Saturday, September 13, 2014
23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Cor 10:14-22
Gospel: Luke 6:43-49
Jesus said to the crowd, “No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears: you don’t gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly the good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.
“Why do you call me: ‘Lord! Lord!’ and not do what I say? I will show you what the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly, is like. That one is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overflowed and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built.
“But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
After my conversation with a non-believer from England whom I met in Paris in 2005 I now realize that my faith can hardly stand the reality of suffering. Anthony Pearson asked: if there is a perfect world after this lifetime, why don’t we just go straight to that world and spare ourselves from sufferings?
While I was groping for a sincere answer, he started munching on one of the pieces of bread he must have set aside from the previous meal. It was evident that he was cost cutting. “You told me you have been traveling as a backpacker around Europe for two months now”, I said. “What’s the point of giving up the comfort of home and going through the difficulties of travel?” “I’m writing a book on short stories and the hardships I encounter will help me write more realistic stories”, he explained. “You mean this travel is a preparation of your book?” I asked. He answered in the affirmative.
From out of his mouth came the answer I was looking for. This imperfect world is a preparation for that perfect one. This is what the Gospel of today is all about. A strong foundation is needed so that we may be attuned to the language of heaven – a language that includes forgiveness, humility and love, all in the context of faith. Without this world, there cannot be faith because faith is to believe in the things we do not yet see and understand.
Yes, Anthony, there is a perfect world, and it is not totally unrelated to this imperfect one. The harder you experience life on earth, the more the heart grows fonder of the life to come. And the more you merit from the trials of this world, the better you are equipped for that perfect world prepared for those who believe. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website:www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, strengthen our faith so that we may derive spiritual gain from the sufferings of this world and so come one day to that perfect world you promise through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church and Bishop of Constantinople. He cut down all the unnecessary expenses of his predecessor to give the money to the poor and reformed the clergy. In 403, he got into trouble with the Empress Eudoxia for calling her Jezebel, and was exiled to Bithynia. Afterwards, the earthquake that affected Constantinople was interpreted as God’s punishment, so that John was recalled. The following year he was exiled again for preaching against a silver statue of the empress. He died in 407 because of the hardships of his exile.