BLESSED THE FAMILY THAT FEARS GOD. Prayer Reflection for 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

If you are married or planning to get married or a member of a family, pay attention because this message is for you. Just as there is no greater danger than that which springs up within family circles, so also there is no greater blessing than when a family fears God. Raising a godly family is not an easy task, hence you must plan and be prepared. Many want to get married but only few are prepared, hence many family problems today. If you wish not to add to the problems plaguing families today then read slowly...
Psalm 128
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways! By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.
Your WIFE will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your CHILDREN like shoots of the olive, around your table.
Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!

POINTS FOR REFLECTION
1. This Psalm summarises the message of today. From this psalm we learn that every good thing is a reward of hard work and discipline. Hence being a good wife, husband or child involves sacrifice, hardwork and discipline. No wonder the bible says "by the Labour of your hands you shall eat." Hence when the book of Proverbs asks: "who can find a good wife?" (Prov. 31:10) we can readily respond with the psalmist: It is "the man who fears the Lord" (Ps. 128:4) because as scripture says he will be blessed, and that blessing shall come from the good he shall receive from his wife all the days of his life because like a fruitful vine, she will replenish all his resources and not be wasteful. 
2. And how can a woman prepare for goodness? The answer remains the same: hardwork! The bible describes the ideal  woman with work and charity and not by beauty and charm: "she puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands to hold the spindle. She opens her heart to the poor and her hands to the needy" (Prov. 31:19). But today the reverse is the case! The world today describes the ideal woman with beauty and charm! Every woman wants to be sexy. What a wicked world! No wonder men and women today pursue beauty and charm, leaving behind their divine mandate to be hardworking, fruitful and charitable! Hence the many unrest in families today. 
3. How can we become good members of the family? No other way, other than hard work! Today the scientific desire for progress and speed is influencing children (as members of families) to also desire speed for everything in life, and quick riches with little or no efforts. This is a perverse desire because it subtly denies the gradualness of growth and robs the young human values and virtues like patience, tolerance, contentment and hope; all because their mind have been scientifically configured to speed. Rather than doing something useful they are bound to complain more about scarce resources and limited opportunities. This attitude is clearly reflected in the parable Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:14-30 about the servant who went and hid his talent underground because he thought it too small to invest it.
TASK: Child of God, to be good and successful requires hard work, discipline, persistence and sacrifice. Staying idle or lazy does you no good. As the bible says, God blesses the works of our hands and not our laziness. Spring into action, persevere in good deeds, don't compare yourself to others, the opportunities at their disposal to yours. Even though we share one humanity, we are created and endowed with different gifts and capacities. Hence it will be unwise to complain of limited or low resources at your disposal knowing that the one who called you will seek accounts of all (even the least) made available to you. 
Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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