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Homily from Professions in Ghana

Date: 01 Sep 2014

Here is a summary of the homily preached by Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta, Bishop of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, during the Final Profession of Brother Godfred Beteryel and Joseph Mukasa and the First Profession of Raymond Kefas at Kongo Church on August 23rd this year.

Homily (summarised by Brother Imoru Lombogedong Emmanuel)

[Reading: Isaiah: 61:1-6, Gospel:  Luke: 4:11-13]

In a short reflection, the Bishop began by thanking the Presentation Brothers for giving him the opportunity to preside over the ceremony. He also thanked the Congregation for the invaluable contributions to the formation and education of the youth over the years in Navrongo-Bolgantanga Diocese.

Reflecting on the first reading, the bishop highlighted the challenges that the people of God experienced after they returned from exile. He observed that in the midst of those challenges, the prophet Isaiah gives a message of hope to the suffering people. In the same way, he entreated the Brothers to bring messages of hope to the people of today's world where hope is a rare commodity.

The bishop referred to religious life as a call that enjoins us to bring hope, love, joy and peace to all God’s people as Christ did. As disciples and witnesses of Christ, religious are to let that hope, love, joy and peace touch people's lives in a positive way. Excessive complaints, resentfulness and disobedience to authority are very negative traits that have no room in religious life.

Bishop Alfred said that religious life is not without its temptations. These temptations, like those of Jesus, will come in the form materialism, selfish desires, laziness, desire for power, unhealthy lifestyles, amongst others. The devil will slow the progress of our mission if we do not place God first in all that they do. The devil will use opportunities to test us, encouraging us to place ourselves first in order to destroy the joy, love and faith that comes from God. So, he said, there is a need for vigilance.  Giving in to such temptations completely undermines the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The Bishop concluded his reflection by asking all at the Eucharistic celebration to pray for the newly professed brothers as they continue their 'journey of faith and adventure in hope' as temporary and finally professed Brothers in the Congregation of Presentation Brothers.

He also wished Brother Agoah Francis Xavier and Alban Besigrinee God's blessings – they marked their birthday on the day of the Profession!