When we remove the support we are leaning on, when we can no longer wear our favorite clothes, when we can no longer eat our favorite food and cannot go near our BFF (best friend forever), or when the decoration and ornaments are removed after a long period, only the truly important things will remain with us. What we are experiencing now gives us an opportunity to reflect on the seemingly important things that we treasure and the truly important things that we do not value. What are the important things that we need to value, but which we neglect?
Let us listen to the Word of God which teaches us what is truly important. In the First Reading, we hear that little things are important—the importance of being little. Jesse had many children. Prophet Samuel saw many children. They did not think much about David because he was small, because he did not have a kingly bearing. But David, despite his littleness as a shepherd, became king of Israel. It is important to be small. There is value in being small. In the Second Reading according to St. Paul, we learn not only the value of being little but also things that the eyes cannot see.
Things that are not seen by the eyes are important but may sometimes be ignored. Do we see electricity? No, but we see the benefits of having electricity. Do we see the soul? No, but the soul is more important than the body that is being beautified. Do we see a person’s inner self? No, but we only look at the exterior of a person. It is important to be small. What we cannot see is important. Didn’t we learn in High School Literature that “What is essential is invisible to the eye”? In the Gospel, there is a third important point that we need to reflect on and be reminded of. What is that? God’s perspective is important. God’s view is important. It is important to know God’s perspective. We heard it in the readings, “A person’s point of view is not the same as God’s point of view.” Being small is important; what we cannot see is important; and God’s viewpoint, His perspective, is important.
Let’s remember these three lessons and look at what is happening to our society today. Little matters are important. We are ordered to observe social distancing. We are ordered to quarantine ourselves and to observe personal hygiene. But my dear brothers and sisters, I hope we will remember our little brethren, our fellow Filipinos living on a daily wage who have no food to eat tomorrow if they do not work today. They are the blind people, referred to in the Gospel, who need our help. If you can go on quarantine, if you can buy alcohol, if you can wash your hands, remember our poor brethren who cannot afford to cleanse themselves this way. This is the opportunity to show compassion for each other and to think not only about ourselves. What we do not see is important.
Our eyes cannot see the virus, but today about 130 countries worldwide are affected by something they cannot see. It cannot be seen with our eyes. We do not see it but it brings sickness, death, and fear. The virus is not the only thing we cannot see. We cannot see virtues. We cannot see kindness. We only see these through manifestations. When you have the virus, you have signs of the virus such as fever, cough, colds, and shortness of breath.
What are the signs of God’s grace in us: compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and peacekeeping. Things we cannot see, things that money cannot buy, things that will not make you bankrupt are the things that we need to cherish. The third lesson is knowing God’s perspective because God’s perspective is important. God’s point of view is important because the secret of happiness in life is not how man sees but how God sees. Let us pray and talk with God and ask Him, “Lord, how do You see the coronavirus? Lord, how do You see the world today? Lord, how do You see those who are suffering and those who are afraid? How do You see what we are going through today?”
We will not look at coronavirus with the eyes of men. Let us look at this epidemic with the eyes of Jesus. What is God telling us? May we see our situation no longer with our analyses, no longer with our minds, no longer with our hearts, not with our naked eyes but with the eyes of Jesus, with the love of Jesus, with the mind of Jesus, as Jesus Himself.
God takes away many of our possessions—things that we thought are important but are not important. God brings back to us what is important but which we have long ignored. The little ones are important because whatever we do unto them, we do to Jesus. Things that are not seen such as the soul, spirit, inner self are more important than the body which we beautify. And above all, the perspective of Jesus is important. The sign of a true Christian is not the baptismal certificate that you carry. The symbol of a true Christian is shown when we love like Jesus, we see as Jesus sees, we think as Jesus thinks, and we are Jesus for one another.