Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-4
Let us begin today’s reflection with an admonition from Spurgeon, “It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, “Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that,” thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity”. What does it mean to say do not yield to the spirit of this age? These are the lifestyles, characteristics, attributes ruling in our time. Every age has the kind of spirit that rules them and it is this spirit that we are called to be watchful not to be victims. The warning is very strong, “do not yield”; Never condescend. No wonder we are warned in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. Everything that belongs to the world — what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of — none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.” What are the spirits of this age that we should not allow to influence us?
- Loss of the sense of shame: The sense of shame always help us to be scared about the “nakedness” that is inherent in disobeying God. Sin goes with disgrace and such a sense of shame helps a true child of God to fear such disgrace. Disgrace always comes with sin as revealed in Genesis 3:7: “As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked”. It is the loss of shame that makes one defend what is evil as right. Hence, Prophet Isaiah cautions us thus, “You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness, you make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter. ” Only very few can stand and vehemently oppose evil.
- Loss of the sense of divine: How low has man fallen? Believers only declare with their lips that God is Almighty, but our actions reflects a different thing altogether. This age has lost the consciousness of how mighty our God is. In Genesis 17:1-3, God revealed to Abraham, “I am the God Almighty” immediately Abraham, “bowed down with his face touching the ground.” Our attitude is that of , let God rule in heaven and let us rule in the world, and to a greater extent, man sees God’s continuous involvement in our lives and world as an unwelcome interference. Do not reduce the very Essence of your essence!
- Loss of the sense of human value: This age is becoming digital with wickedness. You see all kinds and manners of killings going on. Man has gradually lost the sense of the value of human life. God values human life so much that every life wasted leaves the blood calling for vengeance. God has record of every life, and hence, God asked Cain this very question: “Why have you done this terrible thing? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.” Genesis 4:10 This age has devalued human value; do not be part of such in anything you do.
- Loss of the sense of human sacredness: God bestowed greater dignity in man when he created man in His own image and likeness and this singular kind gesture by our Father demands that we flee every form of defilement and moral contamination, hence, we are called to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy. Only very few still stand truly pure. Only very few are not perverse. Be among the ones that the Lord will count holy because they were able to maintain God’s standard of holiness and purity because they were able to be free from immorality and corruption ravaging our time.
- Loss of the sense of eternity: In this age, man is no longer sensitive to the reality of eternity. Man has become more earthly-conscious. Heaven is no longer a topic of relevance. The gospel is now centered on earthly prosperity and well-being. Do not downplay eternity! This is what a Christian writer said of St. Francis of Asisi, “When the twelfth century socio-cultural situation in Italy was one of amassing wealth. Francis of Asisi opted for a spirituality which placed its accent on absolute poverty and on the proclamation of the Gospel to the poor.” Let us learn from St. Francis who opted out of the negative influences of his age.
MASS: WHITE Gen 6: 5-8; 7: 1-5. 10/ Ps 29: 1a and 2. 3ac-4. 3b and 9c-10/ Mk 8: 14-21 Cyril and Methodius, bps M
- Lord, help me to understand when I am under the influence of this age and make amends.
- Lord, teach me to know and love eternal values only.
- Let every spirit of yielding to this age be destroyed in my life in the name of Jesus.
- Pray for the all youths that any form of influence of this age in their lives be destroyed in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Help me Lord to be conscious of the dangers associated in aligning with this age. Help me with the grace to overcome.
Exercise: Take the prayer, “Stay with Me” by St Padre Pio every morning for the next five days.
Meditation: 2 Timothy 3:1