To save means to rescue someone from misfortune, problems and danger. We can save through our words, deeds and spiritual acts of charity. This is when someone is passing through some kinds of problems and difficulties and we decide to offer a helping hand.
We can also save lives by bringing back souls that have gone astray through sin and misdeeds towards God. Any act that makes someone come to life again is saving.
There are many today passing through a lot of misfortune and difficulties. Some are undergoing some certain kinds of distress and problems. Many souls are broken-hearted.
We have also many lives who have gone astray, some have left the church because of one misconception or the other. How are we going to save these souls?
Many of these people are living around you, in front of you and beside you. To be a Christian is to be like Jesus. So our major work on earth is to save. How are we going to save lives? The whole readings of today offer some insights.
In Moments of Distress.
In the first reading, we see the outcry of Job, whose utterances depict someone who is passing through a lot of difficulties and challenges.
Job compares His life to that of a slave or a hireling. Job laments that he has been assigned months of misery and deep sorrows.
Every night for Job is a night of trouble and distress, a night filled with restlessness until the dawn. He depicts his days as that of one without hope. Job even concludes that he shall not see happiness again.
These utterances reveal the situation of a person who is in deep distress.
In moments of distress, our lives are full of pains, sorrows, and deeper troubles. It can be the death of a loved one, the loss of something, a betrayal, a family issue.
When we pass a lot of difficulties, we can make utterances like Job today and think we cannot have happiness again in our lives. Many souls are undergoing different kinds of problems, challenges and broken homes.
Sometimes there is the temptation to commit suicide, lose faith and curse God even. How can we save ourselves when we find ourselves in these moments of sorrow, how can we also save others who are undergoing different kinds of problems or the other?
Our points today can be gleaned from the second reading and the gospel.
The Ways We Can Save Lives.
There are many ways we can save and bring back to life the souls who have gone astray and many passing through difficulties. And there are many ways we can also save ourselves when we find ourselves in moments of problems, broken-hearted situations and losing faith in God.
We can delineate some points from the readings of today. And they are:
In the gospel, As soon as Jesus left the synagogue on the Sabbath day, He proceeded to Peter’s house. The sabbath day is not yet over but when Jesus was confronted with the need to save the life of Peter’s mother in law, He put compassion before the law.
When we have a heart full of mercy and compassion, we would always be willing to save souls no matter what it takes.
Everything we do in life starts from the heart. Like Jesus, every day we are confronted with people who are in dire situations.
In our places of work, we meet people who we are sure that we are better off. Even in the places where we live, many undergo certain kinds of distress or the other.
If we don’t understand their situations, we would take the situations as nothing. The way to save lives is to be compassionate in everything that we do.
It is sad today that when sick people are brought to the hospitals, many medical practitioners treat these lives as if they amount to nothing.
If they would understand how precious that life is to the family, they would do anything to save lives. Like Jesus, they would put money back and save lives first.
If our leaders understand what people are passing through in their different homes, they would put politics back and ameliorate the plight of the people.
Hence, If judges know the importance of truth, they would always stand to defend the truth. If our families know how important it is to be in unity, they would fight to be in peace.
Like I said everything comes from the type of a heart we have. Without the heart of compassion, many souls would suffer and die even before our presence.
Take the Work as Your Obligation to God.
An obligation is an act or courses of action in which a person is morally or legally bound to do. An obligation is like when we take something as a duty and function. This is what Paul is trying to say in the second reading. He deems the word of God as an obligation God imposes on Him.
Then the way to discharge this duty is to do it willingly without any compulsion. Paul deems it more rewarding to preach the word, not as something that he is forced to do but a function he has to do with all his heart and offer it free of charge to win souls for God.
This function then has made him adapt to many conditions to do it effectively. How do you take the position that you are now? How do you discharge your duties? There are many today who need everything that we do. How do we reach out to them?
What is motivating you to do what you do? When we see our positions, services and works as an obligation we have for God, we will save a lot of souls because of that. The way to save lives is to take that work as your duty for God.
In the gospel, Jesus tells His apostles that this is what He comes to do. In the same way, we have to take whatever we do as our mission on earth to save lives.
Take the work you do as your duty to God, not for sordid gain but as something you do for your Creator, something God has sent you to the world to do. You would see a major difference.
Today, many broken families and homes need healing again. There are many broken relationships today that need God’s intervention.
Many lives like that of Job seem to have lost hope. Like Peter and Andrew did, invite Jesus again into your homes. Bring God back to your life again.
It is time to ask for forgiveness. It is time for peace again. The way to save lives is to invite the Lord to be your shepherd.
That life that thinks all hope is lost, needs that inspiration and ideas that come from God. it is time to encourage them and bring them back to the Lord. Many souls are going astray.
Many souls have wandered away from God, like Job, they have concluded that their lives are a misery, but like Paul in the second reading, let us take it as our responsibility to seek for these souls.
Let us also emulate Peter and Andrew and bring these people who need healing to Jesus. It is time to talk to them and encourage them to return to God again.
Never Get Tired of doing Good.
When we read the verses above the gospel of today, we would see that Jesus was coming out of the synagogue service.
From the service, He entered Peter’s house and heals his mother in law. Then many sick people also came to Him for the same purpose and He healed them and cast away many who are possessed.
From there, he sneaked out to pray and then proceeded to the neighbouring towns and cities of Galilee preaching the gospel.
We can see that earnest desire, hunger and willingness to do what He has come to do. In us then should be such inborn and earnest desire to save souls and touch lives.
The way to save lives is to deem it as something part of us and to never get tired doing good.
When you are a medical practitioner, seeing someone dying when you know there is something you would do and He comes back to life, there should be this hunger to do it, notwithstanding what you would gain or not.
Everything must not be according to gain. The eternal reward I think is better than any worldly gain. Never get tired doing well even when people do not understand the reason you are doing what you do.
Work and Pray.
In the gospel, Jesus shows the importance of the two secrets of success; pray and work. After spending time the whole day, preaching, healing and casting out demons which form part of His daily work, He went in to pray and have a quiet time in prayer.
Here Jesus is teaching us the importance of work and prayer. We do not need to do one and leave the other. If you want to be successful in every mission you do, commit it always in the hands of God and work hard.
Despite how skillful and knowledgeable we seem to be, we always need the grace of God. When Florence Joyner was asked the secrets of her success, she said “ I pray harder, work harder and leave the rest in the hands of God.
Through prayers, we draw the inspiration, grace and spiritual strength to work. Never leave any for any. The way to save lives and help ourselves is to use the two.
1. There are many people today who need just your visit. Take time and visit the sick, the depressed, those who are bereaved.
Your healing words can have an impact on their lives. Jesus’ acceptance to visit the home of His apostle did not only save the mother in law but others who later came to the place.
What if He left to another town after the service? This healing would not have been done. Take time to visit the sick in the hospitals. You can give them any little thing that you have. Your prayers and presence can save them a lot.
2. When you are aware of something you think that you would do, always be quick to do it. Do not allow people to beg and bow for you before you could offer a helping hand to anyone.
Immediately Jesus was told about the sickness of the mother in law, He did not try to wait or postpone His healing.
His healing response to Peter’s mother in law was immediate despite the busy schedule at the synagogue. Let us like Jesus and St. Paul learn to do something from the heart and not out of compulsion.
Sometimes we would like people to come and bow for us before we could do anything for them. It is sad today that before people offer to help others, they begin to ask something in return.
Today many have sold their bodies in return for a particular favour because of this. Would Jesus ask you something in return to save your life? Would Jesus ask you something in return to help you? Where are we heading to?
3. Help those in need. Jesus spends time today saving those in need and delivering them. He concentrated more on the people than on himself.
The people we seem to forget in this gospel are those people that brought the sick to Jesus. In them, we also see the willingness to save those in need. They did not want their own to perish.
There are many today who have lost faith, do we laugh at them or do we try to help them and bring them closer to God again? Many are sick and suffering, how far can we at least extend a helping hand to them? Sincerely many of us today would not bring their relatives to be healed if it was to be in our time.
Some would be there counting the list of injuries that were meted to them by some of them and pray the sufferer to die out of hunger. The extreme quest for selfish desires is what is keeping us the way we are today.
4. When they brought many who were sick to Jesus, despite the busy schedule, He still spends time healing and liberating those in bondage.
Because of the presence of Jesus today, those who were brought to Him encountered healing, liberation and freedom. What does our presence do to the people we work for, the people we meet and those related to us. Do we bring healing, life, liberation? Or do we bring division, hatred and disintegration to them?
5. After this encounter, Jesus begins to move about doing good and preaching the gospel. And casting out demons. He was proclaiming the message of salvation to all. He was not partial.
The way to save is to learn to show equal love to all, to teach and direct those who are going astray, encourage those who are undergoing difficulties and helping those in need. Let our lives be a message that people can read.
As Jesus was preaching, He was working too. People see the effects of the things He preaches. Let our lives speak volumes. May everyone who meets us meets Jesus Christ.
6. Jesus says that this is the reason he has come. There is a singular reason by which we have come into this world. Let us be committed to our mission on earth.
If we all can face our mission, there will be no envy, jealousy and constant quarrel. Families should come together and fight for the common goal and not fight and kill themselves.
7. Finally, Be conscious of the plights of others and be willing to serve others. Do not get angry when people need your presence or help. Single goodness or visit can save a lot.
May God help us to live by the dictates of His gospel. May He bless and protect you. Amen. Happy Sunday.