Today our pastor shared an interesting homily about being prophet and going on mission. The outward signs of mission is about going out into the countryside and provinces to do acts of charity. Through these we are prophet in manifesting the kingdom of God. What was thought provoking was when he invited us to reflect on a different perspective: prophet and mission is about us going out of our ‘self’.
‘I’ need to step out of my ‘self’. I need to go out, leaving ‘self’ behind. We are somewhat attached to our worldly expectations and needs. These have put on us an identity who we are truly not and shifted our purpose of life. ‘I’ have a worldly identity at odds with my spiritual person. So who have ‘I’ become?
To prevent our worldly self from detaching from our spiritual person we must live in Love; not only to know and understand but to live it. Today’s second reading is all about Love. True love, as it is. It also tells us when ‘love’ is not true love, suggesting how it can be contaminated by worldly needs and expectations leading to a sub-conscious pre-occupation of ‘self’. It is this ‘self’ we must depart from to be prophet on mission.
Not all of us have this desire to be a prophet on mission. Few have. Because who we have become have buried who we truly are. The root of this is true Love, or more poignantly the absence of it.
We have become better skilled at maneuvering life. Which life? We are trained to become more eloquent, a sharp witted talker able to impress. We have acquired knowledge and education sometimes simply to be better than the other person. We window dress our image by donating sums of money to charity. We do it partially to climb the ladder of success. All these are not wrong except that at the top of this ladder we won’t find what we expect to find: true and lasting happiness in life.
“In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of this is love.” (Today’s second reading)
Only love leads to lasting happiness. But love need to be true. True love is giving without expecting returns in any form. In the higher realms, to love and give “so that God will bless me” is stained purity. Love is giving without accounting. When a person use lifelong savings to help a brother in debt instead of going to the bankruptcy court, the person want to give faith, hope and life back to the brother. Love is such, it is life-giving.
All of us are created with this capacity of true love, simply because we were created from the Love of God. It is there beneath the identity and purpose the worldly world have given us. Our spiritual persons are meant to be prophets to bring the Kingdom of God to others. This is our true purpose in life, our mission to give life through Love.
When we give, we live. Not as a reward but a natural consequence of Love. All you need is Love.
4th Ordinary Sunday