by Rev. Fr. Tristan Jasper D. Laforteza
Once I came across a story of a man who was walking along the desert towards home. Suddenly, he heard a voice telling him to pick up some stones and place them inside his pockets for tomorrow he will be very happy yet sad at the same time. Although has was troubled and doubtful of where the voice come from and what might be the instruction for, still he kept his mind open and followed what he was told to do. After a while, he felt the need to lessen the number of stones in his pockets, so he threw away some of them and continue to walk home. A few miles after, he got tired and uncomfortable that he decided to take away some of the stones again. When he reached home, he immediately took his pants off and hanged it on the wall. On the following day, he checked into his pockets and was made surprise that the stones turned to be rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
Certainly, the man became so happy for being instantly rich but was very sad as well for regretting the other stones he threw away and left behind.
Trust is truly necessary as we go through life. The voice in the story may be likened to the voice of God, which we have to listen to and entrust everything. The First Reading gives a high emphasis on this. It is said: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit” (Jer. 17:5-8).
Undoubtedly, when God works through us, we can work though anything.
Seeing ourselves in the midst of trouble and puzzling concerns is a good opportunity to live out this value of entrustment. The Gospel assures us that all hardships and privations have a definite prize in the end. Most especially, if we overcome them without turning our backs against God, heavenly rewards would be even more precious and surpassing than rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. As it is stated, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven” (Lk. 6:17, 20-26).
The Second Reading makes us realize that the Resurrection of Christ is the greatest testimony to have no room for doubts and hopelessness. It is stated, “If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15:12, 16-20)? The Son of God Himself experienced an incomparable pain, which He never complained about till death. Similarly, facing challenges is like undertaking a process of dying that leads to a glorious resurrection and exaltation. It is because no matter what happens in our lives, God will work all things out for the better.
Finally, I thought of the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you…”
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