Grace to you!
In one village in a West African country, a woman sought to divorce her husband. Since divorce was rare in that village, the village leaders and elders were invited to resolve the conflict. The man was not so loved and respected among the villagers. One could say he was a loafer, like the character of Unoka (Okonkwo's father) in the classic Chinue Achebe's Things Fall Apart. But the elders had to give every side the benefit of the doubt.
No sooner had they started than the negotiations reached a dead end. The elders decided that since the woman was the breadwinner of the family, she would choose what she wants and
leave the man with what remains. The man agreed on the terms of the divorce.
The woman chose to have custody of their two children, their house in the city where they live, and their business, which belonged to her since she built them with her hard-earned money.
When it was the husband's turn to take what remains, his response surprised all who were adjudicating the case. He said, "I chose nothing. I chose you, my wife." The affectionate way he said it was touching to everyone present. In his voice, too, was an audacious tone of regrets plus humility.
The elders considered that since the deal was whatever anyone chose should be granted to them, they asked the wife what she thought. By this time, she was already in tears because the husband said he chose only her. She hugged her husband, and their marriage turned a new leaf.
This proverbial and didactic story portrays the singularity of purpose is making the right choice as well as knowing what is most important to one's life. Besides, it could help us in connecting with the famous quotation from our Lord Jesus Christ regarding tribute to God and Ceasar.
Some people wanted to trap the Lord Jesus with tricky questions that may pit him against loyalty to God versus obligations of civil, economic duties. His response was ingenious and blew them away: "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and, to God what belongs to God" (Mk 12:17).
Caesar, a symbol of political and world affairs, requires our material stuff. to survive. Ceaser is the symbol of political authority and governance. We pay taxes so society could have the necessary resources for basic amenities. What belongs to God isn't our stuff or money. God asks for our life in totality because life is a gift from him. We are God's, the children of the divine heavenly household. God asks for our life, so we will "have life in abundance" (Jn 10:10). If we let God in our lives and all our ways, we are best for it.
May I ask: As we rise in the morning and go to bed, are we giving God what belongs to God—absolute loyalty of our heart, our love, our life? Do we consider the treasure of allowing God's will to be done in our lives knowing that God's will, no matter how difficult, is the best for us?
Praying for the grace of surrender to the will of God. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday Week 9 Ordinary Time: 2 Peter 3:12-15A, 17-18; Mark 12:13-17]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.