Lord, we thank you for your countless blessings! Joseph was a very loved person both in the neighborhood and in his family. They were not very rich but were a happy family. Joseph and his family were in the forefront during all the activities and services in Church. His presence was always there in any function in the Church.
One day I asked Joseph, “If you keep running around helping the society when do you have the time to take care of your house and your agriculture?” He replied, “Father I have a lot of debt to pay and I have no time to think about it.” His son who was standing by said “if only he took bribe from the people we would not be in this bad financial position.” Why did you say this? I asked and his response made me think.
Joseph replied, I was a manager in a very successful company and I enjoyed great power and influence. A lot of people were ready to pay handsomely to pay to get their work done and I realized that I could not continue to work there and live with Jesus. If to continue in this job, I would have to give up all the good habits I learned from my teachers and my family. I would have to lie in this role, cheat and deny the rights of the just and take bribe. If I earn lot of money by sacrificing my values and if I have no God with me then I gain nothing. So I decided to quit my job.
I moved from Trivandrum to a village in Malabar. People made fun of me and called me a fool because of this decision. But I am happy now and I am able to live with Jesus. I believe Lord Jesus is holding my hands. I do have a lot debt but I know God will not let down anyone who trusts in Him. The pleasure of coming home after a hard day’s work cannot be expressed in words. The Lord is the head of my family and he guides me. He prompts to me to spend time for others. I may not have big leaders and influential people with me now but I have the Lord by my side and that is sufficient for me.
To the people who consider Lord and His duties above everything else, the Lord promises His protection. As it is promised through Prophet Zachariah God will protect His own. “Then I will encamp at my house as a guard, so that no one shall march to and fro; no oppressor shall again march over them, for now I see with my own eyes” (Zachariah 9:8).
We experience the comforting hands of God in our trials and temptations. God speaks to us in Psalm 91 verse 14, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou take refuge: his truth is a shield and a buckler.” When the people of Israel stood by the Lord, no one could defeat them and they were victorious because they were under the protection of God.
Every individual wants success, power and wealth in this world. They pray and fast to fulfill these intentions. They go to retreats, night vigils and Bible conventions. this is all good but God asks us, “ what is the price you are willing to pay for God’s love.” Are you ready to denounce all your wealth, security and your possessions for me?
Jiji sold 3 of the bars he owned and started a brick factory to possess this love of God. Nithu gave up her seat in that college after working hard to get the admission. When asked her reply was that if she continued in that college she would have to lose the love of God. The love of God was more precious for her than anything else on this world. Joseph gave away his rights to the property for the sake of his brother. All have the same thing to share. We prefer the grace of God rather than the worldly pleasures.
I have met lot of parents and youth who give importance to the love of God. Let us also experience this love of God. Let us all say like St Paul in Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ.” We will feel the presence of God in our lives when we are able to take courageous decisions like this. Jesus who gave his life for us on the cross is inviting us to pay the price of Love and to live as good human beings. Dear people of God, when you get tempted by the worldly happiness and are in a race to win over everything, remember there is a God who loves and protects you. Do not forget or reject that God. God loves you for eternity.
Prayer: Dear God, who loves and cares for us always, give us the grace to love you in every moment of our life. We need your grace above everything else. Strengthen us to walk by your side always. Mary, mother of God, you paid the price of God’s love and lived a life as per the will of God, teach us to lead a life pleasing to God. Amen.
Fr. Joby Edathazhe CST