Think God, talk God, live God
The story is told about a boy who said: “Grandpa, I often catch you talking to yourself. Why is that?” The grandfather said: “Whenever I need to listen to words of wisdom and good advice, I talk to myself.”
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 6, 39-45), Jesus teaches His disciples about the necessity to have a teacher. We all need words of wisdom and good advice from someone greater than ourselves. If we rely only on ourselves, we can easily fall into the trap of a blind person guiding a blind person.
Jesus likewise teaches us to listen to people around us. May we not become so proud and selfish so as to ignore or belittle other people’s views. Hello! There’s a big world, and a lot of wisdom out there, and there are institutions that were there before us, and will be there long after we are gone. Let us listen to them and respect them.
Jesus also warns us against pride which makes us believe we are wiser than others, or even wiser than God. Whenever I listen to a proud man talking, I cannot help but shake my head in disbelief, in disgust, and even in pity for clearly he/she does not know or realize the foolishness and futility of it all. Yes, pride can make us think, say, and do the most amusing, and the most foolish things.
Jesus warns us further against spiritual pride. May the Lord deliver us from the sin of self-righteousness which leads us to be judgmental or condescending, and think of ourselves better than others. May the Lord deliver us from the prison of better-than-thou and holier-than-thou.
For us who are beset with intellectual and/or spiritual pride, Jesus has this to say: “Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” The key is humility. We all have faults, biases and blind spots. Before we correct others, we must correct ourselves first. Before we “convert” others, we must be converted first.
Last Christmas, I received a nice gift—a box of flowers and fruits. It was also a significant gift that made me realize that we must live fragrant and fruitful lives. As far as possible, without surrender, let us strive to be kind and generous, and be loving in our thoughts, words and deeds.
Speaking of Christmas, I thank God for people who do many Christmas things the whole year through. Let our giving and loving not just be seasonal nor occasional. Continue to be generous and kind. Surprise people. Surprise yourself! A good word, a good deed is never wasted, nor is it ever forgotten, nor gone.
Our Lord and Master tells us today: “For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Let us examine ourselves today, what we speak of, and what we say. Why don’t you record yourself talking and find out what your favorite topics are. You’ll be amazed. Most of the time, people talk about themselves, their achievements, their possessions, their clout and power. And then there are those who talk endlessly about their children and grandchildren. Worse, there are those who talk negatively about everything and about everyone, and yes, about God, too, once in a while, on the side. Instead of I, me and myself, it’s time to think God, talk God and live God.
March 6 is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten Season. It is a day of prayer, fasting (one full meal only), and abstinence from meat. We are urged especially in the 40 days of Lent to be prayerful, to sacrifice and to generously share with others, especially with the lost, the least and the last. One with you in prayer, sacrifice and good deeds, joyfully and gratefully.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me to think more of You, talk more of You and live more for You. Amen.
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