30 April 2006: Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 3, 13-15, 1 John 2, 1-5, Luke 24, 35-48
If we have parents or siblings who are lawyers, we feel secured when we have legal problems. If we have relatives who are doctors, we feel safe when we are sick. We know we have someone to run to when we are unwell. If we have relatives who are policemen, we feel protected. For many Filipinos, a friend at the governor’s office is a source of tenability and pride: “may kakilala ako diyan.” We invite these experts and solidify our ties with them by making them godparents of our children. Sooner or later, we hope that in our need they will help us because --- kumpare ko yan! Kasangga ko yan! We feel aided, secured and at peace.
In the first letter of John in the second reading, he tells us that “we have, in the presence of the Father, Jesus Christ who is our intercessor.” John tells us we are secure with Jesus. And the Gospel tells us that we are at peace with Jesus. Jesus is our hope --- like the lawyers, doctors, the policemen, and the friend at the governor’s office who are close to us.
But our lives tell us differently from our belief. Though we believe that Jesus is our hope, our security and our peace, and yet we find ourselves insecure, hopeless and without the peace of mind we long for. Often we find our security in our possessions, our professions and our popularity. But though some of us may have them, we still do feel empty, anxious and unsure of ourselves.
There are other sources of security. If we are penniless and we find ourselves in a mall, we feel insecure. In UP, if we find ourselves in class with those who came from prestigious schools, we become apprehensive. If we find ourselves at a gathering of famous people, we often find ourselves dropping names in order to be at par with them. Our low self-esteem can leave us insecure.
I guess we feel this insecurity because we doubt the truth that Jesus is a tangible and real source of security. The resurrection was not a hallucination or a dream concocted by the disciples as many of the present books claim. This is why Jesus showed Thomas his hands, his feet, and his wounds. Luke’s Gospel tells us that He asked for food and he ate. We’ve got to believe that Jesus is worth clinging on to. Pwedeng makapitan sa kagipitan.
A friend of mine fell in love with a girl who comes from a famous and wealthy family. He wanted to woo her, but couldn’t because of the gnawing question about his worth. So he dismissed the thought, and settled for friendship. After a few years, he learned that someone rich and famous have proposed to her. He decided to put a stop to his dreams. Two weeks ago, they were able to talk. The girl is planning to get married, so he told her the truth. She said that it was too late: if he proposed to her the first year they became friends, she would have said yes.
I guess my friend forgot to believe in himself and that his dignity lies in Jesus at his side. Jesus is our intercessor. Then we are secured. We should be at peace.
*My two brothers: Jesse (youngest, in yellow shirt) and Jayson (fourth, in red).