Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, P. (20th January, 2021) on the Gospel and the Feast


Phil 2:1-11;

Is 12:2-6 (R. v.1);

Matt 13:31.44-46.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi
was born in Aguleri, Anambra State, Nigeria on September 1903. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria on 19 December 1937. He worked in Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu, and Aguleri. Blessed Cyprian was later a Cistercian Monk at Mount Saint Bernard Monastery in England. He died in Leicester, England, 24 January 1964 and was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II on 22 March 1998. Pope Saint John Paul II said, “Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi is a prime example of the fruits of holiness which have grown and matured in the Church in Nigeria since the Gospel was first preached in this land. He received the gift of faith through the efforts of the missionaries, and taking the Christian way of life as his own he made it truly African and Nigerian”.[1]

Topic: After one’s heart desire.

Today’s gospel contains three short parables about the kingdom of heaven. The first compares it with a mustard seed one sowed in his field. In the second one, it is likened to a treasure hidden in the field for which someone sold everything. And in the third, it is compared with a pearl of great value found by a merchant who sold all he had just for that.

The person who sowed mustard seed in his field desired something. Also those who sold all they had just to possess the treasure hidden in the field and a pearl of great value were after what their hearts desired. They were after something higher. Hence none counted his or her looses. The three seemed to have said with Saint Paul,

Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ (Phil 3:8).

What one desires points to the direction one is going; “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:21; Lk 12:34). Blessed Cyprian we celebrate today is a good example. He turned his back on everything for the sake of the kingdom of God.

We need to check from time to time to ensure that our desires are in line with what we profess. This is because it is a very bad omen for one to desire what contradicts who or what he/she professes. There is need to set priorities right always to avoid ending up where one never wanted.

Bible Reading: Matt 6:19-23.

Thought for today: Go for the things that help you reach where you are going.

Let us pray: May the good Lord give us the grace to forfeit all for the kingdom of God – Amen.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi – Pray for us.

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