Saturday of the 16th week in ordinary time year A

Ex. 24: 3-8     Mat. 12:24-30

Theme: An invitation to friendship

Today the church celebrates the memorial of Saints Matha, Mary and Lazarus, friends of Jesus. This family was very close to Jesus, and when their brother Lazarus died Jesus brought him back to life. The faith that was exhibited by the sisters when Jesus visited them after the death of Lazarus is worthy of emulation. In the life of Mary and Matha, we also see the two sides of our discipleship as followers of Christ, the physical and the spiritual. Today’s celebration that includes Mary and Lazarus, was introduced by Pope Francis on the 26th of January 2021, instead of the usual celebration of the memorial of saint Matha on the 29th of July.

We can also establish this type of friendship with Jesus, it is very possible, and he is open to accept our hand of friendship, whenever we come to him. He never rejects anyone that comes to him with a sincere heart, and never think that you are not good enough to be his friend. All you need to do is to take that first step of faith and see him take it up from there. I want you to know that if you are sincere with him, he has the power to make a saint out of a sinner. We see that repeatedly in the lives of some of the saints we celebrate today in the church. The two people that readily comes to mind right now is St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Paul. The most important thing is our openness and sincere repentance.

In the 1st reading of today from the Book of Exodus, we see how God went into a covenant with the people of Israel, and they promised to abide by the covenant. Interestingly the people never kept their covenant with God, but God was always faithful to his own side of the covenant. Todays 1st reading reminds us of the different covenants we may entered with God, at one time or the other in our life. How faithful have you been to the covenant? One thing that is very clear is that God is ever faithful to his covenant with us, he never fails or disappoints us. Let us use this opportunity to resolve today to be faithful to the promises and vows we have made to God at one point or the other in our lives. Never say you cannot do it, the most important thing is to take that first step of faith and trust in Gods grace to support you. As you do this, may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of Saints Mathar, Mary and Lazarus, year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp