_“For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever."(Jeremiah 7:5-7)_.

_*In chapter 59 of the prophecy of Isaiah we are told that the hand of the Lord are not short nor his ears deaf to save us and hear us respectively, but our sinfulness is the singular reason why our prayers have not been heard.*_

_This is very similar to what the Lord tells us today in the prophecy of Jeremiah as we have in the first reading. Jeremiah was instructed to stand at the entrance of the Lord's temple to tell the people what the Lord requires of them. They were simply told to amend their ways and their doings if they are going to find favour in the sight of God._

_*They were reminded that the temple of the Lord is holy, therefore, if they wish to enter into it and encounter God, they must also strive to live a good life and stay away from evil.*_

_It is very easy to find a Church where you go to pray, it is also easy to make our prayers to God, but when the prayers are offered from an impure heart, it will never be answered. A prayer offered from an impure heart is an insult to God, therefore, before you go in to pray, confess your sins, make amends and be clean in heart so that the Lord will listen to your cry and show you mercy._

_*We cannot pray to God and expect to get a positive response when we act hypocritically, we say one thing and we do another, when we act unjustly and participate in acts of oppression and wickedness to strangers, widows and orphans and infact to the poor and the needy. God cannot be reached when you kill, practise idolatry and act immoraly. If you want your prayers to be acceptable before Him, you must do good and stay away from evil.*_

_We must be on our guard so as not to let the evil one plant weeds in our heart as the gospel reading tells us. We must be watchful and also try as much as we can to help others who are weak to become strong and be able to enter into the kingdom of God on the last day._

_*Good morning dearest one. Smile😊as you do your work and do have a splendid day. May Jesus give you the grace to pray well and may your prayers rise like insense before Him. Amen. And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.*_

*Meditation:* Jeremiah 7:1-11/Psalm 84:3-6,8,11/Matthew 13:24-30

*Watch-Word:* How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts.

*Love the Church, honour God in the Church, respect the sanctity of God's house, live a holy life, then call upon the Lord and He will answer you speedily.*

(Saturday of the sixteenth week in the ordinary time. Year II)

*© Rev. Fr. Augustine Eleke*