July 22, 2024
Ibadan Archdiocese

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

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DAILY CHEWING STICK FOR WEDNESDAY OF WEEK 7 IN ORDINARY TIME OF THE YEAR,23RD FEBRUARY, 2022: MEMORIAL OF ST. POLYCARP, BISHOP AND MARTYR (James 4:13-17; Mark 9:38-40)

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

Good Morning Dear Friends in Christ and Congrats for the grace of a new day. May God’s love and mercy see us through every moment of this day. Amen.

Brethren, we often hear people use PHRASES and STATEMENTS like these on TIME:
No Time, No Time!
Time is Money!
No Time to waste Time!
Time is of the essence!
A stitch in Time saves Nine!
I will do it tomorrow (Time).
Time is valuable, Talents are many and your Future is bright.
3 things you can’t recover in life:
The Moment: after it is missed.
The Word: after it is said.
The TIME: after it is wasted.

Dear Friends in Christ, TIME is what we want most. Yet, TIME is also what we waste most. The irony is that the more time we have, the more time we will waste. By and large, we think that we have a long future ahead of us. We think that there will ALWAYS BE A TOMORROW.
Hence, we often say like we heard in the first reading: ” โ€˜Today or tomorrow, we are off to this or that town; we are going to spend a year there, trading, and make some money.โ€™
St. James in the 1st reading REMINDS us that WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT TOMORROW. THE FUTURE AND OUR LIFE DEPENDS ON GOD.
So, we should rather say:
IF IT IS THE LORDโ€™S WILL, WE SHALL STILL BE ALIVE TO DO THIS OR THAT'(Jas 4:14-15).
In other words, it is good to PLAN, but NEVER leave God outside your plans. Never be too CERTAIN based on your intelligence or skills or wealth, etc.
Remember, WHEN FUTURE BECOMES CERTAIN, IT CEASES TO BE FUTURE.
So, let us always learn to say: BY GOD’S GRACE!
IF THE LORD WILLS!

Dearly Beloved in Christ, this song readily comes to mind:

OH THE FUTURE LIES BEFORE ME:

(1) Oh, I often sit and ponder,
When the sun is sinking low,
Where shall yonder future find me:
Does but God in Heaven know?
Shall I be among the living?
Shall I mingle with the free?
Wheresoeโ€™er my path be leading,
Savior, keep my heart with Thee.

Refrain
Oh, the future lies before me,
And I know not where Iโ€™ll be;
But whereโ€™er my path be leading,
Savior, keep my heart with Thee.

(2) Shall I be at work for Jesus,
Whilst He leads me by the hand,
And to those around be saying,
Come and join His happy band?
Come, for all things now are ready,
Come, His faithful follower be;
Oh, whereโ€™er my path be leading,
Savior, keep my heart with Thee. [Refrain]

(3.) But perhaps my work for Jesus
Soon in future may be done,
All my earthly trials ended,
And my crown in Heaven won;
Then, forever with the ransomed
Throโ€™ eternity Iโ€™d be
Chanting hymns to Him who bought me
With His blood shed on the tree. [Refrain]

Finally My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are called today to spend our time LIVING HOLY AND SAINTLY LIVES like ST. POLYCARP whom we celebrate today; who preferred Christ to any earthly possessions.
He was asked to “CURSE CHRIST” and LIVE by Emperor Marcus Aurelius. But St. POLYCARP replied: FOR 86 YEARS I HAVE SERVED HIM, AND NEVER DID HE FAIL ME. HOW COULD I NOW BLASPHEME MY KING AND SAVIOUR? I AM A CHRISTIAN!
He was martyred for his refusal. He is in HEAVEN today praying for us.
HOW MANY OF US CAN DO THAT?

Cheers and God bless you. We shall meet again tomorrow BY GOD’S GRACE.

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

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