Reflection on Today’s Scripture Readings

Our Father displays His great love for us so plainly in the readings of today. In the Gospel (Lk 6, 12-19), He calls each of the apostles by name. The Father knows us so personally that He calls us Himself, by His own choice, His own voice, His own Word, and takes us as who we are, represented by our name. Not generically, as a category, like when instructors would call us by our group number or by titles or affiliations. No, it is exactly me that He calls. It cannot be mistaken as someone else nor can any other suffice because my name is individually me. It is precisely me that He desires, He had been looking for, and He wants and calls now. This alone is cause for festive dance with timbrel and harp, ‘for the Lord loves his people.’ How incredible that loving us is the joy of God!

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This shows me how great truly is our dignity as His precious ones. We sense something of its incomprehensible greatness when St. Paul reminds us in his striking yet simple way in the first reading, “Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (1 Cor 6, 1-11) We are going to judge angels? Yes, I didn’t realize it’s for me to do something like that. We do not realize the depths of the meaning of our dignity. We are an image of the immensity of God, of His Wisdom, His Holiness, His Goodness, His capacity to judge.

“Then why not everyday matters?” It seems this is the way we reflect Him in this aspect, as His little ones dealing with the little things of the world, yet in the immense Wisdom of our Maker. I guess because of our littleness, we, as well as our works, are like a “zoom-in” of the intricate detailness of the Wisdom of our Loving Father.

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However, this ‘right’ or capacity to judge is not equal to the license to criticize people or complain against them and then passing it as an act of charity. Our right to judge is in the service of charity, ‘to settle things with our brothers,’ to meet each other and reconcile. It is not for the purpose of waving his fault in his face nor to prove ourselves right in an argument. We judge in order to see what is wrong or lacking and then search for the loving ways to learn and grow from our mistakes towards each other. To help each other become more holy, to live with each other in peace and greater mutual love.

In as much as we are an image of His Majesty, so are we of Our Father’s tender Mercy. I guess this is the other aspect of Him that we need the most in order to live the former one in its fullness. St. Paul speaks to us of its radical implications as he continues his letter with an unusual question, “Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?” Wow. I think no one would calmly suggest this to anyone, especially in the midst of our injustice-stricken world, where a lot painfully suffer from it or fight against it. It is one of the lessons of Mercy that is just impossible to understand and live when we just depend on our limited human understanding. Because that question can also be asked in another way, “Why not forgive the one who has hurt you?” Faced with the sin of the other, there is only one way to pass through it alive, or rather, resurrected, and that is through forgiveness.

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God is incredibly and tenderly merciful. The only one who has the ultimate right to judge pardons us. It is indeed mind-blowing to live in such an abundance of love everyday, especially considering how utterly insignificant we are as mere creatures of this universe. But we are tenderly and infinitely loved. And we are made with the capacity to reflect this in our own hearts– to judge and acknowledge the wrong done to us and to pardon it in order to love again and anew. This is the reason why we can live with joy and hope even when we face great difficulties in our relationships, why we can forgive and love even more in the midst of conflicts. God’s judgment and mercy is ours to live, too. Indeed, as the Psalm today exclaims, it is ‘the glory of all His faithful’ (Ps 149).