The story of the first reading of today is one that challenges us to be courageous in the defense of our faith and in witnessing for God here on earth. Eleazar was being pressured by the authorities to renounce his faith and to do what was sinful in the eyes of the Lord. When he refused, they asked him to pretend as if he was doing that which he was asked to do so that they could spare his life, but he chose to die, rather than commit sin against God and lead others astray.

This story is something that resonates even in our own time when we are exposed to various temptations to commit sin and reject God. The world offers us easy way to abandon our faith and offend God. Even those who are supposed to guide us and show us good example, tend to even contribute to our falling and everything is taking for granted. This story must move us to understand that it is better to die with courage and nobility rejecting evil, than to pretend to be who we are not before God.

There is no short cut in following God. His commandments are true and they are always before us. If we keep them we shall find life, but if we disobey them we shall die. However, God expects us to courageously witness for Him even to the point of shedding our blood as our Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross of calvary.

The Lord needs men and women who will rather be sacked from work, than commit fraud or crime to the detriment of their faith and others. Those who will reject gifts that are meant to tie or seal their lips from speaking the truth. Those who will be ready to die than lead others astray or condone evil that is perpetrated against others especially the poor and the needy. Those who will rather lose a friendship, than to be a friend to someone who is causing harm and pain to others. The Lord needs men and women who will speak the truth with their lives by courageously living a life without pretence. Those who will call evil by its name and stay away from friends who will lead you astray and make you to commit sin. Those who will not do things with the excuse that everyone is doing it, but will only do something that they are convinced will bring glory to the name of the Lord and for the good of humanity.

We must witness for Christ everyday with our lives. We must defend our faith and stand our ground even when they will kill us for rejecting to join them in their evil deeds. It is better to die and be with Jesus in heaven, than to live in sin and die later and be with the devil.

We may have failed in our responsibility to serve the Lord and witness for Him, but God is giving us another opportunity as He gave to Zacchaeus in the gospel reading. He sought to see Jesus and when Jesus saw him, he had pity on him and followed him to his house. This encounter turned him around and he became a new man. We must come to Jesus today so that he will transform us and heal us from the wounds of sin and also give us the strength, courage and will to say no to sin and yes to righteous and holy living.*_

Live a noble life and bequeath goodness and nobility to the younger ones who are looking up to you. This is the time to stand up and fight the evil that is fighting to destroy everything morally good in our society. We must show good example and we must call evil by its name and counter it with a life of holiness. God's grace has been given to us, but we must put it into use if it is going to help us overcome our weakness and become true witness to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Good morning dearest one. Smile😊as you do your work and do have a glorious day. May Jesus give you the grace to change from evil to good and to live a life of nobility that will inspire others to a holy living. Amen. And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Meditation: 2 Maccabees 6:18-31/Psalm 3:2-7/Luke 19:1-10

Watch-Word: The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.

If you die for something good and worthy, you will inspire others to a life of nobility and your place in God's presence is assured.

(Tuesday of the 33rd Week in the Ordinary Time, Year 1)