OCTOBER 26, 2014
THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME. Green
The Absence of Judgment
Joseph Conrad Salenga (OP Postulant)
The Lord is commanding us all to love Him primarily with all our heart, mind, and soul. On the other hand, He is asking us to love our neighbors as ourselves. But the former commandment could be satisfied by fulfilling the latter. The image of God is reflected in our neighbors most especially in the least among them. As the Lord says, “whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do it to me.” Therefore, if we are to love our neighbors with all our heart, mind, and soul, so are we doing the same thing to the one who created us all.
According to St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Love is the absence of Judgment.” Humans as we are, we are weak and have the tendency to falter most of the time. Since all of us belong to a certain community, there will always be misunderstandings between different individuals. For this reason, the love that the Lord is asking us to have becomes vague and frail because it contradicts the meaning of love which is the “absence of judgment.” Because of our self-centered differences, we tend to criticize, mock, and hate on another causing divisions. In the seminary, we are all different from one another. Each one is coming from a culture unique from everyone else’s.
We have different attitudes and capabilities. Because of our uniqueness, we end up misunderstanding each other and creating divisions. But the essence of the words of Mother Teresa gave us the reason to be reunited. The Lord is telling us all, according to the words of Mo. Teresa, that in order for us to live as one, we must not look at the differences we have but on what is commonly good among all. We do not judge our brothers and sisters according to how they differ from us but we must appreciate their goodness. We will never remove our sense of judgment towards the shadows of others directly but indirectly, by focusing our perspective towards the beauty in the person, not the shadows behind her/ him, only then will we be able to appreciate them. The Lord looks at all of us not by the way we see things but with a perspective full of hope. He does not look on our sinfulness and imperfections but on what is good in us. He always seeks the perfection in us amidst all our imperfections. He identifies our goodness so that he may use that to convert our misdeeds to hope. In order for us to love, we should take God’s perspective --- not judging the imperfections caused by differences but appreciating the goodness that is common within us all.
On this day, the Order commemorates sixteen martyrs who labored to establish the Church in Nagasaki, Japan, and who were martyred at various times during the years 1633, 1634 and 1637. After enduring horrible tortures, they were executed by the method known as the “gallows and pit,” their bodies were burned, and their ashes scattered.
Of this group, nine were from Japan, four from Spain, one from France, one from Italy, and one from the Philippines. Father Dominic lbañez de Erquicia was the first to die on August 14, 1633. Lorenzo Ruiz, the father of a family and the protomartyr of the Philippines, died on September 29, 1637. Thirteen of these martyrs were members of the Dominican Family and three were associated with it. (cf. Dominican Missal and Lectionary)
Cycle A, Ordinary Time, OP Postulants, Neighbors, Commandments, Love, Martyrs