28 February 2007. Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent
Luke 11, 29-32 Receiving the Word of God
Jesus tells us that when the Queen of Sheba heard of the wisdom of Solomon, she traveled a great distance to hear his words. When Jonah preached repentance to the Ninevites, the pagans listened to him and did penance. Jesus reminded the people that the pagans such as the Queen of Sheba and the Ninevites, accepted the word of God through Solomon and Jonah. But Jesus, who is greater than Solomon and Jonah, they did not listen or believe.
I have two points.
First whom do we first believe? If we look into our lives, we would rather believe the words of our friends, family, teachers, than Jesus himself. We think that their opinion is far better than what Jesus says to us. Were there instances in your life that you followed other people’s word, than follow the call of Jesus?
Second, God acted like a close friend to the pagans by sending someone to tell them their weaknesses and their sins — including the manner of repentance. God told Jonah to tell the Ninevites. God told Solomon to share his wisdom to the Queen of Sheba. God sent Jesus to tell us of our sins and ask of us to return to God who loves us.
In our lives, who are the people who tell us of our wrongdoings? Usually our friends tell us of their opinion about ourselves. They give us feedback so that we will turn out to be better by beginning from self-awareness. There are things which our friends see, that we don’t see. However, our notion of friendship oftentimes is eschewed. We think that friends should tell us what we would like to hear. If they say something about us, we usually withdraw from them or give them a dose of our anger. A true friend is someone who rejoices in the truth, and thus would tell us the unadulterated truth.
So, we can ask ourselves today: Do we listen to the people whom God sends to convince us and to make us aware of our weaknesses, our sins or the wrong we have committed?