7 November 2019
The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life: it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. This is also why you should never pass judgement on a brother or treat him with contempt, as some of you have done. We shall all have to stand before the judgement seat of God; as scripture says: By my life – it is the Lord who speaks – every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God. It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself.
The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.
It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself
Accountancy can be an interesting subject. On one hand, book-keeping is a very tedious and exacting task. It requires the person to ‘balance’ the books according to the accounting standards of the land. However, accounting standards are man-made codes which are created to suit the context and goals of the country. Thus, what counts as material for one jurisdiction might be different for another. The readings of today remind us that God is holding us to a standard which is both uniform and yet unique to us.
St Paul reminds us in the first reading that we are not to judge our brothers but instead focus on how God will judge us on the Day of Judgement. Indeed, there is a propensity for me to evaluate the behaviour of an individual and see if it matches with the standard which I hold myself to it. Perhaps I am putting every individual on an exacting standard because I myself am unable to free myself from this standard. I feel that God is just asking us to put our talents to good use and see if the talents we have have brought glory to God in our actions and words to the people around us.
It is this standard which is unique to each one of us. God wants us to give out best for his vineyard and at the end of our lives, we will be called to answer the question of how we have lived a Christian life to others. As we continue with our lives, we need to ask ourselves what is God truly asking us to do and how can we effectively respond to that.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Dear Lord, give us the courage to spread your word in every place.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the gift of wisdom