Friday of the 23rd week in the ordinary time

Theme: Look inward

In the gospel reading of today, Jesus is admonishing us to work on ourselves first, before looking at others. This is very important because there is always the temptation to be judgemental about the actions of other people, while we pay less attention to our personal weaknesses. Jesus is saying to us today that what you do not have, you cannot give ( Nemo dat quod non habet). In view of this, we must begin by working on ourselves to become better, before we will be able to help our brothers and sisters with similar challenges in their lives. It is very easy to discuss and talk about the failings of other people, even when we have similar challenges in our personal life. The assertion of Jesus in today’s gospel reading, is an invitation to all of us as children of God, to make honest and sincere efforts towards working to better ourselves and worry less about the short-comings of our brothers and sisters.

Dearly beloved in Christ, as Christians and children of God, let us work towards uplifting each other from our weaknesses, instead of making remarks that are evil and derogatory. If we concentrate towards making ourselves better, we will have little or no time to make derogatory statements about others; that are oftentimes not true. The more we are conscious of this fact and make honest effort to live it out in our life, the better Christian we will become; and this will go a long way towards enthroning the kingdom of God here on earth. It is never too late for us to accept the invitation of Christ to become better Christians and children of God. The more we make effort to look inward my brothers and sisters in Christ, the better Christian we will become. The big question today is, what is stopping you from accepting the invitation of Christ today? Do not allow anything to stop you from making this bold step of faith.

St. Paul teaches us what it means to look inward in our service to God and humanity. We see Paul making a critical evaluation of his call to discipleship, and give us reasons why he must continue to live out the gospel imperatives in his daily life in humility. With this, St. Paul has given us a guide that will help us to accept and work on the invitation presented to us by Jesus himself in today’s gospel. May the Lord bless his words in our hearts in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Friday of the 23rd week in the ordinary time, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp