In the Gospel, people were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” It is very true that people would have different views whenever someone is doing something beneficial to others and to the community. We have our own biases.
Our seminary community has been attending a series of on-line conferences about “Missio Ad Gentes.” Held every last Friday of the month, the conference is an initiative of Sts. Peter and Paul Vicariate where the seminary complex belongs. In one of the conferences, a Filipino missionary priest assigned in a foreign land shared his experience of being criticized by other people. He said that some people would judge him that he was just in the mission area in order to raise money. He has a good intention in being a missionary priest but not all people believe and are pleased. This has a semblance to the story in the Gospel. The people saw God at work in what Jesus was doing while the Pharisees saw Satan at work in Jesus’ healing work. It is striking that when people look at the same phenomenon, they can see it very differently. The people, in contrast to the Pharisees, were attuned to the presence and action of God in Jesus.
In life, it is good to always examine ourselves of the motivations of our actions and to be always alert to the presence of God all around us, especially in the good that other people may be doing. Jesus himself was sensitive to the goodness of others, even when they failed to see it in themselves. This is why I desire to possess Jesus’ generous way of seeing, especially in these times when the negative can be highlighted more to the disadvantage of everything else.
By: Sem. Glicerio T. Tano
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”