the other day at mass, i heard one of the best homilies that i have heard here so far in the philippines. ok, so that may or may not be an understatement…but, perhaps it was a homily that i needed to hear. and for that, i am grateful!
the reading on sunday was from the Gospel of Mark where Jesus said to the disciples, “Come after me; I will make you fishers of men.” an awesome Gospel, and it brought me to an even deeper reflection on the call that i have received in my life, journeying as a happy missionary discovering love, joy, and surprises along the way. of course it is not always happy times, but i think joy ultimately awaits me through obedience, listening, and with a great dosage of courage, strength and trust in God.
not as a machine, and especially not on auto-pilot, but as an open heart full of desire to go deeper in my life and to ask those tough questions. and to wrestle with them too. the not-so-fun part. BUT, with God’s guidance through prayer. no way i can do this on my own.
|“Come, follow Me” – Jesus|
the priest at mass spoke about our call and how it is so important that we should not go and place our trust in people who think they know more than us, and we should not place our faith and hope in institutions that lead us astray, but rather, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus.
when we go to mass, it is so easy to look around, be distracted, let our thoughts wander, and at the same time, there is lots of statue and painting worship. but he continued and said, Never lose focus. If you follow Jesus, you will not go wrong. Every moment is a time of grace, if we close our ears to the ways of culture and the way of the world. Jesus said, come, follow me. And yes, there are definitely beautiful parts in culture, but there are also soul-damaging and spirit-killing parts in culture too. Sometimes the ways that are “typical” or “popular” in the world are not exactly the healthiest.
He continued to say something bold – something that made me laugh out loud actually…he said, i see many people in the church wiping the statues and paintings and blessing themselves with the handkerchiefs, but if you do that, it should be because you want to save us money by dusting the statues and paintings yourself, instead of us having to pay someone else to clean it! His point? Never Lose Focus.
He said, your focus needs to be at the altar – not on the priest, but at the sacrament that is right in front of you, who is Jesus. as he continued to discuss the call, he said, it may cost your career, your job, a loved one, there may be sacrifice that is being asked of you, but Jesus said, “Come, and follow me.”
time to drop our nets, and go.
during the sign of peace, he explained that when we share the sign of peace with others:
….we are sending Jesus, who is the Via, Veritas, Vita. i never made that connection before. the letter V – look at that.
it was a good mass. 🙂