Saturday, September 17, 2011

God's ways and our ways

25th Sunday in ordinary time, cycle A
Matthew 20:1-16
The gospel for today invites us to focus our attention on the master of the household and not on the workers.  It also invites us to yield to God's designs, not our own.

God's ways extends from left to right; being able to bring life to all people.  Our ways extend only as far as we are able to help those closest to us.

God's ways extends from earth till heaven; connecting the whole world with His holiness.  Our ways extend only as high as we could jump with all of our ambitions.

God's ways extends from here to eternity.  Our ways extend only as long as we can stay here on earth.

God's love is eternal.  Ours is temporary unless we heed His command and live according to His ways.  Then we shall extend our hands to all, lift all to God, and experience eternal happiness.

May we prioritize already whose will we shall follow: only God's.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God's forgiveness

24th Sunday in ordinary time, cycle A
Matthew 18:21-35
Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom; it clearly teaches about compassion and forgiveness rather than hatred and vengeance. "He who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord" and "if a man nurses hatred against another, can he demand compassion from the Lord?"

The clear path to life is forgiveness.  If we embrace hatred, half of the population will die each day.  If we forgive, we keep the human race and we keep it running till the next generations.

Second, vengeance inflicts pain; forgiveness heals it.

Third, human forgiveness mirrors God's forgiveness.  Without his forgiveness we cease to exist, nor can we experience his graces.  We don't deserve to live after all that we have done against Him; still He forgives us.

May we mirror God's forgiveness then.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Extending ourselves

 23rd Sunday in ordinary time, cycle A
Matthew 18:15-20
Among us Filipinos, we are so aware of "extended family ties."  But I wonder how far that extension really goes?

In the first reading, God warns Ezekiel against not saying his judgment to the people of Israel: "if the person dies in his sin, I will hold you accountable."  The opposite applies as well, "If the person repents, you will save your life."

I couldn't imagine that we are that connected.  If I will leave you to your death, I too will die.  That is why the Filipino translation of "brother" says it all, "kapatid", "Ikaw ang kaputol ng aking buhay."

Every man and woman is an extension of ourselves.  The widening gap between the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate is hurting us all.  Disconnect ourselves from others and we die.  Connect ourselves with the rest of mankind and we live.

We are also extensions of the Lord.  We are not extensions of our own money or folly.  It is this social responsibility to others that marks us as children of one God and Father.  "Whatever you do to the least of your brothers, you do it to me."

So what does this extension imply to us?  It means that looking at our brothers and sisters we look at ourselves.  We see a sad picture of humankind and we see our greed, laziness, non-commitment and folly.

Second, let us extend that helping hand; let us extend ourselves.  Helping others means helping ourselves live.

Third, extend to God and God extends back to us.  Help one another and God smiles back at us.  We are God's extensions.