Friday, January 19, 2007

You are a PAIN in my.........

A reflection on the Gospel of Mark 3:13-19 (The appointment of the twelve) - Friday of the 2nd week of ordinary time Year I.

Have you ever thought about the group Jesus chose to be his companion and his messenger? It is an imperfect group. Among His appointed twelve, there were fishermen (one who is always getting into trouble for his words and actions), tax collector, zealot, self-centered greedy man, over zealous men, and in a contrast some quiet fellows. Each of them has different characters; denied Jesus, a traitor, coward, doubter, thinker, emotional, lover, etc.

Eh……don’t we see this type of people in our groups, ministries and communities?? Yeah lah, come to think about this, our group is an imperfect group. Now, why did God put me in such an imperfect group? Why does God allow such group in his church?

Just imagine if Jesus chose perfect (up to standard) people to be his disciples…wow…what a boring group that will be (A mechanical, robotic community). No…Jesus didn’t choose an imperfect group so he can have fun with them but precisely so they can be formed. I am sure you know by now that I like the theme of clay…Yes, the clay can only be molded when it is soft (imperfect), a hard dried clay can’t; it will be broken to pieces.

There is a reason for each one of us to be in a certain group, especially in an imperfect group. The group becomes perfect only when each one plays their own role. The disciples became a perfect group only when they accepted each one (we see this evidently in the Acts of the Apostles).

Now why then are those people in the group who are irritating, not listening, not co-operating, blah, blah…? They are A PAIN in….(up to you to fill in the blanks) My friends, they are there to make us holy, patient, understanding; they are there precisely to form us and make us realize that we too are not perfect and in need of God’s help. Just imagine if it is a perfect group then we will all be arrogant and try to play God!!

It is a challenge to work with difficult people but don’t you agree it is a good opportunity for us to be holy, compassionate, loving. Never take it as a test, but treat it more as an opportunity for you. Then the gospel text of ‘Love your enemies’ and ‘be good to those who treat you badly’ comes alive in your life. An opportunity of love and service. (and my friends, we too might be a pain for others, so we are doing them a favour….hehehehe.)

I am sure you are asking me now; If that is the case, no group will ever be perfect?? No…once we accept each other with all their weaknesses and limitations and each one plays their own role then the group becomes perfect. Remember what the early Christians used to say about the community that remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles…”See how they loved one another” Just before Jesus died he gave a new commandment of Love to his apostles and he ended saying…by this all will know that you are mine.

Jesus wants to claim all of us as his own, Jesus wants to claim you as his own. So the next time when you are in a group with PAINS, just remember…It is an OPPORTUNITY of Love and Service.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr