NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year II (August 7, 2016)
Wis 18:6-9/Heb 11:1-2, 8-19/Lk 12:32-48
A lot of people have been blessed by God with many gifts such as money, properties, talents, knowledge, career, influence, power, connections, etc, and they simply enjoy these gifts without thinking of any responsibility attached to those gifts. In the gospel for this Sunday, Jesus Christ has something to tell these people: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Lk 12:48).
All the things that we possess are gifts coming from God, including our health and life. They are God’s possessions and we are mere stewards of the said gifts. We should be thankful to God for them. To be grateful, we should use the gifts in accordance with the will and plan of God and not in accordance with our personal will and plan. The plan and will of God are manifested in the teachings in the Bible which Jesus Christ summarized into two commandments: love for God and love for neighbor. These two commandments are essentially connected with each other so much so that one cannot love God without loving one’s neighbor. This is because God incarnated; He became man in Jesus Christ. For this reason, Jesus Christ said: whatever you do to the least, you do it to me.
Our main obligation as Christians is to fulfill the commandment of Jesus to love God and our neighbor. For this purpose, God has given us a lot of blessings, to make use of these gifts to deepen our relationship of love with God and with our neighbor. To love God is not simply to pray and to attend the Church’s activities. It most especially means to love our neighbor because Jesus lives in each of us. Often times we do not recognize Jesus in our neighbors because we are too selfish and are too busy with our daily concerns in life. We also have weakened our relationship of love with Jesus. If we strengthen our relationship of love with Jesus through constant prayer, then it will be easy for us to recognize Him in the face of the needy people. To love Jesus, then means to love these needy people. And to love these needy people is to help them in whatever capacity we may have. To ignore the persons who come to us for a help is to ignore Jesus Christ. On the other hand, to help these needy people is to show our genuine love for God.
The more gifts God has shared with us, the more we are responsible towards our neighbor. We should not compare ourselves with others in helping the needy for we have different capacities. If we have less capacity, then not much is expected of us. But if we have more capacity to give, then we should give all the more. And the more blessings we receive, the more we should share them with the needy. We must remember that those gifts are not meant for us to simply enjoy them by ourselves; they are meant to deepen our love for God and for our neighbor. In the end, we will be judged not in accordance to what we have amassed or gained, but rather how we have used these gifts in order to fulfill our Christian obligation.