February 13, 2022 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021322.cfm)
Who do we consider nowadays the fortunate lucky people who seems to be more blessed by God? And who do we consider nowadays the unfortunate, unlucky people who seems to be cursed by God?
For us nowadays, people who are rich, affluent, and wealthy, who got and has everything they need and want in plenty are the fortunate. Fortunate also are those who are popular, powerful, and influential – who can control and trick people for their own advantage at their beck and call. We also consider fortunate those people who are smart and knowledgeable who knows too much and can outwit and outsmart others by getting the best and extra from the situation like rewards, prizes, money, “pogi” points, power, or media coverage. In other words, maabilidad ug marunong o maru (shrewd) are seemed to be blessed by God.
And for us today, people who are poor, deprived, and marginalized are unfortunate. Unlucky are those who have less or nothing at all, in terms of food, education, power and influence. Those who are ignorant, innocent, mayukmok (the lesser ones) – easily fooled and deceived by others are seemed to be cursed by God.
In other words, in the eyes of the world, the rich – the “haves” and “well-to-do” seems to be blessed by God, while the poor – the “have-nots” and “nothing-to-do” seems to be cursed by God. However, the fortunate, lucky, and blessed as well as the unfortunate, unlucky, and cursed people of our world today are the exact opposite of the blessed and cursed people of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Contrary to our popular notion today, the fortunate, lucky, and blessed people for Jesus is not the rich, affluent, wealthy, popular, powerful, influential, smart, and knowledgeable people of today – but those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, rejected, insulted, deprived, deceived, marginalized or ignorant people of today. And for Jesus, those who are rich, full, happy, and praised by others whom we considered today as fortunate, lucky, and blessed are the unfortunate, unlucky, and cursed.
Well, what does it mean? Does it mean Jesus uphold poverty, starvation, deception, oppression, discrimination and suffering of today? Does it mean that for us to be fortunate and blessed before God we have to be poor, hungry, weeping, suffering – in silence, hated, deprived and discriminated by others? NO. This is not about being fortunate or cursed but about our Faith and Trust in God.
At the heart of today’s reading is not about being fortunate and cursed but the theme of Faith & Trust in God. Our first reading today gave us a contrast of the fate of those who trust in human beings with fate of those who trust in God. Those who trust in human beings are like a barren desert shrub; whereas those who trust in God are like a fruitful tree planted beside a flowing river. Jesus in our gospel today is telling and teaching us that those who trust in God are righteous and finds favor in God, but those who trust only in human beings and in themselves are wicked and unfortunate.
What makes then a person blessed or cursed, lucky or unlucky, fortunate, or unfortunate is not on the condition where he is in, but in his faith and trust in God. What counts and matters most, then, is our faith and trust in God. And to trust in God is to rely on God as to be the one source of life. This would mean that in life and whatever happens in our life, we must trust and rely Not on our way, our will, and our accomplishments but on God’s way, God’s will, and God’s mercy.
Here, we must also see that God’s blessings are not only “yet to come” but are “here and now”. It is not only a promise but a reality. It is His gift to us now, not as the reward that we expect and need from him, for what we receive from Him is more than just what we need and expect from Him.
And usually God’s blessings come as a surprised Gift which is beyond our expectation. As a text message I once received say, which could be our today’s prayer:
“God’s blessings may come as a surprise and how much we receive depends on how much our heart can believe. May we be blessed beyond what we expect, as we believe and trust in Him. God bless.”