LOVE: THE WATCHTOWER TO STAND AS WATCHMEN. Prayer Reflection for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Yr. A.


Child of God have you found yourself in a sorry situation that you wished someone cautioned you earlier otherwise you wouldn't have fallen into error or made a wrong choice.
I remember the day a colleague narrated to us how his benevolence landed him into trouble and one of us retorted saying "Ah! I sensed the problem coming, but forgot to communicate it to you"; I knew how we all nearly "swallowed" him alive for such negligence and indifference! Because if he had spoken up the problem would have been avoided. On the contrary, there are also sometimes when our charity in cautioning others is seen as offence and we are tagged "enemy of progress", and then we recoil in disappointment and wish we never cautioned them in the first place! What then should we do since christian charity demands we be our brother's keeper and pray for our enemies? If you're confused read slowly:

Ezekiel 33:7-9
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as  watchman to the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them in my name. If I say to a wicked man: Wicked wretch, you are to die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man to renounce his ways, then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man to renounce his ways and repent, and he does not repent, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself will have saved your life.’

Oh! can you now realise you are bound under Divine Law to correct your brother or sister who is going astray? But how will you go about this knowing the difficulties involved, you ask me? Listen what the Word of God says again: (Romans 13:8-10)

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.

Can you now see that with LOVE at the centre of your action you can hurt no one? Oh yes, but once more you ask: What if after correcting out of love they get angry and make me an enemy, how do I handle the situation? There's still solution, be patient, read this: (Matthew 18:15-16)

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him ALONE, between YOUR TWO SELVES. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take ONE or TWO OTHERS ALONG with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, REPORT it to the COMMUNITY; and if he refuses to listen to the community, TREAT HIM LIKE a PAGAN or a tax collector.

POINTS FOR RECOLLECTION
1. Today the Word of God make us realise that we are responsible for each other. Hence no man is an island, no one is a reservoir of knowledge and no one is indispensable. This natural truths spring from the very fact that we are interconnected right from creation. Hence any attempt to boycott this interconnection will result into a disaster. 

2. The web of this interconnection is LOVE! Hence love is the beginning and end of Creation! In love God created all there is (both man and non human creation or environment), and by placing man at the centre of creation, God expects man to act with Love. Hence love is man's first and ultimate vocation. Only by this can man realise and differentiate himself among other creation and offer his life as thanksgiving back to God who created him. This love is the foundation and edifice of morality.


3. LOVE cannot be separated from TRUTH because LOVE has four elements: the Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional and Physical. Love is spiritual because it defines the nature of God. The Bible says God is Spirit and God is love (1 John 4:7). Love is intellectual because God is also logos or reason (John 1:1) and Truth (John 14:6). Love is Emotional because it relates with the other. Hence in God there's a bond of love; and because of this God enters a covenantal relationship or fellowship with man and the entire creation (Gen. 3:8-9; 2:1-3). Love is Physical (or concrete) not an abstract reality. This is seen in the very act of God creating. Hence, if you love someone, you will correct him/her when they go wrong. If they feel offended or sad by it, don't panic for any action done out of love does not kill. The Bible says that sadness that springs from telling the truth does not lead to death.
4. But sadly the world today has its definition of love: a love without the Spiritual and Intellectual elements. A love that emphasises only the emotional and physical elements. A love built on emotions and sensualities! And have subtly replaced the Intellectual element with Intellectual relativism; and the Spiritual element with Humanism. Hence the unsuspecting person will think it is love! A love that speaks about tolerance as replacement for knowledge which cannot be separated from Truth. Hence, Truth is sacrificed on the "altar of tolerance". Can this be Love? No definitely! It is on this "altar" that ideologies like Gay Union, Feminism, and LGBT communities base their arguments; and from this false representation of love the Q-communities deceive the world with their "gospel of Queerness".

5. If anyone makes you an enemy because you tell them the truth, follow the procedures laid down by Jesus: first try making peace with them, call another person if the first step does not yield fruits, involve the community of believers if the second step fails; and finally treat such persons as a pagan. What does the last mean? It means avoid such persons but don't deny them any good that should go to them! Continue doing good to them and pray for them: for the prayers and good done to them have two effects: it can either convert them (2 Tim. 2:23-25) and beneficial to them or it becomes an evil or obstacle to them as Divine Justice visiting them (Rom. 12:18-21). 
[If you wish to know how Forgiveness and Love becomes a "Spiritual poison" to the enemy, Click Here]

TASK: Today let LOVE be the watchtower on which you stand as watchman to guard your neighbours! There's no excuse for being at war with anyone, live in peace and forgiveness so that your humble prayers will pierce the heavens. God bless you.

©Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ

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6 Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Yes dear. Thanks for your contribution. God bless you

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  2. Making peace is the altimate

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    Replies
    1. Yes dear it is! May God give us all that ability to be live it out. God bless you for contributing.

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  3. May God bless us with such an act of charity...Amen

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  4. Thank you Fr. SimOne. May God grant us a heart full of such love, amen.

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