FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Theme: Cry For Labourers
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:35-38
Pope Francis charged us: “We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many are waiting for the gospel.” Does it not perturb you that the Lord is crying for labourers? Indeed it should worry us; it should give us concern. Why is the Lord seeking labourers? The simple reason is that though we have preachers all over the world, but only very few are truly doing the job of winning souls for Christ. The job of true conversion of souls is different from winning people to follow your belief about God. Verse 36 of our scripture reference states, “As He saw the crowds, His heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” There are a lot of hungry souls to be rescued from the bondage of Satan. There are millions of souls swimming in the ocean of iniquity. There are so many who desire the real and undiluted message of Christ. But there are no workers, rather what abounds are people winning people to themselves.
Sometime ago the founder of a certain church was being colourfully celebrated by his members. They had varied colours of uniforms which made the celebration eventful. Someone right beside me commenting on it said, “This man has a lot of fans.” The throng of followers of this founder were described as “fans” because probably he saw a crowd following the principles of a man about God rather than men and women who are true disciples of Christ, what Professor Isaac Ukpokolo described as the samples of Christ. Further, Professor Isaac Ukpokolo threw more light in our responsibility to true evangelization and soul winning project thus: “Our contemporary world is the sea (the deep water) and the believer is obviously the fisherman….Thus we have become the fisherman – Simon Peter of our time. Acting in the manifestation of the kingdom of Christ, to which we all belong and to which we are responsible, we are to cast our nets in the deep waters of the contemporary world and catch as much fish as possible. To be sure, the primary calling of Christians is not to change the world but to rescue men from the world and its principles.”
True soul winning involves the wiping off from the mind ideologies and beliefs contrary to what Jesus wants from us. True soul winning leads to bringing a soul to Jesus Christ, the soul in question realizes how God loves him and as such decides to give up everything in order to live for Christ; a new life through the power of the Holy Spirit. The project of winning soul is for every believer and it is a task awaiting them. It is so important that verse 35 of our scriptural reference states thus: “Jesus went round visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the kingdom and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness.” The mission of this new evangelism can be achieved only by adopting the teaching, preaching and healing strategy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A story was told of how a sick widow was not cared for by a brethren. The brethren visits her but never bothers to give her food to eat. A story was also told of how a basket of rice converted a pagan (marine kingdom worshipper). She was so excited especially when she was informed that the rice came by the grace of Jesus Christ. She marvelled at the show of love, abandoned her pagan worship and followed Jesus. You do not know what your little charity can do in the new evangelism mission. A copy of Daily Strength Devotional to someone who has never used it before can begin your evangelism work. Beloved, let us wipe off the tears of our Lord by seriously embarking on this soul winning assignment with all amount of seriousness that it requires.
First Reading: Isaiah 2: 1-5;
Second Reading: Romans 13: 11-14a;
Acclamation: Psalm 85:8;
Gospel: Matthew 24: 37-44
- Thank God for today’s reflection.
- Ask God to give you the grace to begin the project of evangelization.
- Pray for all those who have missed the mark of true evangelism that God will help them retrace their steps.
- Pray for zeal and encouragement to truly win souls for Christ, in Jesus name.
Exercise: Begin a serious evangelism project, if you have not begun.
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:16
P.S: I came across Daily Strength Devotional on Friday, 18th of November, 2016 through my mother. On that day (Day 18), it talked about “Standing On The Rock” which I shared on the daily prayer session on my Facebook Page.
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