18 Sep 2019
1 Timothy 3:14-16
At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:
He was made visible in the flesh,
attested by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the pagans,
believed in by the world,
taken up in glory.
Jesus said to the people:
‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:
‘“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t cry.”
‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’
What description can I find for the men of this generation?
During my freshman year in university, I remember that students talked only to fellow students they were familiar with; probably to those people whom they already knew or who attended high school together. For me, my friends in high school went to a different university. As a shy person, I needed to make an extra effort to get to know new people. Eventually, I got close to them and became comfortable talking to them.
Indeed we were ‘talking machines’ in between classes. However, we kept quiet and listened attentively during class. Well, that was how we were taught back in high school and grade school. Everyone in my class was like that. So, for me, I thought it was a normal occurence.
Fast forward several years later. Now, I am teaching college students. I received a rude shock because classes are very noisy, even though the instructor has already entered the classroom. I have to control my judgmental thoughts regarding that kind of behaviour from the students. Most students (not all) speak rudely, even to the long-tenured faculty. Is that the way they talk to their parents or other older people? And when they talk to each other, they sound like they are shouting. They talk as if they are talking to someone who is 30 meters away from them. I began to question their upbringing. I thought I would be having an experience similar to my college days. But I reminded myself that this school is different from the schools I have attended. I must understand that my current students have different circumstances from me. I have no idea what kind of life they have had. And I must understand that we come from different backgrounds. I cannot expect them to be like who I thought they would be.
Similarly, we judge our brothers and sisters in faith. We judge those who we see regularly at mass, as well as those frequent absentees. We see those who are active in charity and those who seem indifferent. But what we cannot see is the state of their hearts. We cannot see how they feel nor how much love they have for our God.
We easily judge others when we should check ourselves first. What are our intentions when we pray? Do we go to mass out of love for God? Do we help others out of mercy and compassion?
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Father God, please guide our hearts that we may only see the good in others. May we also share your mercy and compassion to them. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank You for everything that we have. Thank You for Your compassion and mercy. Thank you for giving us the wisdom to understand one another. Amen.