By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The parish priest of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Parish, Okpuno, Awka South L.G.A, Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Anthony Nwafor has exhorted all against lives of unfulfilled promises to God.
Rev. Fr. Nwafor, who gave the admonition in his homily of the Holy Mass to mark the 2018 Annual Harvest and Bazaar of the parish on Sunday, December 9, 2018, described as sinful, unfulfilled promises to God.
The Catholic priest, who based his reflection on the theme: Spirit of Giving, identified paying of tithes; giving to the poor; donations to the Church; sacrifices; gifts to parents, siblings and loved ones as ways of giving.
Citing Psalm 116 verse 12, the homilist charged all to fulfil the promised they made to God either during bazaar or any other activities, saying that such donations to the Church and to the poor were ways through which one make spiritual investments in heaven.
He described as incomplete, love that existed between an individual and his fellow human being and between God and an individual, where the person that claimed to be in love, lacked the spirit of gift-giving.
Fr. Nwafor, who cited the gospel of John 3:16 in the Holy Bible, noted that God’s generousity, transformed human generousity. He observed that true giving came from the heart, and God did not consider the size of gifts given, but the generous heart with which the gift was given.
The priest prayed God to fill all with grace and the spirit of giving. He advised the faithful against grudge giving and calculated giving in which one gives out gifts because of attached benefits. Fr. Nwafor however advocated for free giving from the heart and gifts gaven to God in thanksgiving, saying that it was expected of all to be grateful to God for the gift of life and favours received.
He likened giving to the act of worship to God and sowing of seeds, because, according to him, it was in giving that one received blessing; the more gifts one gave out, the more favours and gifts he received.
Fr. Nwafor, who further based his reflection on the story of Cain and Abel in the Holy Bible, advised all against giving leftover gifts to God just as Cain did, but, like Abel, who gave God the best of his produce, give worthwhile and quality sacrifice to God, noting that quality gifts to God attracted divine blessings.
He described harvest and bazaar as a continuation of what the priest of Salem and Abraham did in the Holy Bible. Fr. Nwafor, who furthermore cited Deut. 3: 16 and Sirach 34:4, warned the faithful against presenting themselves to God empty-handed on the day of harvest (thanksgiving) & Bazaar. But instead, offer their gifts to God according to what he (God) gave them.