Contributed By Phil Ezeogu
Today’s Inspirational Snippet:
” Reflection for Wednesday 27th Week of Ordinary Time October 11th, 2017
Today is the Memorial of Pope St. John XXIII, Pope Today’s Readings: Jonah 4: 1-11 Psalm 86: 3-4, 5-6, 9-10 Luke 11: 1-4 October 2017: Month of the Most Holy Rosary Prayer of the Day: A Prayer for the Way to Peace Celebration of the Marian Year and the Fatima Centenary Benin: National Marian Congress 12-14 October 2017 Saint Quote of Today: – “Never Hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another.” St, Pope John XXIII MATTERS OF CONCERN Today is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Pope John XXIII. It is an optional memorial on the liturgical calendar. Everyone remembers the image of Pope John’s smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church’s history Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the “signs” of the times. The Scripture today, presents us with the contrast between human thoughts and those of God. In the first reading, Jonah is angry because God will not destroy Nineveh and its people as Jonah had announced. The psalmist seems to grasp the proper attitude, praying not only for forgiveness of his own sins, but praising God Who calls all people from all nations into a closer relationship with the Lord. In the Gospel, when Jesus is asked by His disciples for a lesson on prayer. We can see right away that the prayer, according to Jesus, is something like a “father-son” kinship. Many serve the Lord in ministry and in social work but they are resentful because things do not turn out the way they want. They fight over plans and strategies. Things must be done their way. If not they become vindictive and sulky. How could serving the Lord make us bitter and resentful? This precisely was the case of Jonah. He was willful, proud, self-centered and misguided. He wanted to do his own will. Secondly, he was exclusive and nationalistic, believing that salvation was for the Jews only. Thirdly, he had an unforgiving heart. Indeed He held such hatred for the Assyrians. But at the bottom of this angry and revengeful man was his pride. We too act in the same way. We are like Jonah even when serving the Lord. We want things our way. Everyone must agree with our opinions and plans. Secondly, like Jonah, we are protectionistic even when doing God’s work. It is about our choir, our organization, our parish and not about the Church or the gospel. Thirdly, sometimes even in ministry work, we act from the wounds of insecurity, pride and anger. We want to taàke revenge against those who disagree with us. Today the Lord asks us to see things in perspective and through His eyes of love and compassion. In teaching us the Lord’s Prayer Jesus helps us to see all things in perspective. He invites us to address God as Father. Secondly, we pray that His kingdom of love, peace and unity be a reality in this life and in the life to come. This comes about when we all do His holy will, which is an invitation to live a just life, a life of honesty, integrity, but also a life of compassion for the poor and the suffering. Most of all, the Lord invites us to forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us. So today, let us learn to be gracious like God. We must imitate His compassion, not just for the Ninevites but also for difficult, self-willed and misguided prophets like Jonah. Brothers and Sisters, when we refuse to forgive the Ninevites in our lives, we cut ourselves off from being forgiven. Let us approach God confidently and pray with expectant faith and trust in the Father’s goodness. Today, let each one of us, pray our traditional prayers with particular attention and with the conviction that they will instruct us and change us in a way that leads us closer to God.