Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If you are at fault, do you repent or do you manipulate? If you are a parent, do you give in to your child’s manipulative ways? - Daily Reflections February 17,2016

Jonah was an interesting and complex character. He obeyed orders from God, but he did not do so without a struggle, both internal and external. He hemmed and hawed. But as we reflected on yesterday, God’s Word, God’s Will, for whatever purpose, “does not return to Him void.” God’s plan eventually unfolded, despite Jonah’s foot-dragging.
       No matter what they say about our generation back then, we were different. Allow me to explain. We had no electronic gadgets, no touchscreens while growing up. Our games did not have to do with pressing buttons and deafening speakers. We actually did play games, and they were collectively called “outside” — in the streets, in the empty lots, out in the backyard.
       But we had a mean disobedient streak, too, like Jonah. When we were called home to do errands, how many times did we do a Jonah and say “yes” but actually meant “no”? But there, too, was a mean spiritual side in all of us, especially when we went home tired, famished and sweaty by night fall. And when, owing to our childish defiance and disobedience, the rod was not spared by our loving and caring parents (and grandparents, too!), we all knew how it was to repent.
       But parents then were also made of sterner stuff. Even as they did not spare the rod, they also knew the best response to our then provisional change of heart. They met our act of repenting with their own act of relenting.
       Good, old Miguel de Unamuno comes in handy as I write. He said, “I am able to love my God because He gives me the freedom to deny Him.” Never dictatorial, never manipulative, but lovingly creative, He meets our repenting with generous relenting. “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out.” But mind you, it happened because of a Jonah, who, despite delays, obeyed — and did his part. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: If you are at fault, do you repent or do you manipulate? If you are a parent, do you give in to your child’s manipulative ways?
I humbly repent of the times I have tried to manipulate You through my prayers, Lord. Please forgive me. Amen.

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