October 29, 2022 – Saturday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the reading (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/102922.cfm)
A coffee product advertisement asks, “Para kanino ka bumabangon?” For whom do we wake up? Perhaps we could find ourselves waking up early in the morning to prepare for our work. Parents would make sure to wake up early to prepare breakfast for their growing children. Students would wake up to prepare for school. A young person would wake up continue reaching out and realizing his/her dream in life. But deeper than this, we would find ourselves waking up and embracing what life could offer us because of our loved ones, of people who are dear to us.
Paul in his letter to the Philippians, has realized something deeper in himself. He said, “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” Paul was persecuted for preaching Christ and living for Christ. He was subjected to physical suffering and humiliation yet, all these trials did not discourage and dampen his spirit to live and to continue living. Paul lived for Christ. He would wake up for Christ and to preach Christ in whatever situations and circumstances. Paul found his greatest contentment and joy in life, and that is living in Christ.
He may have expressed his concern and confusion whether to continue living or embrace his eminent death by martyrdom but to be with Christ. However, whether he will continue living or departing from this life, Paul saw all these as opportunities to live for Christ. This was evident at how Paul continued to make a difference in the life of the early Christians. Even at prison, Paul remained to be an inspiration for the Christian communities. His example of living for Christ showed that joy and contentment in life cannot be limited by trials or persecution. Paul arrived at the level of complete confidence and trust in the presence and love of God who abides in him even in the midst of pain and horrifying tragedies in his life.
The Gospel of Luke further invites us to be more aware of our tendency to live away and not for Christ, and to live away from others but only for ourselves. This is what Jesus taught us today through a parable. The Lord confronted the people of their desire to seek places of honor and who demand respect from others. Such tendency of the heart neither lives for others nor lives for God. This heart only worships the self and seeks what is only beneficial for the self. This is a person whose world only revolves around himself/herself believing that everything and everyone should bow to him/her. However, this makes the heart of the person indifferent and disconnected from the lives of others and from God.
And so, the Lord calls us today and asks us, “For whom am I living?” Like Paul, may we come to that level of complete confidence and trust in the faithfulness and love of God and make our relationships, our work, studies and dreams in life be all founded in that confidence and trust in God. Kabay pa.