21 July, Tuesday — Christ does not show favouritism

Jul 21 – Memorial for St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest, religious, doctor

St. Lawrence (1559-1619) joined the Capuchin Friars in 1575. He studied theology, the Bible, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Syriac, and Hebrew. He was an effective and forceful preacher in any of his several languages, founded convents and wrote catechisms.

As the chaplain of the army of the Holy Roman Empire in 1601, he led the army into battle against the Turks carrying only a crucifix, and defeated them. Later, he carried out important and successful diplomatic peace missions. He was the spiritual director of the Bavarian army. St Lawrence was proclaimed Apostolic Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

– Patron Saint Index

Mic 7:14-15,18-20
Mt 12:46-50

Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

God provided basic things of life for human existence — breath, air, sunlight, rain, etc. He puts them in place without discrimination, they are provided for the just and the unjust. What makes the difference is doing the will of God.

Doing the will of God unites believers; it gives them the common sense in following God. In essence, doing the will of God draws one nearer to God and this attracts a number of rewards. We seek God when we draw nearer to Him through abiding by His commands. In this situation, God guides one to know the truth; He is the author of truth and allows us access to the truth always.

And what could stand as doing the will of God in the context of this reflection came to bear last month at the priestly ordination of a priest, Rev. Fr. Martin, in a Cathedral in one of the Eastern States in Nigeria. Fr. Martin comes from a family of six (parents inclusive) and the only son of his parents. From an early age, he lived with his uncle, a devout Catholic, who trained him in the dictates of reason and of the Catholic Church. After his college education, young Martin resolved to go to the Seminary with the hope of serving in God’s vineyard. This decision was not welcomed by his parents, who rejected the idea in its entirety; it would work against tradition and leave no male in the family to grow the ancestry tree, they reasoned. Rev. Fr. Martin’s uncle took the responsibility to see him through the seminary. At Martin’s priestly ordination, his parents showed up following the intervention of the Local Ordinary and that was tantamount to final acceptance. In his emotional words of appreciation after his ordination, Rev. Fr. Martin said: “I have my biological parents here today after my rejection, my uncle and his wife are also here today, they are my ultimate parents who brought me up and guided me to do the will of God in my life. They are my practical parents of Jesus’ sermon. This proves that God’s will in its power unites believers.” In truth, Fr. Martin’s experience is a suffocating cultural bane in many parts of Africa today.

(Today’s Oxygen by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, JP)

Prayer: Dear Lord, Our God, we plead with you to give us your enabling spiritual grace to guide us to continue to do your will; open our eyes and minds to know the truth and meaning of true faith in you that will sustain us through life, as we hope to live with you in eternity. We will continue to rely on you.

Thanksgiving: Our Lord, we thank you for guiding us through the path of truth as we remain faithful to your will. We are truly happy and committed to your will because you have not left us without protection and hope of reward at eternity. Thank you, Lord, Amen.

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