Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time. Year II (St Boniface, Bishop/Martyr). Reflection by Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese)

Don’t be a ‘back row’ Christian!
2 Tim. 1:1-3,6-12; Mark 12:18-27

There are those who never take front rows anywhere. Never! They simply can’t. They prefer to sit behind in Church, class, concerts, etc. These are the ‘back row’ persons. The Christian must not belong to this crowd. Friends, St Paul tells us today in his second letter to St Timothy that God’s Spirit in us is not a Spirit of Timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self control.

St. Boniface, whose memorial we celebrate today, was not a back row Christian. Even at forty, he decided to take the good news to Germany. He was so successful that he became Bishop of Mainz, founding and restoring dioceses in Bavaria, Thuringia and Franconia. At seventy, he still couldn’t abandon his mission to care and look out for others. He set out again to Friesland (part of modern day Holland) where he was martyred. Friends, are you still warming the back seats? It’s time to push forward. If you’re truly a Christian, begin to do your bit today. God is God of the living, not the dead.

Good morning dear. God bless your day ahead. St Boniface, pray for us!

Readings for the day

FIRST READING“Rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.”The beginning of the second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 1: 1-3.6-12) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take yours share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 123: 1-2ab.2cdef (R. 1a)R/. To you, O Lord, have I lifted up my eyes.

To you have I lifted up my eyes,you who dwell in the heavens.Behold, like the eyes of slaveson the hand of their lords. R/.

Like the eyes of a servanton the hand of her mistress,so our eyes are on the Lord our God,till he show us his mercy.

R/.ALLELUIAL John 11:25a.26Alleluia. I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; he who believes in me shall never die. Alleluia.

GOSPEL              “He is not God of the dead, but of the living. ”A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 12: 18-27)At that time: Sadducees came to Jesus, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”

The Gospel of the Lord.