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The Cost of Loving.

Loving in the Here and Now.
April 5, 2021
Anak Ako ng Liwanag.
April 5, 2021
PITIK-BULAG: The Cost of Loving.
 
Two more days and we shall begin commemorating the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus. As we come closer to the peak of this Lenten season, it is important to understand the main reason why Jesus was crucified on the cross. Theologically speaking, our sins were the cause of his crucifixion. By his death on the cross, we were saved. But realistically speaking, it was his enemy’s ire that pinned him down on the cross.
 
The gospel today gives us three main reasons: 1) Spiritual blindness 2) False Expectations and 3) Envy. In His desire to uphold the truth and promote the good news, Jesus merited the anger and rage of the religious leaders and the commoners.
 
Let’s look closer at the three reasons that nailed Jesus on the cross. Consider these things as reasons why you are also being persecuted, maligned, or hated by others in your desire to uphold the truth and defend the marginalized.
 
1. SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
 
Pride, honor, power, and self-righteousness bring spiritual blindness to people. Self-righteous people cannot see any truth outside themselves. They are totally blind. They are the center of the universe. Everything revolves around themselves. To correct them is to insult them. To denounce their evil works is to forge a war against them.
 
The Jews said to Jesus, “We are stoning you, not for doing good work, but for blasphemy; though you are only a man, you claim to be God.” (John 10: 33)
 
And Jesus said, “If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do…” (John 10: 37-38)
 
2. FALSE EXPECTATIONS
 
Deep admiration could turn to hatred and betrayal. When we begin admiring someone, we put them on the pedestal. But when our expectations are not met, our admiration turns to hatred.
 
The Jews who adored Jesus had a change of heart. They shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Even his disciple, Judas Iscariot, sold Jesus for 30 silver coins. He was hoping that Jesus would save them from the tyranny of Rome. It did not come true. Judas’ admiration turns to hatred after his expectations were not met.
 
Jesus said: “If I were to seek my own glory my glory would be worth nothing. But I know him, and if I were to say, ‘I do not know him,’ I should be a liar, as you yourselves. But I do know him, and I keep his word… Before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58)
 
The Jews said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ (John 8:59)
 
At this, they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and left the Temple.
 
3. ENVY
 
Envy is defined as “to feel displeasure and ill will at the superiority of another person in happiness, success, reputation or the possession of anything desirable.” Envy is our inability to rejoice in the blessings received by others.
 
When Jesus started becoming popular with everyone (Mark 1:28), the Pharisees and scribes started losing the crowd’s attention. Jesus got all the praises while they remained at the side. They did not like the situation.
 
Even Pilate made a remarkable observation: “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he realized that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. (Mark 15: 9-10)
 
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Imagine Jesus in front of you. Recall your own persecution. Who are the people attacking you for doing what is right or for upholding the truth? Tell to Jesus all pains for following Him. Allow Him to tell his own pain for doing the will of God.
 
– Pitik-Bulag
 
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March 26, 2021 – Friday
Gospel Reading: John 10: 31-42

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