September 28, 2022 – Wednesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092822.cfm)
A couple who was about to be married shared to me their thoughts and plans. They were surely in loved with each other and wanted to live as husband and wife. Yet, as a couple they planned not to have a single child. They just wanted to live as husband and wife. I asked them why. The confirmed that, to have a child is impossible for their individual careers. Both of them were at the peak of their careers and their individual profession was so important that losing such opportunity in their life was not a choice. Thus, even having a single child would be a threat to their careers.
However, Christian marriage is not just limited between the union of husband and wife. This love and union should also overflow towards the possibility of having children. Completely closing the doors to the possibility of having children, rearing, loving and nurturing them is after all, a non-commitment to Christian marriage.
Thus, our attachments in life can prevent us from totally committing to a relationship. It is indeed difficult when we are called to let go of our attachments that have become so dear to us. These attachments could be our careers and jobs, positions and influence, power and wealth, or unfulfilled dreams and desires, our traumatic experiences or past broken relationships.
These attachments prevent us to fully commit to a relationship because we are being held back and we allow ourselves to be caught up. This happened to those whom Jesus invited to follow him.
Jesus said “follow me.” The person certainly wanted to follow Jesus, BUT, in following Jesus, there were conditions attached. Jesus emphasized the urgency of following him but then the person was being held by his attachments. These attachments prevented him to follow the Lord by making conditions.
This is something Job realized also in the first reading. The story of Job tells us about the human suffering of those who find themselves righteous and good. Yet, life is not under our control. God remains the author of life and decides about our life. Job here slowly realized the he was not the master of life. All the things that he possessed are not his, including the life of his family and his very life. His suffering was a proof that attachments in life bring no security and that he cannot set conditions in his relationships with God, the almighty.
Today, Jesus also calls us to follow him freely and without conditions. Each of us is being invited, wherever we are and whoever we are – the Lord calls us to commit ourselves to Him. When we commit ourselves, then, we too are challenged to let go of our attachments that may prevent us from fully following Jesus.
This is what we also remember today in the life of San Lorenzo Ruiz, our own Filipino Saint, who followed the Lord despite the suffering and persecution he endured in Japan. He gave his life as his greatest sign of that commitment to the Lord. Though the grace of martyrdom may not for all of us, but may the example of this ordinary man, Lorenzo, give us the courage and generosity to fully commit in our relationships and in our Christian faith. Kabay pa.