Grace to you!
Having expressed his concern and deep love for his brethren who haven't accepted Jesus as the Christ (I reflected on this yesterday), Saint Paul goes on to remind the gentile believers of the need not to forget that God's promise to his elect is irrevocable (Rom 11:29).
Perhaps he said this so that believers wouldn't take the grace they’ve received for granted. Similarly, it is reassurance that one shouldn’t lose hope on anyone or on any race as a people because God has a way of stirring hearts and calling people to himself.
St. Paul’s message in Romans, chapter eleven, speaks to me of the necessity of hope in the mission of evangelisation. There is always a remnant in any society who will keep to divine promise. We know from biblical history that even during the worst times of idolatry, skepticism and consumerist materialism, God inspires some people who are faithful. Out of difficulties, heroes emerge.
During the time of Elijah, God spoke to the prophet, reminding him of the need to keep hope alive. All weren’t worshippers of Baal. All are not bad and mean and hateful. There are many in every corner of the world who love and care. There are some remnants God draws to himself: “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). We may not know them. They may be hidden and silent. All hope isn’t lost.
In the history of the Church, it is similar too. From the time of the early Church to now, those moments of the worst moral depravity are the moments great saints emerge. From Saint Peter to Saint Paul, Saint Ignatius of Antioch to Saint Augustine, Saint Anthony of Padua (or of Lisbon), Saint Francis of Assisi, Francis de Sales and Catherine of Sienna. From Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, Saint Teresa Calcutta to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati from Turin Italy (aged 24) whose life has become a striking example for many teens and young adults today, [It isn’t a bad idea to look him up] and many others whose life examples were and are beacons of hope.
In our time too, we have many who remind us that no matter how bad things seem to be, God is still in charge of history. A positive, hopeful attitude is needed if one is to bring change. God teaches us this through his Word. All these center on hope, Christian hope.
We pray that many people from different races and nations will come to acknowledge and accept the saving grace in Christ and come to the fullness of the truth. Amen
Remember, all hope isn’t lost. Keep hope alive.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 30 A: Rom 11:1-2A, 11-12, 25-29; Lk 14:1,7-11]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.