The Book of Life – Homily by Rev. Fr. Michael Akpan
John 1.29 says, ‘behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ This is often said during the time of concentration. Whenever the Priest says this and raises the body and blood of Christ, the reply is, ‘Lord I’m not worthy that you should come under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’. The question here is that if Christ has taken away the sin of the world then why do we continue to sin? Why do we lie, commit adultery, fornication, etc?
It is fitting to know that although we continue to sin, the Lamb of God took away the destructive consequence of the sin. In Exodus 32 vs 33 it is written, ‘The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.’
Revelations 13 vs 8 says, ‘All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.’ What this means is that God has a book; the book of life. All those whose names are not written in the book of the Lamb of God are those who will worship the beast. Those who worship the Father and the Lamb will have their names written in the book of life. Truth is, in modern times, there are those worshipping the devil just to make it in life. There are those involved in other vices as well just for fame and material things. These acts can lead to your name being removed from the book of life.
In Revelations 3 vs 5, Jesus says, ‘The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.’ Those who overcome the temptation to defile the spirit and overcome temptation will not have their names removed from the book of life. Overcoming sin is a continuous process as it is not true that once you receive Jesus, you are saved forever?
When Christ died on the cross, He stopped our names from being removed from the book of life. Every time you come for Mass, and the priest says behold the Lamb of God, at that moment, your name is restored to the book of life. Whenever you falter, go for confession and be reconciled to God. 1 Peter 1.18-19 says, ‘For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.’
May the precious blood of Christ heal us from all ancestral curses, and may Christ help us live a sinless and spotless life through Christ our Lord. Amen.