Next to life
October 5, 2018, Friday
26th Week in Ordinary Time1st Reading: Job 38:1, 12–21; 40:3–5 Gospel:
Jesus said, “Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! So many miracles have been worked in you! If the same miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would already be sitting in ashes and wearing the sackcloth of repentance. Surely for Tyre and Sidon it will be better than for you on the Judgment Day. And what of you, city of Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead.“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Of the many dying persons I had assisted only one stands out with particularity in my memory, the one who was to go through the knife on the very night I visited him at the ICU. From the looks of him, it was clear to me that he was aware of the proximity of death. He said he feared death, but more for the loved ones he would leave behind. He mentioned his children, his wife, and the employees under him at the department of the Company he was heading.
I was impressed by his ability to think of others at a time when he was supposed to think of himself. “Whatever happens,” I said to him, “think of your wife, your children, and your co-employees”. Tears flowed from his eyes. Then he asked me this question: Won’t God grant me an extension for the sake of my children, my wife and my co-workers?
Experiences like this bring out the true value of life. If God were to give our life to dying persons bargaining for extension to their earthly existence, this life which we normally take for granted would get better treatment. “We never appreciate the water until the well runs dry” is also true in realities of highest value such as life. “Basol” is the Cebuano term for a slow-moving leaf-eating caterpillar. The same word is used to refer to those after-thought realizations usually accompanied with bitterness and misgivings. Be it the slow moving leaf-eating caterpillar, or the after-thought realizations characterized by misgivings, “basol” always comes last after great opportunities are lost.
This takes us deeper into the core message of today’s Gospel. Jesus found his own people so unresponsive. Jesus was sure that if he had done to pagan countries what he was doing to his own people he would have the whole pagan world repent in sackcloth and ashes.
If we were to face Jesus today and give accounting of our lives, would we hear a different remark from Jesus? – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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