Jun 4 — Friday of Week 9 in Ordinary Time
“I give you my word that your father’s eyes will open...And your father will be able to see and look on the light.“
The understanding about faith and the fear of God are crucial in determining where we place God in our life and dealings. God gives life and places free will in the hands of man, because man is created in His image and likeness. The totality of a man’s life is packaged in the confine of breath, this is what presents us with choice and opportunity and where we place God; and those who place God first are guided by His spirit.
There is a cast of ultimate truth in trusting in God; He is caring and yet abiding in those who show total recognition for Him. And that trust must be dedicated without waver; this is when the fruits of one’s effort are counted ripe. In a town called Mberi in Owerri, the state capital of a state in Southeast Nigeria, the meaning of placing God first was revealed in 2019 when a pious man, Jonathan, who was kidnapped by hoodlums for 40 days, walked home unharmed. Jonathan lived in a village where on a daily basis he walked from his home to the local Catholic Church parish, some twenty minutes’ walk from his home. He was devoted to early Mass attendance and regulated his timing to meet this spiritual daily obligation. On 3 September, 2019, he was kidnapped on his way to his parish that early morning, and a ransom of one million naira (about USD 2,400/=) was placed for his release from captivity. Attempts made by family members to raise the money demanded were not generating a good yield and pressure was mounting to save the life of Jonathan. On his side, Jonathan resigned to God in faith and will — he had committed all his life to the service of God and concentrated on finger-rosary prayers.
On the night of 12 October, 2019, there was a shattering wind that came with sandstorms that lasted for a while, followed by heavy rain. Following this, the roof of the hut sheltering Jonathan was blown off, there was confusion, and Jonathan was lost in the wind and rain. When calm returned, Jonathan was trapped in the bush alone, not knowing what to do. And for six hours, he was in the bush until dawn when he walked home, safe.
Brothers and sisters, placing God first attracted God’s spirit in guiding him home.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, JP)
Prayer: Lord, please help us to continue to place you first in our life and decision in life. We trust we will help us to achieve this. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, we thank you for helping and granting us the desire to place you first in our life and activities. Continue to bless in my mind and life and at all time. Amen.
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