July 8, 2022 – Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time   

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“Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” This is what Jesus said to his disciples and now addressed also to us. What does Jesus really mean about this?  In biblical understanding, the serpent is an image of Satan or of the devil. We remember, that it was the serpent that tempted the humanity to commit sin as told to us in the Book of Genesis. However, there are also other characters that the serpent possesses. The serpent is also believed to be wise, resourceful, flexible, adaptable, observant and cunning.

This means that a serpent adapts to its situation in order to survive. It finds ways as it observes its environment. It is in this way that Jesus invites us to be wise as the serpent, that is, to have the character in us that is wise, resourceful, has the quality to adjust to a given situation, observant and discerning. Like the serpent, Jesus invites us not to react immediately out of our emotions only, or to make decisions imprudently.

The dove is also understood to have the characters of being innocent, gentle, relax, peaceful, understanding and meek. The dove also represents the Spirit of God that brings comfort and peace, enlightenment and freedom. The dove reminds us of the gentle presence of God, never intimidating yet powerful, never imposing yet forceful.

It is in this way too that Jesus invites us to be as innocent and simple as the doves. Like the doves, we are called to keep calm and to always claim our peace so that we may be able to respond to life with wisdom. We are also called to be gentle and to be simple in order to bring encouragement and hope to others around who are already troubled and anxious. Kabay pa.


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