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 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. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The concept of “God’s elect or God’s people” is very strong among the Jews. Biblically speaking, this is right. However, the coming of Christ broadened the scope of this concept to the 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 to Pope Francis, “God does not belong to any particular people because His mercy wills everyone saved.”
Therefore, on this 19th Sunday, the Church reminds us of our heritage as the people of God. She also reminds us of our firm root in Christ. As God’s people, we worship an awesome and caring God. Therefore, we dare to look forward to a glorious future in our Father’s kingdom.
Today’s first reading points out the nature of the covenant that establishes our citizenship as God’s people. This covenant is divine and firm. Therefore, the church admonishes us to be joyful and courageous because the foundation of our citizenship is solid. 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 in 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 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 God’s kingdom. Christ alleged our fears by encouraging us not to be afraid and called us “little flock,” which means 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 to our Father.
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!