Saturday, September 07, 2013

It's my Christ year! 3Ds

That's what I've learned to call my 33rd birthday whom a dear friend told me.

On the eve of my Christ year, I ponder many things. Firstly, the homily this evening. Father Bob said he cringes when the Gospel or the Word says you must hate your family and friends. But in deeper detail, he says that the translation actually means to be detached. He said that was understandable.

I'm not a very addictive person but I may get too attached to some things. It can be people, or things or habits or whatevers.

This year before my Christ year, I have gone through a sort of detachment. I have been able to lessen my involvement in certain activities which allows me more time to be with God. I have also avoided people whose negativities bring me down. But I have quickly replaced it with other things like my revitalized passion for fishing.

A few days ago, I broke my ribs. It's a long story which I will not recount. The message is that I should not devote all my time to only fishing. I have to make time for God.

Church activities, though meaningful, do not necessarily equate time with God. I often think about the Gospel in Matthew when God teaches us how to pray - in seclusion, just with the Creator and no rambling because He already knows. It's a two-way dialogue that requires listening as well as speaking. But we most often do the latter that listening is put out of the picture.

So, this Christ year, I hope that I will be closer to God. With my recovery, God's presence and teachings are ever so evident. One is God's love and the need to love Him, and the other the love we have for our neighbour. God is so loving that whatever we do, He is there.

Last week, after breaking my ribs, though not knowing it yet, before mass, we thought we would miss the bus. To walk would be quick if I didn't have an injury but God knew my pain and somehow, the bus which should have left, stayed a bit which allowed us to ride. We then had to walk, a chore for me because my leg was still painful. After mass, we got on the bus to go somewhere to eat. A few friends saw me and said for me to sit, I said it was painful. They must have seen the pain on my face and said, don't eat yet, just go straight to the clinic.

This guiding presence of God through other people are so touching, I almost cried. Not from pain but knowing that God was there.

A similar thing happened when I was on holiday this summer. I went to a church, as a stranger, and I was asked by the church volunteer to offer up the gifts. Who was I - some stranger to that church - to offer up gifts? I felt God valuing my presence. I cried during communion and went home with a smile on my face.

The second lesson is love for others. I have had opportunities to be on the giving side but at this moment in time, I have been on the receiving. I am so thankful to a loved one who has been helping me recover and who is always there to help me in times of need. God has given me a true gift. I could not ask for anything more on my birthday - to be loved by Him and to be loved by others.

That's why it's sometimes hard to be detached because God has given us so many blessings and we can't help but dote on these blessings. But He asks us to dote on the Giver and not to lose sight of that.

So, this Christ year, I hope I can find a balance between detachment, doting and devotion.

Lord, thank you for another year of blessing of life. I cherish every second of it. I'm sorry for all my shortcomings and I pray for good health. Thank you for all the lovely people around me and for all those who have challenged me to be closer to You. I pray for forgiveness.

All this Lord, I cherish and pray, in your name. Amen.

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