Sunday, August 28, 2016

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

True Humility

Luke 14:1,7-14

Today's gospel is so pointed it challenges us to confront ourselves whether we are living lives of humility or arrogance.

Noting that in heaven, there is no such thing as first or second class saints, we need to live this value right here on earth by ruing every form of selfishness, arrogance, and greed and imitate Jesus in humility, self-emptying and service.

What are the marks of true humility?

St. Ignatius pointed out the path to true humility.  These are:  embracing poverty over wealth, service over power, and God over self.

Embracing poverty means despite our material possessions, we are all poor in God's eyes.  There is no distinction between the rich and the poor because we all need God.  We need to know who we are: helpless human beings totally dependent on God for our lives.

Second, embracing service means that I place whatever power and authority I have to serve others and not myself.  I cannot serve unless I stoop down and make myself available to help them, feel their pains, and help free them from their sufferings.  This is exactly what Jesus did to save us.

Third, embracing self-emptiness means to fill my life with God while emptying myself of self-indulgence.  Pride is the enemy of God.  Like St. Paul, let's pray that we may say, "It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me." (Gal. 2, 20)

In embracing these three things we would gain the true treasures of heaven, especially the love of God in us.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C

God or this world?

Luke 12:49-53

artwork from dailyencouragement.wordpress.com

Jeremiah was thrown into the cistern for speaking against Israel.  It was fortunate that Ebed-Meleck, the Ethiopian, pleaded King Zedekiah that he be saved.

Jesus in today's gospel said, "I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!"  Jesus came not to bring peace on earth, but division.

A Christian witnesses for Christ; he doesn't compromise with the world.  St. Peter said, "It is better for us to follow God rather than men." (Acts 5, 29)  It's high time that we reflect if our lives are series of compromises with the world or we are still faithful to God?

We have compromised with the world if our values are worldly - giving in to wealth, power, or pride rather than poverty, humility, and persecution for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.

We have compromised if our children have opted to live in the same way as we have lived.

Thirdly, we have compromised our lives when we have not worked for the salvation of others.  Despite our accomplishments, we have accomplished nothing.

Be more sensitive with God's presence and His promptings.  Our lives will find its true meaning only in serving Him.