Double life, authentic life

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time–B
21 October 2015

As the boat leaves the Batangas port yesterday, one brother hurriedly uploads a group photo in his Facebook account, which is taken inside the seacraft. It is accompanied with the caption “We’re sea ready.”

It didn’t generate many likes.

image

But the many comments made as a response to it caught my fancy insofar as they indicate how the activities we do in the online world extend their reach in the offline context.

The comments to the same photo unmistakeably express the concern of the people to our community. Afterall, news have it that the epicenter of the earthquake we experienced the other night can be found right in this very island we are in. Not to mention the fact that the last typhoon which swamped certain regions of the Philippines has not yet totally left the country.

Br. Jerome assured me that the sea is safe. And if there is a possibility that the sea will be rough, it would just be sometime  in the afternoon. This piece of information he found out by consulting some trustworthy source in the cyberspace.

Indeed, there’s an intimate link between our use of the Internet with how we conduct our lives in the real world.

In more ways than one, there is somekind of a conformity between the two–something which is wanting in the foolish servant in the parable which Jesus narrated in our Gospel.  For the foolish servant embodies a person who leads a double life: One when his master is within his reach, and a complete opposite of this, when no one looks around.

Jesus hails the trusthworthy servant who lives an authentic life–with or without the master in sight. Jesus promises him–and those who fall under his ilk–a great reward.

One Salesian I look up to, would say that one could tell whether a seminarian really prayed is to wait for the meditation and the Mass to finish, to gauge him as he steps out of the chapel–and see how his prayer is translated to life. Fr Bonetti would pound on us to see that our prayer life ought to be evaluated in the light of the quality of our love life. Have we been more patient? More understanding? More compassionate?

The night before Fr Jonil was brought to the ICU last week, we visited him. His cough was giving him a real hard time. The visitors who were there in his room were in fact dutifully helping out in expelling phleghm. He was in a sorry state. His mouth sores caused by the chemotherapy prevented him from speaking.

And yet, when he heard from Fr. Beng that one of the prenovices who is there for a visit is celebrating his birthday the next day, he asked for the white board and wrote there “bring them to Starbucks!”

We tought, in the midst of pain and of difficulty, he even tought of us. We’re really edified. Here is a Salesian who has not stopped to become a sign and bearer of love even in the bed of sickness.

When the master comes, we hope that He sees us working, faithfully putting into our lives what He has taught us.

This is what St. Paul in our first reading has endeavored to inculcate in us: Always be on our toes against our enemy: sin. Lest, resting too confidently in our new state of grace, we become careless, and again falling under its sway, become subject to its tyrannical dominion.

True. Temptations come. And we are weak. The possibility of not committing sin is almost nil, but with the psalmist, we remain courageous and hopeful to say:  Our help is in the name of the Lord.

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