28 January 2010
9th Sunday in ordinary time
(Green) Cycle A/ Year II (June 1, 2008)
Dt 11:18, 26-28/ Rom 3:21-25, 28/ Mt 7: 21-27
In the gospel for this Sunday, Jesus presents an event of the Last Judgment wherein He strongly condemns the sinners with these words: “I have never known you; depart from me, you evil doers! (Mt 7:23)” Clearly, it is an eternal damnation in which Jesus sends the sinners to hell away from His presence and grace. We do not judge the love and mercy of God in His act of condemnation because God has given all of us the opportunity to show our love and faithfulness to Him. Only those who do not do His Will will be condemned. And to make it clear, God never condemns as God only loves. But the justice of God emerges when out of our own evil actions we condemn ourselves by doing things against the Will of God. God can never do anything except to respect our freedom and exercise His Justice.
It is interesting to note that those persons whom Jesus denounces at the Last Judgment are not lacking in good works. In fact they have done a lot of things for the Lord as they will protest to Him: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name? (Mt 7:22)” Certainly, we wonder why this happens; why God condemns those who have done a lot of things for Him. Many of us Christians have followed Jesus Christ as best as we can or at least as best as we know we do. Yet it seems that the things that we do for the Lord do not guarantee our eternal salvation. Who can then be saved?
The gospel itself answers such question when it says: “It is not anyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). The gospel clearly states that only those who do the Will of God will gain eternal salvation. This reveals to us that it does not follow that when we do things for God, we do His Will. There are persons, particularly the persons condemned by Jesus in the gospel, who do things for Christ yet never do the Will of God. What then is important is not so much doing things for God but more so doing the Will of God because both things do not necessarily go hand in hand. Happy are we if what we do for God is at the same time according to the Will of God. But what is the Will of God?
In the gospel Jesus says: “Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock” (Mt 7:24). The Will of God for us is first of all to listen to His Words. We listen to the Word of God by reading the Holy Bible, listening to the proclamation of the Gospel with its corresponding homily, and knowing the teachings and commandments of the Church and Church’s ministers. It is important to listen to the Word of God because it is in listening to Jesus that we gain faith in Him. However, we must be very careful not to be like the Protestants who give importance only to the Word of God and to faith. For us Catholics, aside from the Word of God or the Holy Bible, we listen to the Sacred Tradition and Magisterium or the teaching authority of the Church who are the bishops as a whole. And aside from faith, we give importance to work. Those who say “Lord, Lord” have faith yet are condemned by Jesus because they do not show such faith in their lives.
To do the Will of God is not simply to listen to the Word of God but most especially to act on the Word of God by living the teachings of Christ and practicing faith through personal deeds. In other words, one thing is to do things for God and another thing is to do the works of God. What condemns a person is not the thing that the person does for God but rather the disobedience of the Will of God and the not doing of the Works of God. What is important then is doing the Will of God and the Works of God. The mission that God has entrusted to us as Christians is what matters most in our Christian life.
The mission of a Christian is none other than being faithful to God at all times and faithfulness is measured by obedience to the Will of God. We may have preached and proclaimed the gospel, we may have contributed a lot of our talents and resources for the Church and the poor, we may have given our time and life in the service of God, yet if we are not faithful to God, if we do not obey His Will in our lives, if we do not practice what we preach, if we help in order to be honored and respected, if we do things for God and His Church for our own sake and our personal interest, then we are not faithful to God and we do condemn ourselves by our actions and selfish motives. The words of Jesus then are rightly directed toward us: “Depart from me, you evil doers!”
- 28/01/2010 22:28 - The sower goes to sow
- 28/01/2010 22:28 - My Yoke is easy, my burden light
- 28/01/2010 22:27 - Who Do You Say I Am?
- 28/01/2010 22:26 - Sheep without a shepherd
- 28/01/2010 22:25 - I come to call sinners, not upright
- 28/01/2010 22:23 - Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood
- 28/01/2010 22:22 - Receive the Holy Spirit
- 28/01/2010 16:40 - LET DOWN YOUR NETS FOR A CATCH