While driving along Sheridan Street in Mandaluyong, I can’t help but feel for the children asking for coins that are literally spares in your pocket. Others do not feel giving is alright as it may be something that will create dependency, while others don’t do it for fear that it may make them exposed to these people on the streets. There is indifference, there is insensitivity.
Sometimes, being so protective can make one unknowingly disobey God’s commandments. When you ignore helping others because you are afraid that that person can turn against you in the future, you are shunning God’s reaching out to others. You aren’t allowing others to experience God’s infinite goodness.
In the readings today, St. John exhorts us to love one another,
“Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
Regardless of what is happening in our lives, there is really no room for hatred, ingratitude, and selfishness, as God’s grace and blessings are just so overwhelming. Can you cite anything happening in your life that overwhelms the blessings you have received from the Lord? Have you considered your life, your family, your relationships, the gift of work and livelihood, and even your possessions as real and concrete manifestations of God’s goodness?
And God is clear, He isn’t partial. Regardless of who you are, you are loved! Read on the First Reading (Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48), as St. Peter said,
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him.”
Clearly, God is telling us to spare no one of our love. If you don’t follow that, you are being a hypocrite. When St. John wrote, “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love”, he is arguing that when you don’t love, your faith is shallow. Faith and love goes hand in hand, and you can’t say you are a follower of Christ and yet hate your neighbor. That is why our Lord even said, “Love your enemy” (Mt. 5: 44, Lk. 6: 27). Thus, while it is difficult to determine one’s degree of faith, the only way to measure it is by the way one loves through the loving acts one does for others. When you do this, it is clear that your own interest is not prime but secondary to God’s will. God is so loving, that He calls us “His children”, and He as our “Father”, despite our stubbornness and weaknesses. Even with this, the child of God trusts and clings to Him. In return, God has asked us to remain in Him, by keeping His commandments.
When you keep His commandments and remain in God, it is in fact the gift of wisdom, discernment and knowledge through the power of the Holy Spirit that you know that God dwells in you. This is a gift that you will attain through prayer and reflection. Thus, when you become over-protective, or being insensitive to doing good for others, think through it and ask yourself:
Am I being insensitive? Am I ignoring God’s grace to flow to that person through me? Am I being a hypocrite claiming to love God but disobeying Him?
Let us pray that we become God’s love to others.