Saturday, October 24, 2009

The fruit of seeing

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle B
Reading: Mark 10:46-52

"See I told you so!"
When we were young, every time we commit mistakes, our elders would tell us, "See, I told you so." Now, when we're grown up, our inner parents would whisper the same words. We'd give in to these words or not. But sooner or later, we'd realize that the voices are right all along.

The blind Bartimaeus in the gospel today becomes an icon for all of us who are in one way or another become blind to the reality of God's love and are so immersed in the ocean of human imperfection. How will be be like Bartimaeus and be able to see?

First, he called Jesus "The Son of David". He saw in Jesus the reality of being a king. He could see how God works. Could we see enough to place our hopes in Him?

Second, "He said, "I want to see." His request is explicit. Perhaps, we still do not know the core of our troubles. The core of our problems is not because we are receiving little income, nor we only have less in life. The core inside of us is love waiting to be filled and to give itself to others. We are blind to this reality and we fill ourselves with material things.

Third, after being able to see, Bartimaeus followed the Lord. That is the fruit of seeing. What is our fruit after seeing? Kind hearts? Generous spirits? Freedom to serve our Lord?

Pray to see.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

True wealth

28th Sunday, Cycle B
Reading: Mark 10:17-30

I am reminded of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, particularly, the meditation on the three pairs of men as a prelude to asking for the gift of poverty a person must have in order to give glory to God and to work out his salvation.

All three men received 10 thousand ducats, an estimate of about 1 million dollars today. The three pairs are all concerned with pleasing God and saving their souls. The first one promised to remain faithful to God and want to rid themselves of the hindrance the money brings to them, but they ended up not placing the means even at the hour of death.

The second pair also want to please God, save their souls by ridding themselves of the attachment, but they remain with the thing acquired, so that God should come where they want and so they don't leave it, although it would be best for them.

The third pair would also have the same disposition, but to rid it or to keep it is not the issue, for they have remained detached to it, even abhorred it, for to place themselves in the total service of the Divine Majesty is their ultimate and real joy.

The moral of the story is not whether to choose the gift of actual poverty or not, to feel attraction or repugnance to it, but to crush the disordered tendency so as to place oneself at the total service and praise of the Divine Goodness.

Are we intent in totally serving the Divine Majesty and to give joy to Him? Would we opt to make it our life's goal, to sell everything we have so that the only thing that remains to give our Lord is us? Would it not please the Lord if we use everything we have to serve others?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mama Mary, pray for us

Photo courtesy of Marwin L. Llasos

There has never been any country as dedicated to Mama Mary as the Philippines.

This may be an overstatement, but such is so for millions of Filipinos who place themselves under her loving care. This may also be the most significant time to renew our commitment to the recitation of the most holy Rosary.

The Rosary is our way to Christ through Mary. In the spirit of deep contemplation, we are immersed in the sea of Christ's life and being in his joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries. Mama Mary caused all that to happen.

Secondly, the repetitive nature of the Rosary enables us to enter more deeply in communion with God. Every Our Father and Hail Mary uttered, recited, should not be meant to distract us away from the purpose of contemplation. Every phrase "I love you" uttered repetitively in thought and word enables us to commune with the beloved and be enveloped by his/her love. Such is our case with God; He pours out all His blessings upon us.

Thirdly, the Rosary opens us to the deepest reality of being Church. It starts off with the vertical relationship with God when we pray the Our Father. The first words of the Hail Mary opens us up to our communion with God who uttered the first words of praise in honor of the Virgin. And the second part of the Hail Mary includes us and our participation in the divine work of salvation, "Pray for us sinners."

Each reality well prayed should lead us closer to one another and with God. Such is the reality of the Filipinos, no matter how it is beset by corruption and calamities. Mama Mary, help the Filipino family. Amen.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The law of love

27th Sunday in ordinary time, cycle B

Gospel: Mark 10: 2 – 16

Jesus repudiated Moses' law of divorce. Why? In the law of love, man or anyone is not higher in stature than their partners. Rather, they are co-equal, having been created by God as “male and female”.

Second, that in the law of love, God is the author; otherwise, if we leave it to man to decide, he will freely do as he pleases.
That is why divorces, trial marriages, live-ins, separations, and adulteries are predominant. With this kind of love, there is no true love because it is divorced from its true source – God. If love is detached from God, it becomes selfish; if it is selfish, then it fails bring life. If there is no life, there is no generation of life.

Love comes from God because God is love. That is why Jesus chose to be one with us in all things except sin. Learn the way God loves. His love is eternal; it is ever faithful; it is fruitful. It produces families. It causes unity in families. It makes us all alive. The contraceptive mentality is opposite to all these. It does not produce love. It makes love die. For with the multiplication of humanity is the love inside people’s hearts for one another; thus, all live. That is God’s love.