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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

DON'T SLEEP, WAKE UP


 

Readings:

1 Corinthians 1:1-9; Psalm 145:2-7; Matthew 24:42-51

 

There is no better advise that a father can give his children than the example of his life. One person who exemplified this is our Saint of the Day, St Louis IX, king of France (1214-1270). He was born at a time when France was a Catholic country. He became king at the tender age of 12. He married and had eleven children, to whom he gave an excellent upbringing. He was noted for his spirit of prayer and penitence and for his love for the poor. Louis was trusted by his fellow-rulers in Europe and was often asked to arbitrate in their disputes. He was not just an “angel for road”. He was an adorable husband and father at home. Posterity has preserved a letter he wrote his son. It highlights some of his virtues which he wished for his son to emulate:

  • LOVE GOD – Love Him with your whole being. Love God above sin. Without this you cannot be saved.

  • COURAGE in the face of tribulation. Humility in the face of spiritual or material benefits.

  • FOCUS DURING WORSHIP – Pay attention at what is happening during Mass. Do not distract yourself with talking or looking around.

  • COMPASSION towards the poor. Take sides with the poor against the rich until proven otherwise (this is unprecedented for a rich man to say).

  • OBEDIENCE to the Church and to the Pope as your spiritual father.

  • RULE WELL by banishing injustice and wrong teachings of the faith.

  • PRAYER – “My dear son, I impart to you every blessing that a loving father can bestow on his son; may the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all the saints, guard you from all evil.

  • May the Lord grant you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honoured by you, and that, together, after this life we may come to see him, love him and praise him forever. Amen.”

This is the kind of prayer parents should say for their children every day. It is the kind of prayer you say for the people you truly love. If you claim you love someone but do not pray for them, you are a scam. If you move around with people who claim they love you but do not bring you and your intentions before God, they are doing you a world of harm. Our society is suffering the loss of parents who double as role models for their children. Most parents do not know what their children are doing. Without vigilance, our children are like sheep without shepherds, ignorant of what is wrong or right.


My dad used to write “Knowledge is power” at the top of my note books. There is a knowledge gap today that only exemplary parenting can fill. There is another gap that common-sense should take care of. Parental guidance and common-sense ought to go together. Be responsible for your actions. Jesus makes it care that we should live each day as though it were our last: “Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming”. In the words of the popular Nigerian singer, “Don’t sleep, wake up…” Saint Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, calls them "saints" even when their actions are far from holy. He sees what they are capable of and encourages them to rise to the challenge. How often do you challenge yourself and others to rise to higher standards. Beware of people and so-called churches that ask you to "come as you are". Come to Church and prepare your heart to be transformed.


Stay awake. The way to stay awake is to live today doing good for love of God, others and yourself.

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

  1. All-powerful and ever-living God, cast out from our hearts the darkness of sin and bring us the light of your truth. Amen.

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