July 25, 2024
Ibadan Archdiocese

SUNDAY APPERTIZER FOR 8TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME FOR YEAR C

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SUNDAY APPETIZER FOR 8TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME OF THE YEAR C, 27TH FEBRUARY, 2022 (Ecclesiasticus 27:5-8; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58; Luke 6:39-45).

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

Good Morning Dear People of God and Happy Last Sunday of this Month to you and your beloved families.
May the Grace of today’s Eucharistic Celebration purify our tongues and help us to always engage in healthy conversations. Amen.

Dearly Beloved in Christ, One of the easiest things to do in life, *IS TO FIND FAULTS, PICK UP THE SHORTCOMINGS AND DEFECTS OF OTHERS.* Some of us have become Professors, some have Doctorate Degrees, only few have Masters in spotting the defects in others but oblivious of our own spots and deficiencies.

Brethren, Jesus in the gospel today draws our attention to this when he said: *WHY DO YOU SEE THE SPECK IN YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S EYE, BUT DO NOT NOTICE THE LOG IN UR OWN EYE?*
Is it not the case of the blind leading the blind? Will they both not fall into a pit and nobody to rescue them?
A Pastor was once on his way to the crusade ground, but was not sure of the direction to the venue, and so decided to ask questions.
A little boy was approaching, the Pastor walked up to him and asked; *PLEASE HOW DO I GET TO THE CRUSADE GROUND?* The boy asked in return: *PLEASE WHO ARE YOU?* The Pastor, not sure if the little boy knows the meaning of *”Pastor”,* says: *I AM A MAN WHO SHOWS PEOPLE THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HEAVEN.* And the boy replied : *HOW CAN YOU SHOW PEOPLE THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO HEAVEN, WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO THE CRUSADE GROUND?*

My Dear People of God, for this little boy, it is the case of the blind leading the blind. Let us ask ourselves this morning:

DO I TAKE JOY IN CONDEMING THE PRESIDENT AND THE LEADERS?
If I’m there, will I do better?

DO I LOVE TO DESTRUCTIVELY CRITICISE THE POPE, BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND CHURCH LEADERS?
Am I better in my own vocation?

DO WE HEAP BLAMES ON OUR FOREFATHERS FOR THE ERRORS AND THE ANOMALIES OF TODAY? Are we doing anything better to salvage the future generations?

AM I FIGHTING, QUARRELING AND MONITORING MY PARTNER(husband/wife) OVER INFIDELITY & UNFAITHFULNESS?
I hope there is no skeleton in my own cupboard?
Have you forgotten John Chapter 8 verse 7 where Jesus says: *LET ANYONE AMONG YOU WHO HAS NO SIN BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER.*
Jesus says to us today, Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brotherโ€™s eye.โ€™

Beloved in Christ, rather than preoccupy ourselves in mindlessly probing and picking the faults of others, Jesus wants us from TODAY AND THIS LENTEN SEASON WHICH BEGINS IN FEW DAYS , to turn the microscope on ourselves, bearing in mind that A GOOD PERSON DRAWS WHAT IS GOOD FROM THE GOODNESS OF HIS HEART; AND A BAD PERSON DRAWS WHAT IS BAD FROM THE STORE OF BADNESS FROM HIS HEART.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE STORED UP IN YOUR HEART?
CAN WE PLEASE USE THE COMING 40 DAYS OF LENT TO CONTROL OUR TONGUES AND GOSSIP LESS? DO YOU KNOW THAT THE TEST OF A MAN IS IN HIS CONVERSATION?
DO YOU KNOW THAT OUR WORDS BETRAY WHAT WE FEEL INSIDE ABOUT OTHERS?

Dear Child of God, let us reflectively ask ourselves these questions so as to help us REMOVE the PLANK in our own eyes before looking for the SPECK in others.
1. AM I A GOSSIPER?
2. HAVE I GOSSIPED BEFORE?
3. AM I PLANNING TO GOSSIP TODAY AND THIS NEW WEEK?
4. AM I FREE FROM ALL I GOSSIP AND SAY ABOUT OTHERS?
5. DO I ENTERTAIN AND WELCOME THOSE WHO TAKE JOY IN FINDING FAULTS IN OTHERS?
6. HAS GOSSIPING AND SPEAKING ILL OF PEOPLE MADE ME ANY BETTER THAN THEY?

PLEASE LISTEN TO THESE:

1. DON’T BE TOO FAST TO HIGHLIGHT THE WEAKNESSES OF OTHER PEOPLE. THAT IS THE QUICKEST WAY OF EXPOSING YOUR OWN WEAKNESSES.

2. MAKE IT A HABIT OF SHUTTING DOWN CONVERSATIONS THAT AIM TO TEAR OTHERS DOWN.

3. GREAT MINDS DISCUSS IDEAS.
AVERAGE MINDS DISCUSS EVENTS.
SMALL MINDS DISCUSS PEOPLE.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT TALK ABOUT VISIONS AND IDEAS, NOT OTHER PEOPLE. THEY ARE PEOPLE OF LOW SELF ESTEEM.

4. GOSSIP IS A VERY DANGEROUS TOOL. WE SHOULD BE MORE WARY OF THE GOSSIPER, AND NOT THE GOSSIP THEY’RE TRYING TO RELAY TO YOU.

5. IF YOU DIDN’T SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES, OR HEAR IT WITH YOUR OWN EARS. DON’T INVENT IT WITH YOUR SMALL MINDS AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR BIG MOUTH.

6. THOSE WHO ARE BUSY DISCUSSING YOUR LIFE ARE PROBABLY NOT HAPPY ABOUT THEIRS.
REMEMBER, THOSE WHO GOSSIP WITH YOU WILL GOSSIP ABOUT YOU.

7. WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT OTHERS DOESN’T DEFINE THEM, IT DEFINES YOU.

8. DON’T WORRY ABOUT THOSE WHO TALK BEHIND YOUR BACK, THEY’RE BEHIND YOU FOR A REASON.
IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO STOP THEM FROM TALKING BEHIND YOU. BUT IT’S YOUR JOB NOT TO LET IT AFFECT YOU.

9. A FRIENDSHIP BUILT ON GOSSIP WILL END ON GOSSIP.

10. ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL TO THOSE WHO GOSSIP ABOUT YOU. PRAY GOD TO BLESS THEM FOR MAKING YOU THE CENTER OF THEIR WORLD.

Finally Dearest Friends, let us build and develop healthy minds and hearts that can engage in meaningful conversations.
Let us not forget that the quality of our hearts determines the quality of our words and actions.
That’s why Jesus concluded the Gospel by saying: OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS.
Let what we speak and see in others be something edifying or that can make positive difference in their lives.
Let what we speak build and not destroy the Community.
Let our words be a sign that WE ARE GOOD TRESS PRODUCING GOOD FRUITS.

God bless you as I wish us a GRACE FILLED WEEK AHEAD. AMEN.

REV. FR. FRANCIS UCHECHUKWU ONUGHA
(FADA KOSI MUCH)

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