July 9, 2020 – Thursday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070920.cfm)
If someone hit and hurt you, is it not that we also desire revenge and desire that they too will experience pain? Our human tendency is to inflict pain to others when we are being hurt. This is what animals usually do. When we accidentally and even deliberately hurt a dog, the dog may automatically bites us in return as a defense mechanism. Or when we hurt a cat, the cat may scratch us too. They do that without any discernment and they respond because of the danger to protect themselves.
However, though we belong to the Animal Kingdom but we have the capacity to discern and to go beyond from our animalistic attitudes and selfish human tendencies.
The Book of Hosea, in our first reading reminds us today about this. Moreover, the way Hosea reminds us is very much interesting. Hosea pictures God like a parent who loves so much His children. As a parent, God felt being betrayed and rejected because His child did not recognize His love. God’s child was ungrateful and childish. God indeed, like a parent was in pain upon realizing how ungrateful and unfaithful his beloved child to their covenant.
However, it is in this love too that God proves His faithfulness and compassion to his lost and sinful child. God does not respond to human sinfulness out of impulse because of anger. This is not God’s way.
The Book of Hosea describes to us God’s character in these words, “My heart is troubled within me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to my great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst; and I do not want to come to you in anger.”
Such beautiful words and also powerful and comforting. This reminds us again that God sees beyond our sins and beyond our ugly selfish human tendencies. As we are made by God, made through God’s love, God cannot turn against Himself. God sees Himself in us. God’s compassion for us springs from that identity in us.
We can also do this when we become more discerning. To discern allows us to see as God sees and to love as God loves.Tweet
Thus, do not believe when others express how hopeless a person can be because of his or her sinful way of life. Do not be tempted to believe that the your painful and traumatic experience has made you hopeless. Do not be driven to believe also that this worst situation we have today will be the end. No. This belief and expression of hopelessness is not from God.
Let us discern more because God sees us and God is moved with compassion. What we are suffering now is not God’s desire. Our suffering is not God’s anger upon us. God will not destroy us. God will rather save us and make us free.
This is the concrete message of Jesus to his disciples, “heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons.” God’s desire for us is to be liberated, to be free, to have life in its fullness. As God is moved with compassion, God is also moved to respond and be with us.
This is God’s invitation for us today. As Jesus commanded his friends, each of us too is being sent to go and to proclaim what God reveals to us. Thus, do not allow our fear and anxiety to prevent us in bringing God’s comfort to those who are in need. Do not allow also our anger, hatred and desperation to take control of our life that would lead us to respond out of impulse. Be more discerning then, on how we could express in concrete ways our faith and our love for God and for our neighbor.
Though it may be difficult to move around and visit the homes of our friends and in our community due to the restrictions of our movements, but then, this should not stop us from being more kind and generous to others. Evangelize others through your good works and attitudes that express God’s characters of being compassionate, patient and merciful. Encourage others in your own capacity, to listen and live God’s word even through our live stream masses via Facebook or radio. Be more active then, in participating in God’s call to tell others of God’s goodness and hope in us. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR