The story is told about a farmer who put up all sorts of signs to make cars slow down, because his chickens were being run over by speeding cars. “Children Crossing,” “Hospital Zone,” “Dangerous Curve” — all these did not work. Then, one day, the cars slowed down; some even stopped by the roadside, their drivers’ eyes wide open. The farmer had put up a new sign: “You are entering a nudist colony.”
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6:41-51), Jesus said something to the Jews that made them stop. He told them to eat His flesh, because He is the Living Bread come down from heaven. That shocked his audience and made them murmur. Soon after, many, including some of His disciples, abandoned Him. For them, it was simply too much. They could not make the horizon-shift toward a new life that Jesus was offering them.
There are people, events, messages that shock us initially, but eventually change us and our lives. Life-changing moments, we call them. At any point in our lives, change will come. When our comfort zones are disturbed and our familiar shores become obscured, it is a call for us to change and move on. If we are open, we grow up, and grow on. If we are closed, we hibernate and stagnate, and never quite change.
When misfortunes come into our lives, let us not see them as the end, but just a bend in our journey. We should not stay on the level of blame, anger, or denial and murmuring. We have to move on to obedience and acceptance, to become better and lighter persons.
Cancer, or any sickness or misfortune for that matter, is a life-changing moment that makes us realize how fragile and how limited we are. That realization could lead us to despair, or to a fuller life. The choice is ours.
When problems come our way, instead of asking “Why, Lord?” let us ask, instead, “Where to, Lord?” To keep asking “why” is not productive and will just keep us focused on ourselves. But if we ask “where to?” we become proactive, and become focused on a future that God has prepared for us.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jer. 30:17). Beautiful words of the Lord, the source of all life and healing. Amen!
All too often, when we get sick, naturally we become so focused on getting well. But let us not forget to thank God for the blessings we already and still have in the here and now.
Please don’t forget that whatever trials or sufferings we go through should bring us closer to God, make us more compassionate to others, and transform us into better persons. Yes, in everything that happens, there is a reason, there is a mission.
Let us ask ourselves today: Dear God, are you pleased with me and the life I am living? Was there something you wanted me to change in my life and lifestyle? Open my ears, Lord, to really listen to you. Open my eyes, Lord, to really see You. Open my heart, Lord, to really love You. Indeed, what does it profit me if I gain all the wealth and honor of this world, but displease You, and end up losing my soul?
Aug. 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. She teaches us that humility and obedience to the Lord lead us to true happiness and peace. Like Mama Mary, may we learn to rise above worldly concerns and selfish agenda, and focus on praising God, helping other people and becoming better persons. Mama Mary, please bless our beloved country, and the whole world, with true peace. Amen.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me to be open to life-changing moments that will make me a better person. Amen.