Do you know how the word “excited” came about? It’s just my theory, but it may have come about when a man saw his ex-girlfriend from afar. His heart skipped a beat with joy, but so as not to rock the boat, he decided just to let go, but that night, he wrote on his journal: “So happy today. Ex sighted!”
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 15, 1-32), Jesus talks about rejoicing and excitement because a lost sheep has been found, a lost coin has been located and a lost son has come back. The common denominator is that God is a God of unconditional love, a God of surprises and second chances.
There is no such thing as a hopeless case in God’s eyes. No matter how big our sins are, God’s love is greater still. Presumptuous? It is better to be presumptuous, than to doubt God’s love.
“Kapal muks” to the Lord, and “kapit tuko” to the Lord. No matter how thick our faces are because of our many failures and transgressions, we just hold on tightly to the Lord, because we believe that He still loves us. Those who have not experienced being forgiven much cannot relate and will even raise their eyebrows on this. The problem with self-righteous people is that they are so full of themselves and so proud of their righteousness.
The Church is full of people who are no longer excited with the presence and the love of God. There is hardly joy and enthusiasm and everything has become routine, if not, obligation and mere compliance to rules and observances. We don’t need more Pharisees who continue to complain and criticize. We need more grateful, welcoming and humble disciples who have experienced God’s tremendous love and forgiveness.
The Kingdom of God is often depicted as a feast, a feast filled with rejoicing and gladness. And it is open for all. Our loving Father reminds us again and again that He is a generous and a joyful God, and that we are all welcome in His big, generous and loving heart. May we be, and do likewise.
Speaking of hearts, we had a common jubilee celebration of the ordination and vows of our confreres last Sept. 12, with the theme, “Still in Love.” Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD, former superior general, reminded us in his homily that our celebration is not so much about how much we have done, as how much we have loved Him, and a thanksgiving to God’s faithfulness, mercy and grace more than anything or anyone else. To God be the glory!
“Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Dear fellow “sinful” reader, ask the Lord to give you the grace to see and experience His tremendous love. Don’t let your sins or your past keep you from embracing Him. He loves you more than you know. Your sins are small compared to His love and mercy.
On the same count, dear “righteous” reader, don’t let your righteousness and good deeds make you feel proud and secure. All is grace. Keep saying, “Have mercy on me, Oh, Lord, I am a sinner. I need You, Lord. Without You, I am nothing.” Amen!
If you no longer feel excited in your journey to God’s heart, maybe it is because you have become more focused on your worthiness, your achievements, your companions, or your provisions for the journey. Stay focused on the Lord, no matter what road you are in. If you remain focused on the Lord, you will have constant peace and deep-seated joy which the world cannot give or take away. Remember, our God is a God of second chances, and lots of surprises.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, sustain in us a childlike trust in You that makes us excited still at any stage of our journey. Amen.