The story is told about a rich employer who told his employees at a company outing that whoever can swim across the crocodile-infested river will receive P5 million, or, should he/she not succeed, his/her next of kin will receive P2 million. As soon as he said that, a man was seen swimming so fast, pursued by the crocodiles, and as soon as he made it to the other side, his frantic question was: “Who pushed me?” It turned out it was his wife who was at his back. A case of “behind the success of a man is a woman”?!
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 4,21-30) Jesus tells his townmates that no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Jesus braved criticisms and persecutions, but still, He pursued His mission to tell the truth. What pushed Him to do that? He was a prophet who was not to be pushed around by expectations of people nor by the persecution of those in power. It was the will of God that pushed and moved Him.
As prophets, we too must not be pushed by fear nor favor. Like Jesus, may we be tenacious and constant in proclaiming the Gospel truths, in or out of season, with or without persecutions.
Let not praise nor criticism be the gauge of our presence and ministry. What people think or say about us will come and go. What God thinks and says about us is what is important and which remains.
Someday, we all will stand before God and He will ask us what we pushed when we were still alive. Today, let us ask ourselves: Am I pushing just myself, my agenda, my personal ambitions and desires? Am I pushing hatred, anger, violence? Am I pushing pride, arrogance, unkindness? Am I pushing drugs, nicotine or alcohol that affect so many peoples’ lives? Are you a pusher of what? Are you a pusher for whom?
So many times, we push away God from our lives, just because He confronts us, disturbs us or inconveniences us. But no matter how much and how long we ignore or deny Him, He will never leave our side nor abandon us. Foolish pride blinds us, but still, God never gives up on us.
Are you a “pushy” person? Ask yourself, why? Maybe you have a strong sense of mission and a keen drive for achievement or perfection. But remember that you just don’t go pushing people around. If you think you are entitled to do that, remember other people too are entitled to respect, understanding, compassion and love. Hello! Who do you think you are? Welcome to the human race.
Yesterday, five SVD deacons were ordained to the priesthood at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City by Most Rev. Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, DD, with their mission assignments: Rev. Harle Piga (Vietnam); Rev. Vincent Rey Bahian (Germany); Rev. Christian Moises (Japan); Rev. Kevin Louie Solloso (Philippines). Their class’ theme is very prophetic: “A sign that will be contradicted.” Lord, bless these young missionaries who will help push your kingdom worldwide.
A prophet’s hope and prayer: “Lord, no matter what happens to me in this life, may eternity be a happy one.”
A year ago, on Feb. 7 to be exact, I had a vehicular accident in Subic. I asked the Lord, why? I could not understand then, but now I do. That accident led me to a medical checkup, which in turn led to the early detection of a tumor in my left lung. Yes, things happen for a reason, and for a mission. God has perfect timing. God sees the big picture and He has plan. Thanks be to God. Amen!
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me to be a pusher for you and not push you away, and help me not to push people around. Amen.
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