He is the one and only UNLI!

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
July 6, 2014


I work once more in a complex school setting. Back here after 28 years, I move around circles and groups that deal daily with what is known as teaching-learning situations. One goes to school to learn. One listens to lectures and subjects oneself to routine in order to learn, hopefully, for life. Going to school may end with graduation, but learning is meant to be lifelong.

But there is learning that is lifelong and learning that is meant to last forever, without end, without limits … In the Philippines, we call it UNLI … short for unlimited. UNLI refers to unlimited calls provided by cellphone companies to hook loyal customers. It also refers to the craze of the day, that would probably cause more diabetic cases in future – UNLI rice! Popular restaurants now are competing themselves to death by offering unlimited rice for the price of budget meals.

Today, the Lord offers UNLI learning. He counsels us to learn from him, who is “meek and humble of heart.” That type of learning goes beyond graduation, and goes even beyond life in this world. It is not only lifelong learning, but learning for eternal life – the ultimate UNLI ever!

The first reading and the Gospel passage seem to dovetail with each other. Zechariah talks about a vision of a king who is not at all kingly, but one who is “savior, meek and riding on an ass.” The Gospel shows us that what Zechariah prophesied became real and personal in Christ. Even if he were “Lord of heaven and earth,”’ and even if “all things were handed over to him by the Father,” he remained UNLI in lowliness, simplicity, meekness and humility.

People who are proud are short fused. They have limited patience, limited understanding of the reality of life as God would have us understand it. They have a limited  grasp of spiritual realities, and see life in only two dimensions: the here and the now.

People with an UNLI mentality know that there is more to life than here and now. They know there is a third dimension that makes life UNLI … without limits, without borders, and without boundaries.

Many years ago, when I was young and impulsive, I had a very humbling experience in Europe, en route from Madrid to Lisbon, then Fatima in Portugal. People who are proud are always humiliated. But people who are humble and only humbled even more. They have an UNLI type of inner resources, that can only be acquired, not by rote learning, but by learning from the Master Himself!

That type of learning is focused on unlimited humility, unlimited meekness, and unlimited trust in the Lord.

Today, I lay claim to that UNLI load of what matters most in the end – lowliness, meekness and humility. And when one learns from the Master Himself, one also learns a whole lot more! …

His yoke is easy, and his burden light! What more can we ever ask for? It leads to UNLI happiness, UNLI life, together with God in UNLI Heaven, our ONLY true home! Amen! Let’s go UNLI then!