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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Reflection 2020-06-06 Saturday 9th Week in Ordinary Time (St Norbert)

2 Timothy 4:1-8; Psalm 71; Mark 12:38-44
In the Gospel today, Jesus ends his discourse by commending the widow who gave all she has even if she gave two small copper coins. In our relationship with the Lord, the question is how much of myself do I give, not how much do I give. This is the same with our relationship with those who love.
While the money and material things we give a child are probably much appreciated by the child, what a child needs is our whole being. A parent who satisfies the material needs of the child but ignores the spiritual, emotional needs of the child neglects the child. The sad thing today is many people are so busy with work that they substitute their presence with money or material things. When this happens, the child substitute love or the giving of oneself to giving money and material things. This is why Jesus commended the woman because she gave everything she had, all she had to live on.
St Paul shows us what this means in the First Reading when he said I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. He gave everything into his relationship with Christ to the point of giving up his life. The reason why he can do this is because of his intense love for Jesus Christ which gave him the courage to trust that whatever happens to him will turn out fine as he said: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
How can I show my love for God? By giving my whole self to him, by surrendering all I have, by telling others of God. Paul reminds Timothy of the need to proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke and encourage with the utmost patience in teaching. This implies we need to accept everything God teaches. Immediately following this reminder to Timothy, Paul speaks of the time when people will not put up with sound doctrine … they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. This is what we see today: where people reject the truth and chase after teachers who tickle their ears and say what they want to hear.
How can I show my love for God? People say love is accepting the other person without judgment. My question is why do we apply that easily to people, but not to God. We demand God do what we want, we demand God to be who we want. We demand God to conform to our opinions, accusing people of hatred when they speak the truth. Love is accepting God as he is, accepting his Truth and letting him do what he wants.
Today, we celebrate St Norbert, a bishop in the 11th century. He wanted to live an ascetic life that many denounced him for wanting to follow stricter discipline in his diocese. Some even plotted to kill him. He also addressed the heresy against the Eucharist in Antwerp. He is someone who loves God intensely, willing to give his all for the sake of God. He confronted opinions with the Truth of God, showing his love, not only of God but of his fellow men. He would not say what his people wanted to hear, but preached what they needed to hear.
If you are confused of how to relate with God, seek HIS Truth. Do not run after people who tickle your ears, because these are like the scribes who look after themselves. Seek Jesus only and His Truth. Seek those who according to the Psalm today tell of God’s wondrous acts of salvation all day long. Seek those who praise the mighty deeds of God, the righteousness of God.
Lord, open my ears to your Truth. Let me hear YOUR Truth so I may give you my life. Come Lord, as I approach you. I give you authority to change my heart, to turn it towards you. Teach me to give you all I have and all I live on. Let me run this race. Let me keep the faith, so you may give me the crown of righteousness when I see you face to face.

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