Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Greed Destroys Happiness

Smith and the head teacher were standing near the playground where the children were frolicking to their heart’s content. He asked the headmaster: “Why is it that everyone wants to be happy, but so few ever are?” The teacher looked at the playground and answered: “Those children seem to be really happy.” “Why shouldn’t they be? said Smith. “All they do is play. But what keeps the grownups from being happy like that?” “The same thing that can keeps children from being happy.” When he said that he reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful of copper coins and threw them among the playing children. Suddenly all laughter stopped. The children tumbled over one another, fought and argued. Then the teacher said to Smith: “Well, what do you think ended their happiness?” (Gods must be crazy)

My dear brothers and sisters, the readings today invites us to reflect on Greatness. Who and what makes a person great and what defines a true greatness from a worldly greatness. We always wanted to be great. We always have the desire to be somebody or to be recognized. There are as many ways to become great as there many reasons why one would wish to be great. Why? Because we think that if we become somebody or we become great we will find happiness in it or we will surely become happy. Unfortunately it is not the reality. Only those who sought for genuine greatness became truly happy in the end. Happy in the end after many trials and struggles in life to be happy.

One way to be great is to cheat. Cheating in class is one good example of wanting to be someone, in wanting to be recognized as the best student of all. Another way is to impose on others and feel like he is the boss and the only authority in the whole community. It doesn’t make one seminarian great or the best if one can command everyone to do his RT project rigidly. Another way to be great is assert all the efforts and go on his own way and walang pakialam kung sino masagasaan nya.

My dear friends it is not wrong to have the desire to be great and be somebody. What is to be checked is the means of becoming great. What is bad is the wrong motivations why one wants to be great. It is not by the act of serving and by the deeds in helping people that one makes a person great but it is the reason behind the service that makes a person great. It is the heart that makes who the person is or that which makes the work great. If the heart is greedy and wants only to be fulfilled that is why he wants to serve or help people, it is not a genuine service. If the heart desires only to fill himself in order to be happy or let say he only help/serve because he feels happy seeing those whom he had helped becomes happy or became well, it is not yet a complete or a genuine greatness. What makes a service or a work great is that when one does something for others not for his own purpose in life but for the reason that he wants to share the Love that God has made him felt. If he wanted to love because he finds God in that person.

Jesus taught his disciples that the Son of Man has to suffer...die.. and rise again. This is the way to be great. First he is doing it because of Love. He is doing god’s will out of love. He is sharing the love of the Father. He is implying to us that if one would wish to become great, one would undergo suffering (not always joy and affirmation), THAT ONE WOULD DIE from his own self. Die from his own desires in life, die from prestige and for being someone in this world for in the end that person who had suffered.. died... will rise again.. maybe not physically but his name remains forever... like Rizal, John Paul II, etc.

My dear brothers and sisters, if we want to be great, let us ask the Father to give us the grace to purify our motivations in wanting to be someone in the seminary, in the class, in the society, in our place of work, in everyday life. Let us continuously check our desires whether we do it for the sake of glorifying God or glorifying our own self.

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