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Yes-No-Yes-No Person

October 30, 2020
Take the Last Seat
October 31, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Yes-No-Yes-No Person
Determination runs deep in Jesus’ blood. No one can stop Him from doing the will of the Father. He is determined to preach the good news of love and save people. No threat coming from violent people nor difficult circumstances could stop Him from fulfilling His deepest desires.
In our gospel reading, the Pharisees sternly warn Jesus to leave Jerusalem and preach somewhere else. Many commentators believe that the Pharisees are honest in their suggestion. They don’t want any Jews, including Jesus, to suffer execution against Herod Antipas. They wanted Him to leave Jerusalem soon.
But the Lord shows great determination to proceed with His plan. He already started preaching the good news by casting out evil spirits and healing the sick. No one could stop Him including the Herod, whom He called the Fox. A direct insult to Herod for the word “fox” means “cunning and weak ruler” or “worthless insignificant man.” Jesus is not afraid of anyone. He wants to convey this message to Herod. Indeed, Jesus shows great determination in this gospel reading.
According to Wikipedia, DETERMINATION is a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. Determination occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behavior that will help achieve one’s goal.
In our “urong-sulong” or “yes-no-yes-no” attitude to do the will of God, the sheer determination of Jesus to fulfill God’s will encourages us to follow His example. Jesus is not a person without fear. Fear almost got Him to give up His cause in the garden of Gethsemane. Yet, His determination brought Him back to His deepest desire: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). A re-echoing of His mother’s determination to follow the will of God too, when Mary said to the angel, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your will.” (Luke 1:38).
As a prophet, Jesus knows he should not run away from doing the will of God. Many prophets died in Jerusalem for the sake of God’s will. He wants to honor them by dying in Jerusalem too. Thus, Jesus said, “It is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:33).
In the midst of this pandemic, where do you think God is calling you? Where is your Jerusalem? What are your fears at the moment? What stops you from doing what is right and necessary?
Fear is normal for human beings. Jesus experienced fear, but He did not run away. The disciples were overwhelmed with great fear when Jesus died on the cross, but they ran away. The two disciples walked away towards Emmaus, but they decided to return after breaking bread with Jesus.
According to Northouse, “Determination is the desire to get the job done and includes characteristics such as initiative, persistence, dominance, and drive. People with determination are willing to assert themselves, they are proactive, and they have the capacity to persevere in the face of obstacles”
Reflecting on the gospel reading, we may extract five characteristics of a determined person:
1. Endurance:
“Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way” (v.33)
2. Dreamer:
“On the third day, I finish my work.” (v.32)
3. Doer at all cost:
Not even Pharisees and Herod could stop Him. (v.31-32)
4. Crystal clear purpose:
“I desire to gather your children together.” (v. 34)
5. Prayerful person:
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” (v.35)
A determined person is someone who has made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it. Are you one of them? Jesus is inviting us to join His enterprise of saving souls. But it’s not an easy mission. He needs a determined person. Someone who will not run away from any adversities. He needs you. Fear not. Take courage. In times of pandemic, God needs persons oozing with determination to love and serve others.
– Fr. Willy M. Samson, SJ
October 29, 2020 – Thursday
Gospel Reading: Luke 13: 31-35

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