The WORD in other words (2021) by +Bro. Romualdo Abulad, SVD (CKMS, Quezon City)
Thursday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
THESE ARE ORDINARY TIMES. EVERYBODY’S JUST GOING THROUGH THE USUAL BUSINESS OF THE DAY. STUDENTS WAKE UP EARLY FOR SCHOOL; WORKERS MAKE SURE THEY’RE NOT LATE IN THEIR OFFICES; THERE’S THE USUAL ROAD TRAFFIC TO RECKON WITH, EVERYTHING’S THE SAME. THE PHILOSOPHER GABRIEL MARCEL COMPARES ALL OF THIS TO A WATCH; THERE SEEMS TO BE NOTHING WRONG ABOUT IT SINCE THE HANDS ARE COMPLETE AND THE NUMBERS ARE CORRECTLY PLACED. YET, IF YOU LOOK AT IT CLOSELY, YOU’LL FIND OUT THAT IT IS A BROKEN WATCH; IT DOESN’T TICK.
The temptation during ordinary times is to live life mechanically. So, Marcel says, although there’s the heart, it doesn’t beat. We’re all just cogs in a well-oiled machine. Everyone’s just doing the motions, acting like busy-bodies according to the Psalmist. In the case of the Filipino, we’re faithful replicas of Juan the lazy one, truly depicting the indolence once exposed and immortalized by Dr. Jose Rizal. We pretend to be busily at work to WHILE THE TIME AWAY IN SHEER FULFILLMENT OF OUR DAILY CONTRACT.
HIS IS WHY THE EXISTENTIALISTS, SUCH AS THE SELF-PROCLAIMED ATHEIST JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, PLAY UP THE EVENT OF DEATH. WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN OUR END WILL COME; INDEED, IT MIGHT COME TODAY, RIGHT NOW. AS WE OFTEN SAY, DEATH IS TREACHEROUS, AND IT GRIPS US STEALTHILY, LIKE THE PROVERBIAL THIEF IN THE NIGHT.
Therefore, the wise man knows that life is a dangerous way-faring; like a tightrope walker, every moment has to be lived with utmost care. Every moment is precious and should be lived well; as the saying goes, Carpe diem! Seize the day! FOR there is no telling if, in one of those ordinary, lazy times, the reckoning will catch me flat-footed. Doesn’t this sound like what the Orientals merrily call karma?