Saturday of the 23rd week in ordinary time year A

1 Tom. 1:15-17       Luke 6:43-49

Theme: The mercy of God

Today the church celebrates the memorial of SS. Cornelius Pope and Cyprian a Bishop. These were two great men of our faith, who gave everything to the glory of God. They courageously stood for the faith, even to the point of shedding their blood. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. In the 1st reading of today, St. Paul is acknowledging the love and mercy of God, that he continues to show sinners, especially himself. He accepts the fact that he was a sinner and completely strayed from the ways of God, but God showed him mercy and brought him back to the right way.

By this very assertion of St. Paul in todays 1st reading, he is simply affirming the fact that we are all important to God, whether we are saints or sinners. He is always willing to forgive us our sins and welcome us back, at any point in time in our lives. The appreciation of St. Paul is an invitation from St. Paul to all those who feel that they have committed a lot of sins and our doubting the mercy of God. I want you to know today that the mercy of God transcends any sin we may have committed in our lives. Do you remember the life of Saul in the scriptures before he encountered Christ on his way to Damascus and he was converted. Before his conversion, he engineered and contributed to the suffering and death of Christians. When he experienced the mercy of God, his life changed and his name changed from Saul to Paul, and we celebrate him today in christiandom. So, what is that thing you have done, that you think God cannot forgive? God is willing to show you mercy, the question is, do you believe he can do it for you?

When Paul was converted, his life and works showed that he started bearing good fruits, that is why we continue to celebrate him in the church. Today in the gospel reading, Jesus is saying that it is expected that as children of God we should bear good fruits that will stand the test of time. The question today is, what type of fruit are you bearing as a child of God? This is an important question that we all need to answer as individuals. What memories of yourself will people have when you have gone? We pray that through the intercessions of saints Cornelius and Cyprian, God will grant us the grace to bear good fruits, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Memorial of SS. Cornelius and Cyprian, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp