February 10, 2021 – Wednesday Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Scholastica
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021021.cfm)
There are people who are fond of paying more attention to trivial things and minutest details. When artists show this to their work of art, the result would really be stunning. However, when a friend or a colleague does this to us, he or she can be irritating. When we also become a person who is obsessed of paying more attention to small things and minutest details, things and people can be stressful to us as we would always find mistakes and failures.
This can also be true in the way we practice our faith and move to the tendency to give more emphasis on structures, physical elements and regulations. This is not surprising as others would always find themselves feel guilty when their prayers or devotional practices were not done properly. Thus, a person would already feel a terrible guilt because he/she fall asleep while praying the rosary. Another, would feel sinful because he/she was not able to go to a Sunday mass while being sick. Some may even judge others for not observing the proper ways of praying, in receiving communion and observing religious practices.
While it is also important to pay attention to what is physical and to structures, there is also a need to find balance. Today, Jesus reminds us to be not so over conscious and obsessed of what is merely external. Jesus invites us rather to draw our attention deeper into our hearts and minds where our intentions and motivations are to be found.
The Gospel of Mark was actually addressed to a community of Jews and non-Jews who became Christians. As these two groups of people lived together as a community, the Jews became imposing to non-Jewish Christians by controlling them to follow their ways, and I mean, external ways of doing things. To follow strictly the external practices became a controversy then. This was how Mark reminded them of the teaching of Jesus.
We might be too focused on trivial and external things in the practice our faith but then our attitude towards others is filled with insults and malice, envy and lust, or anger and hatred. Jesus wants us to examine our own motivations and intentions in the way we relate with others, in the way we perform our duties as parents, workers, leaders, professionals or as students. Jesus wants us to bring us closer to ourselves and that is to our hearts and minds so that we will also discover God within us.
Let us remember that though evil intentions and motivations can be kept hidden within our hearts, however, our hearts are also capable of nurturing goodness and kindness. Our first reading from the Book of Genesis reminds us of this today. The second account of the creation tells us that as God created us, God blew into our nostrils the breath of life. That breath of life was God’s breath of the Spirit. What gives us life and what makes us alive is God’s Spirit within us.
God is truly alive in each of us. Every time we breath in, may we remember how God breath his Spirit into us. Every time we breath out, we may also realize that we can give life to others through our sincere devotions and practice of the faith founded in God’s goodness and kindness. Hinaut pa.