The Readings last weekend demonstrated how “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways” with the parable of the vineyard owner who paid a flat wage to all his workers despite hiring them at different times. This must have raised in our minds a question about the “fairness” of God who rewards equally all who respond to His invitation to labor in His vineyard. The Readings of this weekend’s liturgy are intended to facilitate further reflection upon the “justice” of God.READ MORE
As humans, we possess a tendency to do unto others what they do, or are most likely to do, to us. We understand the “tit for tat” rule of Moses and are instinctively inclined to love those who love us. The Readings of this weekend’s Liturgy show how diametrically apart these human theories of morality and justice are from God’s thoughts. We may see justice as giving to each individual what they deserve; God gives to us, not what each person deserves, but what pleases His Divine will.READ MORE
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul declares, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This sacrificial act of love for us while we were captives of disobedience is what affected our redemption and shows how ridiculously extravagant God’s mercy is towards us. Having enjoyed God’s mercies, albeit unmerited, we are under every obligation to show mercy to others. This is exactly what the Readings at the liturgy this weekend set out to inculcate in us.READ MORE
Mrs Jamie Bescak, Principal of St. John Bosco School, likes to sign her emails with these words from St. Paul, “Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). This is a very good summary of what the Readings this weekend invite us to internalize and practice.
In the First Reading, the Prophet Ezekiel, called to prophesy to Israel during the Babylonian exile, is designated a “watchman” over Israel and intimated on the seriousness of his task. If he refuses to dissuade the sinner from his sinful way despite receiving word from The Lord, he (the Prophet) shall be held responsible for the death of the sinner. This is a scary warning for anyone to whom the prophetic ministry is graciously given. We, believers and witnesses, are the watchmen/women of our time and community. God desires that His will be done on earth, that His kingdom be firmly established and sustained among all people.READ MORE
Anyone who elects to live by and preach Christian ideals should be prepared to face a sustained persecution from “the kingdom of this world.” This is largely because the ways of the Lord are usually at odds with the ways of people who love the “freedom” from the “tyranny of the decalogue” offered by the devil. When persecution or the promise of it becomes imminent, there is always the temptation to lament or even reconsider our loyalty to the gospel. Even a great prophet like Jeremiah was not spared such humiliating experiences. God required the Prophet to say things that were true, yet quite offensive to many, especially the powerful in the course of his prophetic ministry. As a direct consequence, the Prophet had very few friends and found himself in trouble more often than not. His reaction was to lament about how God had “duped” him and how he had let himself be “duped” as a result of which he had to endure mockery and even bodily harm. Jeremiah’s lamentation is true of every ardent preacher and witness to the Gospel of Christ.READ MORE
In both the Old and the New Testaments, God has always chosen individuals and conferred on them the authority to teach, to correct and to govern His people. In the Old Dispensation, these offices were distributed among the priests, the prophets and the kings. In the New Dispensation, Christ conferred these privileges on the Apostles and, in a particular way, on Simon Peter and his successors. In a way, we are safe to observe that the Readings for this weekend demonstrate God’s faithfulness to His covenant with David. While God pledged to replace an overbearing steward whose prideful actions threatened the integrity of the Davidic dynasty in the First Reading, in the Gospel passage Jesus appointed and conferred authority on Simon Peter to become the Royal Steward of the renewed Kingdom of David in the New Israel called ekklesia, the Church.READ MORE
The Mother Church of the Via Christi Society in Makurdi, Nigeria, is dedicated to, and called, the Church of God the Father of All Mankind. This name is both unique and true; it is the only church I know which bears that name, and the name aptly describes God. In Holy Scripture, there exist numerous prophetic declarations that clearly suggest God’s intention to effect a change in the covenant economy that would create room for the Gentiles, non-jews who were originally not part of the First Covenant, to become beneficiaries of a second and universal Covenant. The First Reading is one of such scripture texts.READ MORE
This weekend, the Readings from Holy Scripture remind us that though we journey in a troubled world full of difficult times and experiences, God’s benevolent and reassuring presence is guaranteed for all who call onto Him for help. We are also exhorted not to be distracted by the transient and spectacular manifestation of material things in our search for purpose, but to seek the presence of God in faith.
In the First Reading, Elijah the prophet was threatened by Queen Jezebel, a foreigner and idolatress, who brought into Israel the worship of Ba’al, a foreign deity. He suffered tremendously and was on the verge of despair when he arrived at Horeb (Mount Sinai), the mountain of God where Moses encountered God. His intention was to seek the face of God in the midst of a stormy life and national situation. The prophet soon discovered that the Lord was not in the spectacular manifestations of a heavy wind, an earthquake or fire that preceded the coming of God. Rather, God came to him in a tiny whispering sound.READ MORE
The Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is one of the few events where Jesus revealed His Divine glory for the benefit of those who were privileged to behold it. Recall that at His birth, Jesus revealed His glorious Divinity to the whole world through the visit of the Magi who brought Him prophetic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Again, the Divine Redeemer manifested Himself to His Disciples at the event of His Baptism at the hands of John the Baptist at the River Jordan, where Trinitarian collaboration was visibly manifested to the amazed spectators. The transfiguration of Jesus Christ, the feast we celebrate this weekend, is also a self-manifesting event of our Lord Jesus Christ.READ MORE