S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Prophet is without honor in his own village...

We hear in today's Gospel passage that Jesus was in a way despised and treated with contempt by His fellow countrymen. This led to Jesus' jolting remark that a prophet is without honor only in his own village. For Filipinos, this is something unusual for we take pride in our "katagilungsod" when he or she excels in whatever field. But even for us Filipinos, we take contempt also in people who we do not like, most especially if we know them. We know very well their weaknesses, their "kapalpakan" in life, their very roots, their very persons. And sometimes it is hard to "believe" in them. I guess, the challenge of the Gospel lies here -- to believe in people and in situations that seem very ordinary to us, yet, if we allow them to unravel before our very eyes, present to us the wisdon of God.

The very reason why the townsfolks of Jesus never experienced the power and the marvelous deeds of God is simply because they find Jesus very ordinary and not worth believing. Jesus is for them the "man next door" who, in their perception, can never be the Son of God. Hence, they failed to recognize the Great One in their midst.

The Lord manifests His very self to us in the ordinary. And the invitation for us is to seek God in the ordinary people we meet on the streets, even in the most banal of all events during the day. God's wisdom lies in the humility of the heart. It is only in humility that we can ever recognize the Great One among our midst. And we beg the Lord for this grace.


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