REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 22, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Lk.12:57-59.
Our world today is in its hungriest state ever. what the human person in this materialistic world honestly seeks and starved for without knowing is the knowledge of the love of God. For this to be achieve the knowledge of the word of God and the need for peace which comes from reconciliation is very important.
Jesus speaks about “your opponent” and the need for reconciliation in our gospel reference today. Your opponent could mean your neighbor or the word of God. According to St Bede, the word of God is our opponent, in the sense that when we listen to the Word of God, the Lord convict us of our faults so that we can reconcile our lives with the Truth of the Word of God Himself.
When we think and reflect on God’s Word, how much does it convict us? Sometimes we try to downplay the personal convictions. We rationalize our actions and dismiss what God is saying to us. What are those teachings of Jesus that challenges us to the heart? If we know them, that is a special grace, and an opportunity to fulfill the core message from our gospel reference today.
God does not convict our hearts to condemn us. Rather, He convicts us, as an opponent to our sin, so that we can “make an effort to settle the matter on the way.” The conscience is a wonderful gift from God. It is a form of courtroom where our Lord desires not to have to issue punishment upon us. Instead, He desires that we engage His Word, listen to what He says, and settle our sin by repenting immediately.
Among the many lessons taught by our Lord, it is often the lesson that jumps out at us, even in a startling way, that we need to pay attention to the most. God often brings His most urgent teachings to us by causing us to feel a sense of guilt that cannot be denied. If we listen to these convictions, then we will not have any need to stand before the Judge.
On the other hand, if we do not, if we bury these convictions, downplay them and ignore them, then our Lord will find it necessary to keep at us. We will begin to experience His judgment, and we will see the effects of being out of His good graces. And in the end, if we fail to repent of the more serious sins in our lives, then we will even be held accountable for the smallest of sins. We will be required to “pay the last penny.”
Reflect, today, upon the idea that the Word of God, all that our Lord has taught us, is the opponent to the sin in your soul. This good and holy opponent wants only what is best for you. Commit yourself to an ongoing reading of God’s holy Word so that you will be continually disposed to hear all that God wants to say to you and so that you will be able to reconcile with our Lord before He is compelled to issue forth His judgments.
Lord, You desire that I listen to Your holy Word, revealed through Scripture, so as to receive Your most merciful conviction of my sin. I pray that I will be opened to always hear all that You desire to say to me so that I can respond with generosity and trust, reconciling with You and others continually through my journey in life. Enliven my conscience with Your holy Word, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.