Num 6:22-27; Gal 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-22
Today is the first day of the New Year. And we are celebrating too the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, a holyday of obligation.
What the Message of God is in today’s solemnity for each one of us? There are three:
First is, be not afraid. Bible scholars said that in the Bible more than 365 times God said: “Be not afraid.” If there are 365 days in a year, therefore we can say that this God’s word is more than enough as His assurance that He is with us everyday of our lives.
If you can still recall when St. Peter saw Jesus walked on the water. He asked Jesus to let him walk on the water and Jesus granted his request. Everything was fined when he focused and fixed his eyes on Jesus. But when he diverted his attention on the strong wind he gradually started to drown because he was afraid of it.
It is like this story also. Spain is known for its national sport called bullfighting. A mother was crying while watching the bullfighting. The person seated next to her was a priest and was wondering why this woman was crying. He asked her: “Why are you crying?” “I’m afraid that the bull would kill my son. But I pray to God, Father, that my son will be spared and win the fight,” answered the mother.
“Don’t be afraid, madam,” said the priest. “I’m sure your son will win and kill the bull,” continued the priest.
How sure are you, Father, that my son will win and kill the bull,” asked the mother.
“It’s very easy, ma’am because the bull doesn’t have a mother who prays for his safety and victory. Unlike your son, he has a mother praying for him and that’s you,” answered the priest.
Second is, focus on Jesus and not on material gifts. All of us knew that Jesus was born in a stable. He was surrounded with horses, cows, sheep, goats but Mary and Joseph’ focus was not on them but on Jesus. And so, focus is so important that without it there is no concentration, only broad generalities. We become jack-of-all-trades but masters of none. Without focus, we are one mile wide but only half an inch deep.
People in their careers wander from one company to another and becoming experts in drafting resignation letters. Yet after trying so many companies, they still cannot find their ideal company. Students switch from one course to another, always taking up minor subjects and not being able to complete any major subjects. They become ‘summa cum laude’ or sumasampung taon na sa college but they may not able to finish even one course. There is no focus.
The greatest tragedy, however, is for one who calls himself a Christian without having the lifestyle that supports his claim. He has not focused his sight and whole life on Christ. This is why there are Christians who compromise their walk. Their eyes are too busy wandering all over the place.
If you want to grow as a person, if you want to be faithful in your walk in Christ, fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. And so stay focused and you will be alright. (From Francis J. Kong, One day At A Time vol. 4 pp. 96-97)
Third is, use thing and love people. There was this true story, Winning the Verdict, written by Mike Murdock. There was this renowned lawyer won practically every case. In fact, everyone of his settlements were million dollar settlements. There was this young lawyer who simply could not figure it out. He said: “The research was normal. The reading material seemed normal. The stack of information we had collected seemed average before he got in front of the jury.”
Then he said: “This old lawyer would walk back and forth before the jury. As he talked, a transformation took place on the faces of the jury. When they came back, they always gave his client huge settlements.”
The night at the Christmas party, the young lawyer told them how he probed his mentor and said: “You must tell me your secret. I watch you carefully. I’ve read your material. But none of us in the firm can figure out why your juries returned with million dollar verdicts. It is a mystery we cannot unravel.”
The old lawyer said: “I walk like to tell you but you really would not believe me if I did.” The young lawyer probed him month after month. For a long time the older lawyer insisted: “It really would not mean anything to you.”
Finally one day when the young lawyer was going to leave his firm to go to another city, the old mentor said: “take a drive with me.” They went to a grocery store. The old lawyer filled the back of his car with groceries and they began to drive out into the country. It had snowed. It was freezing and the icy weather was cutting. They finally drove up to a very modest, inexpensive farm house. The old mentor instructed the young lawyer to help him carry in the groceries. When they went inside the home, the young lawyer saw a little boy sitting on a sofa. He looked closer and noticed that the little boy had both of his legs cut off. It happened in a car accident. The old lawyer spoke to the family for a few moments and said: “Just thought I would bring a few groceries for you since I know how difficult it is for you to get out in this kind of weather.”
As they were driving back to the city, the old lawyer looked at the young lawyer and said: “It is quite simple. My clients really do matter to me. I believe in their cases. I believe they deserve the highest settlements that can be given. When I stand before a jury, somehow they feel that. They come back with the verdicts I desire. I feel what my clients feel. The jury feels what I feel.”
Perhaps the best question I would like to ask you is: do you feel what your customers feel? Do you feel what your patients feel? You’ll make a lot of difference if you start looking at your prospects as another project to complete, another quota to attain or another opportunity to make money.
Feel for your people because it’s the decent thing to do. Read your Bible again. Christ felt for His people. He knew that after listening to Him preached they were hungry, so he fed them. Love people and use things and never use people and love things.
So make sure never confuse the two. (From Francis J. Kong, One day At A Time vol. 3 pp. 236-237)
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A