Saturday, July 12, 2014

Be Filled with Hope

MY PERSONAL REFLECTION:
“The Contradiction of Stewardship”
My reflection on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

1.     The first reading gives me the assurance that God’s Word and His promises are true.  One could imagine with the prophet Isaiah with the vision of dew drops coming from heaven and spreading themselves and nourishing a verdant earth.  So is the Word of God. The assurance is clear that what He promised He will do.  But will the Son of Man find faith on the earth when He comes again?  Have we forgotten about the reality of the second coming and the truth about the resurrection?  Why is it that as if all our plans are directed on earthly concerns?  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto thee, says our Lord.  For the pagans seek for money and food, but we are reminded that God knows that we need of all of these.  Are we in doubt of God’s providence that we take into our own hands our lives and future?  We have to be reminded that our charitable work and even our social action is the product of a deep spirituality and not vice-versa.  We should not mistake “integral evangelization” so called, as emphasis on social justice and anti-poverty alleviation.  Some said, an empty stomach is not capable of receiving the gospel, so they say they have to fill the stomach first.  But I beg to disagree.  This is a wrong notion.  In the Bible we read that Christ first preached the gospel to the people and confirm it with miracles of healings.  It was only after the preaching that He multiplied the loaves of bread and the fishes. Let us make our Sunday worship the most beautiful.  Let the Church and her priests attend to the sacraments and the teaching of the Word of God.  Only after doing an excellent job on this can the feeding of the literal bodies is done.  For even the daily food that we eat is a token of God’s providence and not solely by our own effort.  For without Him we can do nothing.

2.     Reflecting on the second reading – I was impressed by the thought that the Sin of Humankind is so great that even the whole of creation was affected and was corrupted because of original sin.  The corruption of material things is a sign of our own struggle with sin and suffering.  These thoughts move us to come to the foot of the cross and behold what redemption it took to bring us to the door or paradise.  For we behold Him, the pledge of our redemption.  His grace sowed hope in our hearts.  Each time creation is renewed we are given hope that God will someday bring to a close the cycle of decay and bring us to the glorious redemption of our Bodies to be in God’s Kingdom.  Let us be filled with hopeful thoughts and trust in His grace all the time.  Let it be by prayer and supplications.

3.     In the gospel reading for today, I was initially confused when Our Lord said, “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Does it look that the master was unmerciful to take away even the little things that remains with the least of these men?  I don’t think so.  I got the idea that perhaps our Lord was telling us that as Christians we are expected to be fruitful to abound with fruits.  The Lord emphasizes the gravity and the importance He places on stewardship.  Once he entrusts us with something good then we have to capitalize on it.  For anyone who hears the Word of God and keep it will have an abundant life in Christ.  Let us thank the Lord for giving us this grace to see and understand and let us ever pray that we will always have this grace.


Be filled with hopeful thoughts this Sunday!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

THE IMAGE OF THE TEACHER

“MEEK AND HUMBLE OF HEART: MY IMAGE OF THE TEACHER”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Reflecting and meditating on this Sunday’s gospel reading, I see in the face of my Lord, the face of a teacher.  As Pope Francis said...that indeed Jesus is more than a teacher, He is our friend.  No one indeed has seen the Father, but Jesus as the source of knowledge seeks to convey to us what the Will of God is.  Are we going to look somewhere else for the truth when the teacher of the truth is in our midst?

Unlike the Pharisees and the Jews who burdened their adherents with so many added laws and regulations, Jesus summed up the commandments into simple formula, to love God and to love one’s neighbour.  To say that we love God is easy but that love is manifested the way we love our neighbour.  How do we show love to our neighbour?  Jesus has illustrated this through the Parable of the Good Samaritan (the unpretentious and sincere love of others even to strangers and to those excluded by society risking one’s good standing and defying established values and assumptions), in the way Jesus conversed with the woman of Samaria (communicating and showing love for those despised by society), in the way Jesus forgave Mary of Magdala (unconditional forgiveness), in the way Jesus raised Lazarus from death to life (love for close friends), and many more examples.

Those who like the Pharisees seeks to be righteous by their own efforts are bound to be disappointed.  For it is futile to obtain righteousness by one’s effort.  But amidst this impossibility, Jesus offers Himself as the teacher who will teach us the way and to make learning easy.  Why is Jesus’ teaching easy compared to the Pharisees?  It is because the teachings of Jesus is the source of Love, unlike the Pharisees whose teachings are full of anathemas but they themselves do not lift a finger to obey and at the same time hinders others who are seeking the way to eternal life.

Jesus be our teacher, comfort our wounded and weary hearts and show us the way to the Father and we shall be saved.  Amen.