TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. Green
Ez 18:25-28/ Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9/ Phil 2:1-11/ Mt 21:28-32
Fulfilling our Word
RUDOLF STEVEN N. SEÑO, O.P.
Today, we celebrate National Seafarer’s Sunday and remember our Filipino Seafarers in our prayers. Come to think of it, we are also seafarers since we are pilgrims on the way to our true homeland in heaven. But owing to our weakness, we sometimes divert from the right path to our destination. Yet what is important is that we revert back to the proper course. This is the message of today’s gospel. It is not so much saying ‘yes’ to God as repenting ourselves and doing His will that matters. For doing God’s way is the only way to have life. Our Lord explains this to Ezekiel in the 1st reading: “When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
Does this mean that verbal promises are useless? Not at all. Otherwise, public promises or vows like ordinations & religious professions would be impractical. The reason why we could not keep our word is that we have become so used to disregarding it that we have become weak. This is quite different from the case of God who upon saying “Let there be light,” produces light. The technique here is to develop the virtue of keeping one’s promises starting with the simple ones.
A perfect example of a person who keeps his word is St. Lorenzo Ruiz whose feast occurs today and who is himself a seafarer. Upon receiving the chance to save himself by the judges, he says: “Had I a thousand lives I would gladly offer them all for Him. Never shall I apostatize. You may kill me, if that is what you want. To die for God—such is my will.” And he did; thereby, becoming the first recognized Filipino martyr. To emulate this saint, let us obey Paul’s exhortation in the 2nd Reading to conform ourselves to the Word of God—Jesus Christ. That is the best way of fulfilling our word.
KEYWORDS:Cycle A, Ordinary Time, OP Friars, Seafarers, Saints, Fulfillment