Saturday, July 02, 2005



JULY 3, 2005

Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy,
O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior
is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. He
shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to
the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the
River to the ends of the earth.

ROMANS 8:9, 11-13
Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you
are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever
does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. If the
Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the
one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal
bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Consequently,
brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live
according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you
will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the
body, you will live.

MATTHEW 11:25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of
heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the
wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes,
Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed
over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and
no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son
wishes to reveal him." "Come to me, all you who labor and are
burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest
for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, a Greek slave by the name
of Aesop, compiled a collection of stories known today as Aesop's
Fables. One of the fables deals with a dispute between the sun and
the wind. The dispute was over which of the two was the stronger.

One day an opportunity arose to settle the dispute. A man dressed in
a coat was walking down a deserted country road. The sun said to the
wind, "Whoever makes that man remove his coat faster will be the

The wind not only agreed, but volunteered to go first. He blew and
blew, but the more he blew, the tighter the man held on to his coat.
Finally, exhausted, the wind gave up. Then the sun took over. It
merely shone in all its glory. Within minutes, the man took off his

Aesop said the moral of the story was this: You can achieve more by
gentleness than by violence.

Today violence is more popular than gentleness.

In business we are told to be aggressive rather than gentle. In
politics, people try to get into office by hook or by crook - by
cheating, "dagdag-bawas," or downright snatching of ballot boxes,
when defeat was evident. Some traffic disputes are settled by the
gun. Ability to manipulate is more important than respect and
integrity. In sports, sportsmanship is a thing of the past, winning
is all that counts. Play rough and cheat. It's part of the game.
Sportscasters speak of a "good foul."

Today, gentleness is considered a weakness.

If you are kind and courteous in traffic, people say "mahina ka!"
That's why the common practice is "Don't let anyone get ahead of
you!" "Have guns, will shoot."

Our own families reflect the violence of our age. We practice what
we see on TV and movies. We shout and scream at each other, we kick
pets, smash things, and even slap or beat up one another. A recent
example of a violent culture is the campus violence, the most
notorious of which was the high school massacre in Colorado by

How different from what Jesus taught us!

"Learn from me," said Jesus, "because I am gentle and humble of

The prophet Isaiah foretold the gentleness of Jesus when he said: "He
will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the
streets. He will not break off a bent reed nor put out a flickering

A beautiful example of the gentleness of Jesus is the way he handled
the case of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus was gentle not only
with the woman, but also with her self-righteous accusers. Jesus did
not shout or threaten them. He did not curse and yell. He simply
bent down gently, and wrote in the sand with his finger. His action
stood out like a clap of thunder in the silence of a summer's night.

Jesus taught us to be gentle also. He held up for our imitation the
shepherd in the Parable of the Lost Sheep. He didn't beat up the
stray sheep or drag it home. He placed it gently on his shoulders.

Jesus also held up for our imitation the Father of the Prodigal. The
father didn't scold his wayward son. He didn't punish him; he hugged
him. He wants us to follow his example.

The following story illustrates this point.

Once upon a time there was a young prince. He was very handsome
except for one thing: He had a crooked back. This birth defect
caused him great sorrow. It also kept him from being the kind of
prince that he really wanted to be for his people.

One day the prince's father asked the best sculptor in his kingdom to
make a statue of the prince. It should portray him, however, not
with a crooked back, but with a straight back. The king wanted his
son to see himself as he could be.

When the sculptor finished the statue, it was truly magnificent. It
was so lifelike that you could not mistake it for the prince. The
king placed the statue in the prince's private garden.

Each day when the prince went to the garden to study, he looked
longingly at the statue. Then one day he noticed that when he did
this, his heart beat faster and his body tingled.

Months passed. Soon the people began to say to one another, "The
prince's back doesn't seem as crooked as it once did." When the
prince heard this, his heart beat even faster and his body tingled
even more.

Now the prince began to go to the garden more often. He spent hours
standing before the statue, studying it closely, and meditating on
it. Then one day a remarkable thing happened. The prince found
himself standing as straight as the statue.

That story is a parable of you and me. We too were born to be a
prince or a princess. But we too had a defect that kept us from
being the kind of person we were meant to be. Then one day our
Father in heaven sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world.

Jesus is the perfect image of what you and I were born to be. He
stands spiritually straight and beautiful. When we look at Jesus,
our heart beats faster, and our body tingles, and we begin to dream.

Today's gospel contains an important invitation for all of us.

It invites us to learn from Jesus, because he is "gentle and humble
in spirit." Concretely what does this mean for us in the week ahead?

First, it means we try to respond to people as the sun did in Aesop's
fable of the wind and the sun. We try to respond to people with
genuine warmth.

Second, it means we try to respond to those who wrong us as Jesus did
in the case of the sinful woman, and as the father did in the Parable
of the Prodigal Son. We try to respond with understanding and

Let's conclude with a prayer:

Lord, during the week ahead, help to us remember
the lesson of the sun
in the fable of the wind and the sun.

Help us strive to be like Jesus
as the prince strove to be perfectly straight like the statue.

Help us remember the words of Your Son, who said:
"Learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions of Ma. Theresa Guevarra.
- for the personal intentions of Mary Anne.
- for the personal intentions of JP.
- for the personal intentions of Lydia and family.
- for the personal intentions of those who are sick, especially Rich
M, Edith & Von from FL.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Patricia & Rico David
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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