Cherish yourself

by | Feb 24, 2014 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistEighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), March 2, 2014 – Is 49, 14-15; 1 Cor 4, 1-5; Mt 6, 24-34

You have been purchased at a price (1 Cor 6, 20)

God considers us very dear and very precious.  Do we take ourselves according to his appreciation of us?

Jesus teaches that we human beings are worth much more than all the wealth we may have accumulated and may be able to amass.  Hence, it is not right that we lower ourselves in order to serve mammon as though it would guarantee security and salvation.  These belong to those who accept the invitation to be at the service of God’s kingdom.  The invitation itself is one more way to affirm our worth.

Jesus indicates besides that neither food nor clothes bring us dignity.  Dignity comes from God who created us, male and female, according to his image and likeness.

But the Creator values and exalts us even more by making us his children and heirs.  God is the heavenly Father who takes care of all creation.  In contrast to the deists’ unconcerned deity, our God does not cease caring even for the birds and the wild flowers.  And since we are more important than they, we can then put our trust in our Father, whose love, both affective and effective, surpasses a mother’s love for her infant.

We have no reason to worry or despair, even when it seems that, as in the Philippines, there is no leader, whether political, ecclesiastical or otherwise, who brings hope.  Unlike pagans, we believe in a provident God who knows our needs beforehand and whose concern for us confirms our worth as his chosen ones.  Rather, we have reason to take part first in the project of God’s kingdom and justice.

If we seek thus God’s kingdom and his justice, to us will be given besides the stature and all the things that no amount of worrying about our basic needs or about security and superiority in the future can give.  The security and stature that really matter are those that match God’s appreciation of us.

Do we value ourselves in accordance with how much God values us?  How much we esteem ourselves shows in how much we esteem others, especially those looked down upon and considered useless.  If, following St. Vincent de Paul’s exhortation (Coste XI, 32), we turn the medal and see Jesus in the poor who have neither majestic bearing to catch our eyes nor beauty to draw us to them, this is a good indication that we have the right appreciation of ourselves.

But if, on the contrary, we like making rash and hurting judgments, are not these only a spilling out of our low self-esteem?  Low self-esteem cannot only turn scornful, but also quite divisive and destructive.

And, of course, we who partake of the Lord’s Supper with equal dignity are called to the unity and the building-up of the body of Christ.

Ross Reyes Dizon