February 13, 2022


Reflection for the Sixth Sunday After Epiphany, 13 February 2022

Jeremiah 17:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 6:17-26

By: The Rev. Fr. Hermogenes P. Verano, DPA
Priest-in-Charge, Mission of the Holy Child, Punta, Santa Ana, Manila

We ask ourselves why there are many people who are poor and are mired in poverty? Does God forsake them? Can He just look at their suffering from a distance if He loves His people, His own creation? These are questions that need answers.

What is the difference between the poor as mentioned by Jesus and the poor in our times?

The Beatitudes, however, as narrated by Jesus, do not speak of the conversion of the rich; nor do they say that the poor are better. But these (Beatitudes) promise a reversal. The Kingdom signifies a new society: God blesses the poor but not poverty.

Poverty has so many complications. The rulers of government might as well be one of the causes of people’s insufficient subsistence. When the distribution of goods is suspiciously politicised, it becomes difficult for those at the bottom or "laylayan" (“marginalized,” as famously expressed by Vice-President Leni Robredo) to afford such goods. Another is that mendicancy becomes the lame excuse. Some people are so dependent that tilling the soil is no longer their idea of survival. Hence, we can see children cajoling in some passenger jeepneys asking for alms from passengers; while their parents are busy at home engaging in gambling/bingo. That is why the word "ayuda" (literally “help extended” in money or goods) became famous nowadays in this time of pandemic. Some enterprising politicians are exploiting this situation.

But is God happy? Jeremiah, in his talk with God, warns: "Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings and depends on a mortal for his life, while his heart is drawn away from Yahweh."

In exhorting the people of Corinth, St. Paul admonishes them by saying, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is empty and our belief comes to nothing."

Corollary, God will not or never forsake us nor abandon us. Indeed, He loves us to the very core of our being whatever we may be till Kingdom come.



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