October 22, 2019 – Tuesday 29th Week in Ordinary Time
A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans (5:12,15b,17-19,20b,21)
Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.
If by that one person’s transgression the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one
the many will be made righteous.
Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through justification
for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke (12:35-38)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”
Do you have any dogs at home? And have you ever noticed your dog when you are about to come home? Dogs wait patiently for their humans to come return. When they sense that you are coming and can smell your scent even from a distance, they begin to wiggle their tails. They would patiently wait for you and when they see you they make terrible sounds but for them it’s their expression of joy. In their joy and excitement, they would jump at you, lick you and go around your feet, running back and forth.
This is evident on how the dogs become intimately connected with us. They excitedly greet us because we are able to provide an emotional satisfaction to our dogs (according to petsci.co.uk).
This behavior among the canines reminds me of our Gospel reading today. Jesus emphasized the importance to be vigilant and to stay awake at all times to welcome him when he comes. The attitude of staying awake and be vigilant is also characterized by a joyful manner. Thus, to stay awake for Jesus’ coming does not only require us to sit straight, but also to expect him with joy. And to joyfully expect and wait the Lord’s coming, our dogs have something to teach us. To joyfully wait involves patience and attentiveness. Dogs are indeed patient in waiting for us yet, very attentive by sensing our coming and smelling our scent.
Remember, God’s unfolding and revelations are done even in silence. That is why, when God reveals himself, it is always simple, humble and even ordinary.
That is why, Jesus reminds us in the Gospel “happy are those servant whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes.” Jesus wants us to be always attentive to his many surprises for us and attentive to his simple revelations in us, in our daily life – at home, at work or at school. To be awake and attentive to God is an invitation to have a heightened awareness of God’s presence in our life and in the lives of others.
However, we cannot deny also the fact that we grow tired at times, or feel bored and discouraged by the events happening in our life. We may fall asleep in the middle of the night because we have become so tired from waiting and expecting for the Lord to come and rescue us. This happens when our prayers remain unanswered, because you have failed several times in your exams despite your reviews and daily devotions, or your partner or family member is still problematic despite the prayer intentions you have offered, or until now you are not yet healed from your illness which gives you suffering despite the many “pamisa” you’ve made, or your loved one was taken away from you because of a sudden death even though you have been a good catholic, etc.
These experiences are truly disappointing. They discourage us and so we feel that our faith is weakened. This happens when we lose our desire for God and tend to focus more on our personal wants, personal assurance of comfort and security. That is how we also fall into sin because we make ourselves distant and indifferent from God’s presence.
However, let us remind ourselves from what St. Paul told us in his letter to the Romans, “where sin increased, so grace abounded all the more.” This means that God knows when we feel discouraged and disappointed. He knows when we begin to be aloof with Him and yielding into sin. But it is in those low moments of our life also that God makes himself all the more present. This tells us of God’s desire also to be with us.
It is not just us desiring to be with God. God desires all the more our presence. That is why when we yield into sin, God makes himself known to us. Our sacraments, the people around and all the things that surround us will direct us of God’s desire to forgive us and welcome us.
Indeed, the emotional connection between dogs and humans, reminds us of our intimate connection with God. We are a people who longs to see the face of God, who longs to feel His loving and comforting presence in our life. Yet, let us also realize that though we long for God, God longs for us all the more. God is more excited to meet us. Jesus would surely come and meet us where we are at this very moment.
This is the invitation for us today, that is,
“to sense everyday God’s scent,”
meaning, to desire Him even in the midst of trials, of discouragements, of boring and dry moments, and even in the most ordinary days of our life. God reveals his abiding and loving presence to us in any moment of our life. Let us keep our hearts then to always desire God through our constant and intimate communication with God through our personal prayer and through this Eucharist.
Let us hope that as we are able to meet the Lord in our ordinary life may it become a moment of joy for us and a life-changing experience for us and for our community. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR