“BE AN EXAMPLE THAT THE WHOLE FLOCK CAN FOLLOW” (1 Pet 5:3)

⏰Tuesday of the Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time 1 (27 August 2019 – Memorial of St. Monica)

📖1 Thess 2:1-8; Ps 139:1-3, 4-6 (R.v.1); Matt 23:23-26

“BE AN EXAMPLE THAT THE WHOLE FLOCK CAN FOLLOW” (1 Pet 5:3)

My dear, in our reflection yesterday, we noted the invitation of both Jesus and St. Paul for us to bear true witness to the gospel by manner of life we live. Today, that call continues to be emphasized and God tells us that the best way to carry out our missions of evangelization fruitfully is by living lives worthy of emulation. Let your life be the Gospel that others can read.

In the Thessalonian Church, one of the problems that sprang up was from some group of Jews who wanted to discredit the work of Paul and his companions by alleging that they worked for personal edification. Paul proves them wrong by reminding the Thessalonians of the kind of authentic life they lived among them (cf 1 Thess 2:1-8).

Reflecting upon that action of Paul, I asked myself, “Do I live a kind of life that contradicts the evil news people bring up against me to pull me down? Would Christ be able to recognise me through my good deeds, or am I hypocritical?” The saintly man of God, our dear Bishop Otteh of blessed memory, used to tell us those days that it is not good for someone to reflect the evil narration about him – Mmadụ anaghị adị ka ọnụ akọrọ ya.

Jesus condemned the scribes and the Pharisees for their hypocritical acts (cf. Matt 23:23-26). We must therefore try to live as true witnesses of Christ at all times even people are no longer watching us. God never ceases to search to know us.

St. Monica, whose memorial we celebrate today lived a life of emulation and worked hard through intense prayer, actions and admonitions to see to the conversion of his son Augustine. We too can do the same for the conversion of others.

May he then grant us the grace to live good lives that people can see and turn to Christ while we, ourselves, are not lost in the tide. Amen.

Have a fulfilled day ahead. Peace be with you.

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