The WORD in Other Words by Brother Romy Abulad SVD (Philippines) for Monday Week 32 in Ordinary Time
We find in today‘s gospel one of the hardest sayings of Jesus, “If he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,” you should forgive him.” A wrong is an injustice done to me; why should I forgive?
Here‘s another hard saying: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,‘ and it would obey you.” Faith, we are once told, can move mountains. Really?
So much of what Jesus says tests our power to understand; he defies logic.
Once, while I was waiting for my turn at a doctor‘s clinic, I turned for a conversation with the person next to me who, upon learning that I was a religious, vehemently asked, “Why do you, religious, always ask for money?” At that time, young that I was and shocked by his unexpected question, I couldn‘t answer. But reflecting on that occasion, I now have an answer, “Being religious means giving up everything for Jesus and just see what will happen.” God cannot be outdone in generosity. A religious need not even beg. God is everything. He provides. A hundredfold.
Believe but not only in words. “If you love me, you will do my commandments,” Jesus says on another occasion. It‘s by our deeds that our justice will be tested. Only then, by what we do, shall we be able to truly say that we really love God and that we are truly religious persons. How can I say you love me if you are unjust to me, if you oppress and are unkind to me? But I trust in God. God is “the witness of our inmost self.”