Saturday, September 5, 2020

Take the Initiative and You will Win

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Ezekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20
As I sit down to write these few thoughts, I am very much aware of the significance of this day i.e., 05th of September. Firstly, today, India marks the Teacher's Day - a day to recognise and appreciate the work our teachers do. Before we could become teachers to others we have been schooled or groomed under teachers. The trade of teaching is learnt from others. Secondly, the Catholic Church remembers in its liturgy today Mother Theresa of Kolkotta, now a Saint. Mother Theresa an energetic and active Albanian lady made India her home and travelled length and breath of India and the world in teaching us what it means to love the last, lost and the least; and what it means to spread the fragrance of Good News that Jesus taught 2000 years ago.

Pursuit of Truth will push you to the Corner
On this opportune day, the readings that we have for the Sunday liturgy are apt and appropriate for our meditation and reflections. Prophet Ezekiel, Apostle Paul and Jesus the Son of God invite us to listen to what they are saying. We live in the endless games of ridicule, exclusion and mockery, because of our views or opinions. In our pursuit of truth we can be people of outside, as a consequence of our opinions on matters of faith, morals, values, etc, because they differ from others.  In this context, we might like to read the Prophet Ezekiel, or Paul or Jesus.

Love knows no limits; love has no boundaries. 
For both, Jesus and Paul love gathers. Love does not divide. Love is the embodiment of God's presence in our midst. Therefore Jesus would say, "for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20. Paul gives us a very concrete way how that love  could be manifested and practised, "love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" Romans 13:10. When something goes wrong in our everyday life, we cannot just simply neglect the aspect of relationships. Often relationships are fragile and delicate, short lived and with premature judgements. As a result, seldom relationships break down and cause a great havoc in our chaotic life.  Lack of robust and good relationships could cause a lot of mental agony and stress. In our already complicated world, frustrations in relationships not only increase the aridity of our life but also could put strain on our health as well. Therefore, Jesus tells us to take initiatives to mend our relationships, to take extra miles in order to do the patch up work. Because love knows no limits; love has no boundaries.  We should take encouragement from Jesus’s assurance that he is there among us, wherever two or three meet in his name. We can over come every kind of frustrations and tribulations when we gathered in his name and invoke him in our midst. In him, there is strength. There is confidence, when we are together.

Seeing face to face and confronting the evil
The directives of Jesus run counter to trends in society. It is not the one who hurt you should come and ask forgiveness instead you should make the first move of facing the person, saying things directly to him/her, “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone" Matthew 18:15. There is always a chance of winning over the rude, and is not an injunction to abandon a man or woman. It is a challenge to win him or her with the love which can touch even the hardest heart. No man or woman is hopeless. Jesus didn't find any of them and neither must we. In other words, in God's purview you will win if you are the first one to take the initiative. Perhaps, we could give a try.

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

05th September 2020


Therese said...

Very well explained father. No man or woman is hopeless to abandon them.

Therese said...

Very well explained father. No man or woman is hopeless to abandon them. Take the initiative and you will win.

Unknown said...

Great initiative! Well done Father.

Unknown said...

There's an Excellent flow of thought from one paragraph to the other. Enjoying reading and reflecting and sharing the same with others. Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Beautiful reflection...so true ..we wait for the other to ask forgiveness. We hardly want to make the first move.

Joilin said...

Inorder to do the best work, one must need to have passion for it. Your article has got both vision and passion. Fantastic insightful article. Thanks Olvin for nourishing us Spiritually.

Sebi said...

Father,I had a look on your blog where I found this write-up is incredible! It has got lots of real life experience that draws large number of readers to your blog. It's quite relevant and useful!

Lovya said...

Good morning Father. The article is really influencial! Gratitude from all my friends for the life changing experience this article brought to them. We are grateful.