Saturday, March 25, 2017

See You!

Close your eyes. What do you see? Nothing, right? Only darkness. Will you be happy if all you can see is black and empty? Well, some prefer to close their eyes to avoid seeing the reality, but I tell you, they won’t be happy, they won’t be forever happy.



Today, fourth Sunday of Lent, the two other symbols of Baptism that brings us also two important things in life are presented to us: LIGHT AND HAPPINESS. These symbols are the OIL AND THE CANDLE. The oil symbolizes that we are chosen, we are anointed, we are sent. And the candle represents Christ, the true light, our guiding light.

When God chooses someone to lead his people, he, don't usually chooses the seemingly perfect in the eyes of men. Why choose David, who is just a handsome youth, ruddy and young? Why not choose the lofty stature of the elder brother who is Eliab? Sometimes, most of the times, God chooses people who are not worthy in the eyes of men. Those whom we have never thought of. Sometimes, God chooses those who are not ok for us, according to our standards. This makes me smile because I am one of those unworthy and yet chosen. I don't pass the standards, I have failed many times. And fail over and over again. But unfortunately, God sees not as man sees. We often look at the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart. Appearances can blind us. Appearances can lead us to sin. Likewise, some appear to be normal, but deep inside, is blind to the truth, blind to the grace of God in his life.

When we are baptized, the oil that is poured upon us reminds us that we are anointed KING, PRIEST, AND PROPHET despite who we are, despite our appearance, despite how sinful our race is, despite our unworthiness. And so therefore the challenge is that, as baptized Christians, we are to lead our family, our society to a better life; we have to offer sacrifices for the sake of loving God and our neighbor; we have to always proclaim the Word of God to others no matter how sinful we are, no matter how unworthy we are.

The story of the blind man brings us the other point of today's reflection. The story of the blind is full of so many symbols (blindness, sin, Pool of Siloam which means sent, the telling of the story of the blind over and over again, and the last part of the Gospel with the Pharisees), but let us just focus on some of the main points.

In those times, blindness is considered a punishment for the sins that has been committed by man. But this man was born blind. So, who committed sin, his parents? Jesus says neither he nor his parents. His blindness is for something great ahead. “It is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” And he further says that while he is in the world, He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. It is to show the identity of Jesus and an invitation for all of us as well.

Indeed, Jesus is the light that came into this world. He is the chosen one to bring us out of darkness to lead us into the light. When there is no light, all is in darkness, everything dies, everything fades away in the dark. When there is no light, living things die. Plants need light to grow and produce fruits. We all need this light to live and to grow and produce fruits as Christians. We all need Christ to be our guiding star, as we have said during the time of Christmas. When life is always dark and gloomy, we are sad and weary. We all need this star to be happy in life, not just for a day but in eternity. We all need this light to make us happy.

When we are baptized, we are assured that we have this Light who will guide us, who will enlighten us in times of despair, in times of trouble, in times of darkness. But that is not all. The candle doesn’t only represent Christ. We are also reminded that as baptized, WE ARE SENT. We are sent to what? Jesus tells the blind man to "Go wash in the Pool of Siloam" — which means sent —. When we are baptized, WE ARE BEING SENT TO THE WORLD TO SPREAD HIS LIGHT. As baptized Christians, we turn ourselves into small lights in the world.

Have you been aware why the Gospel today is very long? It is because the blind man has repeatedly told the story how he was healed, how he was able to see, over and over again, to different audiences. This my dear friends, are what we ought to do: TO CONTINUALLY TELL OUR STORY OF CONVERSION, TO TELL OUR STORY OF BEING HEALED, TO TELL OUR STORY OF BEING LOVED BY GOD, TO TELL THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT GOD MADE A MIRACLE ON US. We should not get tired of telling our story with God to others. Who knows, while you are telling your own story of conversion, others can be enlightened, moved and have a change of heart.  

AS BAPTIZED CHRISTIANS, BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO OTHERS AND NOT A SOURCE OF DESPERATION. WE WERE HEALED FROM OUR BLINDNESS SO THAT WE MAY LET OTHERS SEE WHAT WE HAVE SEEN. WE ARE CHOSEN, ANOINTED WITH OIL TO PROCLAIM THE GLORY OF GOD, TO PROCLAIM THE JOY THAT THIS LIGHT BRINGS IN OUR LIFE. WE ARE ANOINTED AND CHOSEN TO SHINE DESPITE OUR SMALL FLICKERING LIGHTS.


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