Friday 13 November 2015

Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

We sometimes take for granted the small issues or matters in life. We think that such small issues or matters are insignificant or not worth too much of our effort or time. We sometimes hear of people telling us: "Don't sweat the small stuff." But sometimes, small issues could lead to big issues, if we do not deal with them, or take appropriate action, or throw caution to the wind and make necessary preparations. For example, you have a minor toothache, and the pain subsides. This does not mean that the toothache is no longer there. It simply means that the affected tooth is temporarily not giving you any pain, but the pain could flare up at any time, and sometimes the pain we experience could get worse compared to the first few times we experienced it. If we do not go to the dentist for proper treatment, we may experience even greater pain and discomfort.

In today's reading, the Israelites were reminded of the many small issues that needed to be observed. These many small issues are the dos and don'ts that helped the Israelites to learn how to love their neigbour as themselves, in an effort to "Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy." Likewise, in the Gospel, Jesus also talked about paying attention to the many small issues of Christian life, issues like feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked and visiting those in prison. If we do not pay attention to these small issues mentioned in the reading and the Gospel, if we become complacent and neglect them, if we procrastinate and think that we have plenty of time to act later, then we may suddenly find ourselves faced with a big issue, and that big issue could involve our eternal future. Are we willing to take the risk and lose it all? After all, there is a Malay saying: "sedikit-dikit lama lama menjadi bukit" (roughly translated as: "little by little a hill is formed"). Let us do our part today, even if it is little by little, and let our God guide us and help us grow closer to Him.

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