TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
The effects of the ongoing pandemic have devastated our lives. The challenges are enormous on our shoulders since our economic life, social life, health life, working life, family life and friendship have not been spared. Due to this, fear and panic have gripped our hearts because we do not know what the future holds for us. This unfortunate situation has influenced our religious life: waning our hopes and faith in God.
Like the circumstances of the Israelites in our first reading we feel estranged or exiled from ourselves since we are have come to realize how this enemy of humanity (COVID-19 virus) is spreading at a faster rate and we are obliged to follow all the precautions; it’s like we are in the Babylonian captivity where we are thrown into enslavement. Life is simply difficult!
Hence, the prophet Isaiah’s message was to motivate the frustrated people to sustain their hopes and keep their faith in God. He reminded them about their years of ignoring their covenant with God which had brought their world crashing down around them leaving their hopes dashed. There was assurance that God had an awesome plan for them. Because of God’s great love, mercy and forgiveness for His chosen people, they would return home, their land would be restored and their relationship with God would be reestablished. So as Christians we should draw our strength and hopes from this message to inspire ourselves that this pandemic will pass over. We need to correct our attitude of indifference towards religion and begin to do the will of God. God still loves us, and He is ever merciful. God is forever near to us, let us be near to Him.
Apostle Paul faced with the threat of death, (because he most probably wrote this letter from prison cell in Rome-AD 61-63), expressed his zeal to continue to do the will of God come what may. He intimately indicated the difference between God’s perspective and ours. He refused to state his stance whether to die or to live: his goal was to do the will of God and follow the divine design for his life. He, therefore, becomes an example to how the grace of God operates in our lives. His wishes were subordinates to the needs and service to the people. As Christians we should learn from Paul as to how to live our lives becoming committed witnesses to Christ in our world today regardless of the challenges confronting our lives. Our focus should be on the mission of Christ and our goal should be doing the will of God. Living the grace of God day by day.
In conclusion, Jesus in our gospel reading presents the “parable of workers in the vineyard” to portray the generous mercy and justice of God. This manifests that God does not see matters the same way as humans do. God thinks of justice in terms of people’s dignity and their right to a decent life. As Christians we must understand that if God was to treat us justly, none of us will be rewarded because we have been unfaithful to Him in several ways. That is why Jesus Christ died for all humanity to give all equal value. We need to recognize and respect with gratitude God’s amazing grace. There is more to life that the logic of actions and reward. There is generosity of life only God can give. His grace is enough for you, just cooperates!
Stay Blessed…. Faith over fear… Keep the faith… See you in church…
JUST BY HIS GRACE…
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.