Friday 11 May 2018

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Why do some of us blame others when something goes wrong? Some blame others because they desire to be recognised, appreciated and respected. Some do so because they want to appear good in the eyes of others. Some do so because they think that they are above mistakes, faults and sins. Some do so because they want to hide their true selves which they are afraid to reveal. In reality, when we blame others we are looking for a scapegoat whom we burden with our guilt. This is exactly what happened in the first reading where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.

In today's Gospel, Jesus was teaching the people. He was told that His mother and relatives were looking for Him, and Jesus said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother." This tells us what discipleship is all about, namely, the hearing and doing the will of God. Some people seem to think that Jesus showed lack of respect for Mary by replying in this way. But that is farthest from the mind of Jesus. To Jesus, family ties are not what matters. Mary’s motherhood was important and necessary and therefore she was to be blest for it. But what really matters is to hear and do the will of God. Thus they are the ones who are blest.

By blessing those who hear the word of God and do it, Jesus has put an end to the vicious cycle of blaming. He has placed responsibility where it belongs: on our shoulders. When we allow God to enter our life, when we discover God in the hearing and doing of His will, we also discover ourselves in the process. We discover that before God, we are naked and transparent. We discover that blaming others is a form of pride and others suffer for our mistakes, faults and sins. We discover that there is nothing we can hide from Him and thus we have to be responsible for our acts. Why so? Because hearing and doing God’s will is something between God and us. He not only sees our acts but our motives, too. Blaming others does not take away the guilt from us. We may fool people but we cannot fool God. There is nothing we can hide from God. Moreover, in hearing and doing God’s will, we also discover that others, like us, are also building a relationship with God. Since we share the same goal with everyone else, we are to help instead of blaming others, so that ultimately, we are doing God’s will. Then we do not only become responsible for our acts, we also become responsible for each other, and in doing so, we become true disciples of Jesus.

How do we begin true discipleship? The beginning of discipleship is conversion: "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand." To repent and to be forgiven - to be converted - is to begin our journey to God which consists in first accepting and then doing something about our self-centredness and our sins and then letting God take over. When we accept our faults and sins and be sorry for them, we are reconciling with God which leads to reconciliation with others. It is when we embrace reconciliation with God and with others, we begin to be true disciples.

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