It is 21st August 2017. We celebrate the memorial of Pope St Pius X. The readings are from Judges 2:11-19; and the Gospel from Matthew 19:16-22. We begin reading the book of Judges in which we reflect that the people of Israel deserted the way of the Lord and do all kinds of evil against God and exposed themselves vulnerable to the enemies around them. Judges means a charismatic leader who assumed the responsibility of leading people. Judges guided the people nearly two hundred years from the death of Joshua to the rise of Samuel. There was a pattern of infidelity and sinning that led them to be punished by God followed by their cry for help from the Lord and delivered by Him. Canaan was the place of growth, and opportunity for the people of Israel. People lived the way they wanted due to lack of strong leadership and followed the Canaanites and deserted God and God’s laws. People refused to listen to the Judges and behaved as they wished. Very seldom people live according to God’s plan when people live in affluence. There is so much of dichotomy and disappointment in affluence. People cheat, dump, worship false gods, betray one another for money and so-called business endeavors. God is patient but not condoning any evil we do. God is waiting for us to return to God. In our lives too, we cannot live the way and behave the way we want. God awaits our return in patience. Let us not get into a pattern of sin and looking for God’s help and again falling back to our own routine sins. It is time to surrender to God. The responsorial Psalm praises, “O Lord, remember me out of the love you have for your people.” (Ps.105:4). The Gospel invites us to consider God as our possession and the only lasting riches. Just like that of the man in the Gospel, we might be scrupulously following all commandments without the charity. Perfection in charity comes by self-denial. “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Mt.19:21). Knowing and loving God Christ means to leave the things which do not allow us to follow Christ in poverty, purity, and faithfulness. May the Lord grant us the courage to follow Him more intimately than ever.

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