Grace to you!
We are back in the Ordinary Time of the Year, having concluded the Easter Season with the Pentecost Celebration yesterday. I hope you had a wonderful Pentecost Sunday, filled with the Holy Spirit and energized to continue living the Christian life.
A new convert to the Catholic Church had asked me what the Ordinary Time of the Year is? Before we go into the theme of today’s reflection, which is also tied to his question, let me clarify this.
You know we have 52 weeks in a year. Of those, about 18 weeks fall within some particular aspects of the mystery of our Christian faith, namely, Advent and Christmas, and Lent and Easter. The rest of the weeks totaling about 33 or 34 weeks are called Ordinary Time. This doesn’t mean that these times are of less importance, rather, they are a continuation of the mysteries we celebrate every Sunday.
Today, therefore, falls within the seventh week of the Ordinary Time of the Year in the Catholic Church calendar. Our reflection is relevant in consideration of the fact that just yesterday, Pentecost Sunday, we were filled with the Holy Spirit and commissioned to go and evangelize.
To evangelize isn’t simply a linear process; it is a whole lot of communication going on – words, actions, and gestures between persons invigorated by the power of the Holy Spirit.
To evangelize in Jesus came through his words and actions, including great acts of miracles. For instance, in the gospel of Mark 9, the healing of a boy with mute spirit, whom the disciples couldn’t cure, was a sign to draw people to believe in him as the Christ. With Jesus, and with all who believe, “All things are possible” (Mark 9:23).
Parts of the requirements in the daily act of evangelization are faith, prayer and fasting. It isn’t just like a race we run smoking a cigarette or sipping tea. It is an intentional act; with every possible sense of commitment one could muster, including faith, prayer and fasting. In that sense, we can distinguish between two classes of believers.
Hear how St. James the Less, the one who chaired the Council in Jerusalem (AD 50), talked about the two classes of believers, what he called two kinds of wisdom. One is the wisdom of God from above. The other is worldly wisdom, earthly wisdom. The wisdom of God is one manifested by matching faith with good works. The earthly wisdom is the one that does not show consistency between belief and action. “It is full of jealousy and selfish ambition, disorder and evil practice” (James 3:16).
Starting from tomorrow, I will spend more time giving us some more background information as to the message from the Letter of James. In the meantime, I hope you understand that if we believe, we can do all things for God’s glory, including making the mute speak, which could also mean, that our muteness in terms of preaching the gospel or the inability to evangelize, would be a thing of the past. Evangelization would be our delight.
Do you want to dispel the spirit of muteness? Have faith. Fast and pray. Pray until something happens.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday, May 16, 2016, Ordinary Time C. Week 7: Jas 3:13-18; Mk 9:14-29]
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.