- What a wonderful promise of his company forever. Like the thief, today we are all invited, in fact expected that we humble ourselves, acknowledge our sinfulness and weaknesses before the Lord, expressing our faith in him, and growing in hope that there is something greater reserved for us beyond our crosses in life.
3. “Woman, here is your son; Here is your mother.” Jn. 19: 26-27
Mulier, ecce filius tuus.
- He doesn’t want to leave us on our own. He left us his mother to whom we can go to if we distance ourselves to him. She is full of grace, and the meeting point between the Divine God and the human face of God in Jesus Christ. In Mary we found a mother, a great mother who always looks after us even if others seem not to care…
4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mk. 15:34; Mt 27:46
- A cry of absolute abandonment, yet it doesn’t mean God has gone away. In the sufferings of Jesus, God has identified himself so completely to his sufferings and angst. Yes God loved us so much, that he took upon himself the death penalty that we deserved due to our sins. He willed to die for us to live. How great a love is that.
5. “I am thirsty.” Jn. 19:28
- A cry pleading for care and concern from those people around him. This words has become the motivation of Mother Teresa, that really changes her life forever by not only listening to this pleading but really trying her best to satisfy God’s thirst in the situations of our needy sisters and brothers around us. How do we respond to this call of Jesus even up to now? When we drive around town today, do we care to wind down our car window and hand in some change to those people who volunteered their time today on the streets to raise funds for the benefit of many children? How about our Project Compassion boxes? Are we willingly putting some amount there to ease the thirst (moral and physical) of many people in the world today?
6. “It is finished.” Jn 19:30
- A statement of absolute surrender yet not giving up, since it is the fulfilment of his mission here to save us from all sins and eternal damnation. Yes, Lord, you paid the ultimate price of our sinfulness by dying for us on the cross. You accomplished your mission by laying your very life for us, thank you Lord.
7. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Lk 23: 46
In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.
- Even if there seems to be an experience of being abandoned completely, Jesus didn’t despair. He didn’t lose grip of God, even to the very end of his earthly life. In fact, he offered the last of his breath to his Father, thus he was glorified, because he offered his all to God, no matter what the odds are. So as we continue our reflection on this Day until Easter Sunday Let’s thank God for everything he has done for us. Let’s celebrate these days with joy of the knowledge that God has saved us from eternal death and that he reserved a place for us, in his company forever, so long as we continue walking in his path.
So as we continue our reflection on Easter triduum, let’s thank God for his great love for us that is shown by his dying on the cross for us. Let’s also express this experience of being saved in our faces. There’s no other cause for rejoicing here but our salvation in Christ. It is worth rejoicing and worth celebrating indeed.
A middle-aged woman walked into the slums of a large city. She had two dollars in her purse, had no income, and no place to stay. All she had was deep conviction that God was calling her to doing something for the poor in that area. And she felt certain that, if the call was really from God, that he would provide all that was needed. She was convinced later that it was God calling her to do something special, thus she declared, ““I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail would have been to break the faith.”
That woman was Mother Teresa. She founded the Religious Order called Missionaries of Charity, whose mission was to care for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” To date her legacy continues to flourish and cherished by many having over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries in the world.
Friends, Mother Teresa is one of the many ‘heroes’ of our Christian faith, who had really listened to the word of God, accepted it, embraced it, nurtured it. We know, that because of her willingness and openness to the word of God, she bore fruit a hundredfold. It was just because she accepted the word of God with an open heart, trusting that God will really provide whatever she needs in her mission to care for all people, regardless of color, race, religion, status, etc. She listened to the pleading of a dying person hanging on the cross, ‘I thirst.’ For her, this is the Word of God, and truly is. She listened to the word God faithfully and now we believe she is in the company with the saints in heaven.
Our Gospel today tells us of a parable of a God as a sower who is sowing seeds on his field. This is a rather unusual gospel since here, Jesus explained the meaning of the parable, unlike the other parables in the gospels when the audience are expected to figure out what the parable means.
We know and our experience can affirm this, that God speaks to us in many and varied ways. Sometimes it’s hard to take in. Sometimes, it’s do-able, and sometimes impossible. Sometimes we might say, “God must be crazy,” if he wants us to do this or to do that. But no, it is not the issue for God. The real issue is in us, on how we take in his words. As Jesus explained in the gospel, it depends on our disposition, on our attitude towards the word of God. True, we can say, “Oh it’s the only the saintly people who can take the word of God, with an open heart, with total trust and absolute acceptance.” Yes, it is difficult for us, but it is not impossible.
Furthermore, in our day and age, it is a big challenge to listen to the word of God very well. We have ‘google’ to answer our questions. We have shops to go to and to buy our needs and wants. We have places to go and enjoy and break the monotony of life. We have PC, i-phone, ipad, ipod, that would break our boredom by listening to music or whatever. So, what else do we need? Or we say, “I couldn’t hear God speaking to me or anything.” Yes, maybe because of all the different voices and noise in the world that hinder us from listening to God. Yet, no matter how loud the voice and noise of the world today, God’s voice always prevails. And we can tell this. No matter how rich we are, no matter how updated we are in terms of modern technologies, no matter how famous we are, no matter how safe we are, at the end of the day, especially when alone, we feel this inner longing, craving for something deeper and meaningful, we feel certain emptiness within.
This is for me God, calling us to a deeper union with him, to a personal relationship with him. He continually calls us everyday. He always speaks out his word to us everyday, in every aspect of our lives, in whatever we do, wherever we go, whoever we are. Whether we listen to it with open heart, or we play deaf to it, it always leaves something in us, as Isaiah would tell us today in the First Reading, “As the rain and the snow come from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth…so also with the word of God…”
How to listen the voice of God today amidst the different voices and noise in the world? Few Practical hints: 1. Get a Bible, read it not all at once as in a novel, but reflect on certain passage. 2. Spend some time with a good friend and talk about what’s happening in your life. 3. Reflect on your life’s experiences, go to a retreat or a recollection. 4. Review your life’s priorities. 5. Go to Church, and be one with the community, listening to God speaking in, through and on behalf of the assembly. 6. Develop a daily meditation on the Scriptures, or spiritual reading. 7. Read the Lives of the Saints.
There are just but few of the million other ways and means through which God speaks to us. Like Mother Teresa, we are invited to listen to God speaking to us in and through our unique, personal and individual circumstances, capacities and abilities. Likewise, we are also calledto reflect on our attitude, our disposition towards God’s call for us. Let this be our prayer today. And if we accept God’s word with an open heart and respond to it faithfully, according to His will, we can be assured that He will be our guide, our counselor, our best friend, our provider, etc. Mother’ Teresa’s life is a concrete testimony of this faithful response to the word of God.