only popularity; and like breeze, it cannot be kept. You must enjoy it while it blows. It is like a ball – men generally start kicking it about when it stops rolling.
  • Anyone who enjoys world’s repute, if he is honest with himself knows that he does not deserve it.
  • The world is either saying things about us that are too good to be true or too bad to be true.
  • As St Philip Neri, seeing a condemned man led to the guillotine said: “There goes Philip Neri, except for the grace of God.”

Who would have given chance that the only child of a mother could

  1. survive the competition and rivalry of traditional polygamous family?
  2. take the risk of marrying one wife and yet got blessed with for 4 children
  • rise to the position of a governor of a state.
  1. Attain the age of 75 and still counting. The Bible said that our life span is 70 and 80 for those who are strong (Ps 90: 10)
  • How many Moses have enter P. land. Moses beheld; Kings Jnr saw it from mountain top; Mandela and Martin stepped and rose to the juiciest throne. NA GODWIN- Koredo Bello.
  • We thank God not b/c He will be imperfect and unhappy. Our thanksgiving adds nothing to God’s greatness; it rather makes us perfect and happy.
  • Does a son’s tiny little gift of say ribbon make his father richer? No, he loves them because by this gift the child is worshipping, acknowledging his love, & perfecting himself.
  • A lover does not give gifts to the beloved because she is poor. One of the reasons he takes off the price tag is because he does not want to establish a proportion between his gift and his love.


  • All the time, J. F. Martins (If good or bad, make una dey thank God eeh, ehee). The great Talmudic proverb asks, “Who is rich?” and then answers, “Those who rejoice in their own lot.” (Avot 4:1)
  • Too many assume that God is good and worshipped only when he gives us what we want.
  • We are like children who think our parents do not love b/c they do not give us revolvers or because they make us go to school. We have to distinguish between
  • getting what we want
  • getting what we need.
  1. God can give us what we need even though we do not want it just as we ask for what we want even though we do not need it.
  2. The Prodigal Son =‘give me.’ He judged his father’s goodness by what he wanted.

Returned much wiser= ‘make me.’ He needed a restoration of his father’s love

  • The thief on the left wanted Jesus to come down.

The thief on the right judged the goodness by what he needed, the paradise.

  • God gives us what we need not what we want for our pleasure and sometimes for destruction. God loves us. Think of the thousands you have met whom you could never love. You may even wonder how their mothers could love them. But God loves them! He even loves them more than He loves us who look down on them with disdain and scorn.


  • Everywhere man finds the least opportunity. In the church, in the needy, the homeless.


  • There is a social dimension to thanksgiving. Because thanksgiving encourages us not only to appreciate gifts but to repay them, the sociologist Georg Simmel called it “the moral memory of mankind.”There are many ways:
  1. Liangi Yaoyi- 11 yr old Chinese whose heroic video clip went viral last October. He donated his organs that others dream may not suffer in future.
  2. When his son, Christopher, took his own life with a gun, Betty Holocom of Peoria along with his husband Forres Holocom, founded ‘Children for Peace’ because he wants the memory of his son to be a force in the lives of others who could be victims of gun violence. Since inceptions, Holocomb has helped initiate peace walks in some of the highest crime areas and christened a program to provide mentoring to children against crime.
  3. Clara Feldman is one of the Jewish mothers who survived the Nazi Holocaust. Today she goes from school to school in New York to teach students about what happened to Jews in Germany during the war. She applies the lessons to our modern world making it clear to students that they cannot remain silent about the violation of human rights wherever it occurs and must be vigilant to keep the society secure.
  4. Tommy Pigage was drunk when he hit and killed Ted Morris of Kentucky. Ted was the only son of Mrs. Elizabeth Morris. The death of her only son left Elizabeth stunned and angry. Tommy pleaded guilty and was convicted. After release Tommy in gratitude, joined MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) giving talks to students on dangers of driving while drunk.


The Celebrants:

  • This is a year of great jubilee.
  • Detro 4: 1, 5-9: Be on your guard! Make certain that you do not forget as long as you live, what you have seen with your own eyes” Tragedies of life are opportunities for life.
  • Great jubilee is a year of restoration which has special meaning for ancient Jews: Lev 25: 39-41 “ If a fellow Israelite living near you becomes so poor that he sells himself to you as a slave…he shall stay with you…until the next year of restoration. At that time he and his children shall leave you and return to his family. “A Poor man who sells his land in order to buy food got it back at the year of restoration” Lev. 25: 23-28. Great Jubilee is a time when all debts are cancelled. Besides, this is a year of mercy.
  • The greatest legacy you can leave now is legacy of forgiveness. Every man is either a bandit on the left or a bandit at the right of the crucified savior. Salvation depends on how we turn to Jesus.
  1. The great Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi was killed by a Hindu extremist in 1948. The assassin was standing besides a garden path, his hands folded before him, palms together, in the Hindu gesture of greeting. Between the palms of the assassin’s hands was concealed a small, low-calibre revolver. As Gandhi passed, the man fired three shots, at very close range, into the leader’s body. Gandhi crumpled to the ground, instantly putting his hand to his forehead in the Hindu gesture of forgiveness. To be a righteous man, when put to test, we should give striking proof of our righteousness.


  1. At 75, you are at extra time and no price will be too much for peace.
  2. At 75, we have to reconcile with the inevitable and not be bothered about what you could not achieve. Because
  3. The truly happy person does not really care what others may think of him,
  4. True glory consists in the judgment of God rather than in the judgment of men.
  5. The most lasting reputations are those that are achieved after death when tinsel of empty glory fades away.
  6. The greatness of Lincoln is posthumous.
  7. The glory of Christ came after His crucifixion. And from him came the warning: “woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

We cannot but wish you many more years. Retired but not tired.