Saturday 6th May 2020
9th week in ordinary time year II
2 Timothy 4:1-8, Mark 12:38-44
When you look around you and see how churches multiply everyday in street corners, you cannot but imagine how we got to where we are. I saw a self acclaimed man of God recently on Facebook, proclaiming prosperity and progress. When I tried to correct some of his biblical interpretations, he told me to leave him alone, that he did not spend 9 to 10 years studying as I did. The disciples of Jesus spent three years with him before they were competent to be entrusted with the word of God. Paul had a good length of time with the other Apostles before he became an apostle to the gentiles. Paul also trained Barnabas, Titus, Timothy and many others and entrusted the caring of the Church to them. It is therefore obvious that one cannot wake up a day a become a general overseer of a Church without going through the right training.
In the first reading of today, we see that Paul had predicted this period when he was advising Timothy. According to him, "the time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service". That time has really come, people no longer want to listen to the truth, they run to where things that they want to hear are said. Paul therefore advised Timothy that in the midst of this, he should proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. He should refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience. This can only be done with patience and with the intention of teaching.
This is why Jesus warns us in the gospel reading to be weary of people who are like the scribes and pharisees who see religion as a show, an extension of social gathering. It is not about what you show to people, but who you truly are. Only God knows us through and through (psalm 139). God help us. Amen
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP