Be Imitators of Christ During COVID-19
Dear sisters and brothers,
“Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.”
The above text, explains about an incident that occurred in the life of a woman who is evil spirited for 18 years.
Jesus notices her.
He calls her and speaks to her.
Then, he lays his hands on her.
She is healed now.
It is done on the sabbath day.
The Pharisees cannot accept the act of Jesus on the sabbath day.
They question people.
There are six days in a week, come on those days and be healed.
Why to come on the sabbath day?
The Pharisees are obsessed with the sabbath.
They are obsessed with rituals and religiosity.
Jesus concentrates on humanity.
Do we follow Christ Jesus in our lives as followers of Christ, who concentrate on humanity?
Do we follow Christ Jesus in our lives obsessed with rituals and religiosity like the Pharisees?
These questions are relevant for us today too.
First and foremost, we are obsessed with the presence of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Master, only in our Churches and Chapels?
We read in Acts 7:47-50,
“Solomon built a house for him (God).
Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
‘The heavens are my throne,
the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house can you build for me?
says the Lord,
or what is to be my resting place?
Did not my hand make all these things?’”
Secondly, we are very pious.
We are religious.
We are devout.
We are devoted.
We are dedicated.
We are reverent.
We are God-fearing.
We are churchgoing.
We are spiritual.
We are prayerful.
We are holy.
We are godly.
We are saintly.
We are faithful.
We are dutiful.
We are righteous.
We are different persons all-together when we pray in our Churches and Chapels.
We are different persons as we exit from the Church or Chapel.
We are the real hypocrites like the Pharisees.
Jesus is always the same.
Despite knowing that we are changing every second physically, spiritually, emotionally, we must know that Christ Jesus never ever changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Christ Jesus is now and forever the same.
He cannot change.
He is God.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Thirdly, we live in a changing world and for the last few months we live in the crisis of COVID-19.
We wear the mask.
We keep social distancing.
We have our prayer services online.
We have our praise and worship online.
The world we live in, changes.
Change is constant.
Change brings new things.
In spite of all these changes, Christ Jesus never ever changes.
He promises, “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
If it is so, how can I be like Jesus?
Saint Paul writes (Ephesians 5:1-8):
“Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead, thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person,
that is, an idolater,
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with empty arguments,
for because of these things
the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
So do not be associated with them.
For you were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.”
How can I imitate and love Christ Jesus & live as the children of light in my life?
Saint Paul gives as the ways (Ephesians 4:32):
“Be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”
By imitating and loving like Christ Jesus and being kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, we become the children of light and the children of our eternal Father during COVID-19.
Being the children of light we become the presence of our Human Saviour and we express Humanity in action like Christ Jesus to all people, at all times and in all seasons in our lives during COVID-19 and beyond.
May the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all. Amen...