February 16, 2020 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021620.cfm)
What brings you to life?
What drives you and keeps you everyday?
What fulfills your day?
Our answers might range from God, family, children, wife or husband, community, or our job and precious career. There is always a reason why we get up in the morning and continue to live on. We get inspirations from people around us, and that keep us going.
For most of us, it is very important that at the end of the day we feel fulfilled in our life. However, when we find ourselves unfulfilled, we feel disappointed and depressed.
That’s is why it is very important too that we are aware of the things that motivate and inspire us. By being able to know the reason why we do things, why we do sacrifices and make decisions, then, we become grounded and mature in our relationships.
To further help us in today’s reflection let us allow a young person to share with us her faith story. Katrina Joyce Cloma is the Goal Animator of the Committee on Mission that takes care of the Redemptorist Youth Ministry’s effort is sharing the Gospel or the Jesus-experience to more young people. Let us welcome her.
I was asked once; “What is your greatest inspiration in life as a young person?” And to that I say, my family. My family is my greatest inspiration in my life because without them, I wouldn’t be speaking in front of you all. Without them, I would be lost. Without them, I would literally be nothing. They sacrificed their whole life for me and for that I am grateful. They understood me throughout all of my ups and downs. Not a day has gone by where they didn’t roll with my emotions, with my struggles, and my happiness. They lifted me up in ways no one else can. They supported me with everything I wanted and needed to do. They supported me through all of the activities I enjoyed when I was younger, even encouraged me to do so. But if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I had. Personally, I believe family is forever. It’s a part of yourself you can’t ever change or get rid of. Scientifically, it’s blood and genes and cells, but I believe it’s all about the bond we have. If you aren’t as bonded or as close to your family as I am, I’m sure you’re missing out. Family is great to be around.
What I’m most afraid of, though when it comes to them is disappointing them. I’ve done some questionable things in the past, but once I came clean and once I was accepted once more, our bond grew stronger than ever. Ever since though, I fear disappointment. Whether it be through my peers or my family. But familial disappointment hits worst. It almost quite literally tears their heart out. Since that trial I had with my family and with the Lord, I’ve been doing all I can to redeem myself. Even when it’s enough, the things I did to redeem myself became a habit. Good habits. And they built me to become a stronger, more resilient person. It made me become a better person to serve God and my family. Since then, I can say that God hasn’t left me. He hasn’t abandoned me, He has become a guiding hand up until now and forevermore. I fact, I realized that it was the Lord who actually redeemed me for His love that I felt, transformed me.
If it wasn’t for Him, for the Lord’s enlightenment, not only through His word but through His effect as well on other people, on my peers specifically, I wouldn’t be as involved in the ministry as I am now. His creation amazed me and His teachings blessed me. And I’m glad that my peers in Church feel the same way for they are the reason I thought to join in the first place. The company and the encounters I had with my co-young people give me the inspiration as well as to do better in Church and in the ministry. Not just for the personal gain, like feeling good about doing a good deed, but more about repaying the Lord for all that He has done for me. He never gives up on me, so why should I give up on Him? It is my own grateful response to God. And through my service, I’m learning more and more about my Creator and His story and wisdom, through which He has molded numerous lives with, as He is doing so with mine. The more I learn about my God, the more I also fall in love with Him, and the more I am inspired to inspire those who inspired me.
In the Gospel, we have heard an argument between the Jewish leaders and Jesus. They thought that Jesus abolished the Law and Prophets, which composed the whole tradition of their people. For them, the Law and the Prophets, and all those teachings were the fundamentals of their faith. The commandments written in the scriptures motivated them to live as faithful Jews.
However, Jesus himself denied that he abolished the law and the teachings of the prophets and the whole tradition of the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus is actually the fulfillment of the promises in the whole Hebrew Scriptures. The person of Jesus is the very inspiration of the scriptures.
But then, the Jewish leaders missed the whole point. They were not able to recognize Jesus, as the true inspiration. They focused more on themselves, on what they can gain and on their privileged status as educated and leaders.
This will happen also to us when we think that our achievements, awards, and titles are our main inspiration. Or when we believe that pleasing people around us will make us fulfilled. But, these will only make us anxious, fearful and unsatisfied.
We are rather called to anchor ourselves to the most important part in our life, and that is, our relationships. These include our relationship with God and with one another, with our family and friends.
This is what has been shared by Katrina to us today. As a young person she claims that her family inspires her in her life. Moreover, through her experiences of love and forgiveness within her family, she too discovered that redeeming presence of God in her life. Despite her weaknesses and failures, she was given a chance and was accepted once more. This allowed her to change and to be transformed into a committed youth minister, her grateful response to God. In this way, she has found her grounding and true inspiration, and that is her family and importantly, her God.
Thus, for all of us also, be appreciative and grounded with your relationships, and most essentially with God. Allow ourselves to be taught, to be molded and to be inspired through our experiences in our relationships may it be in our families, friends, or special someone. Allow those relationships also to be the space of God to reveal his presence in us. With that, we shall surely find true fulfilment in life.
Moreover, never forget also the Word of God – the Bible, which will help us to have a good foundation of our relationship with Jesus. The Bible is truly alive with Jesus. Now, when we open our bible and pray with it, be aware that Jesus is certainly present in those words. Hopefully, we will be animated by Jesus who will give us life and fulfill our life. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR