Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Salvation is not based on merit

1 am in the morning, just want to share Fr. Thomas' homily. Went to Novena for mass today, Fr Thomas from St. Peter and Paul celebrated. Then the homily is very good. Something like this:

the Gospel is about a woman whose husband died and they did not have children, then husband's brother had to marry her. Apparently the second husband also died and the third brother had to marry her. The third also died. They had 7 brothers and all married her. Then the Sadducees asked Jesus: on the day of resurrection who'll be the legal husband of the woman.

Fr Thomas said that people now often ask this kind of question; one asked him "My dad died in China and mom in Sg, will they meet?". Father said we are so used to talking about who and what is 'legal', about value, merit, and right. And salvation does not depend on merit. In the case of the man who asked whether dad and mom would meet, he does not need to care about this. He just needs to trust in God's mercy.

Likewise, whether we are doing virtuous or vicious thing, whether we are living a holy or sinful life, we cannot claim for salvation. No matter what you do, we needs trust, and hope, and confident in God to be saved. This is very interesting since honestly in my deepest sorrow I often complain how come my friends who are doing less get everything that I ever desire! This is of course not true since sooner or later I would find out that they're actually better. Haha.. stupid Nana.

Father also related this to his mother. Can see that he loves his mother so much. His mother said "When I was young, I listened to my father. When I got married, I listen to my husband. When I became a widow, I listen to my son." Basically Fr. Thomas was saying that her mother in every situation God puts her in, not matter how bitter it is, always accepts God's will and tries to do her best: as daughter, wife, mother, and widow. Actually was bit confused how it relates to the Sadducees, but I guess father wants to give example on the trust and confident in God, not only for our salvation, but in daily lives.

He's so funny yet very deep inside. He said that what his mother said helps him to understand the Gospel mentioned above. I'm so inspired to put my full trust and confident in God; and stop claiming things based on my 'merit': God will surely laugh up there in heaven. So inspired as well with the story of Fr. Thomas' mother. I think she's one of the happiest women in the world.

I thank God for a beautiful mass today. Was tempted to just go home after work actually, was tempted to grab food first but just realised that I had no cash in the middle of queue at BreadTalk. I do think where I am now, God circles on the map for me. Oh dear! 1:30am I need to sleep

1 comment:

Dom said...

Thanks Nana! It's interesting how different priests see the same passage in very different ways.
At lunchtime Mass, Fr Mike (don't know his surname, wondering if he was Fr Michael Sitaram) said that the Gospel story was interesting because it was not about the woman, not about the Resurrection, not about theology. It's about the Sadducees and how institutionalized their faith had become. And we sometimes can be like that too - it's all about us. We'll use Scripture, tradition, anything to justify ourselves. If that is the case, our Lord is speaking to us when He says "Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?"

Father said he knows lots of people like that and we must too. He knows lots of priests like that too. And he's one of them. He said sometimes it's like he starts the day looking at the mirror and saying, "Mike this day is dedicated to you."

Also when we have this institutionalized outlook, our faith becomes lackluster and if that is the case we should heed the words of St Paul "For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control."