August 30, 2017
Fr. Roberto M. Jorvina
It is a great evening as God’s people are gathered, and I pray that we are just as excited as God is to be able to reveal Himself in even a greater way. But He only reveals Himself to those who are hungry. Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? In a dry and weary land, where there seems to be no water, will our hearts say, “My heart will praise You. My lips will bless You so I will praise You as long as I live. I will lift up my hands in Your place.” We need this so that we can see a transformation in our lives.
For most of us, we have lived in this Church for many years. We have attended Sunday after Sunday; Wednesday after Wednesday. The question is: how much have we grown in our love for God? This is all that matters.
Dcn. Peter Reimers shared last week, and I would like to reiterate some points, the word that God wants us to hear. First, life is a collaboration between God and man. We are partners with God and everything that happens is not fully dependent on God, although He is All-powerful and He can do all things. But He chose to share this power with us. Second, God is here and He is not silent. He is docile. Third, all change comes from crisis. Do not be surprised when we have situations in our lives that confronts us.
Our gospel last Sunday was in a place called Caeserea Philippi, which was a place of false gods. It was named after Philip, the son of Herod, because Herod wanted the portion of the fame and the power. When Jesus brought the disciples there, He asked this question, a question that we must all be able to answer honestly: Who is Jesus to you? Is Jesus just a name in our head or a Lord that we worship every Sunday? Who is He to you? The answer that we have to this question is what is going to lead us in our lives every day.
As Christians, it is time that we awaken to righteousness, to Christlikeness, because the goal of every life, the purpose of every life is to be Christlike. There are two important dates in your life: the day you were born; and the day you know why you were born. Why are you here on earth? When you can answer that question in the light of God’s revelation, then, you will attain success. The goal is to be what God wants us to be, and God gave us Christ as the model for us.
Who is Jesus really to you? Is He worth worshipping? If we are to be a witness, we must be able to answer that question. From Isaiah 51, it says, “Let those who pursue righteousness, let those who seek for salvation, look to the rock from where you were hewn.” Perhaps, we don’t understand that our life is a constant search for righteousness, for what is right and true. Understanding what is right is what will make us to offer ourselves so that we know where we come from. Romans 11:36 says, “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” Whatever we are going through, it is all His. Whatever we have in our hand, it is all His. Whatever talent we have, it is all His. Whatever we are going to do in life, it is His. Whatever income we have in our lives, it is all His. Romans 12:1, then says, “Therefore, to present your body a living sacrifice to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
In the Salita ng Diyos translation it says, “Kaya nga, mga kapatid, sa pamamagitan ng mga kaawaan ng Diyos, ako ay namamanhik sa inyo. Iharap ninyo ang inyong mga katawan sa Diyos bilang isang haing buhay.” In the Magandang Balita Biblia, it says, “Kaya nga, mga kapatid, alang-alang sa masaganang habag ng Diyos sa atin, ako'y nakikiusap sa inyo na ialay ninyo ang inyong sarili bilang isang handog na buháy. Ito ang karapat-dapat na pagsamba[a] ninyo sa Diyos. 2 Huwag kayong makiayon sa takbo ng mundong ito. Sa halip, hayaan ninyong baguhin ng Diyos ang inyong pag-iisip upang maunawaan ninyo ang kanyang kalooban. Sa gayon, magagawa ninyo kung ano ang mabuti, kalugud-lugod at ganap na kalooban ng Diyos.”
The problem in the Church today is that we have bowed down to the evils of the world. What is righteous and acceptable to God? Is it good and acceptable to God that we don’t go to Mass every Sunday? Is it good and acceptable that we don’t offer our worship and praise to God? Is it good and acceptable to God that we continue to be unforgiving? Is it acceptable to God that we gossip about the bad that people have committed? Why do we continue to see this in our surroundings? This is because we have not pursued righteousness.
In Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny godliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly,righteously and godly in the present age.” The grace of God teaches us to say “No” to the things that are not right and acceptable to God. Verse 13, “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession zealous for good deeds.”
We should be eager about good things. We think that it is acceptable to stay home and do nothing. This is deception. If we haven’t fulfilled our responsibilities, we must learn to say, “No!” We need to realize what is pleasing in God’s sight. I do not say this to condemn us because all of us have failed, but we must continue to pursue righteousness. There is no other goal in life and purpose in life than to be Christlike. It is not for us to be successful or to have a family, but to be like Christ. When this is our goal, everything will be added to us, and everything will fall into place.
Because Christ is love, therefore, you want to share this love to someone for the rest of your life, and be committed and be faithful to your spouse. Because Christ is love, you will take care of your children and sacrifice for them. Because Christ is love, you will reach out to those who are hurting. Because Christ is love, you will work hard and diligently because this is what is pleasing in God’s sight. As we do this, God will reward us with many riches -material wealth, success, and fame. This is because our goal is Christlikeness. Who is Jesus to us? To be witnesses, it is about time that we pursue what is right. Let us stop being passive and begin to stand for what is right.