Farming has been our family’s livelihood and my father made sure that we know at least the basics of farming. One summer, I and my brothers were given the task to remove the weeds and the “golden snail” from the rice field. According to my father, the weeds compete with the rice for water and nutrients. The golden snails, on the other hand, feed on the leaves of the rice plant. I was annoyed by the plentiful weeds for they even look healthier than the rice. I was wondering how they were able to grow knowing that they are not intentionally put there. By the end of the day, we were able to gather a massive pile of “useless weeds” and a sack of parasitic golden snail.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus said, “He makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Sometimes, I also ask the Lord, “Why do you give so many blessings to wicked people?” “Why do you allow them to prosper?” His simple answer is because of “love”—he never chooses whom to love. His great love and blessing are for everyone and with no conditions.
As I reflect on it, I am also like one of those weeds in our rice field. I received countless blessings from God, despite being useless and unworthy. The Gospel for today challenges me to imitate that kind of love that Jesus had shown us—to love unreservedly even my enemies. It challenges me to express and extend that love even to undeserving people I encounter, for God has loved me despite being unworthy.
By: Sem. Ericson Y. Austria
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”