The story is told about a wife who told her husband: “Honey, my doctor advised me to take a monthlong vacation at some pleasant place like Paris or Italy. Where do you think I should go?” The husband said: “What do I think? I think you should go see another doctor.”
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 4, 12-17), Jesus preaches about repentance: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Where should we go? We should go away from sin and toward the Kingdom of God.
Jesus calls us out of our former ways and comfort zones. The choice is ours—to rest on our laurels or wallow in our miseries, or to pick ourselves up and move toward new and broader horizons.
Maybe it is time to see another doctor! For the longest time, many of us follow the ways and advice of the world which tell us to be proud, to be rich, to be comfortable, and simply to enjoy. Jesus offers us today an alternative route—the way of humility, mission, and compassion. The call is from God. The choice is ours.
Jesus’ call to repentance is urgent and strong especially in this our day and time. On a personal note, all of us need conversion. We all have areas in our lives that need forgiveness and healing. As it were, we all are a work in progress. We all have rough edges that need polishing.
Wake-up call. Expect God to wake us up from our comfort and slumber and to lead us out of the darkness and into the light. When we encounter sickness, misfortune, disappointments, hurts, breakups, persecutions, accidents, calamities, betrayals, and deaths, God is telling us to shape up and level up the quality of the life we should be living.
If some things don’t happen as we planned or expected, then there must be a reason or a mission. If we have faith, we will be able to see the “big picture” and humbly accept that God must have other plans and options for us. We see clearer and farther if we have a Master.
Please remember that God’s call is permanent. God does not turn His back on and walk away from us. He continues to call us to become better and more loving persons. He calls us to His Kingdom, and to His very heart.
Please remember, too, that God calls us not so much because of us as in spite of us. Yes, God calls not so much the worthy or the able as the willing.
And please remember that God’s call is not just about a mission or a function. God’s call also involves a relationship. We are not mercenaries. We are missionaries, with a heart.
Speaking of God’s call, let’s continue to pray for more vocations into the religious life. May the Lord raise up in our midst generous men and women willing to live a life of sacrifice and mission.
It was so inspiring and assuring to hear the word “God” mentioned so many times in the inauguration of US President Donald Trump last Jan. 20. It’s time to put God back at the center of our lives, our families, our country, and our people. Claim us once more as your own, oh, God!
Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “Music Therapy” at the Tuklong ni San Jose, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, on Jan. 28, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For inquiries, please call 9982548 or 0917-4167849.
Think about this: “In life, sometimes we lose, and sometimes we win. But we always win if from our failures we learn something.”
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, You are a God who continuously calls us to become better persons. Help us to continuously listen, and to obey Your call. Amen.
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