You know, religion can dangerously become a habit and routine. That’s when we go through the motion without connecting it’s ‘usefulness’ to our lives.
Or religion can become our weapon whereby we use it to show off or strike someone.
It can become stale and meaningless. More an action than an inner feelings.
So, I usually rely on the weekly pep talk in the form of a homily. Sadly, someone is now missing from our church. He is those rare ones who made me go, “AHA…that’s exactly how I feel.”
Of course, there are others. But sometimes, probably due to their seniority, what they said doesn’t touch a chord in me. At other times, it is more technical than faith that I hear.
Two Saturdays ago, I have my turn to teach in catechism class. Form One. Topic : God gave Abraham a son. I told the 13 yrs old straight away that I myself cannot be convinced. So, I won’t try to bluff my way through to teach them.
In our religion, and the same in Jewish and Muslims teachings, Abraham (or Nabi Ibrahim) had wanted to offer his son Isaac
Jacob (or Yaakob) as a sacrifice. (korban) Abraham had Isaac when his wife Sarah was 90 yrs old. (Abraham has other wife but I don’t want to comment on that)
So, how do I teach 13 yrs old something that I myself cannot imagine? Therefore, I told them, I am not going to bluff my way through. So, let’s not think too much about how a father can sacrifice his own son for God’s sake. Only God could do that for the world by sacrificing His Son.
Instead, I told them about how parents will not hesitate to sacrifice their own lives for their children. I gave them examples of how parents will not hesitate to run into burning houses or the seas to save their kids. I also showed them the video of the railroad master who had to pull the lever (I bet many have watched that video thru FB links)
Then, we sat down with the teens and discuss what they think are their parents’ sacrifices for them. We have to point out the simple things we parents do daily. Things they take for granted and etc.
That, in my opinion is more important than knowledge of religion itself. I told the students, “All that matters to me, is that today, when you go home, you must remember your parents’ love for you. Never mind that you still cannot believe Abraham had wanted to put Isaac on the altar and kill him for God’s sake. If a father will do that today, we must get the police to catch him. Itu ajaran sesat. But your father will definitely not do so to you.”
Basically, these are things that I want to hear each week when I go to church. But sadly, Father Fab is on leave for a long-long-long time. So, now, I have to motivate self.
Last Sunday reading is about unworthiness. It is something that I have long struggled with. The readings from Isaiah to St. Paul talked about how God sees our worth. I jotted down things that came to my mind. And I seem to have a very good understanding of it. All it needs is a ‘Here I am Lord”
Still, if Father Fab was there, I know I would feel much more motivated. Because it was him who ignited that ‘I think I can’ sparks in me.
Two days ago, a male reporter told me that he heard that a certain priest who is very much into social work is considering leaving the priesthood to join DAP. I don’t know to laugh or cry. I didn’t want to ask the priest. I know he will tell me if it is true.