St Josaphat, bishop & martyr
32nd Week in Ordinary Time : Thursday 12th November 2020
Phm. 7-20; Ps. 145:6-7,8-10;
Lk. 17:20-25 (Ps Wk IV)
Paul’s writes to Philemon to persuade him to accept a person named Onesimus into his household. The problem here is that Onesimus was once a slave to Philemon, but had run away. No mention is made as to why Onesimus had run away or how he ended up with Paul. However, Onesimus has also become a close and indispensable helper to Paul, and more importantly, has also become a Christian.
Paul asks Philemon not only to forgive Onesimus but also to treat him as a fellow Christian. There has been a transformation between Onesimus’ former and present life, that is, Onesimus has given his life to Christ and Philemon is asked to be aware of this important truth. What this entails is that if Philemon accepts Onesimus again, no punishment or penalty must be meted out to Onesimus, as was the custom of the time to deal with runaway slaves.
The Pharisees question Jesus as to when the Messiah would come. For the Jews, the coming of the Promised Messiah also points to the end of days which is the day of judgement and reward. Jesus tells them that it is not important to know when the day of the Lord will come. What is crucial is to recognise that the presence of God’s reign is already in their midst. Jesus is the clear sign that God’s reign has begun.
With Jesus, things are never the same for God’s transforming presence for it is already in our midst. The question is: Are we aware of this?
Lord, help me be aware of Your presence.