Who’s the Boss? by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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Sunday Moments, 19th Sunday Ordinary Time, August 11 2019

The story is told that in certain tribes in Africa, when a man rises up to speak, he must stand on one foot only. The minute the lifted foot touches the ground, he must end his speech. (Good rule for all speakers and preachers!)

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 12, 32-48), Jesus tells His disciples to be ready, to be vigilant, to be “up on their toes,” so to speak, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

We all know our birthday. Except for those who have been sentenced to die, we do not know our death day. At an unexpected day, at an unknown hour, death will come, so let us be prepared and vigilant. Let us live in such a way that when that time comes, we will have no regrets that we loved too little, too late.

For those who see life as one big, grand vacation, full of enjoyment, relaxation and fun, wake up! Open wide your eyes and see that there is no forever in this world. Open your eyes and see that there are so many people suffering around you. And open your ears today to the Lord who tells you: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Did you hear about a preacher who preached long and unending sermons? Instead of “Reverend,” the parishioners called him “Neverend.” Let us make sure that we do not preach ourselves and our own agenda. We are disciples, with a Master to whom we are accountable.

Three reminders for those who take themselves and their wealth, talents or achievements too seriously: 1) You will die, sooner or later; 2) You are not that important; 3) You are not in control.

Public service is about service and about the public. It is not so much about the one who occupies the position or the office, nor his or her own or his/her family’s interests. Public service is about being stewards, and not about rewards.

Those in authority who “beat the menservants and the maidservants will be punished severely by the Master when he comes.” Those who are persecuted take comfort in Jesus’ words: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5, 10).

Aug. 15 is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She who remained humble and obedient to God’s will was given her heavenly reward. Let us follow her footsteps so that we, too, will live not just successful but meaningful lives, and go to heaven someday, God knows when. Keep in mind: “Ang taong mayabang ay tinatamaan; Ang taong mapagkumbaba ay pinagpapala.”

Think about this: “Why are you not happy? It is because you make everything and everyone revolve around yourself. You are not the center. God is. The sooner you move out of the center, the better for you, and for the people around you.”

At about this time last year, I had my first session of chemotherapy, along with the experience of its side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and feeling weak. Instead of making chemotherapy become my “Boss,” I chose to let the Lord take over, and offered to him the difficulties. It turned out to be a cleansing, and even a salvific, experience. Yes, the hardships of life should not enslave us. With the Lord, we can overcome, and we can come out victorious!

Here’s a timely reminder from our Good Shepherd: “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal” (Ezekiel 34,16). Need to ask more who is the Boss?

A moment with the Lord:
Lord, more and more, may You become the Boss and the center of my life. Amen.


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