All else will I forego…

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
21 July 2015

Exodus 14:21-15:1
Matthew 12:46-50

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Our liturgy today offers a set of readings which highlights the theme of freedom—both in the enjoyment of it, and also, in one’s radicality in giving it up.

We saw in the first reading how the Israelites broke free from the Egyptians after 400 years of slavery (Acts 7:6). They put their freedom in the hands of YHWH despite all odds and realized how this God can offer them real freedom!

In the Gospel we have listened to, we may have been surprised hearing how Jesus could distance himself from his biological family and embrace those who may not even be related to him by blood, only because they do the will of the Father.

For Jesus, the will of the Father is of utmost importance. Everything else is merely secondary to it.

When I was a novice, I distinctly remember how a worn out signage was hanging on a blackboard in our study hall.

It read “If you think that there is nothing extraordinary with our life as religious, it is because you have not totally embraced its radicality.”

We who have heard God’s call and responded to it are challenged to embrace God’s will, even when it hurts. And … especially when it hurts.

Let me wrap up this reflection using the words of a soldier-saint, who, once upon a time encountered God and before Him, showed such radicality in offering his freedom for God’s greater glory:

Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty,
Take all my will, my mind, my memory.
All things I hold, and all I own are Thine.
Thine was the gift, to Thee I all resign.
Do Thou direct, and govern all and sway.
Do what Thou wilt command and I obey.
Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow,
These make me rich, all else will I forego

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