VeritasPH

The Word, The Truth

 135 total views

Homily for Tuesday of the 33rd Week in OT, 16 November 2021, Luke 19:1-10

Today’s Gospel gives us an idea how Jesus saved people who have been bullied from turning into bullies themselves.

Bullying has become a very common phenomenon in our society nowadays. I think we need the help from pychologists and psychiatrists to get to understand professionally how people can carry with them their experiences of being bullied, all the way to their old age. How the trauma—if not addressed properly—could later be translated in the way the victims conduct themselves when they turn into adults, especially when they find themselves in positions of power or authority, as parents, as teachers, as managers or administrators, as pastors, or even as government leaders. How the once bullied kids could eventually turn into bullies themselves if nobody ever helped them deal with their suppressed feelings of anger and resentment, or even the desire to get even with their former abusers.

I have heard many stories from parents who learned only later that their children had been bullied in school. Apparently, the most common tendency is for children to keep quiet about it, for fear that their parents might overreact and just make matters worse. The parents only gradually notice something different in their children’s behavior, as well as in their performance in school.

Like, they observe that they are becoming more insecure or more lacking in self-confidence. Some parents do not realize how deeply their children can get affected by a constant bombardment of comments by comments like “Panget! Bobo! Bakla! Lampa! Baduy!” From the sheer frequency of being ridiculed, they actually begin to think of themselves as ugly, stupid, weakling or clumsy, tacky, etc. They begin to feel like they are so small or so lacking in self-worth. They can carry it into their adulthood without their realizing it.

There are actually signs that parents may miss out, especially if they are busy. Like they may not notice that their children are seriously doing some physical work-out, body-building, enrolling in courses for karate, or other forms of self-defense, or engaging in dangerous sports like gun shooting because of the desire for revenge. In some instances, because they can no longer get even with those who had bullied them, they inflict their revenge on other people, people who are younger, smaller, more helpess or less mature than they. And then the vicious cycle begins: the abused becoming an abuser. Haven’t we heard of mass killings in many states in the United States, perpetrated by formerly abused people who at some point snap and turn homicidal when their sense of power is reinforced by deadly weapons?

In Filipino we often describe them as “May malalim na hugot, may bitbit na hinanakit sa mga panlalait na ginawa sa kanya.” They have never quite gotten over a kind of inner urge for revenge that keeps replaying in their subconscious mind like, “Just you wait! You will have your own time.” Before long, they inflict evil on others not because they are themselves evil, but because they had never been able to process the traumatic experience of abuse that they had been through in the past.

I think of Zaccheus as a prototype of that kind of personality. St. Luke tells us he was “a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man”. But he also notes that this man was “small in stature.” I suspect that this man had been bullied for being vertically challenged, and had literally climbed his way to the top in the social ladder by becoming a tax-collector, precisely to get even with the people who belittled him. He thought that the best way to become a big-shot in society was by aspiring to get rich, influential and powerful. He had been looked down upon for too long, he wanted to see the time when people would look up to him despite his physical limitations.

Luke also tells us Zaccheus longed to see what Jesus was like. Perhaps he had heard a lot of things about Jesus. Perhaps he wanted to know why this man, who was a son of a carpenter, a virtual nobody in Jewish society was regarded very highly by many people. Since he was quite the opposite, he wanted to know the secret. And so he did what he had gotten used to doing: climbing his way to the top. And that created the occasion for his encounter with Jesus that would have a very profound effect on him. It would change him for good. Take note of three little details in the story that are worth reflecting on: first, Jesus looked up at him. Second, Jesus invited him to come down. And thirdly, Jesus had dinner with him.

JESUS LOOKED UP AT HIM. For the first time, Zaccheus probably felt like there was someone, finally, who looked up at him. He was more used to being looked down upon. And of all people it was the Rabbi from Nazareth who made him feel important, in spite of his bad reputation as a tax collector.

JESUS INVITED HIM TO COME DOWN. Zaccheus finally realized that he did not even need to climb treetops in order to see Jesus or to be noticed by him. He did not even need to prove himself or to prove his worth. I call the look of Jesus the look of love that says, “you are valuable in the eyes of God. You are loved AS YOU ARE.” For as long as people try too hard to prove themselves to be better, stronger, or more good-looking it can only mean they are still insecure. It’s as if they had to put down others to raise themselves up. In the sight of God, it is those who humble themselves who are exalted. It’s when they learn to come down to those in low positions, when they are able to express compassion for them and lift them up that finally show true greatness.

FINALLY, JESUS HAD DINNER WITH HIM. Jesus accepted him as he was. He did not think of what people would say if he was seen in the company of people like Zaccheus. He did not even set any condition to him. He didn’t say “I will have fellowship with you only if you change your ways.” The change would follow after the experience of unconditional love and acceptance. It made a totally new man out of him.

There are so many Zaccheuses in this world. They are not really bad people in themselves. They might just be dealing with issues that have kept them in a state of perpetual victimhood. They might be the type who will not know how to handle power, authority or responsibility, because they try too hard to prove themselves. They can be dangerously toxic, especially when they need to trample on the dignity of others in order to raise themselves up, or in order to feel vindicated.

Their sense of victimhood remains fresh even decades later and changes them eventually into a splitting image of their oppressors. They also turn abusive, aggressive and violent in words and deeds. They react defensively to criticism or correction because they take offense easily. They think they are being ridiculed all over again. Instead of accepting criticism, they will try to destroy the reputation of their critics, call them names, bad mouth them or accuse them of being hypocrites. They will do anything to put them down.

There is a charismatic song that sound very much like a good desciption of what happened to Zaccheus after his encounter with Jesus.

“Nang tanggapin ko si Hesus na aking Diyos, nagbago ang lahat sa buhay ko. Bagong ligaya ang nadarama, bagong pag-asa ang nakikita. Lahat, lahat ay aking ibibigay, ibibigay pati aking buhay upang purihin Siya!”

Screenshot 2024-04-26 121114
ads
ads
2
3
4
previous arrow
next arrow

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Mga payaso sa sirko

 2,519 total views

 2,519 total views Mga Kapanalig, may kasabihan sa Ingles na “elect a clown, expect a circus.” Kapag bumoto raw tayo ng mga payaso, asahan nating magiging sirko ang gobyerno.  Pasintabi po sa mga ang hanapbuhay ay ang pagiging payaso. Ipinaaalala lamang ng kasabihang ito kung gaano kaseryoso ang paggiging lingkod-bayan. Ang pagsisilbi sa pamahalaan ay hindi

Read More »

BPO industry

 18,505 total views

 18,505 total views Kapanalig, hindi natin maitatanggi, ang laking tulong, ginhawa, at pag-asa ang dinala Business Process Outprocessing industry o BPO, sa maraming manggagawang Filipino. Nabigyan ng opsyon ang marami nating mga mamamayan – graduate, o bagong graduate, middle aged, o kahit retired na, part-time, full-time – marami ang nagkaroon ng pagkakataon kumita dahil dito. Nakakapamili

Read More »

Balik Probinsya

 26,550 total views

 26,550 total views Kapanalig, marami ngayong Filipino ang nahahalina at pumipiling magbuhay probinsya. Malaking pagbabago ito, dahil bago mag pandemic, ang ating mga syudad, partikular na ang National Capital Region ang pangunahing migration destination sa ating bayan. Trabaho ang pangunahing rason – sa mga syudad kasi makikita ang karamihan sa mga oportunidad sa bayan. Pero iba

Read More »

Kuryente

 31,630 total views

 31,630 total views Kapanalig, kahit ano pang pagpipikit mata natin o bulagbugan, hindi natin matitiis na ang mahal ng halaga ng kuryente sa ating bansa. Lalo ngayon kapanalig, na tumataas ang halaga ng dolyar, pihado, madarama na natin ang panibagong aray sa kuryente. Nauna na nga ang pasakit ng halaga ng krudo at gas, hindi ba?

Read More »

Nutrisyong sapat para sa lahat

 37,336 total views

 37,336 total views Mga Kapanalig, ang buwan ng Hunyo ay Nutrition Month batay sa Presidential Decree No. 491 noong 1974. Ngayong taon, ibinibida ng National Nutrition Council ang Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (o PPAN) sa selebrasyon ng Nutrition Month, na may temang “Sa PPAN: Sama-sama sa nutrisyong sapat para sa lahat!”. Ano nga ba

Read More »
catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

BUEN CAMINO

 2,627 total views

 2,627 total views Homiliya para sa Huwebes, 11 Hulyo 2024, Paggunita kay San Benito, Mt 10:7-15 Noong nakaraang Martes, nag-bonding kami ng kapatid kong panganay. Umabot ng tatlong oras ang tanghalian namin dahil nagkuwento siya tungkol sa naranasan niyang paglalakad sa camino ng Compostela nitong nakaraang buwan. Biro niyo, sa edad na 78 ay naglakad siya

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

IN JESUS’ NAME

 7,043 total views

 7,043 total views Homily for Wed of the 13th Wk in Ordinary Time, 10 July 2024, 18th Episcopal Ordination Anniversary, Mk 10:1-7 On Thursday last week, the final day of the annual retreat of the CBCP, we has as main presider at the Eucharistic Celebration the Secretary of the Holy See’s Relations with States, Abp. Paul

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

KATATAGAN

 2,369 total views

 2,369 total views Homiliya para sa Huwebes sa Ikalabindalawang Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, 27 Hunyo 2024, Mat 7:21-29 “Malapit na ang giyera!” Ito ang babala ng mga propeta sa Jerusalem. Pero walang sumiryoso sa babala nila. Hanggang minsan isang araw bigla na lang nagkatotoo. Ang katuparan ng malagim na hula ay ang malungkot na kuwentong narinig

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

THE HEART AND THE EYE

 2,892 total views

 2,892 total views Homily for Friday of the 11th Wk in Ordinary Time, 21 June 2024, Mt 6:19-23 Today’s Gospel makes me understand the expression, “His heart is in the right place.” The idiom is understood to mean “He has good intentions despite his flaws and mistakes.” Or “He has shortcomings but he is sincere and

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

GOD THE FARMER

 4,391 total views

 4,391 total views Homiliya para sa Ika-11 Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, 16 Hunyo 2024, Mk 4:26-34 Dalawang punto lang ang mungkahi kong pagnilayan natin tungkol sa mga talinghagang narinig natin sa ebanghelyo ngayon. Una, ang Diyos ang magsasaka, ang salita niya ang binhi. Pangalawa, tayo mismo ay para ding mga binhi. Simulan natin sa una. Ang

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

GO OUTSIDE!

 5,235 total views

 5,235 total views Homily for Friday of the 10th Week in Ortdinary Time, 14 June 2024, 1 Kings 19; Mt 5:27-32 Like I told you yesterday, the drama in the life and mission of the prophet Elijah—which has been read from the first book of Kings for the past few days now—continues today with chapter 19.

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

MAGDILANG ANGHEL

 3,490 total views

 3,490 total views Homiliya para sa Misang Paggunita kay San Antonio de Lisbon, 13 Hunyo 2024, Mt 5:20-26 “Magdilang-anghel ka nawa!” Ito ang sinasabi natin sa Pilipino pag may binigkas na hula ang iba na ibig nating magkatotoo. Isang taong may dilang anghel, ito ang turing ng mga taga-Padua kay San Antonio dahil sa tindi ng

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

SAN ANTONIO DE LISBON

 7,703 total views

 7,703 total views Homiliya para sa Bihilya sa Kapistahan ni “San Antonio de Padua,” Miyerkoles sa Ikasampung Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, 12 Hunyo 2024, Mat 5, 17-19 Salamat sa Marian pilgrimage ng Kaparian ng Kalookan, bukod sa dalaw namin sa lugar na pinangyarihan ng aparisyon ng Birhen sa Fatima, nakadalaw din kami sa bayan ng ating

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

THE “GOOD MAN”, BARNABAS

 6,936 total views

 6,936 total views Homily for Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time, 11 June 2024, Mat. 10:7-13 Today is the Feast of the Holy Apostle and Martyr, St Barnabas, whom St Luke describes in our first reading today as “a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith”. In one of my past homilies

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

TAHANAN NG PUSO

 11,148 total views

 11,148 total views Homiliya Para sa Ika-10 Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, 9 Hunyo 2024, Mk 3:20-35 Ang ating pagninilay sa araw na ito ay tungkol sa pagtatayo ng tahanan, hindi lang bahay. Alam naman natin na hindi lahat ng bahay ay tahanan, di ba? Di ba may kasabihan tayo: “Mabuti na sa akin ang bahay kahit

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

BLOOD AND WATER

 4,596 total views

 4,596 total views BLOOD AND WATER Homily for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 7 June 2024, Jn 19,31-37 I call the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a poetic feast about the mystery of the Love of Christ. Saint Paul himself sounds very poetic in our second reading from third chapter of

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

TAO PO (HINDI “TAO LANG PO”)

 4,600 total views

 4,600 total views TAO PO (HINDI “TAO LANG PO”) Homiliya Para sa Huwebes sa Ikasiyam na Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, 6 Hunyo 2024, Mk 12,28-34 May kuwento tungkol sa isang pusa na inanod ng agos ng baha at nakakapit sa sanga ng maliit na puno sa gilid ng estero. Nakita daw ito ng dalawang tao. Dahil

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

THE ETERNAL NOW

 4,600 total views

 4,600 total views THE ETERNAL NOW Homily for Wed of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time, 5 June 2024, Mk 12,18-27 The question raised in today’s Gospel reminds me of the story of a woman named Sarah in the Old Testament. No, I am not talking about Sarah, the wife of Abraham, but about the Sarah

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

BLOOD COMPACT

 4,592 total views

 4,592 total views BLOOD COMPACT Homiliya para sa Kapistahan ng Corpus Christi, 2 Hunyo 2024 Markos 14:12-16, 22-26 Sa America, lalo na noong bago nag-pandemya, sanay sila sa double species na communion sa Misa. Bukod sa ostia, umiinom din sila sa konsagradong alak. Sayang hindi natin nakasanayan ito sa Pilipinas, sa kabila ng kultura natin sa

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

IBIG KO PO SANANG MAKAKITA

 4,592 total views

 4,592 total views IBIG KO PO SANANG MAKAKITA Homiliya para sa Huwebes sa Ikawalong Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, a-30 ng Mayo 2024, Markos 10:46-52 Tutukan natin ng pagninilay ang tungkol sa halaga ng PAKIKIRAMDAM bilang bilang simula ng pagiging alagad. Husay sa PAKIKIRAMDAM ang translation ko ng ATTENTIVENESS. Nasabi ko na minsan sa inyo na sa

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top