Holy Monday: Price Tag

 

 Fr Nono Alfonso, SJ

Holy week reflections for the closet believers among us



 


Many of us struggle with our faith. Not entirely our fault. We no longer live in the dark ages when all there was, was the Church. We have become very rational. We ask a lot of questions and are not easily satisfied by quotes given us by Bible-thumping, hell-threatening preachers. It does not help either that the sciences are providing so many of the answers we need or want. And finally, there is just so much darkness in the world that seems to eclipse the existence of a loving God.

And yet, if we are honest enough, we must admit that the world’s answers to our deep questions fail to satisfy us. There is just so much mystery. Like the galaxies out there that remain unreachable. More importantly, we know that deep within, despite our struggles, we WANT to believe! We desire and long to believe! That goodness will triumph over evil in the end. That love conquers all. That indeed a supreme being, a higher power is overseeing our lives, our world and because of Him or Her, things ultimately make sense.

These may be our most cherished values – goodness, justice, love, and meaning; but, aren’t these the same stuff that make up our faith or our notion of God? In other words, we may not be a regular Church-goer or an active member of a Charismatic group, we may not see ourselves as pious or prayerful, but, insofar as these human values are important to you, you are deep within, a believer!

It may surprise you but you may not be far from the Kingdom as Jesus told one scribe. And so to all of you who look at yourselves as faith-faint-hearted we offer these Holy Week reflections. May these help whatever is within you to well up.

For a meaningful reflection, please watch the MTV first, then read and reflect on the points for meditation and prayer.

 

HOLY MONDAY

Points for meditation:

Holy Week gives us a long break. A long pause. For one week, the world seems to be in suspended animation. Life slows down. Indeed what a welcome break. We know how life can be so fast-paced. We seem to be busy all the time, beating deadlines, finishing one project after another. We are always on the go, breathless, sleepless. But do we feel happy, contented, fulfilled, after a day’s work? Perhaps you don’t even have time to ask yourself that anymore. That’s a pity. Because you have only one life to live and you must therefore make sure that every moment counts. Is it really just about the price tag?

Remember the movie of Will Smith, “I am Legend.” Set in a post-apocalyptic world, he had everything — expensive cars, clothes, jewelry. But there was no one there to share his happiness with. He was all alone. He was lonely. Like many of the wealthiest men and women in this world. Imagine having everything but the most important thing, that is, love. A long time ago somebody said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” Does that stir up any deep emotions within you? Is it just about the price tag? Where is the love in your life?

As we start this long Holy Week, try to slow down, step back, and allow yourself moments for reflection and meditation. Ask yourself especially: What’s it all about?

Scripture reading: If you are moved, read Ecclesiastes, Chapter 2.

Fr Emmanuel ‘Nono’ Alfonso is the executive director of Jesuit Communications Foundation Inc, the media arm of the Jesuits in the Philippines