September 24, 2016
The rich man “dines sumptuously each day.” Think Thanksgiving (or Lunar New Year for those of Oriental background - Tết cho người Việt). Imagine dining like that every day.
What if the parable is about each one of us – those who God graces with the feast of the Eucharist? Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we dine sumptuously at the banquet of heaven. And it is God’s only Son who serves us his own Body and Blood.
Let us not take for granted the sumptuous gift of God’s love.
Let us not fail to share the gift of God’s love – Jesus in the flesh – with the Lazarus at our door.
September 17, 2016
“Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God,” wrote St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians.
Certainly, God is nothing like the rich man in the parable of today’s Gospel. Scripture commentators often interpret that most likely the owner followed the common practice of the day of levying heavy interests when loaning out money or goods. This practice was common, though it was against the Law of Moses. Therefore, the rich man was in a bind when his steward gave away the interest. The rich man could not take his steward to court or let it be known publically that he had done this to people.
Our God is nothing like the rich man in this parable.
Our God is generous and full of love and care for all.
As stewards of the generous God, we have been given so much. Now, it is our turn to share all God has given us so that others may come to know the generosity and compassion of our God.
September 11, 2016
Luke 15: 1- 32
The Lost and The Seeker
In all three parables of this Gospel passage, those who are lost either do not seek their way back themselves (the sheep, the coin, and the older son) or go back for the wrong reason (the younger son).
It is the seeker who makes the efforts and takes the initiative to search for and find the lost.
Isn't that the way God deals with us?
It is not because we search for God knowing that we are lost. And even when we might reach out for God, it can be for the wrong and selfish reasons,
But it is God who seeks out the lost because God is full of love and mercy.
September 3, 2016
You Cannot Be My Disciples If…
“Great crowds are traveling with Jesus”
Jesus by this time in Luke’s Gospel is on his way to Jerusalem.
It is not likely that everybody in the great crowds knows what following Jesus entails.
Jesus turns around and gives them three warnings: you “cannot be my disciple” if
1. you do not hate your father, mother, wife, children, brother and sister, and even your own life.
2. you do not carry your own cross and come after me
3. you do not renounce all your possessions
In the first condition, the word “hate” does not mean the emotional feeling or attitude we connect with the verb to hate in contemporary English. Moreover, most of us come to know God and God’s love through our parents and the loved ones God entrusts us with. Jesus is by no means telling us to “hate” them.
These three conditions, taken together, remind us that following Jesus involves sufferings (the cross), and nothing and nobody should be number one in our lives. God must have primacy. That is the point.
Interestingly, Luke gives us these conditions of following Jesus immediately after telling the parable of the great feast (Luke 14: 15-24). In this parable, Jesus speaks of the banquet of God’s kingdom. There are people who decline the invitation to the great banquet because they choose a field or some oxen over the banquet. Another person turns down the invitation because he has just gotten married. To those people, the host said, “None of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”
How about me? Do I let anybody or anything getting in the way of following Jesus? After all, it is God who has given me everything, beginning with my life!