The Journey 32: Transformation in my community
Read: John 6: 1-14
“ In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven [ Mathew 5: 16]”.
As a subscribing member of your parish, have you ever gone through the annual report and the accounts of your parish for current financial year?. This is the time when most of the parishes are going to present their annual reports and accounts for the year 2011. If we closely observe our reports and accounts one of the major aspects that we may see in our reports and accounts is that everything that was done in the last year was basically done for the maintenance of the parish. Just examine how we give for the empowering or the maintenance of the community that we live?. This is a growing concern that each one of us should have. The community of faith is in a particular place not only for reasons of sustenance of itself but also for the sustenance of the community. This is one area where most of the parishioners are not aware of and hence it our duty as Christians to consentize our people on the need to also look outside the needs of our parish to the needs of the community.
Today we start meditating on a new portion from the Bible for our theme on transformation in my community. This portion is a very familiar portion which is found in the gospel of John chapter 6. This is the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, the only miracle that Jesus did which has been mentioned by all the gospel writers. The ministry of Jesus Christ can be divided into two categories. 1. The words that He spoke and 2. The deeds that He did. Both the word and the deeds were complimentary. His words led to deeds or his deeds led Him to speak words of deep spiritual truths. In the passage that we have used for meditation we find that after he finished speaking to the crowd he realized that the crowds were hungry and seeing their need for hunger, Jesus had compassion [ John 6:1]. He directs his disciples to find food for the hungry people which was about 5000 men excluding woman and children. When the demand of arranging the food is made to the disciples, there are varied response from them. Philip says that they would need almost eight months of wages to buy food for them. Basically the disciples are telling Jesus that our duty is only to speak or give them the words of eternal life and not doing the deeds that shows that we have tasted the water of eternal life. Today I think we all live our Christian lives by compartmentalizing into words and action or by faith and action. We want to have the word that lead us to eternal life, we would also only want to speak about eternal life, but for most of us to get into action of doing the deeds that support the words of eternal life, we are very far away. Hence what happens is that, our faith and our growth as a Christian is all relegated to very private domain of our lives where nobody can enter, or then making our faith living as something of being attached and relating to only those friends whom we label as believers, forgetting that our faith expression has to transcend all these boundaries to the community where the “ sinners” and “non believers” live. It is only when we are able to transcend our narrow boundaries of only “ words” to the world of “ deeds” do we make our faith relevant to others and thus becoming channels of transformation in our community.
Which do you emphasize more?– The Words of Jesus or The Deeds of Jesus?. Or does both of these go together?
For Further Study: Acts 6, Amos 3
Let us Pray: O Lord thank you for enlightening us with your words that leads us to do deeds of compassion. Forgive us for alienating and separating your word from the deeds and deeds from the words. Amen