TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
"Love God, serve God; everything is in it."
For some years the die was cast for the separation of the state affairs from the church and religion. Due to this, some Christians or citizens are thrown into disarray as to how to satisfy both institutions with their loyalty and commitment. As a result of this phenomenon, as much as some individuals think that religion is incongruous to political affairs of the state, so adherent Christians also believe that the state and its policies are anti religion, therefore enemy to themselves. But the irony of the matter is that the state serves both groupings and God has unconditional and universal love for all without discrimination. Whether state or church: they are there for the development of human beings; be it temporal or spiritual.
In the first reading God used a pagan Persian Empiror, Cyrus II (539 B.C) as an instrument to liberate and restore his chosen people who had been exiled in Babylon to go back to rebuild their city and their temple. This indicates that God uses anyone including pagans to achieve His target. What is necessary is to cooperate to avail oneself to be His instrument and channel to bring justice, good leadership, liberation to everyone around us. Simply obeying His divine will. Secondly, we are reminded that we can not have parochialism and monopoly over God but to have a universal view of His concern and plans for all. So if a pagan leader allowed himself to be used by God to liberate and free His people then no Christian has any excuse not to be an instrument of God in our troubled world today!
Paul, in the second reading, give praiseworthy to his new convert by assuring them of their prayers. He acknowledged their fidelity to God and to Christ as they worked hard to live their Christian life. They were responsive to the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and and Charity. He urged them to continue to be faithful to this call of God and be open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit which had be given them. So as Christians we are called to be like them in our own time and age where there is intolerance to religion and faith matters.
Jesus Christ, in the gospel message, clearly states the obligation and responsibility of every Christian to both God and our country. He encourages us to be faithful to God as the same time being loyal citizens to our nation. By this, He shows us how by God’s grace we can be dual citizens of both the earth and heaven. As Christians we should understand that we can not be a good Christian and a bad citizen to your nation. Rather our Christian values must make us good citizens. Do the right thing at the right time. Every good Christian translates the will of God in their citizenship. God urges justice, love, equality, respect of the right and the dignity of human beings, etc. These are what a good citizen do!
Stay blessed... Faith over fear... Keep the Faith... Spread the Faith...
GOOD CHRISTIAN...GOOD CITIZEN...
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.