The lies of others can bring short-term pleasure…but the Truth builds our self-esteem & transforms the world
We live in a world where moral certainties have started to become uncertain in the eyes of many people. Especially for the youth in our communities, it’s a very difficult time to know what’s right and what will create difficulties for us tomorrow.
It’s very encouraging that God told the Prophet Samuel to choose David as the future King: just a boy, who still had much to learn. And perhaps that’s why God selected David: it’s often easier to train people who have not been indoctrinated by the world and become too “comfortable” or “secure” with those dead-end ways (eg. King Saul).
It’s also true that when we have status and power, we are less open to learning new ways. Just as God saw potential in David, so God sees potential in us: BUT, we must allow God to take away the blindness cause by our past conditioning: by family, by school, by society.
Do we see potential in others?
Or do we judge them as part of a certain group and therefore they are either IN or OUT. The Pharisees certainly had the blind man labelled as a sinner very quickly.
In recent years, like others, I’ve been amazed and inspired by what science has revealed about nature, animals, micro-biology and the universe. In the same way, God shows us that every person has the potential to amaze us in the future: including ourselves!
St Paul says: You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord. Surely this means that God has the ability to draw out our potential if we are courageous, faithful & work hard?
In Kenya we have many intelligent children who are kept in the dark by teachers who are poorly trained, or are absent too often, or don’t prepare their lesson plans, or don’t have the resources to do their work properly or too many children for one teacher.
And, so, the potential of many Kenyans remains in darkness. But what a transformation we would see if teachers and professors took their roles more seriously and allowed the light of God to shine through them? Kenya would be transformed.
Too many of us – myself included –put others down, instead of seeing their potential, and how God uses the broken parts of our lives to create assistance/beauty for others.
A man had two large pots, hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One pot was cracked, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the river to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. This went on daily for two years: the man delivered only 1.5 pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its work and made fun of the cracked pot. Meanwhile, the poor, cracked pot was ashamed and sad about his “bad” performance.
After 2 years of apparent failure, the cracked pot spoke to the man at the river: “I’m ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The man said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path? That’s because I knew about your flaw, and I planted seeds on your side of the path. For two years you have been watering the flowers and making our place beautiful. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
If each of us begins to encourage others by looking for positives in the “weaknesses” of others, we will also start to like ourselves more and more. And the more we like ourselves, the more we will help transform our community into Heaven on Earth.
The primary message of today’s Gospel challenges us to speak the truth about our behaviour, and not to hide behind what others say: eg. many people are doing XYZ, therefore if I do it, I am not doing anything wrong.
The sin against the Holy Spirit, as revealed in John’s Gospel today, is simple: when we say a lie is the truth and the truth is a lie. It cannot be forgiven because we never ask for forgiveness.
The first step in changing our lives for the better (gaining new sight), is to say honestly what we are doing wrong. It’s not important if we can’t fix it immediately. But a virus can never be killed unless we define it exactly: then a vaccine can be manufactured over time.
God believes in us. But do we believe in ourselves? Let us judge our behaviour against the Law of God, rather than the behaviour of the world around us. Whenever our behaviour/actions stop respecting our neighbour and God’s creation, then we must call it a lie; and try to change.
As we try to change, God will help us become like David: fully alive, and working for the community: he became successful and happy. Unlike King Saul, who died selfish & unhappy.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI