More Than Words

More Than Words

June 12, 2017
Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

REFLECTION (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)

Does Jesus need to teach about the beatitudes? Is the law of God not enough? Decalogue is enough. God speaks to us like a parent or a friend who is very much concerned to us. Today’s Gospel speaks more of the enormous love of God to us.

When a mother says to her child “Do not do this,” does she mean that she just want to limit her child? When a brother in my community gives feedback, is it just to reiterate my mistake? When our parents say, “Finish your studies so that you can graduate,” it is not to impose education. It is like them saying that “For you to have a good future will be our delight but for you to fail is our pain.”

Beatitudes is not just enumeration of rules or laws. It is more than that. The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments is sufficient and is precise. But Jesus’ words give us the clear expression of the love of God in us. It is like, I do not want you to sin but it is my delight to see you freely not doing it. We are free and we are very much loved. Our God is a God of compassion in words and action. To see beyond the letters of the law guides us for a responsible and humble response.

Even though Jesus is mentioning another way of seeing the law through beatitudes, He gave it with authority: “I say to you…” Why are some younger members of this generation not respectful anymore of the authority? I believe this is because authority now lies only in the position or title and not in action and words. On the other way, we articulate rules but try to avoid hurting other that we end up just tolerating them.

The seminary have many rules. These might even go beyond what is written. But to follow these is not just an action of pleasing the formators but a motivation to strive hard in the journey to our priestly formation which aims to form in us a better person or minister in the future. The rules are like words of endearment of my parents who are telling me that they love me so much that is why they are helping me in choosing what is right and what is wrong.

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