CHOICES

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Do you believe that God knows everything? I am sure you do. Actually there are three things God does not know. The first is what the Jesuits think, the second is the number of religious female congregations, and the third is how rich the Franciscans are.

Today we are celebrating the feast of St. Francis, a very famous saint. In fact our Pope uses his name. St. Francis is well known for his poor lifestyle and friendship with animals. He was a son of a rich family, but he abandoned his wealth and followed Jesus.

 

The gospel reading from Luke 10:38-42 speaks about choices. Martha and Mary had chosen their part in welcoming Jesus, in serving Jesus. St. Francis also chose to live in poverty like Jesus. We too have our own part in following Jesus. Everyone has different and unique part. Nothing is better than the others.

 

We learn also from the story of Mary and Martha that even though we have chosen our part, we do not feel satisfied. Why? Because we think that other’s part is better, more enjoyable, and interesting. There is a quote in Indonesia to describe this: “Rumput di halaman tetangga lebih hijau daripada rumput di halaman sendiri.” The grass in our neighbor’s yard is greener than the grass in our own yard. I think this is very human to compare one thing to another. The problem is if we do not satisfied with what we have or we are doing and we feel jealous of others. This is the reason Jesus reproached Martha. He reproached her not because of her part but because she was jealous of Mary.

God wants us to choose and to focus in what we have chosen, so that we will feel grateful for what we achieve. Whatever it is, how small it is, how simple it is, how unworthy it looks, if we do it wholeheartedly, the result will be great. We learn from St. Francis who chose poor life and live it joyfully.

 

(Written by: Fr. Reynold Agustinus Sombolayuk, OMI, his Homily in Daily Mass, 04 October 2016, at the Chapel of Bolduc House, Quezon City, Philippines)

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