OBEDIENCE AS A MORAL VIRTUE ...

Sep 30, 2017

Today’s Gospel story is one interesting parable from which we can draw two lessons. The first speaks about obedience not as a moral obligation but as a Christian moral virtue. Obedience as a moral obligation looks at commandments and errands as burdens and an opposition from external authority. Obedience as a MORAL VIRTUE looks at these as opportunities to develop one’s character, to listen and to place oneself, not in blind obedience, but in the disposal of the other whose authority is acknowledged with reverence. It also develops the virtue of humility, like in Christ’s act of self-emptying as shown in today’s second reading.

The second lesson refers to the fate of the Jews to whom the plan of God’s redemption was first addressed but who refused to acknowledge in Jesus, the anointed Messiah Yahweh promised to humanity. As a result, the good news was offered to and received with great joy by the Gentiles and the sinners. We can say that pride was the basic mistake of the Jews. They were unwilling to reconsider their belief and understanding of the Messiah’s identity and the manner in which He would come to redeem us. This stubbornness of heart prevented them from recognizing in Jesus, the Son of God and Redeemer of the world. We also fall into it when we justify as real and legitimate what we simply hold as true notwithstanding its consequences, as in the case of terrorists and fundamentalists.

Jesus’ self-emptying, his stripping of his divine status and grandeur, is the greatest example of humility for all to emulate. “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equally with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness (Phil. 2:5-7).” This unparalleled humility brought to believers life not death, forgiveness not resentment and revenge, salvation and not condemnation.

We can learn this from a story: A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend, whose sermons the diver never really paid much attention to but simply heard them often. One bright night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. He climbed to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw the cross-shape shadow of his body on the wall. Feeling as if someone was speaking to him, he knelt down, instead of diving, and finally asked God to come into his life. As he stood up, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on. The pool had been drained for repairs. The humility of this young diver to acknowledge God’s manifestation prevented a fatal accident and saved his life. This is a true story in the Philippines.

#11. A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: Physics Teacher: Mario, what alkaline fluid secreted by our glands is said to help promote digestion? Mario: “It’s already at the tip of my tongue, but I can’t remember it.” Physics Teacher: “Spit it out. That’s saliva.”

This Sunday is Respect Life Sunday. It suggests to us, to respect life always and do away all the time the SLAUGHTER OF THE UNBORN in this country, USA. On the 2nd, the memorial of our Holy Guardian Angels is celebrated. On the 4th, we have the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and a Healing Mass will be held at 8AM. It is First Friday on the 6th, and First Saturday on the 7th. The regular Mass for our Adorers at 9AM will be done and at 10:30AM we have our annual BLESSING OF THE PETS at the Church’s front yard. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.

God Bless!

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie