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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

THIS IS FOR THE BLESSED ONES


 

Today’s Readings:

Tobit 6:10-11,7:1,9-17,8:4-9

Psalm 128:1-7

Mark 12:28-34

 

The good old days is what we say to indicate that our best times are behind us. But that is not always true. Sometimes, our best times are right in front of us. Today’s readings remind us of a fundamental part of human relationships that we are losing. We are losing mutual respect. This is the foundation of every meaningful memory we have. Whether you are dealing with family or friends, or a prospective customer, a suitor or even a perceived enemy, nothing can quite easily disarm them like respect. When you show someone respect, you say without words that you value their presence and their time. You also earn their respect. What does this have to do with anything?


Tobias found favour with God because he showed respect. He visits Raguel with Raphael (or Brother Azarias as he refers to him) and he respectfully asks for Sarah’s hand in marriage. He states his intention clearly in a prayer they said on their wedding night: “I do not take my sister for any lustful motive; I do it in singleness of heart”. What is your intention towards the people you meet? It is disrespectful to only value people because of what you hope to get from them. Yes, every good relationship ought to add value to you but seeking value without giving it in return is selfish. If selfishness is your motivation, fruitlessness will be your pursuit. Tobias prayed for God’s grace for himself and Sarah. His motive was to share his life with her in God. Fix your motive and you will achieve better results.


Jesus sums it up well when he teaches that the fear of God is the greatest commandment. The fear of God means that we love God so much that we fear to lose His friendship. The fear of losing true friendship is the beginning of wisdom. A fruitful relationship with anyone must stem from a God-fearing consciousness. You are God-fearing when you know that whatever you do to your brother or sister (your neighbour) is done to God (Matthew 25:40).


If you love and respect God and your neighbour, you will not wilfully lead them into sin. When you respect them, you will tell them the truth. We certainly do not respect others when we are only interested in the pleasure or satisfaction that they can give us. Even more, we are obligated to pray for and with the ones we love. By honouring them and respecting them, you give others the courage to honour and respect you. The Psalmist says, “O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!” (Psalm 128:1)

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

1. Lord, I love you with all my heart and with all my soul, with all my mind and my strength.

2. And for your sake, I love my neighbour as myself.

3. Give me strength to love and honour the people in my life.

4. Help me to be selfless and courageous and to do all for your glory. Amen.

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