WEDNESDAY: Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Embrace the Gifts of God
The opposition is mounting towards Christ and the Church. The din of dissension is growing louder. The wrangling and murmuring are infectious; they spreading in epidemic proportions. The rivers ceased their flowing; the grass is wilting and the flowers are fading fast. The lights are flickering and Sentinels are vacating their posts. Dialects are changing; pilgrims are stranded at the crossroads. Who will guide the flock of Christ back along the road to holiness and righteousness?
In the face of mistrust and mounting opposition, faith withers and the children of God dwindle like wildflowers. St. Paul in Romans 15:4-5 reminded his listeners; scripture was written for their instruction, inspiration, endurance and encouragement and to keep the children of God united in Christ in the midst of persecution, crisis and exile – Daniel chapter seven, the entire Book of Revelation and the Letter to the Hebrews are testimonies of Paul’s statement.
Yes! Faith is in crisis. We can find consolation and encouragement in the above-mentioned divine literature to help us defend the attack on faith and morals. Humanism, nihilism, hedonism, the brazen licentiousness we witness today are all part of the unbearable cognitive dissonance thrust down our throats willy-nilly. Those who are not partisan to this cognitive dissonance are considered bigots, dogmatists and hypocrites. All the above-mentioned are forms of spiritual warfare. If we are to effectively conquer the enemy, we must put on the amour of God, the shield of faith, the breastplate of integrity, the belt of truth and always be eager to proclaim the gospel (Eph.6:10-20). If we join the ranks of those who oppose God and Christ, we will receive the same treatment as the severed branches for the divine vine (Jn.15:1-8).
Perhaps modern man can learn a lot from the rebellious attitude of the children of Israel during the stay in the wilderness. Those who oppose God will endure self-imposed long-suffering. According to today’s first reading whenever humankind refuses the gifts of God, they will self-destruct. The opposite is true; God has no bigotry in him. Anyone who acknowledges him as Lord and approaches him in faith, he will lavish his gifts upon him or her (Rom.2:11-13). Matthew 15:21-26 is most encouraging in this regard. The Canaanite woman’s faith, her persistence, earned her the gift of God.
Let us take cognizance of where we stand now historically, socially, politically, economically, religiously and otherwise. If we are among the severed branches, ask ourselves, how long will we continue hobble in along the wrong paths as an estranged disaffected spouse of Christ looking for the satisfaction that is inscribed in our hearts and is already alive in our soul? My friends let us give up the cares of this word and embrace the gift of God and we will find joy.
Lord, you are my saviour, my joy and my salvation. You are the treasure of my heart and soul.