Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

Take the Lord as the Role Model: Sunday Breakfast with the Word


Exodus 22:20-26,  First Thessalonians 1:5-10, Matthew 22:34-40




Take the Lord as the Role Model in word, thoughts and deeds and you will certainly live in love” says Mother Theresa. The above statement certainly summarises all the readings of today.


A model stands as an ideal representation of something. So a role model is one whose life stands as the ideal of the type of life we want to live. In essence, his life inspires and influences the way we live.  He is somebody whose life and behaviour stands as something one can emulate. Many today have different role models ranging from actors, artists, public figures etc, whose type of life influences the way they dress, talk and think.


In the second reading, Paul thanks the Thessalonians for taking the Lord as their role model after the word of God came to them with great power and might and after observing the type of life they lived among them. By doing this they also influenced the nations who are surrounding them.


The life of Jesus is nothing but full of love, mercy, healing and compassion. To take Him as a model is to live in deep communion with God, to love our neighbour, to remove any form of oppression and to accept all as one.

the lord as role model



The Greatest Commandment


In the gospel, the Pharisees having heard how Jesus responded to the Sadducees on the question about resurrection in the previous verses of today’s chapter of the gospel. They teamed up like that of last Sunday (the Pharisees and the Herodians) to put Jesus to the test.

One of them asks Jesus to reveal the greatest commandment among all the commandments. Jesus answers that the first and the greatest is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbour just as we also love ourselves. For Jesus, every other law is encircled around these two.


Here are the key points:

1.The Pharisees and the Sadducees are two groups of people that are totally divided in their beliefs. But today they unite themselves to achieve one common purpose; only to test and pull Jesus down. The point here is that as Jesus tries to unite people and bring them to God, these groups of people unite to render His efforts useless.


The point here is, it is either we unite to promote the good thing of another person or we belong to the camp of those who hate whatever he or she does. Sometimes we unite only to plan evil against the other person. We see this in our families, organisations, associations, offices etc. To take the Lord as our role model is to support the good of the other person rather than fighting him/her.


2. The group today chooses one person among them who must be so versed in the law of Moses. He began with their usual style “master”. This is like affirming Jesus’ authority and knowledge of the laws so that any mistake from Jesus will be a point of a mockery of who He is.

Sometimes we come to people with this style. We flatter them and sing their praises to get what we want. It is good to live a straightforward life like the Lord. Let us free our hearts from contempt and do things only from the depth and purity of our heart.


3.The Pharisees do not come to listen to the word. Their interest is only in the “pull Him down” mentality. This is unlike in the second reading where Paul appreciates the Thessalonians for listening to the word, which ultimately influenced them positively.

The word of God should be our guide if we truly want to change our lives.  We should be ready to learn from each other and encourage one another than fighting to bring others down.


4. To capture the real secret behind this question, we have to note the background. The Jewish commandment is beyond the ten commandments. It is noted that the commandments from Genesis to Deuteronomy is about 613 commandments. In fact, this particular question is being debated among the religious leaders at that time and many commandments were presented as the first and the greatest. So any straightforward answer from Jesus will certainly split more arguments.

Jesus quickly gives them a summary of the whole commandments. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 4:5, which is part of the Shema, which the Jews even recite as prayers. He further concludes His answer with Leviticus 19:18. The answer kept his interlocutors dumbfounded because He transcends beyond their expectation.


We have to take the Lord as the role model also in dealing with issues and problems from people. In most situations, we do not need to act rashly but to deal with everything in wisdom, tolerance and understanding.


Never Oppress the Oppressed




1.The first reading from the book of Exodus is part of the injunctions or interpretations that flow from the decalogue in Exodus 20. Here, God warns them not to oppress or molest foreigners because they were once foreigners in Egypt. So being in that state before, they know and understand the pain of treating a foreigner badly.


2. In the same vein, every position we occupy today was not given to us from birth. We were once nobody and thereby it is not an avenue to treat others badly. Always remember there was a time you were once like them.


3. The people today are already oppressed by hunger and hardship. When we oppress them more, we increase their sorrows. Always remember it is God that we oppress. When Paul was persecuting the Christians, Jesus asked him “Saul Saul why are you persecuting me”. Jesus did not ask Saul why are you persecuting them. (Acts 9:4). Jesus is always defending the oppressed and so we shall be.


Quit Wickedness


1. When you look at what is happening in the country today, you begin to question where the conscience of our leaders travelled to. You begin to question why people who are meant to protect lives, turn back to kill, maim and impoverish souls handed unto their care. Always remember there was a time you are in their position. That suffering you passed through then, is what they are passing through. Use your position to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.


If we take the Lord as our model we will certainly live for the people. Jesus is always defending the oppressed.

When leaders pack foods which are meant to feed the people during the pandemic to the detriment of the livelihood of the people is the highest act of wickedness. Quit oppressing the people, quit these acts of wickedness. They are already oppressed by poverty, hardship, insecurity and economic instability.




1. We have to give God all we have. Our thoughts, deeds and words must be Godly. This Jesus sees as the summary of every commandment. When we look at the life of Jesus we will certainly see the close relationship He has with the Father. He humbles himself to do only the will of God.


In the same vein, we have to take the Lord as our model and give God our all in all. When we do this, we cannot but love rather than live in hatred. Anyone who does not love, is not from God, for God is love (1John 4:8). This will help us to understand the plight of the people.


2. The endsars protest that rocked Nigeria recently is beyond security problems. It is just a miniature of what the people are passing through. The leaders should take the Lord as their model in living to save and ameliorate the sufferings of the masses.


3. The only standard to love the other person is the way we love ourselves. Imagine a nation where the leaders see themselves in the shoes of the suffering. Can you imagine a family where everyone loves each other? If we take the Lord as our model, there will be peace and progress.


4. In the first reading, God warns people never to treat the widows and orphans in an unacceptable manner. Their pains and cries will certainly reach Him.


When we oppress the poor, the needy, the people we are better of, do not think God is there clapping for you. In Mathew 25:40, Jesus says that whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers. That you do unto me. So you are also fighting God. Let us be careful in treating people badly. Everything we do today will always be there to stand for or against us on the last day.


This is also a call to all who are going about looting and stealing other people’s properties. You are increasing their pains more. The reward is certainly waiting for you. Let us desist from such evil acts.


5. Finally, just like the Thessalonians in the second reading become role models and exemplars of the gospel to Macedonia and Achaia which later spread to other parts of the world, let us live lives worthy of emulation. We can do this if we can take the Lord as our Role Model, live like Him, allow Him to influence our lives and thus live only in the love of one another. Things are truly going to change.


May God bless us as we live by His principles. So always stay faithful to God, there is light at the end of the tunnel. God bless you and Happy Sunday.


You may read


Unless We change

When the Cloud is looming

The Fire on Earth

The Wise Steward

The Unexpected can happen

Give to God what belongs to Hi










Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.