12 September 2007 Wednesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Colossians 3, 1-11 Ideals
In every profession, there is a quality that we seek. Would you consult a doctor without a sense of a person’s dignity? Would you seek advice from an architect or an engineer without an aesthetic sense? Would you trust a lawyer without a sense of justice?
The letter of Paul to the Colossians urges us to “seek… and think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” When those accused of directly or indirectly participating in the death of Cris Mendez were summoned by the UP administration, they had with them five lawyers who belonged to their fraternity. They were to defend their ‘brothers’ at all cost. Even when the truth is blatant. On the other hand, the victim did not have someone — or even afford a lawyer to defend him. For the lawyers or would-be lawyers who give premium on ‘brotherhood’ than justice, they demonstrated that they do not deserve to be lawyers in the first place.
To seek what is above is to have ideals and values to uphold. Ideals are desirable excellences worthy of actualization. The values of justice, dignity and the aesthetics are some examples. When we seek what is above, these ideals give direction and meaning to our lives. It becomes our motivating power. It gives us identity. It becomes the measuring rod for all our individual activities and choices. While goals are attainable, ideals are guides. Ideals are like the rays of the sun: when you face the sun, you know when you’re looking at it head on. And when you’re face is turned slightly away from direct sunlight, you also know.
At the Youth for Christ gathering, the young have a song called, “One Way Jesus”. Just as the sun is the source of its rays, there is only one way to go in our lives. It is the way to Jesus. However, just as there are numerous rays, so too with the diversity of paths that leads to Jesus. This is what makes Christians: in the diversity of cultures and personalities, one finds ideals and values which everyone shares and upholds. Jesus tells us to love God and neighbor. If one looks at it closely, our personal, mental, psychological and sociological ideals boils down to the simple and all-encompassing ideal of love.
A point for reflection then for all of us: What makes you do the things that you do?