13 October, Wednesday — Egos and Fears

Wednesday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time

Rm 2:1-11
Lk 11:42-46

‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’

There are many reasons why we hesitate to acknowledge our shortcomings or mistakes. Some are afraid of the unfavorable repercussions such as losing friends, losing jobs, losing credentials, or losing face. When I read today’s Gospel, the phrase ‘you insult us too’ seemed to glow in red. It made me ask why the lawyers were more concerned about being insulted than learning the truth. Then I shook my head at the thought that this has really been going on for thousands of years.

When praying on the topic for today’s reflection, I initially considered writing a critique of the dangers of being so concerned about our egos. And re-reading the second sentence in this reflection, I thought what good would expounding on that theme do? Surely, there would be some. However, it would also be good if we reflect on how Jesus provided an environment for people to acknowledge the truth, repent, and be united with God.

I know God already knows how afraid we are to face the truth. And some of us hide behind our egos so that we don’t have to face that which we are afraid of. We have this strong fear of loss. I think God wants us to have courage and confidence — that is why the Bible was written to be a source of comfort. The Bible is God’s love letter to us to assure us that it’s alright to admit our shortcomings and mistakes because while we might lose something, we will ultimately gain that which we were created for.

We are created to be loved and to be accepted in our wretched states, so that we can grow in holiness.

As fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, how are we providing this safe environment for repentance, reconciliation, and change for the better? How can we make it easier for our loved ones, friends, and fellow human beings to admit they were wrong, so that they could start doing what is right? I felt that if we could reflect on this, we can make God smile more.

Maybe one of the things we can do is, instead of adopting the ‘I-told-you-so’ attitude when someone admits a mistake, we could just smile and be grateful that finally, someone has seen the truth. Can you imagine what the woman caught in adultery would have felt if after the crowd had dispersed, Jesus emphasized to her that she should not have broken the law in the first place? I know that if I was that woman, I would have been burdened with guilt rather than finding true sorrow and repentance for my sins.

Maybe for today, we could ask God how we can make it easier for people to embrace the truth and at the same time, find peace.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Lord, please help me be like you when you preach the truth with love.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for being gentle with us, and making it so easy for us to face the truth of our actions.

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