See the Butterfly | Word from the Shepherd No. 164

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year C
Jer.1:4-19; 1Cor.13:3-13; Lk.4:21-30

A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the master. He began by saying:”People say you are a genius. Are you?”  The master said, “If you say so!” The writer continued, “What makes you a genius?” The master replied,”The ability to RECOGNISE.” The writer said, “Recognise what?” Then the master said,”Recognise the butterfly in the caterpillar; the eagle in the egg; the saint in a selfish human.”

We are like blocks of marble with the masterpiece waiting to emerge. Some of us see it in the others. Only a  few  see that which is within themselves. And a number, with the Creator God see what they or the others or things could be. The master called this the ability to recognise the butterfly or the saint in others. Others say that it is seeing the “real in the other” or “the potential” or “the hidden that is yet to emerge.”

Lately, the PP reminded the congregation to recognise the real in themselves-that they are stewards. The Diocese reminded the people  that they are 4E Catholics. In this EMY2019, the pope reminded the church that they are ‘baptised and sent’. And to the youths at Panama World Youth Day, Pope Francis taught that the youths are the NOW of God, not the future.

The Scriptures reflect this truth, that there is a higher call or a higher purpose for all of us; that we are a People of the Lord; that we are the beloved sons and daughters of God; that we begin as followers of Christ, then are consecrated and sent as missionary disciples and apostles.

To realise that we are butterflies, saints, and masterpieces, God provides us 4 additional SENSES.

  1. The SENSE of BEING CALLED which is an inner stirring, a dis-ease, an assuring voice that says: “I formed …consecrated….appointed…..make you into a fortified city ……deliver you.”(Jer 1:4-19) 
  2. The SENSE of BEING EQUIPPED. The Psalmist recognised it as inner strength, an assurance, a confidence that “one is not alone”, a rock, a stronghold.”
  3. The SENSE of a HIGHER GOOD. St Paul taught the Corinthians that everything was for “the greater glory of God”; that all charisms, gifts, ministries were to be exercised in love and for love. He went on to say ‘without love, I am an empty  gong.’
  4. The SENSE of GOD’s TIME: Finally, our emergence as butterflies or saints or missionaries is determined by the SENSE of GOD’S TIME. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus walked away form the tense and hostile situation. There’s a time to stay and a time to walk away; there’s a right time for all things. All things happen in God’s time.

To recognise the real, the butterfly or the saint is not enough. One has to take responsibility for one’s destiny, for one’s faith, call, baptism, church and world. Then we become consecrated people, a people set apart and the presence of God’s love anywhere and everywhere. The mark of these emerging people is their “Here I am send me” attitude.