Freedom and Commitment

Ika-20 ng Disyembre 2007 Misa de Gallo
Is 7, 10-14; Salmo 23; Lucas 1, 26-38


Note: This is a dawn mass homily.
Ang pag-oo ni Maria sa Ebanghelio ang pinakamahalagang mensahe sa araw na ito. Sa kanyang pagtalima sa utos ng Panginoon, nagkaroon ng buhay sa lupa si Hesus.

May dalawang punto ang pagmumuni-muni natin ngayon.

Una, sa pamamagitan ng anghel Gabriel, humingi ng pahintulot — isang request — kay Maria ang Panginoon. Ginalang ng Panginoon ang kalayaan ni Maria na um-oo o humindi sa kanyang paanyaya. Hindi kailanman pinilit ng Panginoon ang kanyang mga tinatawag — hinintay niya ang kanyang mga sinugo hanggang sa handa na itong tumalima. Dinaan sa tiyaga, pasensya at paghihintay. We can accept or refuse the Lord.

Isang tanging katangian ng tao ang kalayaan o freedom. Dito nagkakatalo tayo sa pag-unawa sa kalayaan. Ang kalayaan ang kapangyarihan nating magpasiya; it is our ability to choose. But what kind of choice? To be free is to choose what is good; to choose what is bad is to be bound and imprisoned. Let me explain. Choose to lie: the first time, you would feel bad; the second time, the third time, until it becomes automatic and you become a liar. Your action becomes you. Sa maraming pagkakataon, hindi mo na namamalayan na nagsisinungaling ka na. Or choose alcohol: the first, the second, the third: until you do not know what you’re saying or doing — it is the alcohol that controls you, and your freedom diminishes at every gulp. That is what we mean by addiction: an addict is unfree. You move further and further away from yourself, that you begin to ask, “Ito ba talaga ako?”

But choose what is good. It would make you feel light and better. It eases up your mind and you begin saying that this is truly you: I am friendly. I am determined. I am happy — despite the trials and challenges. Dahil ang tunay nating pagkatao ay mabuti. Our nature and our identity is good. If you think you’re a bad person: that is not you — you are letting your fears and your issues control you; thus you made yourself believe in your very own deception. But you are fully responsible, because you made that choice. You are saying, you do not have freedom from your heartaches, from lying, from alcohol. You don’t have the ability to be free from them. At kung wala kang kalayaan, hindi ka tao.

Pangalawa, ang pag-oo ni Maria naging isang commitment: kasama nito ang lahat nang daraanan niyang pagdurusa simula sa pagsilang, pagpapalaki, at kamatayan ni Hesus. Ibig sabihin, ang kanyang pag-oo ay isang lubusang pagbibigay ng kanyang sarili sa anumang kahihinatnan ng kanyang unang pagpapasiya. Pagkatapos akuin ni Maria ang tungkuling maging ina ng Panginoong Hesus, nagbago ang kanyang buhay: lahat nang mangyayari sa kanya ay isang pagpapatupad o pagbibigay-laman sa kanyang unang pagpasiya.

Our freedom therefore is aimed at making a good choice. And to choose what is good is to accept the Lord. The purpose of our freedom is to limit our choices. Simple: you use your freedom when you choose one item in a multiple-choice exam. Once you decided your final answer, hindi mo na puwedeng bawiin. Deal o No Deal na. Sa kabilang banda, kung hindi ka makapili sa mga options, ibig sabihin, wala kang alam; wala kang abilidad para makapili nang tama.

Sa buhay, ginagamit natin ang kalayaan upang pumili ng isa, sa lahat ng maraming options. The person who chooses one among the various options is the person who is free. Like a person who is faithful to his one and only wife, or to her one and only husband. In fact, we call them mature. They chose to bind themselves to one person.

Ang taong maraming options at hindi nagpapasiya ay hindi malaya: tulad ng mga taong nangongolekta ng girlfriend o boyfriend nang sabay-sabay. Lipat lang nang lipat. Walang iisang pinipili. He or she cannot use their freedom to choose, baka takot masaktan. In fact, we call them, immature.

And when you decide to choose only one — one specific career, one particular person until forever: Game na. You give your all.

Published by Jboy Gonzales SJ

TV/Digital host: Kape't Pandasal. Vlog: YT On the Line. Environment, Youth Formation. Music. Leadership. Always dancing to a different drum.

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