August 22, Monday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
Daily readings: 2 Thessalonians 1: 1-5, 11-12, and Matthew 23:13-22
To grow in faith entails great sacrifice.
The readings today paint us two apparent images. The first is an image of someone growing in faith. The second is an image of those who, by their lives and actions, stunt the growth in faith of others. These are two contrasting images, two contrasting movements, and two contrasting results.
The first reading talks about being an instrument by which others are converted. It talks about how doing the will of God and walking in His ways can serve as fertile grounds where one’s faith and that of others are nurtured. It’s evangelization in actuality because we cannot be effective evangelizers if we haven’t evangelized ourselves; that is, we do not only speak the Word, but we live it daily.
To grow in faith and live that faith entails great sacrifice. Being so and doing so, however, does not come easy. There could be much persecution along the way. Indeed, the only way to heaven is through the cross and emptying ourselves of worldly matters.
The Gospel presents another image of those who preach the Gospel, frequent the Churches, and maybe even rub elbows with church authorities, or they can even be the church authorities themselves. We could be one of them in one way or more.
How many souls have gone astray because of our influence? In our hypocrisy, how many people have been turned away from the Church? I remember how often I heard my officemates tell their horror stories of their encounters with Church servants and even clerics.
The Gospel strongly warns us against influencing others and thus blocking their way to heaven. It strongly warns us against misguiding and misdirecting people because of our hypocritical way of life, that is, living the opposite vices of the values we supposedly preach.
Which image are you? May we be somewhat broken in faith and bring others to the Kingdom than live a seemingly untainted life but lead others away from the Kingdom.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.