Friday, September 12, 2014
23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-27
Gospel: Luke 6:39-42
Jesus offered this example, “Can a blind person lead another blind person? Surely both will fall into a ditch. A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master. So why do you pay attention to the speck in your brother’s eye while you have a log in your eye and are not conscious of it? How can you say to your neighbor: ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t remove the log in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Gospel talks about blindness in the context of fraternal correction. After the 20th World Youth Day in Germany, we made a pilgrimage to Marian places. I came across a twenty-year-old English guy named Anthony Pearson. Because he said he does not believe in God, in a way he was blind.
The priestly instinct in me compelled me to venture into an ambitious project of opening his eyes to God’s existence. “Believe in God? What for?” he asked. “Out of gratitude for creating us and this world”, I answered as I shrugged my shoulders.
“I don’t believe that a God created this world; if a God did, this world wouldn’t be as imperfect”, he argued. Then he pressured me to answer this question: “If God made this world, why is this world imperfect?” Without batting an eyelash I explained: “So that we may look forward to that perfect one in the life after next”. “You mean there is a perfect world after this?” he asked. “If there is, then why not go straight to that perfect one?”
At this point I ran out of bullets. Anthony had a point: why not go straight to the perfect world? The world isn’t getting better with time. Nature itself is beginning to connive with evil people in making life miserable. Let’s begin with 2005. That year, at least 10,000 people died due to hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Just nine months before that a tsunami devastated sections of Thailand’s coastline.
These are the things Mother Nature has done to other countries. In the Philippines human nature’s contribution to human suffering is evident in some leaders whose brains have two sides: the left where there is nothing right, and the right where there is nothing left. Levity aside, we are suffering today from the lack of moral grounding of our law makers. Right now we do not know where the buck stops. But it seems the PDAF and the DAP issue is deeper than we can fathom.
In all these, Anthony’s question resounds: “Why not go straight to that perfect world?” My plan to open Anthony’s mind to the existence of God was too ambitious… there is just too much suffering in the world and the glare is beginning to be unbearable. – 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 may we not lose faith amidst the dangers both moral and physical that hound us. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Blessed Apollinaris and Companions, Martyrs. In Japan, between 1617 and 1632, martyrs for Christianity numbering two hundred five were apprehended by the imperial government. Among them were 18 First Order Franciscans led by Apollinaris Franco, the Commissary Provincial of the Order of Japan. Being a Christian was punishable by death. With unwavering faith, Apollinaris openly proclaimed his love for the Lord and was immediately arrested. For 5 years, he was imprisoned but he continued teaching catechism and baptizing fellow prisoners. He was burned alive with other companions on September 12, 1622.