22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

THE SUPREME VALUE IN LIFE

Rev. Fr. Nelson Orqueta

 

*  To prove his love for his woman, a man climbed the highest mountain,

    swam the deepest sea, and walked the hottest desert.

     But the woman left him just the same.

     Why? Because he was always out climbing mountains,

        swimming in the sea, and trekking in the desert.

     He forgot the basic ingredient of love: presence!

*  Jesus says in today’s gospel reading, “What profit would there be

    for one to gain whole world and forfeit his life?”

     We can translate or paraphrase or interpret this statement in this way:

        “What profit would there be for you to gain material riches

            and all the alluring things that money can buy

            but forfeit your life – because you’ve not sought

            the most important thing in life: the kingdom of God.”

        “What profit would there be for you to gain all comforts,

            conveniences, luxuries and pleasures the world offers

            but forfeit your life – because you’ve not sacrificed anything

            for your own spiritual wellbeing and salvation.”

        “What profit would there be for you to gain all kinds of success

            and achievements in your career, profession or business

            but forfeit your life – because you’ve not succeeded

            to find true happiness and eternal gladness.”

*  We can also put this gospel passage in this simple and practical way:

    “Napakayaman mo nga, pero lagi ka namang natatakot sa security mo,

        lagi kang nangangamba na baka ma-holdup o ma-kidnap ka.”

    “Meron ka ngang mansiyon, marami ka ngang bahay o condo units,

        pero napakalungkot mo kasi wala ka namang kasama lagi.”

    “Marami ka ngang magagarang sasakyan, pero ni hindi mo makasama

        sa pamamasyal ang pamilya mo kasi kanya-kanya kayo.”

    “Lagi ka ngang nasa itaas ng mundo, pero nag-iisa ka naman sa itaas.”

*  We know of people who are hugely successful in life

    yet, they are living a life not worth-living.

    +  We know of people who have everything money can buy,

        yet, do not have peace and joy in their hearts.

    +  We know of people who are very famous and popular,

        yet, living very lonely lives.

     These are people who strive “to gain the whole world”

        at the expense of the most important things in life.

*  In light of today’s gospel reading, the Lord is asking us:

    “Where do you put your values in life?”

     It is possible for people to put their values

        on the wrong things and to discover it too late.

     William Barclay gives four points about this passage…

1. A person may sacrifice honor for profit.

     May mga taong kumikita at nagpapayaman sa di-marangal na paraan:

        pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, pakikinabang sa graft and corruption,

        pandaraya sa negosyo, panlalamang at panloloko sa kapwa.

     God is the auditor who will look into our life’s balance sheet

        to find out our profits and forfeitures, gains and losses.

2. A person may sacrifice principle for popularity.

     May mga taong sinasantabi o binabalewala ang prinsipyo at paninindigan

        para lamang suyuin ang karamihan at maging sikat at tanyag –

        kung baga, para lang tumaas ang popularity rating.

     The real question we will have to face in the end is not,

        “What did other people think of this?” but rather,

        “What does God think of it?”

     It is not the verdict of public opinion but the verdict of God

        that settles destiny – thus, it must be of supreme value.

3. A person may sacrifice the lasting things for the cheap things.

     It is always easier to have cheap success, cheap happiness, cheap fame.

     People may spend their lives in little things and let the big things go.

        +  They may prefer a life of pleasure instead of a life of sacrifice.

        +  They may choose worldly things than spiritual things.

     But life has a way of revealing the true values

        and condemning the false as time passes on.

4. A person may sacrifice eternity for the moment.

     We would be saved from all kinds of mistakes

        if we always looked at things in the light of eternity.

     Many things are pleasant only for a moment

        but harmful and destructive in the long run.

*  May we never sacrifice honor for profit, principle for popularity,

    lasting things for cheap things, eternity for the moment.

     May we never lose sight of the supreme value in life:

        following Jesus in his self-giving way… thus,

        experience the fullness of life, gain eternal life.

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