LIKE LAMBS IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES!
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
July 7, 2013
LIKE LAMBS AMONG WOLVES
I remember an old thriller of a movie, where a man dabbles in some kind of well-thought out high level crime by joining an organized group of criminals. When the crime was done and the spoils were supposed to be divided among them, one of them, the villain, unexpectedly pulls a fast one on everybody else who, each, was left holding an empty bag. The villain, in the end, had this to say: “Amateurs should not play games with professionals!” And he made a clean escape with all the booty in hand.
Amateurs, indeed, should not be playing games with professionals. Take it from one who dabbled a little with basketball during the days when psychomotor skills, not brash and braun, were all that mattered; when there was far less bruising and bone-breaking body contact necessary. Aging now, and with far less agility and far more fragility in body and bone, I ought never play tumble with youthful “professionals” in their own right.
Lambs ought not gambol with wolves … For one, wolves don’t gambol aimlessly. No, they go for the kill, and they are expertly, deadly skillful at what they do, initially stalking silently their prey, and given the right conditions, would pounce and pursue on the hapless clueless gentle lamb, that ends up as a pack of wolves’ lunch, dinner or snack.
I must confess at times I feel more like a lamb in the midst of wolves in certain areas of the vast human enterprise. In a world that abounds in con artists and salespeople dead set on making a quick sale, I, as, at times, a clueless buyer, can be more of a sucker than a successful entrepreneur. I buy in, and fall, head-first, into a waiting trap. And I know others, too, who end up buying something they realize they have no need for, just after the salesman had left, and knocked on the doors of another sucker in the neighborhood.
Sometimes, I feel more like a lamb, unable to rightly and justly “boast” of what I can do and am capable of doing. Today, St. Paul tells us that it’s OK, at times, to boast and boast bravely.
Sometimes, too, I feel like a lost lamb, wandering in the prairie world of professionals who seem to know everything there is to know about the business, and I am caught up in my little pocket calculator, wondering how on earth congressmen and other politicians who receive no more than 60 K for monthly official salary, can afford to pay for every fiesta, and procure all the needed balls and trophies in the obligatory “basketball league” in every street corner or “kanto” in beloved “Filipinas” (whatever happened to good, old Pilipinas … am crying now, not for Argentina, but for beloved Pilipinas).
Sometimes I feel like a lowly lamb, unable to connect with the digital natives of my times, who seem not to be afraid of pushing buttons and manipulating images in capacitive or resistive touch screens (why, in my childhood, push buttons were meant to be used sparingly and gingerly or else they break apart!) The young nowadays move along in techno country, oozing with confidence , that we who only played with empty milk cans, and useless pieces of driftwood, never had.
But today, as an educator, as a teacher, preacher and presider at this assembly, as a priest, prophet, and king, like unto Christ the one, true Mediator and Savior, I am called precisely to be like a lamb, and go right into the world of wolves, to save at least some of them.
As a humble lamb, I need to claim the “glorious liberty of the children of God,” and boast rightly in the Lord … No, not about me, but all about Him who saved me and who is my strength, my savior, and my Lord.
The world I live in is more than just a wolves’ den. More often than not, I feel like an amateur moving in a world populated by professionals in every imaginable field. I am weak. I am ill-prepared. I am ignorant of so many things.
But there is something that is abundant in this world of professionals, in this world of heroes and heels … “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.” The Lord needs help to save this world. The Lord could use an extra pair of hands, and a generous dose of heroism and zeal.
I am afraid. Still. Shaky before the powerful and the learned, I shudder at the so many things that need to be done. But allow me to boast today, like St. Paul …
“Behold, I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.”
Yes, even the lowly lamb in the presence of ravenous wolves can have ultimate victory. And it comes, not from the lamb’s innate power and strength, but from the strength of him who has called me to be a priest in His name, in His person, on His behalf. May I never boast except in His name!