15 January, Saturday — Those who want to make heaven must wear repentant tags

Saturday of Week 1 in Ordinary Time

1 Sam 9:1-4,17-19;10:1
Mk 2:13-17

 When Jesus heard this he said to them, “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.”

There are a number of ways of carrying out evangelization, and reaching out to people is one very important way of achieving that. Reaching out involves communication, interaction, and involvement in the form of one-to-one contact and mutual relationship. In our contemporary society, a number of things could lead to infractions to good moral life and living conditions. And chief among these troubling living conditions are poverty and illicit conduct. In the state of poverty, people face deprivations and are tempted to commit sins and, in many cases, knowingly. When people are attracted to illicit conduct, they infect society.

When we are faced with the above situations, the effects roll back to the society, inflicting social injuries and those trapped in the conditions are convicts of moral failures. The work involved in Christianity is largely concerned with the determination to bring back such people into the fold of a good Christian life.

In 2015, the leader and some members of the Catholic Women Organization [CWO] in one parish in Northwest Nigeria embarked on a drive of evangelisation aimed at changing and rehabilitating some female sex workers and prostitutes in the town. They braved all odds to visit the sex workers in their local hotels to hold discussions. The meeting was very revealing — some of the sex workers opened up to their predicaments ranging from frustration, disappointment, abandonment, poverty, to lack of support and help. And many felt that since they had chosen this path of life and had indulged in many unholy acts such as abortion, there was no need to turn back from evil because they were already destined to live that way. After extensive counselling, many of them were convinced that turning back to embrace a decent life was as good as pleasing God and earning His forgiveness. Many of them returned to the church with their Christian mothers and were rehabilitated. Today, they are doing very well. Indeed those who want to make heaven must wear repentant tags.

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

Prayer: Lord our Father, please help us to repent from our sins and acts not pleasing to you. Father, we depend on you and promise to commit our lives to you because it is only in you we can obtain forgiveness for our sins. Please give us the grace to withstand evil and its temptations.

Thanksgiving:  Dear Father and Lord, we are grateful that you have given us the grace to repent and stand against sins. We pray to you to continue to sustain us in our desire to live a holy life. We are praying to you to help us. Amen.

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