Enlightened decisions

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles April 14,2018
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Enlightened decisions

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles April 14,2018
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Saturday, April 14, 2018 2nd Week of Easter 1st Reading: Acts 6:1-7 Gospel: John 6:16-21

When evening came, the disciples went down to the shore. After a while they got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea, for it was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them. But the sea was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.

They had rowed about three or four miles, when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and he was drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is Me; don’t be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat, but immediately the boat was at the shore to which they were going.

(Daily Gospel in the
Assimilated Life

It was getting late and Jesus had not joined the disciples yet. Jesus had slipped out to a lonely place to pray. This he did when he sensed that the crowd wanted him to be their king after witnessing his power to multiply bread (Jn 6:1-15). By now it was getting dark and the disciples could no longer wait for Jesus. Afraid of being overtaken by darkness they got into the boat and left for Capernaum. After 3 or 4 miles of rowing, the wind showed its fury, and their boat was about to sink.

There are two lessons to we can learn from the disciples’ experience. First, that we should never make major decisions while in fear. The disciples made the major decision of leaving the place without Jesus because they were afraid of being overtaken by darkness. Second, that we should always involve Jesus in our decision-making processes.

Of the first lesson we can make the following observations. While fear activates our emergency powers to come up with quick decisions, vital factors are left out. The reverse of “dali” (Visayan for rush) is “ilad” (Visayan for deception). A person rushing through with the decision-making process is easily deceived.

A good decision results from careful discernment, which includes the following steps: Identification of the problem; development of alternatives; Evaluation of the alternatives vis-à-vis previously prepared criteria; application of the best alternative, first at micro then at macro levels.

Of the second lesson, we make the following observations. Let us seek to do God’s will in all our decisions. This way, Jesus can insert himself into our decision making activity. Since one sure indicator that we are doing the Father’s will is rationability, it is helpful to pray for enlightenment. We should pray for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit especially in such moments of confusion.

May these lessons drawn from today’s Gospel reading lead us to enlightened decisions. –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

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