Tuesday, October 30, 2018

To see as God sees

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Mark 10: 46 - 52


Jeremiah prophesied that God would once again gather his people as was Moses' time.  This would be a joyous event, and the scattered children of God would come home with tears in their eyes; and the Lord would once more take care of them.

A "people called by God" is what we presently call "The Church".  The challenge is: are we teary-eyed when we gather together as a Church?  Perhaps, we know so little about being church; perhaps we were somehow "blinded" by what we were accustomed to define it; that's why the way we live Church is far from the Heaven that we envision.

The gospel is about healing the blind Bartimaeus.  The gospel is about Jesus healing the physically blind.  What we dare to ask is to heal our spiritual blindness brought about by skewed images of the Church and our faith.

Conversion

We cannot proceed to the next level of seeing unless we admit that we need conversion.  Yes, we need conversion throughout our lives.  We need to change outlook of life that conforms with God's will, not ours.  Unless we seek conversion, we would not be able to see through the eyes of our faith.

Discernment

"Lord, I want to see."  Let's go a step further and say, "Lord, I want to see you everyday."  I want to see you in my work or studies, in my family and community. I want to see you in the daily events of life.  We may go a step further and pray, "Lord, grant that I may see things as you see them."  Only then could we see God's presence in the world.

Commitment

The final element of seeing through the eyes of faith is to commit oneself only to the truth.  We know that the truth shall set us free.  We shall not compromise truth with lies or self-effacement.  "It's God whom we shall follow rather than man," according to St. Peter and John when threatened by the Jews in speaking about Jesus.  When we are committed to what is true, we shall bring all others to the Lord, thus, making our experience of Church really genuine.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Servanthood


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 10:35-45

"Kung may tiyaga, may nilaga"; "Kung anong tinanim, siyang aanihin."

These words remind us to persevere if we are to attain our goals in life.  Perseverance calls to be patient even in sufferings if we are fully convinced that all our efforts will pay off. 

But perseverance is also the mark of a true servant, who perseveres to do all tasks assigned to him. 

The servant is the mark of a true Christian.  If we claim we are baptised Catholics, it is imperative that we serve as Jesus served, by offering his life on the cross.  How then can we be good servants?

First, know who we are

 Let us know who we are and what our place is in this world.  God is the Creator, we are the created; God is heavenly, while we are made of dust.  God is Lord, and who are we? Servants.

Second, know the end

What is the end of a servant's being?  We easily forget when our end is to live comfortably and to grow rich and powerful.  Is that it?  We might aim to be rich, but this is not a ticket to enter heaven or eternal life.  If our end is in God, then let us serve him now!

Third, the heart of a servant

What makes us persevere in this task? Love.  Love makes us endure all hardships; for love of God and neighbor.  If there is no love we won't last.  Do we claim that we love God now?  It shows in our actions and in our commitment to offer time, talent, and treasure for love of him and one another.

What makes us persevere in this task? Love. 

Could we now admit that we are servants?  That's the only way a Christian is to go.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wisdom to follow Jesus


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 10:17-30


"Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth." 

We may not also understand Jesus' words, thus, losing the opportunity to serve him when he calls us.

In the first reading, from the book of Wisdom, it says: "I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me."

We need wisdom to discern what God wants, not what we want.  Wisdom is the mind and heart of God himself, revealing his plans for the world and the contents of his heart.  Our minds and hearts, because of sin, are alienated from God. But with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can still find our way back to God.

"Go and sell everything you own ..." calls us to develop a spirit of detachment to material things.  They are simply what they are, instruments to an end.  The end is important in discerning wisdom.  Is it God who is our final end?  Then why are we so preoccupied with material concerns that we don't have time to serve the Church and others?

"Give the money to the poor ..."  Another component of wisdom is thinking about others instead of self.  The self is the third priority of our lives.  God is first, others are second, we are third.  If we all make ourselves first, we won't have have the compassion for others.  And if a whole community would be composed of selfish people, imagine the devastation to that community!  But is the community is composed of sharing people, imagine the life that flows in the community!

Only in following Jesus could we experience the fullness of life!

"Come, follow me..."  Actually, this SHOULD be the theme of our lives!  Following him does not come only as we nearing death.  Following should happen while at the peak of our lives!  Only then could we experience the real joy of following him each day and the excitement each day brings.  But this is the message: only in following him till the end can lead us to the fullness of life!