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Monday, June 22, 2015

Are you, to a greater part, a “crowd pleaser”? How has this affected your decision-making and commitments? What enlightenment does today’s Gospel give you? - Daily Reflections June 22,2015


A WAY TO BE FREE AND FEARLESS
 
I have always taken the words of Jesus in our Gospel as declaration of the Christian ethics of being careful and fair in judging people. I followed the traditional way of reading through the words of Jesus as indications for the deeper virtues of mercy and charity.
       What I read about the ministry of Jesus in the Jesuit priest James Martin’s book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage (HarperCollins: 2014), makes me rethink the words of Jesus — that is, from the point of view of His method of doing His mission. Jesus did not preach with “detached” and “indifferent” words. His words and wisdom embodied His very manner of living each day. He did not preach what He never did in the first place.
       There is no doubt that Jesus is mercy and compassion in person. He truly cared, with pure intention, about helping people. He was immersed in the situations, especially of the poor. However, when it came to His decision on courses of action and on values, He did not do these to please people. He cared less about what people will say or how they will react. He was free and unafraid once He is able to discern what is the Heavenly Father’s will.
       A person who loves to judge others is a person who looks at others too much. The person judges first, for he is afraid of being judged first. He is many times too concerned about “likability” and “acceptability.”
       Taken from a fresh angle and a new light, Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel are a call to be unfraid and free — by being independent of society’s usual way of putting up expectations and social conventions. True freedom of action and values comes not when we allow other’s opinions to dictate on us what is right; rather, freedom comes by being true to oneself as one stands before God. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you, to a greater part, a “crowd pleaser”? How has this affected your decision-making and commitments? What enlightenment does today’s Gospel give you?
 
Dear Lord, help me to set my eyes on You, and not to please people. Enable me to follow You.

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