The gospel is about fraternal correction.
Why should we correct? So that we can restore what has been broken? Why do we correct? So that we can heal what has been wounded because we want the community to be whole. But why do we have to wait until somebody has broken the promise or the word? Why do we have to wait until somebody is infected with sin? Why do we have to wait? Can we not prevent a mistake? Can we not prevent people from falling? Can we not have a vaccine for falling so that we don’t have to correct. The answer is yes, my dear brothers and sisters. Because before fraternal correction, there should be fraternal appreciation.
There should be a fraternal expression of support. Fraternal congratulations. If we can be more affirming, more supportive, more appreciative rather than critical and correcting all the time, things would go better for us. Rather than focus on fraternal correction, let us promise the Lord fraternal appreciation, fraternal affirmation because when we receive good things about ourselves when we are affirmed of the good things that we do then our soul is also nourished. What it means is this. When we affirm one another we are actually feeding the soul of one another because appreciation, congratulations, a nice word, a commending word is food for the soul. It encourages goodness even more.
Unfortunately. We are so stingy with praise. We are so stingy with appreciation and we reserve it. Why, why should we be stingy with affirmation? There is no reason. We were created in the image and likeness of God and because we have been created in the image and likeness of God. There is that power within us giving us the energy to give life to others and that energy that gives life to others is an appreciation. Yung pwede nating sabihin, “bro sis ang galing!” Yung pwede nating sabihin sa anak ninyo, “ang galing!” Na hindi na palaging nagagalit. Hindi na palaging kino-correct. Hindi nalang palaging mali ang pinakikita. Kasi, marami namang tayong mabuting ginagawa at yung mabuting ginagawa ay dapat nating kilalanin at pasalamatan. And when we do more appreciation, we actually inject an antidote to mistakes and errors because when people are encouraged in the good that they do, we will also do less error, less mistake, less wrong. Now the question still needs to be asked. Why are we stingy with praise? Why are we so quick to correct? Why are we so quick to criticize and yet we are so reluctant when it comes to congratulations? Some parents will say we should not congratulate children too much because they might be swell-headed. Spare the rod. Spoil the child. So masmabuti yung mamalo. Masmabuti yung mamintas. Masmabuti yung magbanta. Kapag hindi ka nagaral lagot ka sa akin. But when they do good we are quiet. Some of us are afraid that we will love too much.
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. There is no such a thing as loving too much. There is only loving wrongly. So we say, it is not good to appreciate , it is not good to affirm, it is not good to congratulate too much. Why? False flattery is wrong. But appreciation, thanksgiving, congratulations, affirmation is not flattery. Flattery is far from the truth, but admiration, affirmation, appreciation, congratulations is just a proclamation of the truth that you have done so well and you are worth congratulating. My dear brothers and sisters, when we give appreciation, when we give affirmation, we are not only serving our loved ones. We are not only serving others. We also serve ourselves. Because somebody who appreciates, somebody who affirms, somebody who is very generous with admiration does himself a service also because we become life givers when we appreciate. We become life givers when we affirm we become life givers when we encourage one another.
Saint Thomas Aquinas said, “It is almost a sin when you see something good and you’re keeping quiet.” because when you see something good and you keep quiet you are sinning by omission you are failing to do what you are supposed to do. An english mystic once said, “If you will keep quiet when there is an affirmation that needs to be said, when you enter the next life you will be mute because you did not use your tongue to encourage and to give life.“
The gospel is about fraternal correction. But what about fraternal admiration? Kung maganda, di sabihing maganda. Kung mabuti, di sabihing mabuti. Kung masarap, di sabihing masarap.
Baka, kaya tayo kuripot sa pagbati ng maganda , baka tayo kuripot dahil sa paghahalaga sa ating kapwa tao ay sapagkat mababa rin ang tingin natin sa ating sarili and we have not received that affirmation.
So break the cycle. If you need to correct, correct, but if you have to affirm, affirm. If something is wrong, correct it, but if something is good and correct, affirm it, congratulate, encourage. Because fraternal admiration, fraternal appreciation is the antidote to sin.
Life would be better if we are more affirming with one another.