30th Sunday Year A
October 26, 2014


Social media has apparently made the world a more loving, and more connected world. Yes … not even PLDT with its watchword “keeping you in touch” has ever succeeded as well as facebook to keep people in touch. Facebook, Google+, Linked In, Twitter and other micro-blogging networks have all edged out the voice-call industry in connecting people in real time.

Why, facebook has even redefined “friendship.” Google+ has invented a wide array of relationships, from circles, to family, to acquaintances, to close friendship. We are connected and related in every way imaginable.

But we can also ignore posts, statuses, twits, - and, yes – even “missed calls.” We can pretend like we never saw them, and just quietly remain a “lurker” rather than an active “liker.”

It means being connected, without really being engaged and involved.

The love that the readings speak of today cannot be the kind of relationships shown in social media. For many reasons.

First, one does not choose whom to consider “friend.” No one among us in his right mind would befriend an “alien,” an “orphan,” or a “widow” just so he or she can keep connected. But the kind of relationship that the first reading talks of is one of care and responsibility, and an involvement that is not just a business relationship. In fact there is no business here, as one does not stand to gain from such an involvement.

Second, it is not optional. It is a commandment. It is actually the greatest commandment of all.

And third, it costs. Anything important and of value, definitely costs, and this is true of love. For God. For neighbor. For family. For enemy.

The world makes it appear all too easy nowadays. To be a close friend (while being physically far) is as easy as clicking a button. But not all relationships click in real life. Not everyone could get that close to others, for reasons as many as there are people. I cannot please everyone I know, whether her or she is close to me or not. Even great friends I had once upon a time at some point become distant and uncaring, again, for reasons that one may not easily fathom. And not everyone approves of everything I do, or purport to do. In fact, there may actually be some people who, not only disapprove of me, but also do things to spite me, to hurt me, to and to put me down, for reasons best known to themselves.

The world, as we know it, is not as cozy as the world painted by social media, where likes dominate your wall, after you post an “impression managed” picture chosen from a batch of selfies that were taken a few minutes earlier (which, like “spare embryos” are willfully and casually relegated to the trash bin). The world can actually be a cruel place, and life can actually be unfair.

But this is the time when the great command takes center stage. This, too, is the time the same command becomes really costly. And the command demands a lot from me and you. Love costs. Love hurts. Love wounds.

But ultimately, love heals and love saves!

“Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.”
Tagaytay City

October 24, 2014