It is 16th August 2017. We celebrate the memorial of Saint Stephen of Hungary. The readings are from Deuteronomy 34:1-12; and the Gospel from Matthew 18:15-20. The first reading presents us with the death of Moses and the emergence of a new leader in the person of Joshua. It is good for any leader in his advanced age must prepare the people with the new leader and allowing God to provide the future plans through a proposed leader. It is unfair for a leader to hold on to the chair until the death and not allowing others to see the way forward in a way God wants it. When a leader has a better plan than God’s, that institution will never grow. It will be confined to one person’s show and people return to the human made slavery opposed to God’s freedom for God’s people. Moses laid his hands-on Joshua to lead people while he was alive. And therefore, the transition of power happened in Israel with the blessing of the leader Moses. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Blessed be God who gave life to my soul.” (Ps.65:9). The Gospel teaches us that when our intentions are in line with God’s, we will never be refused or delayed. God recognizes the presence of Jesus when we pray. Jesus is our presence in our prayer. The unity of mind and the spirit of forgiveness are very much required to feel the presence of Jesus. We need Jesus to deal with our conflicts amicably. Jesus will never disappoint us when we are gathered for noble causes of the community and to restore peace. As we grow and live as a community, we must not keep quiet when our communities are becoming the places of division, groupism, and nepotism. The environment of the community is very much important for the health of an individual in a given family. The unity and love we have for each other must be promoted beyond the walls of our families and always be on guard to leave the dust and soil of the society not to be carried into the fiber of our families. May the Lord grant us the grace to lead people by example and with the plan God has for every community. May you have a good day.

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