Understanding heavenly truth
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
6th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jas 1:12-18 Gospel:
The disciples had forgotten to bring more bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then Jesus warned them, “Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” And they said to one another, “He saw that we have no bread.”Aware of this, Jesus asked them, “Why are you talking about the loaves you are short of? Do younot see or understand? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear? And do you not remember when I broke the five loaves among five thousand? How many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” They answered, “Twelve.” “And having seven loaves for the four thousand, how many wicker baskets of leftovers did you collect?”
They answered, “Seven.” Then Jesus said to them, “Do you still not understand?
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Back in my seminary days, we had visitors from Sri Lanka arriving one early afternoon. I was in charge of accommodation then. I presumed they had already taken their meal because It was already past 2:00 p.m. Nonetheless I still asked them if they wanted to take lunch. Since they shook their heads, I offered them biscuits and coffee instead. One of them timidly protested in broken English: “Hungry so big; lunch nothing”. But didn’t they all shake their heads when I asked them if they wanted to take lunch? I laughed my heart out when later I came to know that when Sri Lankans shake their heads they mean to say “yes”. As I failed to understand the Sri Lankans so the disciples misinterpreted Jesus when he warned them about the “yeast” of the Pharisees. “Yeast” threw them into panic because they had brought with them so little bread for the long journey. Not an iota of faith came into the picture? Haven’t they eaten of the five loaves of bread that Jesus multiplied in the desert for more than five thousand people? This shows how preoccupied they were with what to eat. What happened to me and the Sri Lankans was difference in culture. What happened to Jesus andthe disciples was difference in priorities. While Jesus’ priority was spiritual truths, theirs was
temporalities. Today Jesus’ priorities and ours are still kilometers apart. But know that faith can compensate for the discrepancy. If we but seek first the kingdom of heaven all the rest, even the material things we work hard for as basic necessities of life, will fall in line. If we can keep this basic reality of faith it won’t be hard for us to comprehend loftier heavenly truths. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., J.D., D.M.
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