Sunday 22 November 2015

Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent

There are many things in life which are actually simple and straightforward. The problem that some of us face is when we transform what is simple and straightforward into something so complex or complicated, that it seems impossible to solve. Take for instance poverty: why does poverty exist? If we look at the root cause of poverty, we could say that it boils down to human greed. Some people have more than enough, yet they are not satisfied with what they have, and want more and more, and in the process of attaining more, they become more and more selfish and refuse to share. But when we try to address the issue of poverty, some of us begin to complicate things by offering so many other possible reasons, instead of focusing on the fundamental or key or root reason.

In today's readings, we see more examples of things that are actually simple and straightforward. In the reading, the prophet Hosea speaks on behalf of the Lord: "Israel, come back to your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall." Notice that the reason for Israel's downfall is its iniquity? Isn't that such a simple and straighforward reason? Likewise, today's Gospel reminds about loving God and loving neighbour. Loving God and loving neighbour are also simple and straightforward instructions which could be carried out easily. But herein lies our problem: we begin to make excuses as to why we experience downfall; we do not want to admit our wrongdoings, and allow our pride and ego to fester; we even claim to love God and neighbour, but our love is coloured with conditions, prejudices and other criteria.

Thus, instead of complicating things and making things difficult not only for ourselves but also for others, let us return to what is simple and straightforward. Let us turn back to God and learn to love genuinely, with no strings attached, the way God loves us all, and let us continuously and consciously grow closer to God and walk in His ways.

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