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Life is a Parable, Bigger than Myself

July 22, 2020
July 23, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Life is a Parable, Bigger than Myself
Life is a mystery. There are many things in life that we cannot comprehend. Why do good people are suffering? Why does God allow COVID 19 to destroy our beautiful life? Why some of my friends are infected by the virus? Why does evil always win? Why does God seem so silent in the injustices in our midst? But the more seek for an answer, the more we are confused and more questions come. In the end, we find ourselves questioning God’s love, power, and protection. Life is indeed a mystery. A great parable that we desire to understand for the rest of our life. But why can’t we fully understand everything?
In our gospel reading for today, the disciples asked, “‘Why do you speak to them in parables?” And the Lord replied candidly, “You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn — and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13: 14-15).
With the Lord’s reply, we realized that the fault is in us. WE ARE SIMPLY SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND DEAF TO THE TRUTH BEING REVEALED IN FRONT OF US.
In the Spiritual Exercises of Saint of Loyola of Loyola, he would insist at the beginning of the retreat to NAME AND BE AWARE OF OUR INORDINATE ATTACHMENTS such as sins and our excessive love for earthly things. Our selfishness, our desire to accumulate earthly things, and our hidden sins are capable of making us SPIRITUALLY BLIND AND DEAF. Thus, we need to NAME AND TAME OUR INORDINATE ATTACHMENTS.
As Barclay would say, “Life is always a process of gaining more or losing more…For weakness, like strength, is an increasing thing.”
Because of our selfish desire, we become SELECTIVE with regard to things we want to see and hear. Thus, in the end, we cannot see the unfolding of truth or the will of God in our life.
The parables of life or the mysteries of life challenges us:
1. TO LOOK AT THE DEEPER MEANING OF LIFE. God created us to worship, love, and serve Him. We are created for a good purpose. Life is not just eating, sleeping, enjoying, and satisfying our earthly needs.
2. TO BE MORE SENSITIVE TO THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE. The parables wake us. They penetrate our minds and hearts to see things or life from different perspectives. The parables of life knock us in our comfort zones. To see that LIFE IS NOT ALL ABOUT US, BUT ALL ABOUT THINKING OF OTHERS.
3. Through the parables, WE ARE INVITED TO BE IN TOUCH WITH THE HEART OF JESUS. Our recognition that we cannot understand everything, including the will of God, should move us to seek Him. The parables should lead us to reflect and think about why these things are happening. To seek God is to seek understanding of all the things happening in our life.
Thus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola would insist on the importance of DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS in gaining some insights or directions in understanding the events unfolding in us every day. He also sees the importance of FALLING IN LOVE WITH GOD and desiring to KNOW HIM MORE, LOVE HIM MORE AND SERVE HIM MORE.
Yes, to fall in love with God is the secret of gaining a glimpse of understanding of the parables of life or the mysteries of life. In humility, we need to accept that full understanding will not be given to us. At a certain point, we simply need to trust the Lord and believe in His mysterious will.
Life is a complex parable, bigger than myself. God is simply inviting us to wear the lens of faith and love to see things and hear things from God’s perspective.
Let me end with the poem attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991):
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
– Pitik-Bulag
July 23, 2020 – Thursday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 10-17

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