It is 22nd October 2019. We celebrate the memorial of St. John Paul II, Pope. As we reflect on the formation for mission, today’s saint stands tall with his moral teaching and reformistic ideas for the Church. He resisted the spread of Liberation Theology as being near to ideologies of communism. A pope who was gifted with many languages, charismatic in his speeches and the most travelled pope in the history; 129 countries he evangelised. Pope John Paul II was an outspoken opponent of apartheid in South Africa. During his visit to Zimbabwe, John Paul II called for economic sanctions against South Africa’s government. After John Paul II’s death, both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu praised the pope for defending human rights and condemning economic injustice. A pope who elevated so many to the altar by canonising them as saints. His papacy was the second largest in the history next to Pope Pius IX. Pope Benedict XVI canonised him in 2013. The readings are from Romans 5:12, 15, 17-21; and the Gospel from Luke 12:35-38. The first reading addresses the impact of sin through the first man Adam and redemption through Christ’s sacrifice. God desired humanity to be close to His heart yet humanity chose something that would affect the rest of all. Having made human beings in his own image and likeness, God bestowed them with free will that is the crown of human dignity and greatness. Through free will man had to take responsibility for all his actions. The doctrine of Original Sin, implicit in today’s first reading, is teaching us the eternal consequences of our actions for the future, not just ours but the future of humanity at large; not just on this earth but life hereafter. The sin of Adam has caused the rest of us to be deprived of the gifts that belong to Original Justice. Without welcoming Christ, we cannot live in grace. Our solidarity with sin cannot die without the intimacy with Christ. The atheist and the secular world want to destroy enjoyment of life and grace offered by Christ. We need to equip ourselves with adequate formation for the mission that is entrusted to us. “So grace will reign to bring eternal life, thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.5:21). The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.” (Ps.39:8,9). In the Gospel we are invited to gird our loins by preparing ourselves for the Passover of the Lamb. We need to keep our lamp burning even in a tsunamic sinful and selfish climatic conditions out there. We need to be ready and prepared to bear witness as the stewards of God’s creation and gifts, and keep our homes in order. May the Lord bless us to leave the attachments to sin and form and reform ourselves before we wish to transform the other. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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