Tuesday 30 May 2023

Saturday of Week 10 Year 1

We sometimes comes across certain persons or cultures that find it hard or even disrespectful to speak frankly. Such persons or cultures have been conditioned to think that the 'face' or 'saving face' is paramount, and that speaking frankly or telling it like it is could cause another person to "lose face" which is incomprehensible, unimaginable or even a taboo. This can lead to much miscommunication or misunderstanding, because one could never be too sure what such persons or cultures really mean, since a yes could mean a no or even a maybe.

As Christians, we too have a 'Christian culture' as shown in today's Gospel. The Gospel tells us: "Do not swear: All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no." When we swear, we may be trying avoid another from 'losing face' but in doing so, we may sometimes find ourselves unable to fulfil what we swore; or we may even end up telling lies. May we come to realise the importance of saying what we mean and meaning what we say, and all that we say and do, we give glory to God.

Saturday of Week 9 Year 1

We sometimes come across persons who do things to attract attention, or to gain popularity, fame or recognition from others. For example, we may have come across certain persons who are quite nasty towards others, but when a priest or even a bishop asks them to carry out a task, they suddenly appear to be friendly or docile, and they seem to go out of the way to get the task done, especially in front of the priest or bishop, perhaps with the hope of gaining brownie points or to get on the good side of the priest or bishop. But when the priest or bishop is not present, they go back to their nasty ways.

In today's Gospel, "Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’"

Have some of us become like the scribes, who appear to be serving but expecting to be noticed and recognised? Do we perform a task only to gain brownie points or to get on the good side of what they think are important persons or persons of authority? Or are we able to resist the need to be recognised and admired, check our motives and intentions, and serve not for ourselves but for the glory of God?

Monday 29 May 2023

Saturday of Week 8 Year 1

In today's Gospel, we see an example of what happens to people who will not face the truth. They have to twist and wriggle and in some cases even tell lies in an attempt to save face, and in the end get themselves into an embarrassing position in which they have nothing to say or they end up saying even more silly things, or stupid things or nonsense. The person who will not face the truth has nothing but the prospect of a deeper involvement in a situation that renders him helpless and ineffective.

The question that we perhaps may want to ponder is this: do we want to live peacefully and joyfully in truth, or are we continuously preferring to live a lie? Why do some of us choose to live a lie when we have been reminded so many times that the truth will set us free, and a lie will continue to enslave us and could even cause us to ultimately lose our relationship with God? May we choose wisely which path we take, and be ready to face the consequences accordingly.