Friday, October 2, 2020

The Lord Blessed the Latter Days of Job More Than His Earlier Ones (Job 42:12); Homily – Saturday of the 26th Week In Ord. Time Year B.


Homily – Saturday of the 26th Week In Ord. Time Year B.

v  Job 42:1-3, 5-6,12-17

v  Ps 119:66,71,75,91,125,130

v  Luke 10:17-24

The Lord Blessed the Latter Days of Job More Than His Earlier Ones (Job 42:12)

Today we celebrate the Lord of Job and of the 72 disciples. We celebrate victory of Job over trials as well those of the 72 over demons, in today’s Gospel of Luke. Job’s victory is our victory. The 72’s victory is our victory. Road to such victories requires, humility, patience, hope, faith, endurance and the steadfastness of Job, which we saw him display through throughout his Book, culminating in today’s epilogue, the 42nd chapter, and the first reading, where God blesses and rewards Job more and more for his steadfastness and repentance!

In this prose epilogue, our first reading today, Job is convinced of the love, the sovereignty, the wisdom and the power of God. When he answers God that, “I know you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted, who is this that hides counsel without knowledge, therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know” ( vv. 1-3), Job is actually confessing his innocence. In chapter 38:2, Job was judged to have spoken ignorantly about God, yet he is judged here in this last chapter, in this epilogue to have spoken exemplarily and correctly about God. How many times have we not spoken ignorantly about events surroundings our lives, without facts? Are we also ready to learn, and to speak correctly, now?

In this final episode, Job affirms his innocence, yet, God is the source of all things, life and death. If we die we die in Christ, if we live we live in Christ, as St. Paul would later affirm (Romans 14:8). His friends who stressed so quickly on retributive justice were wrong and fell short of divine wisdom, as some of our contemporary friends would. His wife who also had encourage Job to curse God and die in Job 2:10, may have been mistaken as well. However, there is still a window of hope and mercy for all from a merciful, loving and forgiving God, through the prayers, repentance and intercession of Job (vv.5-6).

Job prays, “but now my eyes sees you, therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (like ancient prophets, Isaiah 20 and others). Job’s repentance is also a spring board for the Lord blessings him, his latter days than before. His fortunes is restored (as always been in the prayers and prophecy of Zephaniah and others). Job is also given back the blessings of having family, and friends, each whom brought him a gold ring and a piece of money (vv.12ff). He is blessed with many children, 7 sons and 3 beautiful daughters, with significant names: Jemimah (Dove), Keziah (Cinnamon) and Keren- Happauch (Horn of Eyeshadow). Job also lived about 140 years, saw his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What a joyful ending!

Job’s joyful and happy ending anticipates the joyful return of the 72 in today’s Gospel (Luke 10:17-24).  The demons subjected to them because the healed in Christ name, they kept the faith, the rules, the ethics of Christ’s mission, serving with humility, missioning with modesty, carrying no sacks, no tunics, and no sandals but bearing peace, love, mercy, forgiveness,  patient, compassion, generosity ( Luke 10:1-12).

Job’s patience, endurance, steadfastness and prayers are rewarding at the end. The humble mission of the 72, in the name of Christ pays off at the end. Like job, their names are written in heaven. They are rewarded a hundred fold as Job’s latter days became more blessed than the earlier ones.

Job in particular challenges us, through the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary to patience- endurance, to love, peace, hope, and steadfastness, trust in God’s power, tender care, divine mercy, faithfulness, blessings, and restoration of fortunes of those who persevere to the end!

 Reflection Questions

1.      Do we preserver like Job or like the 72 disciples of today’s Gospel?

2.      What do we make of the epilogue the final chapter 42 of Job?

3.      What is the significance of Job’s daughter’s names for us (Dove, Cinnamon, and Horn of Eyeshadows?).

Thursday, October 1, 2020

A God Who Guards and Watches Over Us; Homily – Friday of the 26th Week In Ord. Time, Year B. Memorial the Holy Guardian Angels

 Homily – Friday of the 26th Week In Ord. Time, Year B. Memorial the Holy Guardian Angels

v  Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

v  Ps 139:1-3,7-8,9-10,13-14ab

v  Matthew 18:1-5, 10

A God Who Guards and Watches Over Us

Today we celebrate the memorial of the Guardian Angels, God’s messengers. It is a celebration of a God who guards, guides, loves, and watches over each of us. Scripture, of course reveals in many places the role of the angel in our lives.  This was true, when we celebrated the feasts of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael with their richness in meaning and roles, the other day. We know of the story of Angels in the Books of Exodus, Daniel, the Prophet Ezekiel, Zechariah, Revelation, and Tobit and in Luke-Acts of the Apostles etc. Each of these and many more shows that the Lord would constantly send his holy Angels to guard us, hear our supplication and prayers, as well as defend and protect us from every danger!

Ordinarily, Angels, God’s “messengers” can come to us in different forms, in a child, the poor, and in our friends, whenever, and however, the Lord choses! In all that Job went through, as we have been reading this week, the Lord did not abandon him. In his losses, sufferings, arguments with God, friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) came to comfort him with their own perspectives on life. Yet, Job was been guarded by divine providence.

 In chapters 32-37, like his first three friends, a man with a Jewish name Elihu, appears stressing retributive justice as an explanation to Job’s sufferings and losses and added that the source of true wisdom was from the spirit of  God and not from advancement in mortal’s age( 32:8).

In all these, today’s first reading (Job 38), returns to God’s responses, speeches as well as Job’s repentance as was the cases with Habakkuk and Thomas, the doubter, in John’s Gospel. In these rhetorical speeches, in  the first reading, just read, God’s shows the limitation of human beings, their power and intellect and wisdom as well as his divine sovereignty (over creation), mercy, love and protective care and faithfulness of God, who continuously guards and watches over his children.

Although, in the case of Job, God never tells Job why he suffered, but instead describes his great power, love and wisdom, Job final acceptance and repentance is important:

“Behold I am of little account, what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again though twice, I will do so no more” (Job 40:3-5).

In other words, Job finally acknowledges his limitation, his insignificance positon, and dependence on God for protection and greatness. Job in a sense anticipates today’s Gospel of Matthew 18, where, Jesus taught his disciples that true greatness lies in one putting on a humble, and docile attitudes of a children, who are always dependent, solely on the protective love and feeding and provision of their parents and guardians. In their treatment of the little, ones, socially poor or inferior they must not despise or look down on them, because, their “angels in heaven (as was believed, Acts 12:15= Peter was liberated from jail by an angel) always look upon the face of my heavenly Father,” (Matt 18:10; cf. Acts 12:15).

As mentioned, earlier, “angels” (angggelos) means, messengers.  Ordinarily, even though, we are called to be “God’s messengers ,” our prayers this day, as indicated, particularly  in the ”prayer over the offerings,” is that, as we humble venerate the holy angels today, we may under his divine protection,  be guarded and delivered from present dangers and brought happily to life eternal, an everlasting way( Ps 139:24b)

 Reflection Questions

1.      Do we see ourselves as “angels” to one another?

2.      When we doubt, and argue, do we like Job, Habakkuk and Thomas come to believe, remain silent, profess, my Lord and my God?

What do we thing are the sources of true greatness in Christ? 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Like Job, We Know that Our Vindicator Lives (19:24);Homily- Thursday of the 26th Sunday in Ordinary time Year B./ Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

 Homily- Thursday of the 26th Sunday in Ordinary time Year B./ Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

v Job 19:21-27

v Ps 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14

v Luke 10: 1-12

 Like Job, We Know that Our Vindicator Lives (19:24)

 Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and Doctor of the Church. She joined the Carmelite in Lisieux, France, at the tender age of 15 years, and was often referred to as, “the Little Flower of Jesus.” He writings, prayer life, faith, steadfastness, love, humility, simplicity of life, modesty, and total abandonment to God, shows she was really God’s gifts, God’s flower.

In the readings of today, we hear similar messages of humility, simplicity of life, modesty and complete suspender to God, dependence on him, being in his presence- his vindicator. This notion of vindicator/redeemer (gō’el) is obvious in today’s first reading, which anticipates the Gospel as well.

 In the first reading (Job 19:21-27), Job response, or continues his arguments with his friends, including Bildad who suggested that God does not deal crookedly, that Job’s problems were retributive, as a result of his sins. Although Job disagreed, yet so emaciated, tired in his sufferings that he thought his words might as well not survived. He thought that his complain might be permanently recorded on a leather book, metal and rock (vv21-24), using an iron pen!

 He sought for a vindicator, an audience with God.  It is true that in Hebrew literature “a vindicator/redeemer (gō’el), is usually the next of kin as we find in the book Ruth in the person of Boaz (Ruth 2:20; see also Lev 25:25; Deut 25:5-10). God is also sometimes called a Redeemer in Exodus 6:6 and in Psalm 103:4, but, in this texts, Job in addition to his call for a mediator ( (9:33-35) and  a defender between him and God ( 16:19-20), now he hopes to obtain, through a vindicator, a direct audience with God( he knows his redeemer and vindicator lives).

 In spite of his suffering, Job hopes to see God’s face, he will meet him, encounter his love, peace, and mercy! He knows his redeemer and vindicator lives (v.24). Even after his skin, flesh or death, he shall see God (v.27). What a humble expression of humility, faith, hope, modesty and love and trust in God!

 Such virtues we saw in Job  of Uz, especially in his trusting in God, in spite of his losses and sufferings, were also anticipated in the seventy-two that Jesus appointed and sent on a mission in today’s Gospel of Luke 10:1-12(cf. Matt 9:37-38;10:7-16; Mark 6:7-11). They were to carry out this mission with a sense of purpose, dedication, focus, urgency and with faith, hope, love, modesty, humility, simplicity of life and total abandonment or dependent on God like the saint we celebrate today, Therese of the Child Jesus.

 As we undergo our Christian missions, callings and journeys from different location, capacities, with talents and gifts, as parents, pastors, clergy, deacons, teachers, students, superiors, apprentices, leaders, etc, sometimes we are met with mysterious sufferings, testing, deaths, even of our friends and loved one. We are met with rejection, violence, poverty, hunger, insults, lack of basic amenities. Like, Job and the Seventy-Two and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, let nothing ever separate us from the love of God. Nothing should ever stop us today, even in the face of our all forms of daily challenges, from humbly and constantly seeking God face, his presence, knowing fully well that “our vindicator and redeemer lives” (v.24).

 Reflection Questions

1.     Do we trust in God’s love and care as our redeemer and vindicator in moments of challenges and trials?

2.     Can we see ourselves in the 72 called and commissioned in today’s Gospel?

3.     What do we like in the life of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and why?








How Can One, Human Beings, Be Justified Before God?” (Job 9:2);Homily –Wednesday of the 26th Week Of Ord Time/ Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church.


Homily –Wednesday of the 26th Week Of Ord Time/ Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church. Fr. Udoekpo, Michael

v  Job 9:1-12, 14-16

v  Ps 88:10bc-11,12-13,14-15

v  Luke 9:57-62

“How Can One, Human Beings, Be Justified Before God?” (Job 9:2)

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Today is the memorial of St. Jerome, priests and the Doctor of the Church. Tradition has it that he was born in Dalmatia, St. Jerome (342-420) and studied in Rome. While living his monastic life he traveled to Syria where he was ordained. Later return to Rome as Secretary to Pope Damasus, who commissioned him to revise the Latin texts of the Bible. After completing this work, he translated the entire texts of the book of the Bible in to Latin. Had great love for scripture, the word of God. The saying, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of God” is popularly attributed to St. Jerome.

In other words, in all that we do, say, teach, the foundation is , or should be the word of God (sacred scripture, verbum domini), of which today’s selected readings from Book of Job and Luke’s Gospel form a part(cf. Udoekpo, “Introduction”, “prefaces” Sharing the Word of God).  Understanding it, teaching and living it is indispensable for a faithful Christian and teacher of the faith. It is the soul of theology.

In today’s scriptures, especially the first reading, Book of Job( a wisdom literature, reflective, and didactic in nature), that addresses the issues of theodicy and human sufferings, like Habakkuk, of which Saint Jerome cherished so much,  Job a righteous man from Uz,  who went through, the test of loss of his family and businesses, through the instrumentality of the accuser, Satan, an adversary, yet  knew everything was not about him, but about God, the source of everything( Job 1-2).

 In Job 3, and in the presence of his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) who came to comfort him with their own perspectives on life, Job questioned why he was even born, because of the mysterious nature of his sufferings!

For his friends, Job suffers because of his sins. It is retributive justice on him (Eliphaz : 4:7–11; 5:2–7; 15:20–35; Bildad: 8:3–4, 11–21; 18:5–21;Zophar: 11:11; 20:5–29). They argue, Job’s only hope is to repent and then God will restore him (5:8–16, 23–27; 8:5–7; 11:13–20; 22:22–30). But, Job believes, God is unjust to him (Job 9:21-24), some conclusion that any us would easily draw in moments of trials and inexplicable loss of our loved ones and sufferings. Job will soon find out out, as was the case with Habakkuk, that God was not unjust to him in a human sense!

This is why in the reading of today, Job asks “How can the mortal, one, and human beings be justified by God”? As Saint Jerome would recommend it is important to understand this text, as righteousness has been used different in scripture including Pauline writings (cf. Rom 1:16-17 etc).  Recall earlier on in Job 4:17 Eliphaz had asked “can human beings be righteous (yitsdaq) before God “? Job seems to agree, but he uses the term in a legal sense. No one can be just (“yitsdaq”), that is “declare innocent before God because God holds every advantage. He is the source of all power, wisdom and gifts. He can give and he can take. We can fight with God?

As the story continues in Job (4-27), and the three friends could not win Job over because Job is exemplarily convinced that God is the source of true wisdom, endurance, patience, hope, steadfastness, determination to follow Jesus, resoluteness in faith and trust in a mysterious God who is the source of life and death!

Clearly Job’s resolves anticipates today’s Gospel (Luke 9:57-62), where Jesus, reminds his disciples, the cost of discipleship, as he resolutely heads to Jerusalem to be taken up (suffering, death, resurrection, ascension). In other words, to die for us (Luke 9:51).  Following Christ does not need unnecessary procrastination and excuses! Jesus began his ministry in Jerusalem (Luke 4). He is re-inviting us as he returns to Jerusalem to suffer (as we saw in the case of Job) and to die for us. His journey to Jerusalem teaches us among many things, the mystery of the cross, the mystery of loss, love, pains, and of death of a believer!

In our various and daily challenges (including ongoing Covid-19), that are mixed with pieces of advice from our friends and neighbors, we cannot fight nor curse we God. His ways are not human ways and understanding of justice. We can only pray, believe, trust patiently and rely hopefully on his divine mercy, and justice, and in his mysterious ways of doing things.

Reflection Questions

1.      In moments of trials and challenges do we blame God, or thought we are suffering because of our sins or do we rely on his mercy and misery of love?

2.      Are we consistent, resolute, in following Christ, keeping his word and values?

3.      Like Saint Jerome do we cherish the Word of God and how and when?

4.      What have you learned about suffering in the light today’s scripture?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Patient, Endurance, Insistence and Steadfastness of Job; Homily- Monday of the 26th Week of Year B./Optional Memorial of Saints Wenceslaus, Martyr and Lawrence Ruiz and Companions


Homily- Monday of the 26th Week of Year B./Optional Memorial of Saints Wenceslaus, Martyr and Lawrence Ruiz and Companions

v Job 1:6-22

v Ps 17:1bcd,2-3,6-7

v Luke 9:46-50

The Patient, Endurance, Insistence and Steadfastness of Job

In the past two to three weeks we have been reading (that is our first reading) from the Wisdom Books such as the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes teaching us about life and death, the sovereignty of a merciful and forgiving God, the essentials of the life of a believer. These essentials include, patience, endurance, faith, hope, love, insistence in faith and steadfastness, as well as “the Fear of the Lord,” already reflected upon. Ecclesiastes, in particular reminded us that “all is vanity, vanity of vanities, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Today’s readings build on this. In the first reading, the Book of Job, we are presented with a righteousness and blameless( Job 1:1-5) married man, known as Job who had a wife, children and property that went through and inexplicable suffering of sickness, violence, and of losing his family and all that he had worked faithfully for( Job 1:6-22).

The scene of this long first reading is the meeting the council of the heavenly beings, presided over by the Lord (see I kings 22:19-22; Job 15:8, Ps 82:1; 89:7; Jer 23:18). Here Satan, and adversary, an accuser, or “a devil advocate,” plays a negative and critical role of an independent prosecutor. We find the same even in the Book of the Prophet Zechariah 3:1. This prosecutor taught that Job’s virtues of holiness and piety must have been bought by divine provision and protection and love.

In all that Job went through, loss of his family and businesses, though human, he realized that “naked did he came and naked shall he returned.” He knew that the “Lord gave and the Lord also took” all he had given him. He kept blessing, praising, worshiping and fearing the Lord, generously and with selflessness. He never said anything disrespectful about.  He knew everything was not about him, but about God (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8; Ps 103; Ps 144).

Job’s selflessness, patient, endurance and steadfast love is echoed in today’s Lukan Gospel parable (Luke 9:46-50), where Jesus taught his human and rivalling disciples that true greatness does not reside in selfishness and self-centeredness, nor in anthropocentric maltreatment of the planet and other God’s creatures ( see Pope Francis, Laudato Si’). Rather, true greatness lies in how we behave or act innocently, honestly, like a “child” who, would not do anything for personal gain.

 For example, in the face of racism today in the world, a child is color blind. They are humble.  Sometimes they can touch a scorpion, lion, a wild dog, jumped, summersault, and go unharmed. They tell it the way it is. They are not corrupt. They rely, depend and insist on their parents and elders for food and other needs.

This Lukan parable, and Job’s narrative challenge us to rethink what we consider important and essential in order to be in good relationship with God and with one another, especially in moments of sufferings, poverty, and even in this moment of corona-virus! The readings challenge us to be like Job, to be like little children, trusting and insisting on God’s love, no matter the difficulties we face in life.  They teach to be humble, and patient with ourselves and with our neighbors, when things, do not seems to, immediately go well, from our own perspective. In doing this, let us know that God’s ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are inexplicable different from our own human thinking and judgment.

 Reflection Questions;

1.     Can we see ourselves in Job, relying on God with patient, endurance, especially in moment of suffering?

2.     What childlike virtue do you have or aspire to have as a member of a rivalling society or community?

3.     Could you think of those sufferings you have experienced in life and how you handled them in faith?


Thursday, September 24, 2020

“Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!”(Ps 144:1).;Homily – for Friday of the 25th Week in Ord. Time, Yr. B.


Homily – for Friday of the 25th Week in Ord. Time, Yr. B. Fr. Udoekpo, Michael

v Eccl 3:1-11

v Ps 144:1b and 2abc, 3-4

v  Luke 9:18-22

“Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!”(Ps 144:1).

 Like yesterday, today’s Psalm 144 “blessed be the Lord, m Rock!” captures the essence and the theology of today’s selected Bible Readings. It is a royal Psalm, a royal lament, where even the king, such as David recognizes his limitation and recognizes poetically and metaphorically that God is the source of everything, including his post as a king and human leadership as the anointed David ( the Jewish messiah/anointed one).

The Rock metaphor, or language, that this psalm uses in most cultures represents strength, a warrior, power, shield, protector, source of light, materials for buildings, bridges, roads and factories! This is clear in the rest of the Psalm, where David continues to describe God, as “my mercy, and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I trust.”

Like Psalm 8, and Genesis I 26-28 on God as source of all creation, humans and non-humans, Psalm 144 again rhetorically ask:

 “Lord, what is man (i.e. ‘adam/human beings, humankind; male and female, white and black, young and old), that you notice him; the son of man, that you take thought of him? Man is like a breath; his days, like a passing shadow.”

This message of “transience of human life” (Ps 39:5, 7; 109:23, Eccl 1-2), as a “breath,” “vapor,” “hebel,” (vanity of vanities), is also what we have been hearing from the preacher, Qoheleth, these few days, including today’s first reading, Ecclesiastes 3:1-11. In a  beautiful, and simple- to- grasp- rhythmic series of antithetical pairs that  represent complete and variety of times and seasons encountered by human beings ( ‘adam), this wise preachers reminds his people and all of us today, that God is the determinant of time and timing. He is the source of everything and the eternal sovereign of all creation, and the one “who acts,” that sometimes, we tend to forget, or fell to recognize and acknowledge, especially in the person Christ- the Messiah, the anointed (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19).

This is why, Christ, the Messiah in today’s Gospel, Luke 9:18-22, asks his disciples this fundamental Christological question, “Who do the crowds/multitude say that I am?”(v.18). Though, some thought he was John the Baptists, Elijah and  others,  one of the ancient prophets, it was Peter who got it right, “the Messiah of God” (Christos tou theou)., God’s anointed one( whose mission exemplary is spelt out in Luke 4:18-19 and in the rest of the Gospels), a title that was typical of Davidic kingship, humanly, speaking.

We are invite to be like Peter, recognizing that Christ is the anointed, one, the warrior, the rock, the source of all that we are and have. We are invited to be like David, in the sense, that, he clearly in that Psalm 144 recognizes, that his kingship was rather a participation in the Divine Kingship of Christ, trusting in him as our mercy, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, savior and our Rock?  Again, let us pray together, “Blessed be the Lord Our Rock “(Ps 144:1).

Reflection Questions

1.     Who Is Christ for us?

2.     Do we see human life as transience, and can only find peace in eternal God?

3.     Do we entrust our leaders and ourselves to God always?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

“In Every Age, O Lord, You Have Been Our Refuge (Mā’ôn),” (Ps 90:1); Homily- for Thursdays of the 25th Week in Ord. Time Yr. B.


Homily- for Thursdays of the 25th Week in Ord. Time Yr. B. Fr. Udoekpo, Michael

v Eccl 1:2-11

v Ps 90: 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and17bc

v Luke 9:7-9

In Every Age, O Lord, You Have Been Our Refuge (Mā’ôn),” (Ps 90:1)

Today’s responsorial Psalm “in every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge” (dwelling place, habitation, [Mā’ôn]), a communal laments and prayer, truly captures the theology and spiritual essence of today’s bible readings. It’s also a reminder of the Vatican II’s document, Gaudium et Spes (“signs of times”/ a Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), which in a way expresses that every age has its challenges. But, in the midst of these challenges, which are not new, based on life experiences, the Lord remains the dwelling place, the habitation, and refuge of every believer.

This is true in the biblical theology of today’s first reading, from the Book of Ecclesiastes 1:2-11, that, says “there is nothing new under the sun, vanity of vanities, all things are vanity.” Of course, don’t forget “Ecclesiastes”, again, is the Latin rendering of the Hebrew name of the author, Qoheleth, which simply means, “gatherer”, “preacher” and “teacher.” It might have been written between 450 and 330 BCE during the time of economic and socio-political growth in the Persian Empire, but Ecclesiastes teaches, us, humanity of the mortality, and the limitation of human beings. It reminds us of the eternity of God, and of the brevity of human life and material possessions. The idea of life and death is a clearer example (8:8; Ps 39:4-11; 62:9; 78:33; Job 7:16) of “vanity” or “hebel” in Hebrew, which simply means “vapor” or “breath” (Isa 57:13; Ps 62:9).

Qoheleth, the wisdom teacher, and the preacher, teaches and preaches idiomatically to his original audience, and perhaps to us today, with experience and knowledge of life’s tradition. Despite, the newness of economic life of his audience in the Persian Empire, at the time, the fundamental problem they faced as any other generation in a world that is inconsistent, if not contradictory, were not new(1:10), “ there nothing is new under the sun”( i.e., the realm of the living). Every generation, including ours, today, must deal with the fact that mortals inevitably live in a world in which they do not have control, as such (“all is vanity”). In other, worlds, our life is so short. It can only be lived with love, hope, faith, charity, humility and dependency under a sovereign God, who alone determines what happens with us, and on earth!

This Sovereign God, taught and preached by Qoheleth is manifested in Christ of today’s Gospel (Luke 9:7-9), that became the subject of curiosity of Herod, a human king, with a human mind, jealousy, and selfish thinking- that denies the Truth/Christ (in the case of Herod, who already beheaded John the Baptist). But, thank God, this  undeniable Truth is clearly, and once again reaffirmed in the Alleluia verse of today, that says, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord’ no one comes to the Father except through me”( John 14:6).

In any circumstances, we may find ourselves today (corruption in political capitals, jealousy, violence, war, deforestation and anthropocentric treatment of the planet, indifference to the poor and the needy, disregard to the dignity of every human persons [male and female, black and white, young and old, born and unborn], materialism, and in ordinate possession of wealth, and economic power and covid-19, wearing masks, social distancing, etc.), this truth, Christ, is our refuge. In every age, including this our age, O Lord, you have been our refuge (Mā’ôn), our home, our shield, our healer, our protector, our dwelling place and habitation (Ps 90:1).

 Reflection Questions

1.     In our daily challenges today, do we see God, Christ as our refuge (Mā’ôn)?

2.     What prevents us from learning from the traditions of the elders, history and past experiences, including such shared in the first reading and the Psalm 90?

3.     Who are the “Herods” of today in our communities and how do we help them?