Greatest achievement: Doing God’s will

Published October 3, 2020, 7:56 PM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD



A priest who suffered an extremely strained relationship with his parishioners was finally appointed chaplain at the city prison.

In the farewell party, the people came in great numbers to hear him. The priest chose as his text: “I go and prepare a place for you; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). Poor padre, he must have been treated so badly despite his good works that he wished his parishioners to follow him — not as co-chaplains but as inmates!

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In the gospel of this 27th Sunday (Matthew 21:33-43), we read Jesus’ parable on how the heir of the vineyard was badly treated by the tenants,  like that priest in the story. The parable refers to the servants as the earlier prophets sent by the vineyard owner (God) to collect the harvest. But they were not only rejected but he even killed. Then he sent the heir referring to Jesus but he was also mistreated and killed outside the vineyard (referring to His crucifixion outside Jerusalem).

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The parable is a thinly veiled attack against the Jewish leaders’ who were then plotting to kill Him. Though  addressed to the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees, the parable just as well serves as a warning for every Christian follower. We Filipinos surely are not rejecting the “heir” (Jesus) since we are religious and God-fearing.

However, we can and do reject Him when we don’t follow His moral teachings as summed up in the 10 Commandments.

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There’s a story about a priest who was once delivering a homily with much enthusiasm. “Thou shalt not kill!” he boomed. A charismatic parishioner in the front row exclaimed, “Amen, Father, amen.”

“Thou shalt not steal!” the priest fulminated. “Amen!” Again the parishioner practically shouted.  With the tension rising, the preacher paused and declared, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

“Oops, oops,” said the parishioner. “Father, wait a minute. Now you have stopped preaching. You are now meddling with my life.”

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It’s easy to accept the commands of Christ as long as they don’t run against our own will or as long as they  apply to others! In effect, it’s a selective obedience.

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There are Mass goers who regularly receive Holy Communion and faithfully recite their devotions. These pious practices are certainly commendable but when these devotees go home and continue mindlessly to be unforgiving, unkind, harsh, and unjust to their workers, or persist in doing corrupt practices, their pious acts are defective and contradictory.

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To be true Christians, Jesus says in today’s gospel, “You should bear fruits of good works.”

An anonymous author wrote a short article entitled “WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY,” which manifests the fruits of good works: “In the home it is kindness; in business it is honesty; in society it is courtesy; in work it is justice; toward the unfortunate it is compassion; toward the weak it is help; toward the wicked it is resistance; toward the penitent it is forgiveness; toward God it is reverence and love.”

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May we not follow the wicked tenants in the way they maltreated and even killed the Lord but by faithfully doing His will and commandments.

A remarkable spiritual writer said: “KNOWING the will of God is the greatest knowledge; FINDING the will of God is the greatest discovery; DOING the will of God is the greatest achievement.”

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GENEROUS READERS. It’s very inspiring how generous our readers have been in contributing to our “Adopt-A-Seminarian” scholarship fund. This is Christian love IN ACTION.

Seminarians are very important in the Church. Without them, we cannot have priests, missionaries, bishops, and popes. Let’s continue to help our seminarians so they persevere and nurture their priestly vocation.

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For further inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected]

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FAMILY TV MASS — is aired on 5PLUS Channel 59, Cignal Cable Ch. 6, Free TV Ch. 41 at 6-7 a.m.  Sunday and anytime at MCFI SVD Media Account on YouTube and Facebook Page. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD.

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HOLY ROSARY. It’s the month of October, let us pray the Holy Rosary. We pray especially that our Blessed Mother will COMPLETELY end the COVID-19 pandemic.