Gift Unwrapped

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (A)

Today’s show of power ranges from hand combat, guns and aircrafts, electronically guided missiles to character assassination and the use of various electronic and technological means to destroy an idea, an invention, people or a nation. Zechariah shows us a few pictures of power and dominance:

          1. Horse. It has always been a sign of speed and power. A person always wonders where the horse gets its power to run and jump. It has been used in battles and used to run distances for errands, as well as in shows and competitions. Those who ride horses have always been acclaimed for their skill and agility.

          2. Chariot. It projected authority and supremacy through the power of the horse, the speed of wheels and the competence of the rider. It was used in races and duels between rivals of any sort.

          3. Warrior’s bow. The bow and arrow were used particularly when there were no guns yet. It manifested mastery of the speed of wind, knowledge of the environment and the skill to use it. It was a sign of dominance and might.

In contrast to these, the Lord came as a humble and loving King, not as a conquering soldier as shown in the following situations:

          1. He mounted a donkey on His way to Jerusalem. It showed a slower movement and simple sense of approachability and closeness to His people. It was also a sign of humility. On His entrance to Jerusalem Jesus was acclaimed King, and He was fully aware that the people themselves would be the reason for His death few days later. The Lord came to bring peace that would reign in the world. He did not come as a soldier, but as a humble king so that all men would become His soldiers, abiding by His commands and walking in His ways.

          2. In Jesus, the Son of God and the King of the universe, we see in His cross the sign of His greatness and his love for man. More powerful than the horse, His chariot is the cross on which He carried the weight of the sins of men so that men would die with Him and also rise with Him in glory. Sharper than any sword or arrow, His Words cut through the hearts of men, so that they would open for the coming of the King and God of creation. His command is to love as He loves, so that peace may reign in the world, a command not by the power of the sword, but by the power of His faith and love for man.

          3. His dominion is from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth. The kingdom of Jesus is not only a kingdom of lands, but a kingdom of people worthy of Him as King and God. For those who would follow His commands, He would bless them with long life and abundant gifts of the Spirit.

The King is present in the Eucharist. He is the Eucharist. His command is: “Do this in memory of Me.” To celebrate the Eucharist in His memory is to make alive His presence at the Last Supper, to bring to life in the community His presence among His disciples, and to bring to life the love He has for sinful mankind that He redeemed by His blood. Hence we are not simply watchers or bystanders at this memorial and celebration of the Eucharist. We are participants in the new Passover of the Lord that transforms us into the new people of God. If we fully understand this, we will not miss a Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist with God’s people (and others won’t even miss a day to go to Mass), because this is the gift of God to His people, a gift that we do not unwrap, but a gift that is God Himself who unwraps us into everlasting life.

Jesus invites us today and everyday of our lives:

          Come to me…. and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light (Mt 11:28-30).

Let the Eucharist be the power and strength of our life, in our endeavors and in our relationships. Through the intercession of Mary, our Queen and Mother, let us ask the Lord, our King to reign in us, and the Eucharist that we celebrate will become our life and our direction to the Father.

 

7-6-14

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