Fourth Sunday of Lent
1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13
so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind
There is a particular audio version of the Rosary known as the Healing Rosary. In it, the opening reflection at the start of the 5th Glorious Mystery goes as follows:
“We pray for the wisdom to find healing in doing God’s will. Many are the frustrations of human life, the glittering career that turned to dust, the family that promised so much, the wealth that brought only misery, the poverty that made God into an enemy… teach us again and again and again, how to do God’s will”.
When we choose to treat our colleagues and subordinates as secondary to our ambitions, our self-preservation and our convenience. When we refuse to show patience, understanding and compassion in the midst of their failures and inabilities. When we throw them under the bus in the name of our own good name and worldly success. When keeping our bosses happy and protecting our favour in the boss’ eyes overrides their dignity, justice and humanity — in all these circumstances, who sits on YOUR throne?
In faith, when we use religion to serve our own purposes – for business contacts, for financial gain, for networking. When the church sanctuary is a place not of true worship but a performance stage to show off our Armani suits, or $2000 heels, how well we can sing and dance and dramatize our ‘belief’ in God. Where the prosperity ‘gospel’ comes before the Gospel of mercy, compassion, universal inclusiveness, and of authentic and sincere worship of God, where salvation is premised and ‘guaranteed’ based on worldly manifestations of wealth, success and self-aggrandizing glory. Where the poor are not welcomed to the community because they have nothing of ‘value’ to add to the network of the successful, the powerful, the affluent and the prideful. Where the blood of martyrs, Mary the Mother of God, the grace bestowed upon the Saints, are all ignored and ridiculed in place of man-made philosophy, man-worshipping narcissism and self-anointed leaders with the audacity to claim Divine anointing. Where faith and worship become so inextricably and hopelessly corrupted by worldliness, spiritual arrogance, narcissism and monetization of faith for profit — in these places and circumstances, who sits on YOUR throne?
In our work of ministry, when we despise, ridicule and place the failures of our fellow ministry members ahead of their sacred divine calling by God to serve. When we place our own pride, glory, self-aggrandization, convenience, delusions of power and authority, privilege and reputation, before the glory of God. When our faith is all about what God can do for us and how He ought to ‘reward’ us for our ministry with worldly success and reputation — in such times, who sits on YOUR throne?
When we choose to neglect our loved ones, who have been entrusted to us and placed in our lives by God for our sanctification and sacred vocation, by not choosing to spend time with them, to give of our time, our money, our patience, to love them unconditionally, to understand them more fully, to make sacrifices and die to self for their well-being — in such times, who sits on YOUR throne?
Many times, and in many situations in our lives, we do not know who sits on OUR thrones, but quite likely, again and again and again, the one that sits on that throne is simply, and quite clearly, NOT… God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo)
Prayer: Father help us, we often find it so difficult to allow you to be our God and to give You sovereignty over our lives, the lives which have come from you in the first place. Often, we have allowed ourselves to be enthroned and in our reign, have caused great suffering, disillusionment, disunity to others and even ourselves.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for showing us the way to true servant leadership. For showing us the power of an Almighty God and King and the unconditional forgiveness, compassion and unfailing love of a Father who loves His own, no matter what, even to allowing us the follow of thinking we could ever be sovereign over you.