Saturday, September 8, 2012


Tomorrow's reading of the Twenty Third Sunday of the Ordinary Time, cycle B, highlights the issue of God's priorities in our lives. When we read all readings, in particular the Apostle Jacob's letter and Mark Evangelist Gospel, in the light of agendas and priorities of our own prayer, we will have to admit in honesty that God's priorities and ours differ quite significantly. Simply, we misfire badly in prayer. Most of us focus on earthly goods and possessions, instant solution for our needs and problems. But the Liturgy of the Word of tomorrow's Sunday tells us loud and clear that on the top of the list of God's priorities is faith which is the ultimate treasure we should go after.

"Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
" - asks Apostle Jacob at the end of his letter in second reading.

"He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!"-- that is, "Be opened!" - exclaimed Jesus, curing the deaf man.

Be opened! It has such a profound meaning. Be opened to everything that is God's presence and Kingdom. Be opened to the Word of God. Be opened to the teaching of the Church. Be opened to others. Proclaim the Good News. Do not close yourself in selfishness on your own private matters and egoistical priorities.

And although we will always have disparity in distribution of goods and riches in the world, as Jesus said, that the poor we will always have, when he was anointed with precious oils by the repentant woman, there is no disparity in access to the treasures of the Faith. It is available to anyone who loves God. The Kingdom of God and its glory is available and open to anyone who love God.

Now, let's answer in total honesty what we are asking for in our prayers? What we are focusing on? Jesus, if we read carefully the Gospels, did miracles in answering our petitions, but very rarely he gave us something material, goods, power or money. Yes, He ordered Peter to catch a fish and take out the shekel to pay the tax. But He taught about the necessity of giving God what belongs to Him. Yes, he multiplied bread and converted water into fine wine - but these two miracles were directly connected with the teaching on Eucharist.

He cured sick people, he raised a couple from the dead. He increased the faith of the disciples. Yes. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God and implanted the Faith into the hearts of those who listened to Him. And He continues to do so. Because the faith of the people seeking Jesus facilitates the best the cure of their worried and lusting hearts, and their physical cure and health and solution to their problems.

This is the scheme of justice in the world as designed by God Himself. Everybody can be rich in faith. And through this faith other important values in human lives can be achieved through the power of our prayers and God's Mercy - life, health, joy, security, peace of heart, satisfaction.

To those who do not believe and look for things, richness, possessions - these values may mean very little. This post may sound like rubbish. In fact these earthly things mean little in the scheme of the salvation and at the hour of our death.

I guess, it is time for us to reset our gunsights and start hitting the bull's eye of God's priorities, beginning with the simple petition to Jesus - Lord, increase our faith!

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