WINNING THE HEART OF GOD

June 15, 2020 – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061522.cfm)

Jesus warns us about our narcissistic tendencies. We might not be aware of our tendency to draw other people’s attention to us, of winning their praise. Indeed, there is a need for us to purify our every motivation and action so that we will live free and become true generous Christians.

Jesus takes this seriously as he reminds his disciples in today’s Gospel. To follow Christ is not to seek the attention of others, or to seek praise and approval of those people around us. A disciple of the Lord does not need to put up a billboard and announce to people what he/she has done and accomplished.

The Lord is more concerned with our heart so that we don’t have to pretend to be someone else we are not. This happened to the hypocrites in the synagogues that Jesus was talking about. These people pretended to be the best person in their community. They proclaimed and told people how good and righteous they were. They did all these to seek recognition from the people. Indeed, they craved for people’s attention and approval because they too were hungry of power and control.

People who constantly seek the attention of others and their recognition ultimately manipulate others so that they will be in control and will become powerful. Yet, it also reveals how these people are so insecure on what they have and on what they don’t have.

In fact, that insecurity boiling in the heart, can make the person vicious at the event when he or she receives criticism from others. The person will surely not be able to stand to be criticized by others for he or she only thinks and believes that he/she is always right and good. Thus, the person would not accept any correction and would be rejecting to any challenge.

However, as a people who seek God, we are rather called to be more confident with Him, and with our relationship with the Lord. Our generous actions, good deeds, our prayer and religious practices must flow from that relationship. Deepening one’s relationship with God should be our primary motivation and not in boasting oneself. This relationship with God should also lead us to recognize God’s generosity and faithfulness in us despite our failures. Then, this will hopefully inspire us to respond with gratitude to God. To become a grateful person will surely make us a generous person in words and actions. This will make us closer to people around us and to God.

This is how we could also explain the glorious departure of Elijah. The prophet showed his passion and dedication to the Lord. He was not anymore after anything for himself, but for God alone. Elijah, therefore, had grown in his relationship with the Lord God, the reason why he was taken alive by the Lord to heaven.

Moreover, Jesus  also invites us today to look closely at our behaviors and attitudes, practices and devotions if these are helping us to be closer and to be more like Jesus or if these are rather, moving us away from God and from others.

To remind ourselves about this, let us ask ourselves with these questions, “Who is being honored and served by my good deeds, by my generous actions and by my religious devotions? Is it myself or is it God? Do they lead me closer to God and to others or do they rather lead me away from the Lord?”

By allowing these questions to sip into our mind, may we be filled with the desire to only win the heart of God and not the praise of others. Kabay pa.

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