Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time A: Happiness and following God’s Law

Last week, we reflected on the life of charity as the shining light for everyone. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Today, Jesus helps us see how he brings about the fullness of God’s promises in the Law.

“If you wish, you can keep the commandments”. Today’s first reading teaches that God respects man’s free will. While he would not lead man to commit evil actions, God allows man to freely choose and take full responsibility for the consequences of his choice. The fact remains that many misuse the invitation to choose freely. Last week’s second reading led us to reflect on the dangers of doing whatever we like. We saw how it was best to seek out and do the will of God. The first reading tells us that God wants our good and never induces us to be godless. He wants us to see the purpose of his commandments as the pathway towards the fullness of life.

As we sailed through the past week, we saw first-hand the effect of the choices of both leaders and citizens. More people felt the scarcity of cash and the ensuing hardship. POS attendants continued to smile to the banks, and some began their day with morning worship sessions at the ATM terminals. More continue to hope for a better nation. We also continue to see how the choices of some affect so many. The lesson here is that many depend on our decisions to get by daily. Let us make life -transforming decisions. Let us make choices that heal rather than divide and break down barriers instead of separating people. We must calm down and not take out our frustration on our loved ones. There is a big difference between the ATM not dispensing cash and your wife or children. Things are tough. We should be more considerate when we give money for the family’s upkeep.  

As we endure challenges hoping for a better future, Jesus teaches us that he has come to fulfil the Law that brings salvation and freedom. Everyone likes to be free. Nobody wants to be restricted. People often react when they feel that their liberty is under threat. This feeling sometimes pushes some to become lawbreakers under the guise of fighting for freedom. For such persons, obeying the Law or following simple instructions is too burdensome. Lawlessness becomes a means to escape.

By the Law, Jesus meant reverence for God, respect for parents, respect for life, and the truth. Jesus came to fulfil that reverence and respect for all that is right and true. He came to teach us how to have abundant lives by living positively for God and men. He teaches us that love is the key that establishes a solid bond between God and us.

There is a strong desire for wealth, power, and pleasure today. This desire has made many forget God and man out of desperation. Their love for God has degenerated into a craving for material possessions. This craving leads to complete isolation from God and the community of faith. The ensuing isolation destroys family and community life. Such a person will not share with others unless he gets something from the activity. Selfishness always leads to sin. The desire to dominate, manipulate, sidetrack and subjugate others for our selfish gain always lead to sin.

Love gives us strength to overcome evil. That is why Jesus says we must be on good terms with others. How can we claim to love God that we cannot see when we are not on good terms with others that we can see? We cannot offer true worship when our selfish desires occupy the place of God in our hearts. We indeed have so many cares and worries. We must also remember to cast them at the feet of Jesus. Allow God to take control of our situations because he will always make a way.

Justice and truth must guide our lives. We must be men and women who keep our word. If you make a promise, fulfil it. If you say something, mean it. If you pledge something, on your honour, redeem it. If you say something but do another, you tell others that you are unreliable and untrustworthy. As Lagbaja once sang: “Let your yes be your yes, do not overwhelm me with tall tales”. Jesus says we should be men and women of our word. Christian life is characterized by truthfulness. Do not say “Yes” when you mean to say “no”. 

Let us pray:

Dear Lord, as we thank you for another week, we ask for the grace to effectively share the good that life brings us with others in need. Help us to be more patient and kinder. Lord, help us to be men and women who keep our word.

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