Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Feeling Mo Lang o Feeling Ko Lang?

Feeling Mo Lang o Feeling Ko Lang?
Sharing (July 21, 2006)

In today’s Gospel, the Lord makes three daring assertions about himself: he is refreshing; he is gentle and humble; his yoke is easy and his burden light.

1. He is refreshing.

Yes, the Lord is refreshing. During retreat and recollections. Recollections when we sleep much and pray little. Retreats when we bask in the beauty of nature and take a break from our worries and problems for at least five quiet days.
But after a long and tiring day of academic work, lectures and quizzes, assignments and group work, come dishwashing and light cleaning, or else, a two hour talk about PC Maintenance, or even the enjoyable but rather tiring grinding and belly-dancing sessions with Jim (a la Shakira), and still more papers and readings to do after all that, one cannot help, I cannot help but find myself in bed at last, dead tired and really exhausted. Lantang gulay.
Talk about refreshing.

2. He is gentle and humble.

Yes, the Lord is gentle and humble. When days come and every prayer is answered. When God feels really close like a true friend beside you and making things easier for you.
But come the days when the grind goes harder: endless strings of papers, conflicts in community and at home, when problems storm in and you pound heaven hard and the gates never seem to open, when he seems so high up there and out of reach you almost say, “Gosh! what do you think you are doing? Wer na ba u?" and he doesn’t even care to reply,
Talk about gentle and humble.

3. His yoke is easy and his burden, light.

Yes, his yoke is easy and his burden light. But only if you like what is being asked of you. When it is liturgy, or haustus, or recreation, or the more special recreation like picking at Earl or Jim or Ken Habana, this is really easy. God doesn’t even have to order and if he does I can readily say, “Sure! Why not?” Even in the middle of the night.
But how about manualia, or dishwashing, the long and seemingly endless powwow, or having to go to class when it is raining and it feels so good to sleep?
Talk about an easy yoke and a light burden.

Baka naman feeling mo lang yan?

Lord, baka naman feeling mo lang yan? Akala mo refreshing ka, gentle and humble, that your yoke is easy and your burden light?

In the first reading Isaiah complains: “We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; salvation we have not achieved in the earth, the world’s inhabitants cannot bring it forth.” Ginawa ko na ang lahat, binigay ko na ang lahat, Duh! pigang-piga na ako, pero wala pa rin, and worse, wala ka pa. O my God! But Isaiah begins by asserting that the Lord makes the way of the just smooth and level.

Therese's Elevator

Saint Therese tells us about her famous ‘elevator’: how she found herself as a little child, struggling to go up a ladder to be able to reach Jesus. Of course, she could not, with her short and feeble feet. Yet at last, when she learned to let go, the Lord himself came to pick her up and carry her all the way to the top with his big and strong arms.

How much of our demands is really his demand? How much of our exhausted energies is really spent for him? Is this burden we are carrying really his, or ours? Baka naman feeling ko lang ito? Feel na feel kong magpakapagod kaya ako nalalantang gulay? Feeling close ako kay Jesus kaya dapat sulpot agad siya kapag tinawag ko? Yung feeling ko lang ang gusto ko at kapag hindi ko na feel ang hinihingi, ayaw ko na.

When we struggle to climb a tall ladder with our own short and feeble feet, our effort is obviously futile. But Lord’s invitation to us is radically simple: “Come to me” and if we will only allow him, he himself will pick us up. And so we pray with Saint Therese: "The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I have no need to grow up, but rather I have only to remain little and become little more and more.”

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