⏰Thursday of the Thirty-Second Week of Ordinary Time 2 (15 Nov. 2018)

📖Phlm 7-20; Ps 146:6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10 (R.v.5a); Luke 17:20-25

Have you read the Letter of St. Paul to Philemon? It is an interesting piece. Find time to read it. As you do so, you will notice the fortunes of the slave boy, Onesimus, completely for the best and beyond expectations. And I tell you this! Forget about public opinion on you and people’s condemnation of your faith, and hold on sincerely to Christ. You shall equally be lifted up beyond human expectations. Amen.

Now, strictly speaking, we are all slaves of Christ because, while we were still slaves to sin, he paid the supreme price and bought us over to himself (cf. Rom 5:8; 1 Cor 6:20; Acts 20:28). Yet, he does not call us slaves; he rather calls us friends, having made known to us the secrets of the kingdom of God (John 15:15).

Since Jesus considers us his friends, we have to be friends and brothers of one another since we are one in him through baptism (cf. Gal 3:26-28).

So, in that letter to Philemon, St Paul asks Philemon to take Onesimus back, no longer as a slave but as a brother (Phlm 7-20). To be able to do that, Philemon needs to forgive Onesimus and accept him as his equal. We too ought to forgive one another and accept ourselves for the sake of Christ irrespective of our differences. In that way, we shall be be ready for the kingdom of God.

Thanks be to God for a leader like St. Paul who had the courage to preach that message of peace and unity. We pray that God may also raise up for us, good and charismatic leaders who would allow the love of Christ reign in their lives, so that we all can be transformed from hatred of others and division of any sort, and march on towards the right way to salvation. Amen.

Have a grace-filled day. Peace be with you.

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