The WORD in Other Words by Fr Eugene Docoy SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday Week 20 Ordinary Time, Jgs 6:11-24a, Mt 19:23-30
There‘s a medical mission in the town of Siasi in Jolo that has attracted many volunteer medical practitioners from different parts of the country despite the persistence of wars and kidnappings in the area. One volunteer doctor is an ophthalmologist from Zamboanga City. He did surgery for free, saying that there is nothing more satisfying than to see his patients able to see again and walk around without a guide, full of smiles.
It is not difficult to presume that other volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists would feel the same. This is a group of people with high skills who are willing to sacrifice so much for others despite insecurities, discomforts and travel difficulties. It is heart-warming to know that these volunteers with their caliber are willing to risk their lives in a place known for so much violence. What they have been doing is a concrete radical response to the equally radical call for discipleship.
In today‘s gospel, Christ challenges everyone to put the kingdom of God ahead of families, brothers and sisters. Christ stresses the primacy of our relationship with God and His people over and above our own human relationships. This is difficult to understand and even more difficult to do in practical terms. But these volunteer medical practitioners accepted the challenge to respond to the call. Theirs are lives full of love. They think less of themselves for others to live better lives.