28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Phi 4:12-14, 19-20
There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength
This year has been a difficult time for everybody. The uncertainty and disruption which Covid-19 introduced into our lives has uprooted the plans which all of us created. Grandiose plans of bettering one’s future and also to build new things were all removed in an instant where air travel and work arrangements had to be changed. It is in light of these issues that the readings of today are even more important — the need to offer to God all our plans, trusting that He will take care of all of us.
St Paul reminds us, in the second reading, that his entire missionary life was driven by only one belief — that the Lord Jesus Christ would take good care of him. This is a remarkable statement, because St Paul suffered tremendously for the sake of the Gospel as God told Ananias in Damascus that “I [God] will show him (St Paul) how much he must suffer in my name (Acts 9:16)”. God gave St Paul the strength to bear with the persecutions he endured to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour. This is reinforced in the Responsorial Psalm, where we are reminded that God is with us, even if we should walk in the valley of darkness.
The plans we come up with need to be offered to God and sanctified by Him so that we can be guided towards the path which God has called us to do. Indeed sometimes, it is quite difficult for us to see what is the plan God has for us, and we conflate it with our own pride and the loudness of our voice. Disrupted plans and change of one’s goals in life reminds us that all that we possess and have is fragile and transitory.
I have learnt that the plans which I have brought to fruition are those that involve works of generosity. They usually try to share the little which I have with the people around me. This is not limited to material possessions, but also time and energy. This current pandemic has made me realise that one’s presence is usually more important than one’s money. As we enter into another week, I ask that you consider a moment in the time ahead, where you can share your effort and time with those around you, and how this opportunity can be a moment of sharing with God.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to realise that you are the centre of our life.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who remind us that life is not just about work.