I Stand for Christ

Before election day in 2016, two candidates offered me money so that I would vote for them. I was surprised because I never experienced this before. I told them clearly that I will vote according to my conscience. But they still persuaded me to accept the money as a gift. I accepted the “gift” without assuring them of my vote. The following morning, I shared the incident with my parish priest, and he noted their names. When the results of the elections went out, the two vote-buyers did not win, and they have hated me since then.

A challenge to me during that moment of temptation was to stand up for Christ. We have heard of the term “Cafeteria Catholics” or those who claim to be Catholics but only pick what doctrine or teaching of the Church to follow based on personal comfort and convenience. Our Christian identity is always compromised when sinful interests play in our lives. When shall we stand for what is worth defending? At Baptism and our renewal thereafter, we promise to renounce Satan and all his evil deeds because we identify ourselves with Christ. Christ did not promise us an easy life when we became Christians. Rather, He called us to walk along the path of perfection that leads to heaven.

From time to time, faced with my shortcomings and vulnerabilities, I ask myself, “Am I really living according to Christ’s way of life and teachings?” Perhaps, I am just pretending to be good and might just be wearing a mask before others. If this is who I am, then woe to me! Woe to all people who do the same thing! Every day we are challenged to stand up for Christ. However, our concupiscence always tempts us to take what is easier and more pleasurable. Today’s Gospel serves as an eye-opener that we may see clearly the good things that the Lord has made and done in our lives. Let us open our eyes! The sunlight that we feel and the air that we breathe are just a few of the many blessings that we enjoy every day. These are the miracles that accompany human existence. Recognize your blessings! Right now, there are people who may be dying because of difficulty in breathing. Others could no longer enjoy the beauty of the day. With all the life and blessings around us, there is no reason to lose hope or not to stand up for Christ.

By: Sem. Ace Vergel D. Quilope

Today’s Gospel

Mt 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

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