WHAT INFLUENCES YOU?

February 16, 2020 – Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021621.cfm)

Each of us is being influenced by many things and people around us. Sometimes, we may not be aware what really influences our thoughts and hearts because we are not aware of our environment. The popularity of the Social Media, of Facebook, YouTube and Instagram especially brought so much influence into our individual lives. These sites have reshaped cultures, social status, age, even beliefs and values.

However, when one is not also aware of the kind of influences that he or she is welcoming, those influences may bring the person into better or into worst. Moreover, even our own words, spoken or written, can also influence others to become better or to become worst. The rise of fake news entertained by many has been very damaging into our culture and relationships. People who are not aware of the sources and the credibility of the report, are being deceived and in effect brought more damaged to the community by spreading them.

Such is the warning that Jesus reminded to his disciples. The Lord firmly warned his friends, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” The leaven being used to make the dough to rise, was used as an image by Jesus to depict the silent but cunning influence of the Pharisees and of Herod. The passive yet indifferent, aggressive and oppressive attitudes of the Pharisees and of Herod can become alluring to people who tend to seek recognition and praise and those who tend to worship the powerful and the corrupt, the arrogant and the aggressive.

These tendencies were also present among the disciples. This was the reason why Jesus reminded them when they began to worry of having not enough bread with them. Even until that moment, they have not yet recognized that the Lord was with them and had already worked wonders by feeding thousands of people.

Today, like the disciples, the Lord also calls us to watch out of those distractions that may lead us away from the grace of God. God is working wonders in us and through us.

Thus, recognize today those wonders that God is doing to you. Let not our hearts be influenced by passivity, by indifference, by arrogance, by aggressiveness or by any fake news about God, about ourselves and about others. Rather, look always of those many wonders that God is doing in our lives. Be influenced by God’s grace in our sacraments. Be influenced by His words in the bible. Be influenced by the Holy Spirit. Hinaut pa.

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