ST IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, B.M. (Memorial) RED
Ignatius was a convert from paganism to Christianity. He succeeded Peter as bishop of Antioch, Syria. During persecution, the Emperor Trajan ordered him to be taken to Rome. On the way, a journey which took months, he wrote a series of encouraging letters to the churches under his care. Ignatius of Antioch was the first writer to use the term the “catholic” Church. He died a martyr c.107 at Rome, killed by wild animals. His relics are at Saint Peter’s, Rome. The following was an excerpt from his last words: “I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and bread.”
First Reading: Eph 2:1-10; Psalm: 100. R. v. 3b; Gospel: Lk 12:13-21
GENEROSITY AND THANKFULNESS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Death has a way of reminding us how frightened and feeble we are. It has a way of making us realise the worthlessness of earthly possessions. We may not be conscious of how unprepared we are until death reminds us. The beauty of death is that when it takes a soul, it reminds us that it will visit again; and warns us that we may be the next victim. The pain of death is that when it takes us, we become incapacitated to undo whatever mistakes we may have committed. Death becomes sweet when we are prepared but painful when we are not.
The life lived here without the thought of the life beyond is foolishness. And a life lived for the self and not for others is not worthwhile. The rich young man in the parable of today’s gospel was called foolish by God because he was a man that lived and thought of himself only. From this parable, Jesus draws our attention to the need to be grateful to God and to be generous with our possessions. And also to be wary of the temptation of being carried away by earthly wealth. “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness.” (Lk 12:15).
We are reminded today to look out for others. To understand that our life becomes more meaningful and safe when we consider the good of one another. We are sojourners on earth. If we are conscious of this; we will work towards our eternal home where we shall be reunited with our God and maker. We should therefore beware of the attitudes that can hinder us from achieving this. They are selfishness, lack of love, ingratitude and greed. A lot of us are guilty of these. We can begin now to pay attention to them before God demands for our soul. Because then it will be too late.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to be thankful, generous and kind. Amen.