7thwk in Ord. Time
Thursday (Yr II)
(Jas 5:1-6; Mk 9:41-50)
The reading from James 5:1-6 talks about a man who accumulates riches for himself in this life to the detriment of others. He withholds wages from his workers and does not listen to the cries of his harvesters. His money and riches actually belong to the laborers in his fields. He becomes his own god and punishment awaits him in the next life.
In contrasts to this mindset, the first verse of the Gospel from Mk, tells of giving a cup of water to the thirsty in the name of Jesus. He will be rewarded. Let us pause for a little reflection. There is someone in our country who boasts of wealth so abundant that it can buy the whole world and yet does not think of providing housing, or school or hospital or education for the millions of Filipinos who cannot afford it. This is the man in the first reading and punishment awaits in the next life. On the other hand, news report said that a couple with already eight children took in two more kids who were left orphans and homeless by the Yolanda hurricane all for love of Jesus. This is the man in Mk 9:41.
Bad example is the theme of vv.42-48. Parents, you are supposed to pass on to your children the mindset, attitudes, principles of action, and values of our Catholic Christianity. Review your lives. Actually we have many broken families in the Philippines despite our Catholic faith because parents do not give good example to their children. The men pass on drunkenness, gambling, womanizing, neglect of duty, even addiction to their children breaking up families in the process. Women are left alone to raise a family and herself get broken in the process. Even women educated in Catholic schools engage in luxury not charity, arrogance not humility, jewelries and fashions unmindful of the many who cannot dress properly, the homeless, the hungry and the undernourished. That is why the Lord is radical in his demand in this Gospel: lose a limb rather than cause someone to sin. Your words may teach many good things, but children absorb faster actions and deeds of elders. Parents, do not expect your children to become truly Catholic Christians if you yourselves do not live up to your faith.
“Everyone will be salted with fire.” Salt is the flavor given by the wisdom of Christ to our actions and relationship with our fellow men; especially when we learn to see Jesus in others as Mo. Teresa did in helping the poorest of the poor. Let us learn to treat others with the love of Jesus: ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ The fire of love will burn away all selfishness that think only of the self to give oneself at the service of God in others. “Then you will have peace with one another.” The peace or shalom from God includes health of body,of mind, and of spirit. Let this be our aim in life. -0-
Fr. Huberto Decena, OAR