17 June 2007


11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lk 7:36-8:3

For Filipinos, the most painful comment anyone can give about anyone is “Wala kang utang-na-loob”. Utang-na-loob has no direct and perfect translation in English. The closest translation perhaps is “debt of gratitude”. Thus, a person who is said to be walang utang-na-loob is a person who has no sense of gratitude. And for Filipinos, that sense is really a deep sense. You may call a Filipino anything, but never tell him, “Wala kang utang-na-loob!” Doing so can spark a big and violent fight.

The woman who suddenly came in while Jesus was dining with the Pharisee and waited at His feet expressed her utang-na-loob to Jesus. The sins from which Jesus forgave her must have been great, for her sense of gratitude was deep.

This sense of gratitude, the Pharisee did not have. For all we know, the Pharisee perhaps even thought that it was Jesus who owed him much because he invited Him into his house and dined with him. But the truth is Jesus was, is, and will never be indebted to anyone. On the contrary, we are all indebted to Him. Jesus is God.

Everything is grace. We cannot boast of anything, for all have fallen short of the grace of God. But God’s response to our sins is merciful love. No matter how many and how grave our sins are, God readily forgives us when we beg for His mercy.

Our utang-na-loob to God is infinite because God, to whom we are indebted, is infinite. We cannot fully repay Him for His goodness to us. Only God can repay God. Jesus alone, who is truly God and man, who is the Son of God and the Son of man, can pay our debt to God. And He already did on the cross.

We can only rejoice with Jesus as He freely dispenses His mercy on sinners. If we cannot rejoice with Him because He forgives sinners, then we must have forgotten our indebtedness to Him. Wala tayong utang na loob.

Today is Fathers Day. Happy Fathers Day to all of you, dear fathers! Incidentally, it is also my 12th Sacerdotal Anniversary. Kindly include me in your Mass today. Help me thank the Lord and ask Him to make me a priest according to His heart. Thank you.


At 1:46 PM , Anonymous Bubut said...

Lord Jesus, may we be always grateful for all the graces that you've been sending us. We are sinners that we dont deserve them but you are so faithful with your love to us. There maybe times that we feel down and low that we thought that you are away from us but we know that we are always on your heart and you would always want to bless us more.

Happy Anniversary po, Fr.Bob ! We will always pray for you.


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