We are the People of God
Readings: 1st: Wis 18, 6-9; Ps: 32, 1.12.18-22; 2nd: Heb 11, 1-2.8-19; Gos: Lk 12, 35-40
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concept of “God’s elect or God’s people” is one which is very strong among the Jews. Biblically speaking, this is right. However, the coming of Christ broadened the scope of this concept to embrace all who are baptized in Christ. This is because: “Baptism makes one a new creature, an adopted son of God, and a partaker in the divine nature…” (CCC 1265). According Pope Francis: “God does not belong to any particular people, because His mercy wills everyone to be saved…”
Therefore, on this 19th Sunday, the Church reminds us of our heritage as the people of God. She also reminds us of our strong root in Christ. As God’s people, we worship an awesome and caring God. Therefore, we have the courage to look forward into a glorious future of our Father’s kingdom.
The first reading of today points out the quality of the covenant through which our citizenship as the people of God was established. This covenant is divine and firm. Therefore, we are admonished to be joyful and courageous because our citizenship is based on a solid foundation. This covenant enables us to share in the blessings and heritage of God our father.
Today, the psalmist exalts us: “Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.” In order words, our God has extended his hands to all of us through Christ. Unfortunately, many of us have failed to realize our exalted position as God’s people. This failure has resulted to so many setbacks in our lives. This is why the church today reminds us of our rightful place before God. She encourages us to appreciate and take full advantage of this position.
The second reading presents Abraham to us as a model of faith. We became God’s adopted children through faith. Thus, we share the same heritage with Christ. Faith is like the DNA that identifies people of the same ancestry. It is the proof of our heritage to the same Father. God revealed himself fully in Christ. Hence it is through our faith in Christ, that we became God’s people.
In the gospel, Jesus assures us that as God’s people we have a share in his heritage. This heritage is His kingdom. Christ allayed our fears by encouraging us not to be afraid. He calls us “little flock”, meaning, my beloved people. He did not stop at this, but went further to bring us the good news from our Father: “…For it has pleased your Father to give you the Kingdom.” This is the climax of today’s message.
However, as the people of God, Christ warns us to be watchful. This is a necessary condition for us to obtain this kingdom which is our heritage. Therefore, as God’s people, we must live lives that bear good testimony both to our Father and heritage.
This life is a life of watchfulness! Watchfulness here simply means being conscious of who we are. It means cherishing and safeguarding our heritage. The mark of this life is our faith! It is only through it that we can be that: “Happy people that the Lord has chosen as his own.”
Peace be with you all!