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THURSDAY OF THE 31st WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME 2016
Philippians 3:3-8; Luke 15:1-10
(Fr. Aelred Nilo, OSB)


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As I browse for inspiring quotations over the webpage, the following lines from @HeneralHugot FB post caught my attention:

 

“SANA ANG PAGHUSGA SA TAO AY PARA RING PAGCHECK NG TEST PAPER. GAANO MAN KARAMI ANG KAMALIAN, SA HULI, MGA TAMA PA RIN ANG BINIBILANG.”

 

Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University, said: “Some people do have a more positive outlook, but almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail.” There are physiological as well as psychological reasons for this.

 

In 2001 Roy F. Baumeister co-authored a research on “Bad is Stronger than Good”, which appeared in The Review of General Psychology, concisely puts it: “Bad emotions, bad parents and bad feedback have more impact than good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.”

 

ChinKeeTan accurately points out the painful truth: “MAHIRAP PAKISAMAHAN ANG MGA TAONG NEGATIB LALO NA KUNG ITO AY ANG IYONG SARILI.”

 

Similarly in today’s gospel story apparently sinners are drawn to Jesus but the religious leaders complain that he accepts and even eats with sinners (Lk 15:1-2). To address their negative reactions Jesus uses two parable stories to explain to the Pharisees why he welcomes sinners and eats with them.

 

In both parables Jesus conclude with a happy retriever of lost goods (a lost sheep and a lost coin) inviting friends and neighbors in and bidding them, ‘Rejoice with me!’ These jubilant occasions are compared with God’s own joy in heaven over one repentant sinner, which is greater than the 99 righteous who have no need to repent.

 

The deeper meaning of the two parables suggest that we are both in the 99 sheep that are always accountable, and in the one lost sheep (and lost coin) that wanders off and is reluctant to live under control. Each of us assume or have in us that 99 percent righteous, that is, our ideas and talents that we carefully direct and consequently earned us compliments and awards (“no need to repent”).

 

But it seems that God has also poured an unpredictable and unruly talent or quality into us. It refers to the lost part of ourselves can be a special moment of time or a unique opportunity crossing our path, chances and graces so fleeting that they can easily pass us by. They might be spoiled or injured by ridicule or simply by cool indifference. This can be illustrated by following story:

 

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. "You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful." The boy looked up, "Really?" "Of course," said the grandmother. "Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles." The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face and softly whispered, "Wrinkles.

 

Unfortunately in our lives we often see our defects (or blessings?) or that part of ourselves, which we have not come to terms yet. They might turn out to demand so much of us that we try to suppress them. Such inspirations (or challenge) could become crucial turning points in our lives – whether to forgive another and be reconciled, to volunteer assistance badly needed by a marginalized group, or to make a clear decision for marriage for priesthood or for some other vocational choice.

 

From Pinoy Quote said: ANG PAGTANGGAP SA KATOTOHANANG ‘DIMOALAMANGLAHAT ANG PROSESO NA MAGPAPALAYA SA IYO, AT MAGBUBUKAS NG MARAMING OPORTUNIDAD PARA MATUTO.

 

In our gospel parables we learned that JESUS EMBRACES THE VERY PEOPLE THE REST OF RELIGIOUS SOCIETY REJECTS. In other words, God acknowledged our freckles, that is, our imperfections and defects. In the end, the wrinkles of our struggles and sufferings in life have made of us beautiful and loving persons like God.

 

Deuteronomy 23:5 says, “THE LORD YOUR GOD WOULD NOT LISTEN TO BALAAM BUT TURNED THE CURSE INTO A BLESSING FOR YOU, BECAUSE THE LORD YOUR GOD LOVES YOU.”

 

Jesus said, “I TELL YOU, THERE WILL BE REJOICING AMONG THE ANGELS OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS.”

 

 
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