Encountering Jesus goes beyond reading the Bible on daily basis but reflecting and meditating on the Word of God, so that God can talk to us and teach us how to order our days and live in the light of His word; the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has remarked.
Archbishop Martins made this assertion in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the 21st Sunday of the Church ordinary Year for 2020; at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos. According to him, praying with the Bible enables us to know who Jesus is and profess faith in Him like Peter.
Premising his admonition on the Gospel reading of the day, in which-- Peter in response to the question “who do you say I am”, from Jesus identified Jesus as “Christ, the Son of the living God; an identification made only possible by the power of God; as confirmed by Christ thus: “it was not flesh and blood but God the Father that revealed that to him”. This statement of Christ affirmed the absolute power of God over everything on earth and in heaven.
In the words of the Archbishop, the ultimate purpose of Peter’s encounter on this particular occasion was to show the power of God over everything. According to him: “all power and authority come from God and so we must use whatever measure of power or authority we have for the common good and never for selfish or vanity purposes. Peter got his authority from Jesus and he used all He had to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, not for his own personal benefit but for the salvation of the world. Today he is held out to us as a model of how to live the Christian life.
Using the present state of insecurity in the country and southern Kaduna State killing of innocent citizens and also the Police brutality in the United States of America, as examples of not using entrusted power well enough for the common good, as illustrated by the action of Shebna in the first reading, the Archbishop stated that abuse of power is still very much around in the present-day world. His words: “We still have such abuse of power in our world, in our country, in various human groupings and even in families. The Lord reminds us that today that all power belongs to him and must be used for the common good and never for selfish or vanity purposes.
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