Read Rev. 1:1-4,2:1-5, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Luke 18:35-43
“Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
In today’s first reading, we hear God speaking to the church at Ephesus through St. John. God’s message begins with the phrase: “I know your works” This is another way of saying, “I know everything about you” or “you cannot hide from me.” The Psalmist declares: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away… Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.”
“…Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there…. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb.” (Psalm 139:1-13)
Bear in mind always that it is possible to deceive your fellow human beings but God can never be fooled. God knows everything about us, He sees even the secret thoughts hidden deep inside our minds. It is easy for us to tell ourselves that we are doing well but God always expects perfection. (Cf. Matthew 5:48).
While the Ephesians had a lot to boast about, God says to them: “Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first.” Like falling in love, the beginning is usually very sweet, you think about the person all day and you are ready to do anything for him or her but as time passes, familiarity creeps in, the fire goes out, and you no longer think it is necessary even to show care and concern. We may not be hurting the person but at the same time, we know that things are no longer the same.
Upon conversion to the faith, the Ephesians must have begun a lot of devout practices that were very pleasing to God but over time, these practices faded away. For instance, I remember the days of my catechumenate; those were the days I was on fire for God. I never let any day pass without finishing at least five decades of the rosary but honestly, as time went on, I simply relaxed.
Like the Ephesians, we assume we are not doing badly but God is saying: “Repent and return to who you were when you first became a Christian.” It is not enough that we avoid sin, we must relate with God every day as if it was today that we gave our lives to Christ. Avoid familiarity, avoid becoming cold, don’t let your fire go out, and be the best version of yourself always.
In today’s Gospel passage, a blind man heard Jesus passing by. He considered this as his first and last chance. He would not let this opportunity slip away. He called out as loud as he could. The crowd tried to stop him but he shouted all the more. Jesus could sense the blind man’s faith so He stopped and ordered him to come. Jesus asked him again: “What do you want me to do for you?” and the blind man said: “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said “Receive your sight” and instantly, the man could see again.
What does this passage teach us? If we relax spiritually, we may not get anything we deserve from God. We need to be on fire like the blind man who would not stop shouting. Jesus could see that this man was blind but he asked him what he wanted. Do not assume God already knows what you want, open your mouth and pray. Yes, go back to the way you used to pray back in the days when you first knew Jesus.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, fill us with the grace to serve you sincerely every day of our lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 33 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Rev. 1:1-4,2:1-5, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Luke 18:35-43)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu