Thursday of Week 33 in Ordinary Time
“If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace…you did not recognize your opportunity when God offered it.”
Do you think you are stubborn or obstinate? I know I am. Sometimes extremely so, especially when I think I am in the right, I refuse to consider the merit of other opinions, and am oh so quick in dismissing them.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus said that “the time is coming where your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground”. The true tragedy is that God has sent many warnings, from prophets, disciples and even His only Son — but we didn’t listen — we didn’t recognize the opportunity for peace and salvation. Hopefully, we do not tune out until it is too late.
If we are honest and look around us today at the social climate, the self interest and promotion that social media promotes, the intolerance of others who differ from us; all these came about under the guise of connectivity. These are the walls of focusing our attention on the secular, on the transient ‘happiness’ that never fulfills, the empty promises of euphoria of getting a ‘like’ on social media that falls flat, the re-enforcement that we are right, and have the right to criticize anyone who dares to disagree. We even believe we have the right to be rude and ridicule anything or anyone we don’t understand and deem unworthy.
This is far from the world and people of God that Jesus wanted us to be. No wonder Jesus shed tears over the fate of Israel then, of us now. Our arrogance in dismissing the truth that Jesus and all the prophets and disciples have taught, our arrogance in thinking we know better, our arrogance in believing that faith has no room in the modern age; all our arrogance will lead to our demise, like those trapped within the fortifications of the enemy and dashed to the ground.
My intention is not to hurl ‘fire and brimstone’ and preach repentance or “fire will rain down on thee”. On the contrary, my intention is to start a dialogue with anyone who would listen, so that perhaps we could reflect together how we behave in our daily life. How obstinate are we? Do we hide behind a screen and criticize others harshly? Or do we try to gently (but firmly) state the truth, even if it means we won’t win the popular vote? Do we recognize our erroneous ways, and are we open to what Jesus has been trying to tell us what is truly God’s will? After all, why would we listen to any unproven voices in this world, when we know that Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not miss the opportunities that God has generously provided us to get to know Him, to love and be loved, and to share that love with others.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we pray that we will be open to Your Word and not remain ignorant nor obstinate. Grant us the grace of wisdom to truly listen and hear what You are trying to tell us.
Thanksgiving: Dearest Lord, we thank you for Your love and compassion. To receive Your mercy, even through the obstinacy of our hearts, minds and souls, and for not giving up on us.