Last January 2, my brother-in-law, Jun Rodriguez, celebrated his nth birthday. He said that he wanted us to spend it in Tagaytay. Since it was his birthday, we all went…Itay, Inay, Weng (my wife), Jeo (my son), Sharie & Teekle (our nieces), and Ella (Jun’s little girl).
We had lunch at Gerry’s Grill. We got a table out on the covered deck that offered a great view of Taal Volcano and Lake. After lunch we went to the Pink Sisters to pray the rosary. After praying, we went to the gift shop to look for items that would remind us of our trip. After going through all the items there, I came upon a spiral-bound (what I thought was) book entitled “Thoughts in Solitude” by Felix Berto O. Magallanes. I thought it was one of those inspirational books with great pictures and spiritually soothing lines. Since I love inspiratinal quotes, I decided to buy it. So I paid for it and when I got outside, I opened it.
Well, it wasn’t what I expected… instead of stunning photos with quotes, each left hand page had a topic for contemplation and what the author thought about the topic. The right hand page had a “title” on the upper right that said…”Personal Reflection”, and the rest of the page looked like a pad paper. “Oooh”, I exclaimed! My wife asked, “What is it?” So, I handed her the book and said, “It’s for reflecting on certain things.”
So when I got back to the office on January 4th, I told myself that before things got too hectic, I’d read a topic each day and write down my personal reflections on that topic.
The topic I got to yesterday, January 21, was entitled On Becoming the Light to Others. As I read the author’s thoughts on the matter, and I remembered a passage in the gospel of Matthew that goes something like…”you are like a city build on a hill that be hidden…”. So I googled the phrase and the first one was entitled About The Word . Intrigued, I clicked on the link and started to read. The first paragraph really struck me…it read “We are called to become something other than what we would have been if the call did not exist..are not permitted to remain passive, but are called upon, by these words, to illuminate a world of spiritual and social darkness.”
So I read on and the story made me smile as I got a feeling that God is so sneaky sometimes that He makes use of us to bring His Word to others without conscious thought. I won’t go into the details and will just paste the link here so that you can read it. It’s not my work but I guess the author, Barry Murry, wouldn’t mind. There were two other excerpts from his page that I’ll quote (I hope you don’t mind, Barry)…
”The words of Jesus remain a ‘soft dream’ that falls night by night, until the soul is ignited with courage. Our hearts, that did not sing until now, are filled with hope that did not yet dare to dream of freedom from poverty and oppression. With faith, what one feels is the Truth, and the truth, while difficult to teach, is immense. It is easy to learn. We have Christ among us, speaking through each of us, if we choose to listen. We have Christ and though there are few words, they are enough, they are enough to last two thousand years. In spite of so much distortion of His will and meaning, they reverberate clearly in the good work of so many Christians who may not even know they are ‘followers.’”
See what I mean when I said God is a little sneaky sometimes…I mean that affectionately. I love God even though I’m a sinner, and I know I’ll continue to sin until I die but I know He’ll still love me. That’s why Jesus came, God Incarnate, God’s radical salvation for us. As Barry also said…
“The words of Jesus resound with a challenge to a world burdened by greed, self-righteous religion, and pride. The Jesus I discovered spoke a message of humility, one that did not emphasize a vengeful God, but one of love. His words were filled with mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. A new kind of kingdom was being introduced in his words, accessible to all; men, women, Jews, Gentiles, slaves, kings, free, lost, illuminated, and illiterate. All that was required was that we become “like children” and hold fast to this kind message that offers the stern command, “open your hearts!” How this has become so much dogma, who can understand? And understanding, to recognize his invitation to our right to become “children of God.” Is no great feat.”
Thank you, Barry, the “accidental translator”, for sharing your insights.