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Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 18:9-14

Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's bulletin

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.  “Two people went up to the temple area to pray;  one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.  The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,  ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’  But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast and prayed,  ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’  I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;  

"For whoever exalts himself 
will be humbled, 
and the one who humbles himself 
will be exalted.”


As a mother who always thinks about her children, instills in their young minds how to behave properly.  Having a right attitude and proper behavior are always a part of every mother’s discipline.  But on the other hand, sibling rivalry can’t be avoided in a family household.  Where the faults lie, can be determined in different factors, like having favoritism either on the part of a father or mother,  unfair judgment on who’s fault the parents find, negligence, material deprivation,  lack of attention, punishment rendered, differences in attitude and behavior,  disobedience, material rewards, lack of patience, lack of love, etc.  Children are very observant to see these differences in how parents treat each one of their children.  When children bring up their observations to their parent, they likely, either ignore them or  deny it.  But somehow there are children who are willing to humble themselves, in case, the other sibling was found at fault because of their good attitude and behavior developed in their hearts.   There are children also who rebel against their parents and become hesitant to follow their parent’s guidance regarding the house rules.  If their parents find them at fault,  they will not even admit their mistakes and still run away from home.    

When I was still a teenager,  my mother would always pamper my eldest sister with material things, especially a pair of shoes, bags, and dresses.  When I called her attention regarding that matter, my mother would just promise to make me a dress for Christmas.  She was a dressmaker.  When she said that, I wouldn’t argue with her anymore and be contented with I have.   In order to have my own dress that I really like, I saved money out of my daily school allowance.  When my eldest sister found out that I bought 2 blouses, she borrowed one blouse from me.  I let her use it first for several weeks.  I didn’t see any reason why I should get angry with how my mother provided for our needs, even though I wasn’t pampered by my mother.  Maybe this was the reason why my eldest brother was closed to me because he would always defend me at any instance my mother find faults in me.  We were brought up in the way that we are not allowed to reason out to my mother or any elder person.  I was told to respect my elder siblings and not fight back.  I would just cry by myself, humbly accepting that I was at fault in my young mind, and leave the room after her sermon.  She was a disciplinarian and worked by herself only.   I was orphaned by my father before I was born.   My elder siblings, except my eldest brother, would tease me that I wasn’t  a child of our mother because they said, I was just picked up near the poof of a carabao in a field.  Nevertheless, hatred never came to my young mind, even though I would just cry by myself.  I would run to our trusted, elder household helper of my mother and she would console me always.   

Praying to God was already instilled in my mind during my  primary schooling.  I went to a private, religious school run by nuns.  I was taught to pray the Holy Rosary and often my aunts would take me to our parish church. Religion is part of the school curriculum and taught by a nun.  I even wished to be a nun like my religion teacher someday, but it turned out to be different.  Now that I’m an adult,  I have been asking my Lord for guidance and strength to help me forgive those who hurt me, at the same time, be humble enough to accept that I’m a sinner, as well. I'm not ashamed to accept my mistakes and shortcomings I had before and ask for forgiveness.  There's nothing can be hidden from Him.  Why still hide or not admit it?

I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 

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