Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Psalm: The Lord is kind and merciful!
I Cor 3:16-23
Welcome to the seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time!
Noong May 13, 1981 binaril po si Pope John Paul II at himalang naka-survive sa assassination attempt. Sa kanyang paggaling, there was a feeling of wanting to meet his would-be-assasin. At noon pong December 27, 1983, nagulat ang buong mundo sa ginawang pagbisita ni Pope John Paul II sa selda ni Mehmet Ali Agca, ang taong bumaril sa kanya. Ang dalawa ay nag-usap, and personally, binigay ni Pope John Paul ang kanyang patawad kay Ali Agca. Wala pang social media noon, ngunit ang kanilang larawan, considered as historical moment of forgiveness, landed on the first pages of the newspapers around the world.
Our readings for today are very clear about their assertion on what truly makes us Christian
- Vengeance must not reign in the heart of a Christian. Love does.
Jesus in the gospel said that “you shall love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44) why? …ang sagot po nyan ay nasa karugtong lang nyan: “so that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:45)
Bulls-eye! Upang tayo’y maging anak ng Dios, vengeance must not reign in our heart. Love does. Instead of hatred, love; instead of retaliation, forgiveness; instead of cruelty, mercy. – for what??? “so that you may be children of your heavenly Father.”
Sabi nga ni Martin Luther King, “we shall learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we shall perish together as fools.” Kung hahayaan natin ang karahasang manatili sa ating puso, karahasan din ang ating aanihin.Ngunit kung pag-ibig – laging mamayani ang pag-asa na sa dako pa roon, matatamo din natin ang kaligtasan.
Vengeance must not reign in the heart of a Christian. Love does.
- A Christian must not desire destruction, but perfection.
At the end of the gospel, Jesus said “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Question: Fr, di ba, only God is perfect? Why desire to be perfect?
The Greek word na ginamit dito ay telios, which means “brought to its end or completed.” So, to be perfect in this sense means to be completed in Christ. Philippians 1:6 says that completion is the work of God. He created us, saved us, and is faithful to perfect us.
Question: when you look at yourself, what do you see?
Nakikita nyo ba ng inyong mga eye-bugs?
Nakikita nyo ba ng inyong mga wrinkles?
Nakikita nyo ba na ang taba-taba nyo na?
Minsan baka naitanong nyo na rin sa inyong mga sarili:
Pangit ba ako? Kapalit-palit ba ako?
How do you feel about it?
The good news is – that is not the way God sees us.
St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians said: “You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of God dwells in you.” (1 Corinthians 3:16) Templo ka ng Espiritu Santo. Ang Espiritu ng Dios ay nananahan sa iyo.”
With Christ, we are complete. Complete forgiveness. Pinatawad ka ng Dios. Matutuo ka ring magpatawad.
Brothers and sisters, ang kasabihang “lintik lang ang walang ganti” ay hindi gawaing Kristyano at hindi naayon sa layon ng Dios. God wants us to be brothers and sisters to each other. Not plotting revenge, but loving and praying for one another.
In reality, this is easier said than done. But, if we many Christians, and even non-Christians have done it, you and I can also do it. In God’s grace.
This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD – Witness to the Word!