Wisdom 2:23-3:9, Ps. 34:2-3,16-19, Luke 17:7-10

“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish, they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, but they are at peace.” (Wisdom 3:1-3)

Death can be described as an insult; it shows no respect for anyone, whether rich or poor, high or low. God has put in us a survival instinct such that no matter how tough life on earth may be, we try to avoid death. Whenever we hear of the death of someone we know, the reality of our frailty grips us with dread. We realise that death is not so far from us. We ask, “How did it happen? What killed him? Why did she die?” We want to know the cause of their death in hopes of avoiding death.

No matter how we try to escape death, it follows us like our shadow. The more we run from it, the more it sticks to us. Today, the Book of Wisdom teaches us that the death cure is not in trying to avoid death but in living a virtuous life: “The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment will ever touch them… they are at peace.”

Live your life in such a manner that at the moment of your death, you will be happy going back home. Conquer death long before it happens. St. Paul asked: “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). What makes death painful is our sin – our refusal to make peace with God.

Living a virtuous life appears unrewarding, especially in a society that celebrates thieves and punishes the righteous. Sometimes, we ask ourselves: “What is my reward for being an upright and truthful person amid so much corruption and evil?” Jesus answers this question in today’s Gospel passage: “When you have done all that is commanded you, say: ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17:10)

Consider it as your duty to be good. The world needs you; the world needs Christians. We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. You do not thank your bulb for shining when you turn on the switch. It is only doing its duty. Do not expect anyone to thank you or praise you for shining. Just keep living a virtuous life. Be more concerned about having conquered death than about receiving praise from others.

_Saint of the Day:_ Today, we remember Blessed John Licci, a Dominican priest gifted with the ability to work miracles. He was born to a poor farm family in 1400 and lived 111 years. A neighbour heard him crying as a baby and took him home to feed him. She laid John on the bed beside her paralysed husband, and the man was instantly cured. John joined the Dominicans at 15 and wore the habit for 96 years. He was not an eloquent preacher but was very popular for his miracles and good works. John prayed over many who were restored to health, even those whose heads were crushed in accidents or had died.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give me wisdom to live a holy life. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 32 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Wisdom 2:23-3:9, Ps. 34:2-3,16-19, Luke 17:7-10).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu