AMAN approached his priest friend and bragged, “Father, I got rid of all my vices – drinking through will power; gambling, will power; smoking, will power.” The priest said, “How about womanizing?” “Power failure,” the man said sheepishly.
“But I’m trying hard to overcome it, Father.”
In this second Sunday of Advent, the prophet Baruch (first reading) and Christ’s forerunner John the Baptist talk about road building and repair: “Make the ground level,” “straighten the crooked ways,” “make the rough roads smooth” (Baruch 5,8; Lk 3,5).
Both prophets are not, however, concerned about road repairs (although their message is a timely reminder for our DPWH officials to fix our rough and potholed roads!). The prophets are conveying in typical Jewish metaphor the message that the morally crooked ways be eradicated, the rough edges of our character be made smooth. In short, REPENT and REFORM our lives.
Why must we straighten our crooked ways? Gunar Myrdal, renowned author of the voluminous book Asian Drama, an in-depth study on the Third World countries, says that one major drawback to economic progress of nations is attributed to their negativistic traits and attitudes. In other words, where there are corrupt practices, greed, social injustices, economic progress is hampered.
On the personal level, selfishness, insensitivity, infidelity, domestic violence are some causes of other’s untold sufferings and misery. A husband, for instance, who spends lavishly for his barkada and vices, but has no money for the family sustenance is selfish and insensitive.
“The Happy Hyprocrite” is a story written by the late Max Beerbohm, one of the most respected writers of this century.
It is the story of a man named Lord George Hall, a man with no scruples – a terrible villain who’s not only mean but looks mean.
Lord George Hall falls in love with a beautiful and innocent maiden named Little Miss Mere. She refuses his offer
of marriage, saying, “I can never be the wife of a man whose face is not saintly.”
As a result, Lord George Hall engages the services of the finest mask-maker in the land who fashions for him the mask of a saint – perfect in every detail. (Today instead of a mask, the cover-up may be cosmetic surgery).
Again Lord George Hall seeks the hand of the beautiful and innocent Little Miss Mere. But this time, he is wearing the saint’s mask, and she accepts his offer of marriage.
Day-by-day, George Hall does everything he can to keep up the hypocrisy. In short, he tries to act like a saint.
He is careful always to portray himself as a kindly, unselfish, patient and attentive husband. But one day he encounters an old enemy who lurches at him and tears off the mask in front of George Hall’s wife.
But when the mask is torn away, a saint’s face is revealed. George Hall had actually become the person he was trying to be hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Practice had made the transformation.
That is the challenge of the Advent season for all of us. Practice becoming the beautiful, loving, caring person God made you to be. And you can be sure that, gradually, your “morally crooked ways” like pride, vices, dishonesty, selfishness will be straightened. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
GIVE LOVE ON CHRISTMAS. In this season of Advent and Christmas, let’s reach out to our less fortunate sick brethren, like Dante Cabansag, a renal failure patient, M. Maranga, J. Lopez, Rosanna Cayunda who have pulmonary ailments.
GOD BLESS – the following latest donors: HUGO-DELIA ZARATE, JO VALENCIA, WILLY-LINA ONG, GERRY “MR. FREEZE” SANTOS, GREG-TEK SAUCO, ELY-PATTY CADIZ.
Others who wish to help may e-mail me at: [email protected]
FAMILY TV MASS – aired on IBC 13 (channel 15 cable) at 7-8 a.m. every Sunday; also on international GMA Pinoy TV. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD.
The FAMILY that prays together stays together.