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The Litmus Test of Our Faith

GOD’S WORD: A TWO-EDGED SWORD
September 11, 2020
FORGIVEN, FORGIVING
September 13, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: The Litmus Test of Our Faith
 
Nobody dreams of becoming evil or unhappy in his life. Everybody wants to be fruitful, good, and happy. The secret to the fulness of life lies in our ongoing spiritual formation. As the gospel, today would say,
 
“There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns nor gather grapes from brambles. Good people draw what is good from the STORE OF GOODNESS IN THEIR HEARTS; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart” (Luke 6:43-45).
 
Thus, there is an urgent call for us to store good things in our hearts through a good formation. In our Jesuit formation, we are always encouraged to look at three areas of formation: Head, Heart, and Hands. We call it the total formation as we give equal time in forming our heads (intellectual), hearts (emotional and spiritual), and hands (service to others.) We believe that a balanced ongoing formation produces GOOD CHARACTER OR GOOD CHRISTIANS in us.
 
The gospel today is a series of Jesus’ spontaneous thoughts about good formation. Let’s reflect on the following points and evaluate ourselves where are we now?
Am I giving importance to my own personal growth and maturity? Do I recognize that spiritual formation is a lifetime process?
 
1. QUALITY CONTROL. In this gospel reading, the Lord expressed his frustrations to the religious leaders in their inability to walk their talk. A good Christian speaks his faith and live it everyday. Spiritual maturity lies in our ability to share our faith through words and actions. As Paul would say, “Faith without action is dead.” (James 2:26).
 
“‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord”, and do not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46).
 
2. SOURCE OF GOODNESS IN OUR HEARTS. What dominates our hearts manifests in our actions. What we contemplate, we become. What we value in our life affect our decision making and action. The Lord said, “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them.” (Luke 6:47). Simple words yet loaded with instructions regarding our spiritual formation. Three callings …
 
a. “Everyone that comes to me.” (The call to surrender and entrust everything to the Lord).
 
b. “Hear my Words.” (The call to discipleship. Listening disposes us to receive good seeds in good soil.)
 
c. “And do them.” (The call to obedience).
 
3. Good foundation. Our spiritual maturity is measured in our difficult moments, not in happy moments. The pandemic is the litmus test that measures the depth and breadth of our faith. How are you now? Are you still up and fighting, full of hope, and trusting God? If not, why? If yes, what keeps you trustful and hopeful? Where do you ground your faith?
 
The Lord is inviting us to anchor our lives in HIm. In times of pandemic, we need a solid permanent ground where we can anchor our lives and be at peace. Everything is changing and uncertain now, the Word of God is something that we can hold on to.
 
Our true security in times of insecurity lies in Jesus. Let’s develop our relationship with the Lord. Listen to His voice and know His will. In times like this where everything seems uncertain and nothing is permanent, come to Jesus and hear him say, “Come to me all of you who are tired and weary, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
 
– Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson, SJ
 
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September 12, 2020 – Saturday
Gospel Reading: Luke 6: 43-49

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