October 17, 2020 – 28th Week in Ordinary Time

“Responding to the gentle and tender invitation of the Lord, to acknowledge Him in our lives!”

(Based on Eph 1:15-23 and Lk 12:8-12 – Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)

An African slaveholder had a poor black slave-boy who, having heard of the Christian missionaries and their preaching, had a desire to go and hear about Christ.

The boy crept away quietly one evening.

But he had to pass by his master’s window, and was seen by the slaveholder.

“Where are you going?” called the master.
The boy, trembling, answered, “Me go to hear the missionaries, Massa.”
(“Massa” is the word used for a master)

“Oh really? If ever you go there”, answered the master, “you shall have thirty-nine lashes and be put in irons.”

The boy answered, “Me tell Massa – me tell what you said, to the Great Massa.”

“What do you mean – tell the Great Massa?
Is there a Great Massa?” asked the man angrily.

“Me tell the Great Massa. He is the Lord of Heaven.

I tell Him that my massa was angry with me because I wanted to go and hear His Word.”

Greatly astonished (and a little afraid as well), the master said, “Go along and hear them, then.”

After the boy had gone, the master became restless and troubled. He had not thought that he himself had a Master (Massa) in Heaven, who knew all that he was doing.

He decided to follow the slave to the Christian service.

He stood in the rear of the little assembly, as he heard the Missionary asking the people from the scriptures: “The Lord is asking, Do you love Me?

Is there anyone here, who dares to confess his love for Christ?”

The black boy sprang forward…
… and holding up both hands, with tears pouring down his cheeks, he cried out earnestly:
“Yes, Massa, me do love You! Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

The slaveholder went home still more astonished, but convinced of the power of the Gospel.

As a result he gave his heart to God and lived a consistent Christian life.

The bold and powerful witness of the little black boy brought about a conversion in the life of that man.

What about us?

Are we also bold and powerful, in giving witness to Christ and His Gospel Values in our modern society?

Like the little boy, do we also, by our life proclaim:
“Yes, Massa, me do love You! Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

The Gospel of the Day is an exhortation by our Blessed Lord with a challenging tone, to be powerful and bold, in acknowledging His Presence.

Jesus says: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
But he who denies me before men, will be denied before the angels of God” (Lk 12: 8-9)

The Christian Life is a life seeking to profess and proclaim the Lord…
… by word and deed
… with lips and actions
… through happy moments and struggles of life!

Do we do that?

Or are we sometimes…
… shy?
… afraid?
… reluctant?
… uncertain?
… or even negated?

We could reflect on some aspects of our life, whereby we examine, how much we acknowledge the Lord in our life

  1. The Blessings of the Lord
    God has gifted each one of us with immense Graces and Blessings.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Blessings of the Lord’ in our Life?
… with a word of thanks and gratitude, everyday?
… by seeking to be, in turn, a blessing to others, by a life of service?

  1. The Providence of the Lord
    Providence refers to the Protective care of the Lord, at all times, in every situation.

When we look back into our life, we see how beautifully, God constantly leads us.

True, there are times when we have felt the “absence” of God or the Lord being “at a distance” from us, especially in situations of struggles and suffering

But, when look back later… we do find… “God had been joining all those ‘dots of loneliness’ and making a beautiful picture!”

Do we acknowledge ‘the Providence of the Lord’ in our life…
… by being more optimistic, knowing that our God will surely have His way, and make “rivers to flow, even in the deserts”?
… by not falling into anxiety or extreme worry; instead allowing ourselves to rest on His Caring Heart, knowing, that He is holding us tenderly in His Arms, as a Shepherd holds the tender lamb?

  1. The Love and Mercy of the Lord
    Each of our life is a beautiful saga of God’s Love and Mercy

We have been created in love… we have been initiated to Salvation in His Mercy

We have been constantly encouraged by His Love… we have been continually lifted by, by His Mercy

Do we acknowledge ‘the Love and Mercy of the Lord’ in our life…
… by seeking to always do His Will in our Life and letting go of our own ego and selfish desires?
… by turning to Him in repentance, when we go away from His Love?
… by infusing more love into every action that we do, and thus witnessing His Face of Mercy to all around us?

  1. The Authority of the Lord
    The Lord is the Supreme Authority of this entire universe.

It is His Power and Wisdom that sustains everything.

The presence of evil and sufferings around us, may sometimes, make us question His Power and Glory.

Sometimes, the presence of pains and miseries in our life, may also make us doubt His Power and Authority
This time of the pandemic, has been, in particular, disturbing the faithful hearts of many people!

But can we recognize, that God, in His infinite Goodness and Wisdom, works out everything for our good (Rom 8:28)

St Paul again reminds us, in his letter to the Ephesians, that “He has put all things under His feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:22-23)

Do we acknowledge ‘the Authority of the Lord’ in our life…
… by offering our lives to His Supreme Wisdom, and marching forward with Hope, knowing that “the One Who has begun His Good Work in us, will bring it to completion” (Phil 1:6)
… by seeking His Permission in all the activities that we engage in, so that His Grace will inform us, in the best and right path?

  1. The Presence of the Lord
    The Presence of the Lord surrounds and encompasses us at every moment… at every step of our life.

This Presence is especially cherished and celebrated in the Sacraments that the Church offers.

Do we acknowledge ‘the Presence of the Lord” in our life…
… by turning our hearts, in conscious awareness, to the Presence of the Lord, in the midst of our work and activities?
… by longing for and meaningfully celebrating the Sacraments that the Church offers?

As a Christian, surely, it is not easy to profess and proclaim.

But the Lord invites each one of us, gently and tenderly, to acknowledge Him in our lives.

It is when we grow in these “areas of acknowledgement” that we can boldly and powerfully proclaim before anyone and everyone:
“Yes, Massa (Master), me do love You!
Me love the Great Massa, with all my heart!”

Today, let seek the intercession of St Ignatius of Antioch and be enthused by his heroic martyrdom (“he was cast as food to wild beasts.”)

May his words inspire and encourage us to be a powerful witness of the Lord

“I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God!”
“As for me, my charter is Jesus Christ, the inviolable charter is His cross and His death and resurrection, and faith through Him!”
“Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Charity never enters a heart without
bringing with it all the other virtues…

… empowering them and marshalling them as needed, just as a captain does his soldiers!”

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