Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
The name and character of a generous and understanding person last for years. Every person wants long life and prosperity. He wants his name remembered and his character emulated. In terms of the world’s standards, one person may accumulate riches in property and cash, builds up fame and creates a name for himself. Another puts up a foundation for the benefit of others according to his will and interest. Another builds up a monument of himself or writes a book. Each one wants to leave a legacy.
In Christian living, legacies are not our concern. We are only asked to be faithful and honest to God and His people. When asked by God what he wanted, Solomon prayed for a wise and understanding heart, so that he could judge and rule his people according to God’s will. And because he prayed for the good of the people, God gave him, not only great wisdom, but great wealth and fame as well, unequaled in his time and in the ages to come.
Many would not want to check the word honesty in the dictionary because it involves integrity and truth. For many others, the virtue of honesty depends on convenience and need. If it soothes them, honesty is good. If it would inconvenience them, honesty is postponed. Still for others, honesty is only for those who are caught in the act of cheating or caught in a web of deception. But honesty is still the order of the day.
What is honesty? A formation lesson describes honesty as
the awareness of what is right and appropriate in one’s role, one’s behavior, and one’s relationship. With honesty, there is no hypocrisy or artificiality which creates confusion and mistrust in the minds and lives of others. Honesty makes for a life of integrity because the inner and outer selves are a mirror image.
Honesty is not only in matters about money or not telling lies. It is also about truthfulness in performing one’s duties according to the time given to him. It seeks integrity in relationships between legitimate couples, members of the family, persons at work or in community. It is dedication to one’s responsibilities, and accountability for assigned work and expected results. When honesty is postponed, deception is born, and relationships are shattered.
For those who seek and love God, everything works out for good. They see every situation as blessing and opportunity to learn and to grow in wisdom and in the experience of the love of God.
This love of God manifests the following characteristics:
1. Love seeks the good and happiness of the other, otherwise, it is selfish. A person, who finds joy in seeking the good and happiness of others, finds God Himself, because God is joy. That person becomes himself the joy of his family and the community.
2. Love is accompanied by sufferings. Without suffering, love becomes cheap and selfish, and can only be bought or exchanged for something. A person who makes suffering work out for the good of relationships, finds Jesus Himself, who suffered and died for the love of mankind. That person becomes the strength of his family and the community.
3. Love begets love, and leads to God, who is the source and fountain of love. Because God himself dwells among men, He continues to shower His blessings on people who make love grow in themselves and in others, because God created and predestined man to be conformed to His image and to proclaim His glory.
The Lord invites us to divest ourselves of our pride, indifference and selfishness, and clothe ourselves with kindness, humility and active involvement in the ways the Church for the good of His people. Thus in the end we can join the elect in that Kingdom prepared by the Father.
The Eucharist is the Lord’s legacy for our salvation and invites us to a life of holiness. It is a celebration where we receive Him so that we can live according to His will. It is the treasure of great value that only God can give and the only treasure that will last till eternity. Let us be fed with the Body and Blood of Jesus, and let His peace reign in our hearts.