July 25, 2024
Ibadan Archdiocese

DAILY CHEWING STICK FOR THURSDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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DAILY CHEWING STICK FOR THURSDAY OF THE WEEK 7 IN ORDINARY TIME, 24TH FEBRUARY 2022(Jas 5:1-6; Mk 9:41-50).

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God Our Father, we thank You for the gift of a bright New Day. May Your Grace be sufficient for us to carry out our duties today and always. Amen.

My Dear People of God, I once came across an inscription that says: GIVE OUR YOUTHS JOBS NOT GUNS!
How on earth do we explain to GOD ON JUDGMENT DAY that a child who started struggling for many years with Nursery School, Primary, Secondary(some even repeated classes more than once), with Jamb & Post Jamb ‘Wahala’, Pre-Degree, University (with constant strikes like it’s going on with ASUU right now), NYSC, Post Graduate Degree, even some Doctorate Degree; WITH ALL THESE TROUBLES AND STRESS DOES NOT HAVE A JOB AFTER ALL THESE YEARS OF SUFFERING, IN A COUNTRY LIKE NIGERIA?
All those in Government and those whose duty it is to solve this, DO YOU THINK GOD WILL CLAP FOR YOU?

Again, how do we explain that A MAN or WOMAN with family who wakes up early to prepare the family for school and then goes to work daily and returns late, yet after 31 DAYS OF HARD LABOUR, HE OR SHE IS NOT PAID HIS OR HER SALARY. NOT EVEN FOR ONE MONTH BUT SEVERAL MONTHS. Will God clap for such Government responsible for this?

How on earth will such be explained to God that THE PENSIONS AND GRATUITY OF RETIREREES are not paid to them? Rather, they are left to SUFFER AND MANY DYING IN PENURY AND ABJECT POVERTY, WHILE SOMEBODY OR SOME PEOPLE SIT IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR HOMES OR OFFICES TO ENJOY THE SWEAT OF THESE PEOPLE.
Do we expect God to be HAPPY with such DEVILISH AND INHUMAN BEHAVIOUR?

St. James tells us the mind of God this morning in our first reading when he says: “LISTEN, THE WAGES OF THE LABOURERS WHO MOWED YOUR FIELDS, WHICH YOU KEPT BACK BY FRAUD, CRY OUT AND THE CRIES OF THE POOR/HARVESTERS HAVE REACHED THE EARS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS(Jas 5:4).

Brethren, we are not talking to or about ONLY those in Government here, but to all of us. Are there people who WORK OR HAVE WORKED FOR US THAT WE CHEATED BY REFUSING TO PAY THEM THEIR WAGE? Let us search our consciences now and do the right thing. Remember that the Book of Deuteronomy 24: 14-15 says: YOU SHALL NOT WITHHOLD THE WAGES OF THE POOR AND NEEDY….YOU SHALL PAY THEM BEFORE SUNSET, BECAUSE THEY ARE POOR AND THEIR LIVELIHOOD DEPENDS ON THEM…!

Dear Friends in Christ, when a LADDER is used to CLIMB UP, has the ladder done anything extraordinary? NO, that was actually the reason it was made. It has only done its duty.
When a BRIDGE is used by Passers-by to CONNECT TO THE OTHER END OF THE ROAD, has the bridge done anything extraordinary?
Again, NO, just its duty.
So also, when THE RICH HELP THE POOR, HAVE THEY DONE ANYTHING EXTRAORDINARY IN THE EYES OF GOD? Again, NO, but your duty for that is the reason God has GIVEN YOU THAT PRIVILEGE OF BEING RICH.
Hence, St. James this morning reminds the RICH their DUTIES. He does not HATE Riches or those who have been privileged to be Rich, BUT THOSE WHO HAVE FAILED TO USE IT TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE AROUND THEM HE SAYS: “Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body.”

Again, to such people the Gospel of Luke 6: 24 says: WOE TO YOU WHO ARE RICH, FOR YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR CONSOLATION.
Also, luke 18: 24 – 25 says: HOW HARD IT IS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE WEALTH TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD! INDEED IT IS EASIER FOR A CARMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR SOMEONE RICH TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Finally Dear Friends, let us begin to use our PRIVILEGES TO HELP THE LESS PRIVILEGED.
Like the Gospel of today says: IF YOUR EYES, LEG, HAND, WILL MAKE YOU TO GO TO HELL, CUT IF OFF. IT IS BETTER TO GO TO HEAVEN WITH ONE THAN WITH THE TWO AND END UP IN HELL.
IF IT IS GOING TO BE OUR WEALTH AND RICHES, BEGIN TO USE THEM FOR THE POOR, ORPHANS, CHURCHES, ETC!
Remember this:

MONEY CAN BUY A BED BUT NOT SLEEP.

MONEY CAN BUY BOOKS BUT NOT BRAIN TO READ THEM.

MONEY CAN BUY FOOD BUT NOT APPETITE.

MONEY CAN BUY HOUSES BUT NOT HOME.

MONEY CAN BUY MEDICINE BUT NOT HEALTH.

MONEY CAN BUY FINERY (wears, jewellery, lips stick, etc) BUT NOT BEAUTY.

MONEY CAN BUY LUXURY BUT NOT HAPPINESS (the Rich also cries).

MONEY CAN BUY SECURITY BUT NOT PROTECTION (Psalm 127:1).

MONEY CAN BUY ACQUAINTANCES BUT NOT FRIENDS.

MONEY CAN BUY OBEDIENCE BUT NOT FAITHFULNESS.

MONEY CAN BUY SEX BUT NOT LOVE.

MONEY CAN BUY CRUCIFIX BUT NOT OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

MONEY CAN BUY BIBLE BUT NOT SALVATION.

Therefore Brethren, we need HEAVENLY PROTECTION because MONEY AND WEALTH are unstable, the world is unsettled, the weather is unpredictable, time is unknown, lives are unfolding, Earth is in upheaval, ONLY HEAVEN IS ETERNAL!
WHERE DOES YOUR TREASURE LIE, HEAVEN OR YOUR POSSESSIONS?

Good Morning and Be FAVOURED today and always. Amen.

Rev. Fr. Francis Uchechukwu Onugha (Fada Kosi Much)

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