Do We Really Glorify God And Are We Fanatics?
Acts 14:5-18; Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16; John 14:21-26;
God manifests to us every now and then by using incidents and people as well as miraculous works, yet we tend to forget this, and instead, we focus on the people and the works themselves, replacing God with them. Since we are humans and make mistakes, some people that He uses also become tempted and take in all the glory for themselves.
Why worship the messenger when you can worship the one who sent the messenger and provided the things that the messenger needed to relay the message? Isn’t that a bit strange? Worshiping statues that were used for miraculous works and creating feasts for these statues, like the Black Nazarene, Sto. Nino, Crying Blessed Mary statue, etc. Statues don’t talk nor answer prayers. The being behind the miracles manifesting through the statues is God. We should be worshiping God, not the statues.
Likewise human messengers are only human and can make mistakes. They are just like us. We should be worshiping church leaders, charismatic leaders, and other religious leaders, faith healers, and other people who have manifested miracles or touched people’s lives when it is God who uses these people to touch our lives? Without His grace, they would be nobody. They are not to be praised, but rather thank the Lord for using them to touch our lives.
The reading today reminds me of an old but beautiful Filipino TV series that teaches us about the faith. It’s entitled, “May Bukas Pa“. The leading role was portrayed by Zaijan Jaranilla as Santino, an orphan raised by caring priests. As a young boy, Santino will find a friend in a mysterious person named “Bro” who will help him change the lives of the people in their town. “Bro” signified Jesus who was manifesting to him through the statue that was built in His human likeness.
In almost all of the episodes, people who flock to him to ask for help and divine intervention, but Santino would happily oblige with the help of “Bro”. When they start thanking Santino after the Lord helps them, he always properly referred to the Lord as the source of all the blessings.
As we serve the Lord, there will be times when we will be commended for our good work. It’s very tempting to receive all the glory for ourselves instead of giving it to the Lord. But like Santino, we should continue our ministry not for personal gains, but for God’s greater glory. As we do this, let us not lose sight of the purpose of our evangelizing and the source of our gifts.