29 January, Sunday — Fools for Christ

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zep 2:3,3:12-13
1 Cor 1:26-31
Mt 5:1-12a

it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning

I once heard a homily where it was shared that the 12 apostles will unlikely qualify for any job in today’s age. Each of them had characteristics which would embarrass any major corporation and yet Jesus chose each one of them to be his companions. Through their preaching and example, they ended up spreading the faith throughout the world. Whilst this may seem to be hilarious now, in reality, what St Paul proclaimed in the second reading is true. Jesus has often chosen people whom the world will not expect to spread his word.

It may seem strange that Jesus offered a different approach, but this is the most important part of his message to us as a Christian today. There is a need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that we need to equip ourselves with the items and knowledge which the world determines to be relevant, latest and even important. Instead, we need to depend fully on Jesus to guide our actions. The Jewish people are reminded by the prophet Zephaniah in the first reading today that it was not the mighty warrior nor the sharp sword which was valued by God but instead, it was the spirituality of the powerless which moved God tremendously. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV translation) and I find this very instructive in our lives as we come to the end of the month of January. We may have started the year with grand plans and desires to achieve an outcome different from the year of 2022. Perhaps we are on our way to achieve them, but perhaps we have also deviated from what we desire.

It will be good if we took time today to spend it in solitude — in the quietness of our room, church or a nature reserve; so that we can ask God to illuminate our lives and take control of it. Were the end of year plans which we set in line with what Jesus desired of us? Acknowledging our weaknesses, we could turn to the Gospel of today and choose one of the Beatitudes which we feel is relevant in giving us the direction we need. They will then allow us to rediscover God’s love in our lives and through that, we can share the joy of being a Christian to all around us.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Jesus, we pray for you to enter into our lives.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for those who remind us of the importance of being joyful.


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