WORD in Other words by Fr Aris Martin SVD (USA) for Friday 28th Week in Ordinary Time
October 16, Memorial of St Margaret Alacoque
St. Margaret Alacoque, the mystic who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart, narrates in her visions, “He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men [sic] and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin that made Him want to manifest His Heart to men. [sic]”
Yes, God’s heart beats for all of us. The first reading says, we are “God’s possession.” – a truth we often fail to live. A spiritual writer claimed: “The greatest lie we often believe is that God has abandoned us.”
The Gospel starts with a warning against “hypocrisy.” Hypocrites are those who believe in lies and abandon truth. They are confused, threatened and thus live in fear. Jesus reminds us not to be afraid of hypocrites and lies; rather be afraid of God, the pure truth.
A relative of mine related her marriage journey. Her proud husband, a womanizer and a drunkard, often hurled unto her humiliating words, projections of her husband’s lies. But shenever gave up on the truth that God waswith them. Now, after the husband got tired of all his lies, they are living the best time of their lives. She relates that although her marriage went through hell, she never gave up. “The pains were terrible but they purified the truth in our marriage. Do not be afraid were the words I took with me everyday. Oftentimes I doubled the dosage for us to survive.”
“Do not be afraid” appears 365 times in the Bible, a dose for each day of the year. Today, we hear it twice.Indeed, to live in fear and lie is enslaving but to live with God and never to give up is liberating.
– Fr. Aris Martin, SVD (U.S.A.)