The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Alan Bondoc, SVD (Divine Word Seminary Tagaytay City)
Saturday 1st Week in Ordinary Time
Image: Eight phases of photographic reconstruction for Jesus’ face from Turin Shroud, Wikimedia Commons
Many are called, but only a few respond. Why? Because they are reacting rather than responding to the call of Jesus. In the Gospel, the Scribes who were Pharisees reacted instead of responding to the call. They questioned why Jesus was eating with tax collectors and sinners.
Some of my relatives, when they learned that I entered the seminary, reacted negatively about my decision. Some said, “He will not make it.” They did not even afford me some benefit of the doubt.
What is lacking in most of us is charity, in word and deed, towards people around us. We easily make destructive criticism and wrong judgment based on our partial knowledge of people.
Jesus sees people with eyes of charity because he has a heart of compassion. He responded by relating with them from where they are, and as they are. He did not just stand at a distance to judge them. Instead, He joined them at table to show his love for them.
Jesus calls us to imitate His example in dealing with people, not being judgmental and critical but caring and healing.