May 31, 2015
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
2nd Reading: Romans 8:14-17
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
The Eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before him, although some doubted.
Then Jesus approached them and said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded you. I am with you always until the end of this world.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
In his “Essays”, Michael de Montaigne wrote: “Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen”. A mite is any of numerous tiny arachnids that are often parasitic on animals and plants. No matter how tiny and insignificant a mite is, man cannot create anything like it. In this regard, man is most real. But look how he ambitiously creates for himself so many gods. He worships money, career, power, reputation, clout and influence. He even makes god out of his belly (Philippians 3:19). But far from displaying the fullness of his might, this merely highlights his imperfection.
Today’s Gospel makes a reference to the “eleven disciples”. The number calls to mind the tragic event of the betrayal of Judas who would have brought their number to twelve. The fact that Judas managed to infiltrate their group in the first place already defined the quality of membership the group had. Judas’ falling out from the group exposed their imperfection not just as individuals but even as a group. Now “The Twelve” could not even live up to their number. To this imperfect group was given the mission of baptizing which was to be dispensed in the perfect name of Father, Son and Spirit. Can an imperfect group carry out satisfactorily orders coming from a perfect being? Before God’s perfection, what can imperfect mortals brag about?
When we stand before The Holy Trinity, a contrast is established between human imperfection and divine perfection. The imperfection inspires humility on the part of the imperfect being, while the perfection inspires compassion on the part of the Perfect One. In that encounter with the Perfect, the imperfect bows low in humility. Since grace like water seeks its own level, God’s grace flows down to the level of the humble imperfect being. Thus, in humility, we get to the level of God, though not by our own power but by the power of God’s grace.
Baptism is one great encounter where we appear incomplete before God. Through this sacrament we are grafted to Christ and given the gift of adoption. Through baptism we gain access to the relationship enjoyed by Father, Son and Spirit.
It is in standing before God’s presence that we are reminded of our insufficiencies. The farther we go away from God, the more we are left with no option but trust in the dozens of gods we have surrounded ourselves with. We are better off standing always before God’s presence and dedicating our lives to the mission. But we can only do so if we humbly make a mite of ourselves! – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (email@example.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, help us worship you, one God in three Persons by proclaiming and living our faith in humility. Grant this though Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
FEAST OF THE DAY: THE VISITATION was instituted by Urban VI in 1389 after the Franciscans celebrated it on July 2 from 1263 on. Sixtus IV (1471-1484) had a new Mass composed for it. This is celebrated three weeks before the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24). Theme: “Sharing feelings of joy by praising God”.