Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You can't serve two Masters

Twenty Fifth Ordinary Sunday Year C

‘You cannot be the slave of two masters’. No one wants to be a slave of another. No one wants to be told what to do. We value our freedom. We value our ability to choose to do what we want to do. Unfortunately, many people indeed become slaves of one thing or another. We become trapped or addicted to the thing that we want to be free of.

God never forces his ways on us. Nevertheless, many people still follow the commandments only because they are afraid of God’s displeasure and punishment. But God never forces his way on us. God understands that in order for us to be his servant, in order for us to put our entire trust and faith in him, we must do it freely without compulsion.

On the other hand, whenever we begin to place our trusts in other things or persons apart from God, we soon see ourselves loosing our freedom to these things. We truly become slaves to these false gods. They begin to take control of our lives and take away our freedom to do the things that we really want to do or need to do.

We cannot serve God and false gods at the same time. To serve God is to be truly free. To serve other false gods would mean losing this freedom. We cannot be free and not be free at the same time. We must remember that we were created to know, love and serve God. The first commandment is ‘I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me’. While not forgetting God, we might also still make room for strange gods. Idols need not only be in the form of the gods of other religions. Very often, our idols are the things, objects, persons, situations, activities that we place our hope and our trust in. These idols give us a sense of false security. These idols promise us riches, protection, and blessings which we believe God will not be able to do so.

Many people say that they place a lot of emphasis on career development in their early years and it is only later in life that they become aware of the value and importance of friendship with God. It seems that the journey to authentically live the first commandment to love God above all else and have no strange gods, is a life long experience for most persons. There is momentary satisfaction in building up our own kingdom until even this particular activity doesn’t seem to satisfy us any more. It is then that we come to realize that what truly satisfies us is building up God’s kingdom. In other words, the attractions of life can draw us away from living as sons and daughters of God. The attractions of life slowly take away our inner freedom. We become slaves to them.

Apart from riches, many people often rely on the supernatural for assistance. When we are in trouble, we often seek the help of mediums and bomohs. Others rely on crystals and pay lots of money to adjust the fengshui of their house and consequently their luck. Still others, depend on certain prayers thinking that if these were recited fervently and repeatedly, miracles will take place. Prayer becomes magic rather than trusting in God’s providence.

So in this Mass we pray for the strength to know, love and serve God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength because no one can be the slave of two masters. We are reminded in today’s second reading: “For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all.” Let us cast off all our false gods and begin to place our trust in God, so that we may regain our freedom to become sons and daughters of God.

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