Monday, January 25, 2021

Who is my mother?

 “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3: 34 - 35).

Tuesday 26th January, in the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus. Timothy (+ 97). Jewish mother and a Greek father. He was ordained by St Paul as Bishop of Ephesus. He was a disciple of Paul and traveled with Paul in some of his missionary journeys.
Titus (+ 96 or 107). Ordained Bishop of Crete by St Paul. Both Timothy and Titus had very difficult churches to oversee in Ephesus and Crete respectively.
The harsh experiences of Timothy and Titus as Bishops vindicates the prophetic utterance of Jesus in our key Scripture.  Those who do the will of God are the brothers and sisters and true disciple of Jesus. Encouraged by the letters of St Paul, Titus and Timothy persevered in their posts till their martyrdom.

The will of God. The will of God. What do you think of the will of God? This important phrase appears to have disappeared from Christian speech and literature.  When I was growing up, it was rare not to hear it or read about it many times a day. Yet our happiness, well being and destiny is tied to the will of God.

In the most important prayer Jesus left us, He intended that we pray: "Father, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."
Mary who is our model disciple prayed at the Annunciation, and we must imagine at the Birth of Jesus in the stable and when the Boy Jesus was lost for three days and finally at the foot of the Cross:
"Be it done to me according to your will."

If you are able to discern God’s will in everything that concerns you, you will be a very happy person.  The will of God is not only good but the best and the perfect thing for you in everything. (Cf Romans 12: 2).
We pray in the Liturgy of the Hours: "Father, Your will is our peace." The peace of God is the Shalom of God containing our perfect and best desires.

The Church teaches that through the operations of Divine Providence, God provides us all our possible needs from womb to tomb in accordance with His generous riches. But the will of God is not only gracious but mysterious. Here are a few examples:
#1. Abraham and Sarah waited for 25 years for the fulfillment of the promise of a son.
#2. Joseph before he became the Prince of Egypt was sold as a slave to an Egyptian master who sent him to prison to languish until the fullness of time when God rescued him to fulfill His destiny for Joseph.
#3. David waited for about 15 years after he was anointed king of Israel to see the actualisation of the promise.
#4. Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God was tortured and crucified but rose from the dead.

All the above four examples and many more in the Bible are in accordance with the gracious and mysterious will of God and His most loving Providence.

I just finished reading an excellent book on the will of God by St Alphonsus Liguori, Founder of the Redemptorists, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. The book is called: "UNIFORMITY WITH GOD'S WILL." After finishing the book, I wondered why God did not put this book into my hand in the prime of youth. My life would be totally different. The answer is simple: This is the perfect time. All things work out for good to those who love and obey God. (Cf Romans 8: 28).

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