Thursday of the 20th week in the ordinary time

Theme: A loving God

In our 1st reading of today from the prophet Ezekiel, God gives his people a message of encouragement and hope. A message that gives the people reasons to look towards the future with hope and joy. This is because God has decided to change the narrative of their lives, not minding the fact that they have deviated from his ways which he gave them. He assures them of the fact that he will be their God and they will be his people. This is a wonderful message coming to the people at this time in their life, when everything is not going well for them. At a time when it seems the people are weighed down by the difficult situation they have found themselves. This is when God decides to intervene and give them hope, by presenting to them through the prophet, the wonderful plans he has for them; God never comes late in any given situation in our life, he comes at the nick of time.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, can you relate with our 1st reading from the prophet Ezekiel? It should be a source of great strength for you and i. No matter the situation you are going through at the moment in your life, just know that it is God that has the final say, and until he speaks all hope is not lost. We see this in the life of the Israelites, no matter their situation and the difficulty they are passing through at any point in time in their lives, when God intervenes; he restores them and gives them gladness for grief. In the same way he told the Israelites that he will be their God and they will be his people, he is also saying it to you and I today. What we need to do is to give God a chance in our life and make honest and sincere effort to live according to his statutes. He blesses every little effort we make towards becoming good ambassadors of his; he will never fail or disappoint us. Let us trust in God and do our best to strive towards holiness of life.

As children of God, he has counted us among his own; it is only you and I who can remove ourselves from the fold, by living in a way that is not good and pleasing to God. Just like in our gospel reading for today, the king invited people for his sons marriage feast and they gave excuses and did not attend; they counted themselves out on their own. As a result of their rejection, the king had to invite others who were not in the original plan, but were positively disposed for the king’s invitation. Thus, it is only you who can count yourself out of the invitation of God, through your words and actions. Let us accept the invitation of God today and be true ambassadors of Christ wherever we find ourselves. May almighty God bless you as you do this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Thursday of the 20th week in the ordinary time, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp