(Sirach 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29 Hebrew 12: 18- 19, 22-24 Luke 14: 1, 7-14)
God’s glory shines through each one of us. Therefore we ought to respect and value each person’s uniqueness, especially in the area of the proclamation of the Good News of Salvation. No one person can effectively proclaim the Good News of Salvation with all its multi-facet realities; it takes the totality of all our efforts and uniqueness to achieve this. It must be borne in mind that the weakness of one person calls for the strength of another person. We need each other in this endeavor of making the core message of Christ’s merciful love known and accepted by all throughout the world and in every generation.
Selfishness and arrogance that breed acrimony, jealousy, and hatred must be eschewed and eliminated from within and among us. We lose a lot by allowing these to dominate our everyday way of life. We actually gain nothing but unnecessary and unhealthy pain, depression and anguish by despising the uniqueness of the other person. By ignoring and despising the special qualities in other persons is tantamount to despising and denying the very presence of God who is at work in each of us. If we were to be of the same quality and caliber, what would have been the state of our world today? All things would have been stale, insipid, and unprofitable. Each person in the society has a special place in the universe; each person adds up to the building up of the Holy Body of Christ, the Church. Fixing all our attention on the essence and purpose of Jesus Christ will immensely help us deal with the problem of our useless bloated pride and self-centeredness that most times lead us to despise others whom we judge to be sub-standard based on our biased irrelevant judgement and estimation.
(Isaiah 66: 18-21 Hebrews 12: 5-7, 11-13 Luke 13: 22-30)
Being a Christian is a privilege, not a right, that has some conditions attached it to. The conditions are simple: to imitate and live out the life of Christ so that we might be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is patterned according to our baptismal status as we have been configured to Christ as Priests, Kings, and Prophets.
As priests, that is wise and matured people giving holy things to those over whom we have been placed, in accordance with the three literal meanings of the word priest, we share our rich experiences of holiness in the midst of many who look up to us for answers to holiness. As kings, we ought to govern the people entrusted to our care by providing them with all the treasures of holiness we possess by leading a life worthy of emulation. As prophets, we must declare the truth of holiness in the world with an utter enthusiasm, as we resign our personal interests and agenda to that of Christ, so that all generations will hear, listen, understand and comprehend, and live out the viability and the economy of the Good News of Salvation which has holiness of Christ at its core. Unless we take a pragmatic approach to spice up and illuminate the world by declaring the very essence of Christ among us, and stop declaring our own kind of Gospel which is devoid of Christ’s obedience to the will of the Father, we shall be wasting everybody’s time and our effort. People want to see and feel the presence of God through our tangible witness to the very Christ who lives among us.
(Jeremiah 38: 4-6, 8-10 Hebrews 12: 1-4 Luke 12: 49-53)
Those who are called to bear the name Christian ought to give a lasting and genuine testimony to Christ. This is what martyrdom entails. We have to bear witness to Christ’s love and mercy in the world with constancy and resignation of our wills even to the point of losing our mortal bodies. It is by our ardor and tangible explosive charismatic witness, defying all odds, that we would be able to make the Good News of Salvation more meaningful and acceptable to many.
Since the foundation of the world, humankind has always preferred things that satisfy the acrid desires of the mortal flesh to things that benefit the immortal soul. Every good news is despised and rejected unless it is to the satisfaction of the mortal flesh. Those who strive by the grace of God to live over and above the human weakness to be true witnesses of the Good News of Salvation are always hated and rejected by the society. It makes the spread of the true content of the core message of Christ very difficult. This has caused some of those who have been specially called and chosen to be leaders of giving true witness to Christ to abandon their calling to be martyrs; rather, they manipulate their calling to use the name of God to help the masses spend more time on the wellbeing of their mortal flesh instead of the state of their immortal souls. This is causing many to choose ways that lead to the destruction of their souls. But this has to be arrested immediately; lest, the very message of Christ among us will be meaningless and fruitless. By the power and the graces of God, we shall overcome all odds as we give true witness to Christ’s message of merciful love in our world.
(Wisdom 18: 6-9 Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19 Luke 12: 32-48)
We often hear that time and tide wait for no one. We have to seize every opportunity to make good use of any given time and tide. We cannot blame anyone if we miss the afforded opportunity to live a life that is filled with graces. Each day is heavily loaded with so much grace to help us use the gift of faith to believe in God, as we place our total trust in him to hope for the future. If we believe in the omnipotence of God and love his creation, then we must go a step further with our cultivated trust to look forward to whatever God has promised. The greatest promise God has given mankind is that when our earthly life comes to a conclusion, a more glorious one will be given us. For this reason, we aspire and strive to live a life worthy of this promise.
Some people spend so much time laboring and worrying about the past missed opportunities; there is nothing that can bring back those opportunities. Why do we spend precious time dwelling on the past while there are more profitable opportune times now and tomorrow? We only learn from the past to gain wisdom in order to live holy lives now and in the future. If we fail to seize the gracious opportunities now to place our faith and trust in God as we use God’s graces to live holy lives, we shall only grow as aged neophytes without any maturity; maturity is only obtained through a tested past experience from which a lesson or two are learned to amend the current and future life to bear lasting fruits.
Many are those who do not place their faith in God because they have not been helped and encouraged, or even challenged, to do so. For that reason, many prefer holding on to a stale and insipid self-cultivated status quo for the fear of what lies in the unknown. We all have a role to play to help such people to come out of the unprofitable cocooned way of life that may lead to depression and anxiety. Such a life borders on illusions and mirages, and when no meaningful satisfaction is obtained from such a life, people fall and depend heavily on other objects as “gods” for the desired answers. We see and hear a lot about this in our societies each and every day. It is an indication that the message about the promises of Christ is not properly received or understood. We have a lot to do to help each and everyone to place our total trust in God in order to prepare ourselves to see the face of God.
(Ecclesiastes 1: 2; 2: 21-23 Colossians 3: 1-5, 9-11, Luke 12: 13-21)
All that we are and all that we have come from the goodness of the Lord. In unique ways, each one of us is so special to the total wellbeing of our existence. No one is superior nor inferior to the other; each of us is just necessary and not sufficient to the wellbeing of the whole. If we were to respect each part of the whole, there would be so much peace in our lives, for justice would be the motivating factor of every deed done by us. Unfortunately, we see ourselves as autonomous and self-sufficient even to the point of deleting the source of life, God, from the equation of our lives. Such a life has never produced, and will never ever produce any meaningful results, yet that is the very life many of us have opted. Albert Einstein would describe such a life as an act of insanity.
The created beauty is a pedestal for us to launch into the immensity of the glory of God about which we must declare. The created beauty is a means and not an end in itself, as most of us hold it to be so. If we adore and admire the beauty of creation, we must move on to give the greatest adoration and admiration to the one who brought forth creation, in the first place. A simple reminder to each person about that fact could lead most, if not all, of us to change our attitude from a life of self-centeredness to a life of total surrender to the will of God in a bid to be instruments to bring the goodness of God within us to the rest of the world. By this means, we shall set the world ablaze on the fire of love that breeds peace and justice. A little move towards a life of genuine stewardship of time, talent, and treasure, in a matrix of trust, would be all that we need to use what God has endowed us as a means to serve God and our neighbors as an appreciation of what we have been offered by God, which is a privilege and not a right.