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Monday, April 15, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 15,2013


THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION
 
Napoleon and a nearsighted friend were once looking out of a window. Napoleon admired some distant stars which his friend could not see, and so he said, “That’s the difference between you and me.” What he meant was that he, Napoleon, was a man of vision who looks at the far horizon 
is able to see the stars, while his friend sees only what is nearby. “
Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life,” Jesus told the crowd who came to have their bellies filled once again through a miraculous multiplication of a few loaves.
It is understandable that we worry and care a lot about our physical needs. But there is a danger, which St. John Chrysostom expressed when he said, “Men are nailed to the things of this life.” We can easily become so occupied with the needs of daily life that we forget to look to the horizon of our lives and what lies beyond – eternal life.
Even religion can be abused by a materialistic approach, forgetting or ignoring the spiritual gifts that religion is supposed to give. The British philosopher Bertrand Russel wrote a book entitled Why I Am Not a Christian. In this book, he laments that so many Christians use religion only to gain friends, money and prestige, and some politicians find religion useful to gain votes.
How come that in our country, the “only Christian country in Asia,” as we proudly call it, graft and criminality are so rampant? How come that, in a country that prides itself of so many churches, colorful fiestas, crowds that flock to churches during the Simbang Gabi and Holy Week, so many un-Christian attitudes flourish?
Maybe the words of Jesus that we hear today can inspire us to look beyond the horizon of our lives and become more concerned with “the food that endures for eternal life.”
Maybe we will focus more on the essence of our religion than on using it for some temporal gains. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do religion, attending Mass and prayer meetings have an influence on your daily dealing with others?
 
Lord, Your words are again eye-openers. Open my eyes to what is essential so that I will not miss eternal life with You.

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