Thursday, XXI Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Santa Monica, pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 1:1-9; Ps 144; Gos: Mt 24:42-51

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the thursday of the twenty first week of ordinary time, the Church honors a great and exemplary mother renowned for her piety and fortitude, Saint Monica. She was the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo.

She was born in Tagaste, northern Africa in the year 333, and was married to Patricius, a Roman official with a dissolute habit.

Monica had her hands full, her knees always on the ground, and her eyes always fixed on God in constant prayers for both her difficult husband, and for Augustine, her wayward son.  

She fasted, prayed, and wept for many years for her son’s conversion. In spite of this, she did not lose her faith. She implored the local bishop for help, who advised her to be patient, because: “God’s time will come.”

Monica persisted, and was told: “Go now, I beg you; it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” After many years of resistance, Augustine was converted before Monica’s death in Rome in 387.

From Monica, we learn the virtue of patience, perseverance, faith and resistance in prayer. She is the model for all mothers and families battling to raise their children, especially difficult ones, in a Christian way.

In today’s gospel, Christ gave us an important advice: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” Many Christians have interpreted this in different ways.

For some, it means that the end of the world is close. So, by wrongly interpreting this as the end of the world, some have ended their lives and those of others on account of this.

Indeed, it is a call to be vigilant, alert and active. As Christians, it is also a call to persist in prayers, and to be ready to give account of our lives.

It reminds us of something that is inevitable. Though, we do not know exactly when it will happen.

However, what is important is not to know the hour of the end of this world, but to keep on working and persevering, as good and faithful servants until the Lord decides what to do with his world.

Santa Monica, pray for Us!

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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