“It is so that the works of God maybe visible through Him.”
When I graduated from college, I knew what I wanted, to be a hotshot CEO of a bigshot company. Like any other hopefuls, I eagerly joined the corporate world two months later and prepared myself for the steep climb up the ladder. I ventured into Sales Administration, eventually joined the Sales force, then enrolled in Business school for my masters in BA. I had it all figured out. Fast forward to today, I am now living a life opposite of that dream. Somewhere along the way, I got tired of having to compete to inch my way to the top. The climb, I later realized, wasn’t as thrilling and fullfilling as I thought it would be. Maybe because I wasn’t doing it to cause change in others only on myself. The way I see it, fullfillment in work comes when we start living out the purpose of why God put us here. To make others see and know about His infinite goodness through the work that we do is our main purpose for working. Financial rewards or professional advancement are merely the fruits of working for God. Not unless we realize or actualize that, we will never find happiness in it.
“So you shall do and observe all they say: but do not do as they do, for they do not do as they say.”
A parent of my grade one mentee before shared one time that everyday she would know what happened in school without even asking her daughter because as soon as she comes home, she would go up to her room and pretend to be her teachers. She would imitate how her teachers talk, from the tone of their voices to their gestures. She would even reenact scenes of what happened that day with her dolls. As teachers, the burden of showing good example to kids falls heavily on our shoulders. Everyday we are like movie stars minus the glamour. Our actions and words are always scrutinized. When kids go home, they “gossip” about us to their parents and regale them with stories of what we did, how we acted, and what we said in class. In some cases, they would even go as far as acting and speaking the way we do. Teachers do play an important role. It is the only profession so far that can make a big influence or can effect significant change in a person instantly. So let us pray for all teachers, so that they will always practice what they preach and walk their talk. Let us pray for them so that they will always teach in the light of grace and of wisdom that come from that Holy Spirit.
“Jesus took with him, Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. Jesus’ appearance was changed before them: his face shown like the sun, and his clothes became white as snow.”
Have you ever wondered why a beautiful sunrise or sunset captivates us? Or why the sight of a beautiful scenery leaves us breathless? Well because we don’t see them often. These are things we purposely seek. Same thing with God, we would not see His beauty trapped in the mundane concerns of life. In order for us to see Him, to really see Him, we have to detach ourselves from the trappings of the ordinary and make a mighty effort to climb our own mountain of prayer. And from there, we have to purposely train our eyes to see where we can have a good and clear sight of Him. Do we see Him in our work, in our home, or in our current situation right now? If He’s not in any of these, we have to, with all our heart, seek Him until we find exactly where He is in our life. For it is only in finding Him that we can truly experience great joy.
“The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat, and pleasant to the eyes,and ideal for gaining knowledge. She took it’s fruit and ate it and gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate it.”
How clever and cunning is the devil, he knew exactly the influence Eve has over Adam so he got to her first. This only goes to show the important role that the wife or mother plays in the spiritual formation of the family. Let us pray everyday for emotional resiliency and spiritual tenacity so that we, women, can perform our responsibilty of bringing our family closer to the Lord well. May we continue to grow into mighty women of faith with the grace and love of Our Father so that we can overcome temptation and bring our family to heaven with our loving words and actions.
Gospel Reflection: “If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me.”
Reading the gospel today reminds me of the late Fr. Lisa, Paref Woodrose’s chaplain of many years. He used to say, “With joy, not a single day without cross.” St. Josemaria Escriva explained as, a day without a cross is a day without God. Our own cross that we bear everyday with so much strength, grace, and dignity is what will keep us close to the Father. And as we carry our cross well and as we offer it up to the Him, you will be surprised at just how easily His own cross takes it all. You will be amazed at such healing and abundant blessings that He will give us for it in return. So lets take up our cross without thinking and without complaints, and bear its burden so that others who will see and know about it will learn about God’s love and mercy as well.
Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.”
I understand why a lot of people choose not to follow the Lord. It is because the path that leads to Him in heaven is not always easy to take. We take different paths to get to the Lord, some will have it easy at the beginning while some will have it hard. Either way it will definitely take a lot from us. We often talk about finding our purpose in life, well for me it is actually this, to follow where the Lord will lead us, which is in all cases, to heaven. In the course of following the Lord, He will ask us to use or give up what we are, where we are, who we are, what we have, who we have in order bring ourselves closer to Him in heaven. So, being God’s follower is not for the soft hearted, faint hearted, or weak hearted, it is only for the faith-hearted. If there’s one thing we should work on, it is to develop a heart filled with faith so that following Him will eventually be less of a struggle but more of a joy.
“For human beings it is imposible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”
This passage reminds me of the letter I received from my student on my last birthday last year which reads: Dear Mrs. Dela Cruz, Happy Birthday! I remember when I was Grade 2, I saw you in your Grade 3 classroom. You were teaching so when I went home I prayed and wished that you be my S.S. Teacher and now I remembered you said, Impossible will be possible if you pray. Then my wish came true. Wow! You are a teacher who has faith. Love, Bianca Lazaro. Though the probability that I will be her teacher this year was quite high at the time she saw me teaching, the fact that she attributed it as a work of God and some sort of a miracle made this letter so endearing. And it is true, I experienced and witnessed it a dozen times, how deep faith can turn things around, how things you can’t even imagine happening even in your wildest dreams happen all because you pray for it, believe that the Lord will give it, and you ready your heart to receive it. Miracles, though products of the Divine are also consequences of our willpower to hope, believe, and trust in the power of the Almighty.
“Salt is a good thing; but if it loses its saltiness how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”
Salt is the one that gives food taste. Before all artificial and natural seasonings were invented and discovered there was already salt. It is the one that transforms food into a wonderful meal. The Lord in today’s reading challenges us to be the “salt” that will enrich the lives of others. He challenges us to be a man or woman of substance who can effect change within our self and others.
“You have no idea what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? No more than a mist, which appears for a moment and then disappears.”
This is perhaps one of the verses in the bible that to me has generated a lot of spin offs…You prabably heard about life is too short, live it…make each moment count…live well, laugh much, love often…but then the pinakamatindi of all the spin off of this verse for me is YOLO. It is so hugely popular that it has become one of the most commonly used hashtag and the mantra of both young children who want to act like adults and adults who are fond of acting like young children (with matching handsign ). I imagine that if God where to rewrite this verse during present times, using layman’s language for a change so his message will come accross quickly, he would prabably state this as, “Tomorrow is a big question…(insert YOLO hashtag and emoji here).” BUT then again wait! This is God we are talking about, so I am pretty sure He wouldn’t just simply end with #YOLO. Probably He would, in all His majesty, end this verse with #YOLOdir (read: You. Only. Live. Once. Do. It. Right).
I suddenly remember the gorgeous afternoon sunset that accompanied my run a while ago. I wish I could run to this forever.
I felt so happy and so at ease the whole time I was running. The sunset did that to me. For the first time in months, I felt like everything is right in my world again.