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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

THE ROAD LEAST FOLLOWED TO GREATNESS


 

Today’s Readings:

2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Psalm 126:1-6

Matthew 20:20-28

 


If you are reading this, then you are very fortunate because you are alive, and life is God’s first gift to you today. For this, you should be grateful because you have not earned it or worked for it. You did not pay for it. It is free and it is on this note of gratitude that I welcome you to today’s reflection on which we celebrate the feast of Saint James the Apostle, the brother of John, both of them sons of Zebedee. Jesus later nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). We see the condition of the human heart in James’ struggle for greatness.


Each of us, born into this world wants to make a meaning out of our life. Most of us hope to find this meaning by seeking fame, in wanting to entrench our names in history, “sitting in the hall of fame”. Some do not mind sacrificing their human dignity for a chance to be famous. Sadly, many of us do not see a problem with this ugly trend. The truth is that we are born great. We were created great and our purpose has already been outlined by God who knows us before we were born. He tells us through Isaiah, in Isaiah 49:16, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Also, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). God has verified you already. There is no need to seek the validation of something or someone else. It is like the Nigerian DJ who says of himself, “When you are big, you are big abeg!” You are created big. This does not mean that we should become proud and rub it in the faces of others. It does not mean that we should belittle others or bully them. Rather, we give ourselves a reason to shine and give others the inspiration to also shine their own light.


In the case of James and John, their mother brought them to Jesus to demand for seats at his left and right hand. They were asking for a seat at the table. And Jesus asks them, ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ This means that you have to align yourself with Christ’s mission in order to enjoy what He is offering you. And they said “yes”. And true to those words, James died a martyr at the hands of Herod Agrippa who wanted to appease the Jews for their anti-Christian sentiments (Acts 12:1-2). You will find yourself rejected sometimes if you want to follow Jesus. You will be deflated by those who want to put you down believing you are lesser than them for choosing the way of Christ. However, Jesus assures us that so long as we are aligned with His mission, eternal life is assured. “Take up your cross and follow me” and you will find eternal life (Matthew 16:24-26).


Align yourself with Christ’s mission in the things you think about, the choice of your words, the things you do and the kind of people you relate with. Reject and run away from everything that is opposed to God’s agenda. Volunteer your time and gifts to a noble cause; to the cause of the faith, to the welfare of others who are suffering. Speak up for the marginalized, the young, the weak and the poor. Stand for the truth, so that our society will be a better place. Stand for family and the protection of human life from conception to natural death. Measure your greatness by the number of people you serve.

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

  1. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

  2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;

  3. Oh God bless me, grant me grace, be my strength, my source of inspiration, and fill me with peace, in Jesus' name.

  4. Increase my faith in You O Lord, encourage me, strengthen me in the face of vicissitudes of life and temptations, in Jesus' name. Amen.

  5. If I have missed your path in life, O Lord, by your mercy redirect my path and keep me from the deceiver, in Jesus' name.

  6. Father visit Christian homes with Your love and mercy; let there be unity of purpose, in Jesus' name.

  7. Father, unite the body of Christ in Your love and let them be focused to harmoniously proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

  8. Father let there be fear of God within our leaders in all spheres, and open their spiritual and physical eyes to recognise the needful in society, in Jesus name. Amen

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