Praising God the Father


Today’s gospel reading is about our Lord Jesus Christ praising His Father in heaven. This is an insight of His Divine mind, openly showing us how He prays to His Father in heaven, which reveals a very intimate relationship with the Triune God. It reveals the love of God for each and every one of us, something we learned in the past two Sundays. It’s in Matt.11:25-30.

“[On that occasion,] 25 Jesus said, “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 the childlike. 26 Yes Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 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.

28 Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

This is a very significant lesson that each of us must learn, that faith is a gift that is revealed to us by God the Father himself. It is not that all of the sudden, we became religious or spiritual or decided by ourselves that it is time to commune with the Lord. As it is written in John 17: 20-24,

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one. I in them and you in my, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you love them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

In another famous passage, during the confession of St. Peter in Matt.16: 13-19, when he answered the question posed by our Lord Jesus Christ who asked, “Who do you think I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus’ answer was, “Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah for flesh and blood did not reveal that to you, but my Father in heaven.” That statement reveals that Peter found out that Jesus was the Messiah, not from rumors or tsismis from the market place, but rather it was revealed to him by God the Father in heaven.

Now who was Peter? He was just a simple and sinful fisherman that the Lord recruited from the shores of Galilee to become “Fishers of Men.” Peter was no theologian, but the power of the Holy Spirit came to him and now he could see that Jesus was indeed the Son of the living God. Yet even in his weakness, he denied Jesus three times during the passion of Christ.

These words of our Lord Jesus Christ kept ringing in my ears “for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike” especially in the spiritual battle against the forces that are supporting the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. Just when we all thought that the House of Representatives were all sold (proudly, except all our Cebuano Legislators, except for Rep. Tomas Osmeña) to supporting the RH bill, all of the sudden, an unexpected voice reverberated in the hallowed halls of Congress, the voice of Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, who openly declared his opposition to the RH Bill right after he was sworn into office. The Pacman’s stand even caught the CBCP by surprise!

Who is Manny Pacquiao? As far as most of us know, he is not a learned man. He comes from a poor family and thus, he did not even study in big universities. He is only a neophyte Congressman, nor do people see him as the religious, except that he openly shows his faith in God when he is inside the ring where the only time we saw him on his knees in the canvass is when he is praying to God and billions worldwide saw the Pacman’s faith.

God gave Pacman a fist of gold to make us Filipinos proud. But his childlike faith made him come out in the open against long time arrogant congressmen or senators like Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who berated the Pacman, but then suddenly turned away. Pacman’s childlike faith has shamed many learned theologians supporting the RH Bill.

The last paragraph in today’s gospel, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” is immortalized by a famous Filipino artist Basil Valdez, which has become a favorite Gospel song, as it depicts a loving Christ, who knows that all of us rich or poor suffer to the many problems of daily living. That if you take upon you the yoke of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will give you rest. I heed the call of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is why I visit him regularly in the Adoration Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, so we can rest in his peace… a real genuine peace.

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