Scripture Reading: Romans. 12:1
Reading very carefully through the passage in the study today, we could find the Apostle Paul admonishing the Roman Christians very strongly. The message he preaches this time around is particularly very essential in cultivating and also maintaining a good and perfect relationship with God, very essential for Christian growth. The issue he addresses is the issue of worship. It is of course the nature of Christians to offer from time to time several dimensions of worship to God. While some may decide to sing songs, others may decide to do different things such as give offering, fast and pray, or do any of those kind of things that is suggestive of the fact that one worships God. However, what the writer of this epistle emphasizes is the fact that though it is not wrong to worship God in these various ways and dimensions, there is a particular kind of worship that delights Him. What is that worship? It is the presentation of our bodies (as holy entities) as living sacrifices. That, he said, is our reasonable worship. What it suggests to us, to an extent, is that if we fail to surrender our bodies to God, every other kind of service we render is indeed unreasonable.
In the Old Testament, the people normally make sacrifices to God with animals like goats, sheep cattle, and so on. The religious practice then was more difficult and cumbersome than what we have today. Activities like obtaining mercy from God, receiving blessings, etc required the purchasing of these animals for several sacrifices, especially when one does not have them in his house. Today, by virtue of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, everything has been simpler, easier and sweeter. It is no longer offering animals, but yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable before the Lord.
You are a living sacrifice to God. You are all what God wants from you. He is not interested in any food stuff or any animal, but you. Every day, God expects His people to draw closer to Him and Him to them. In the end, He gets disappointed. Note very clearly that our lives are the most befitting we can give to God for the very many beautiful things He has been doing for us. A life of holiness is far better than living in sin and then, be the most popular philanthropist in the world. As philanthropy is pretty good, but endeavour to wed it to a life of sacrifice, a life of holiness to God.
How may we present our bodies as living sacrifice? It is a demand for abandonment of self. To present our life to God is to detach our minds from the impulses of the self. It is to silence as much as we can the drive of the flesh that pull us away from God’s purpose for our lives. When an individual forgets the most important need of Christianity, which is the personal, constant and committed communion with God, everything else that he does in the name of worship is nothing before God. Let us call to mind how King Saul went to extreme points during Israel’s war with the Amalekites. Saul thought that reserving the best of animals as sacrifice would satisfy God. Unfortunately that action offended Him. God reminded him through the prophet Samuel that he had actually disobeyed God. That is exactly how God sees us when we do so many things in his name without presenting ourselves first to Him. A life that has become a living sacrifice is in the best position to offer sacrifice or anything that will please heaven to accept. Beloved, you are the most important instrument to your Maker. Remember that what God wants is our lives. A life that will in all sincerity, holiness and unparalleled devotion serve Him. Stop making Him angry by doing the opposite, probably through immorality, lying, stealing, and killing, etc. Do what is right and please God because you are a living sacrifice!
MASS: GREENIs 49: 14-15; Ps 62: 2-3. 6-7. 8-9 (6a); 1 Cor 4: 1-5; Mt 6: 24-34 EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
- Heavenly Father, use me as your instrument to actualize your plans for my life and others here on earth.
- Lead me by your Spirit to know your good and perfect will for me.
- Help me in my Christian race to always present myself to your service and reject the leading of the flesh or self. In Jesus name. Amen.
Exercise: Do charity with something you value so much without counting the cost.
Meditation: 1 Peter 2:5