Scripture Reading: Psalms 43: 5
The past three years up to this very day has witnessed serious economic meltdown. An average Nigerian lives his life within the ambit of one dollar. Hopelessness, rage, desolation, helplessness, abject poverty, sickness, frustration, unemployment, high mortality rate are now familiar traces on the faces of people. The economy of the world is going down the drain. People now see life as not worth living again. Suicide is on the increase and other crimes are now canonised within the hearts of so many.
A story was told of a particular family. They had only a male child. Ten years before this day, the family lost its father. Living a standard life became difficult since the father of the family left nothing substantial before his demise. The poor widow struggled to make ends meet for her son who was in the university. The son graduated, went for the mandatory year service in Northern Nigeria. Time it was for this son to return home when the inconceivable happened. His mother had prepared for his return very highly. The son was just about entering the compound of his family when he was shot dead by armed robbers. At this, the woman was overwhelmed with grief and inconceivable pain. She was downcast. The woman lost her consciousness and never remained stable in her health again. Such and much more are the kinds of problems people face in life.
Our reference today says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you disquiet within me?” With the tortures in the land of Babylon, he was to get downcast; but he refused to do just that, rather he longed for the Lord. (Ps. 43:5b) Rather than be downcast, he rested his hope in the Lord; because he knew so well that getting weighed down by misfortunes would do no good to him. The more downcast he became, the more he compounded his problems. No wonder he would question himself saying: Why are you so downcast, my soul, why so troubled within me? He was going to pay no attention to his predicaments again. The more one pays attention to problems, the more the hopelessness and loss of faith. Like the Psalmist, thinking of a problem certainly adds more sorrow. It is worthy to hope in the Lord, rather than continue to swim in the waves of predicaments. For the scripture asks, “From where shall come my help, my help shall come from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps.121:1-2)
Dearly beloved in Christ, even when these calamities arise, take solace in the word of the Lord. “I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world.” (Jn.16:33) And St. Paul would urge us that nothing can separate us from the love of God; not hardships, trouble, persecution, hunger, poverty, angels, heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present or future, neither the world above or below, danger or even death. And we are victorious in all these through Him who loved us. (Rom.8:35-39)Beloved, the Lord has a better plan for you. Your future is secure in the hands of God. He alone knows the plans He has for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. (Jer.29:11) Do not lose hope in the promises of God. Never grow dismayed. Hope in God and praise Him still as the Psalmist did in our reading today. He knows you very much. (Jer.1:5) Your problems can never be bigger than God. The Lord promises you this day that whatever he hears you say, that is what He will do. (Num.14:28) Continue to trust in God, be persistent in your prayers to Him. Do not give the devil an opportunity to ruin you with doubt. Do not worry about anything, for the Lord is pleased to supply you all your needs according to His riches in glory. (Phil.4:19) Your faith in God can change things.
MASS: VIOLETEzk 47: 1-9. 12; Ps 46: 2-3. 5-6. 8-9; Jn 5: 1-16
- Begin your prayer with a song that contains praising the greatness of the Lord.
- Father, You alone can turn my situation around. Your word in Jeremiah 22:16 says: He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Lord, let your Word find fulfilment in my life, that I may see the glory of Your power in the mighty name of Jesus.
- Lord, wipe away the tears of my eyes in accordance with Your Word in Exodus 3: 7-9.
- Lord show Yourself mighty against my foes in agreement to the prayer of David in Psalms 69.
Exercise: Go before the Blessed Sacrament and declare the dominion of the Lord over your life.
Meditation: Exodus 3:7-8