MEDITATION TIP —25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 18, 2022

“He who is faithful in the smallest things is faithful in the greatest things. He who is unfaithful in very small things is unfaithful in great things.” (Luke 16:10)

 Today's verse, “faithfulness in small things,” can be paraphrased as habit. Life is a habit. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “Habit is a repeated movement.” In other words, habits form our character and personality. It is often said, “Do everything by habit, not by effort.” Habits are the accumulation of daily activities, so once you make them a habit, you will not feel that they are hard or troublesome afterwards. Therefore, the important thing is to develop good habits early on. It seems to me that a person who early on acquires good habits will reap great fruit in life, and conversely, a person who lives with disregard for good habits will live with disregard for life itself.

 Birds cannot change the way they were born to fly. Animals cannot change the way they were born to crawl or run. Only humans, however, can change the way they live. Only human beings can change their way of life, being aware of the limits of their own life and how to live with that limited life. It is a privilege given only to human beings, and that privilege is achieved through the accumulation of small habits. The poet Rilke said, “As the apple has a core, so we are born with the seed of death in us.” At the same time, however, the psychoanalyst Erikson said, “We are beings that continue to grow toward death.”

 There are words like “genius” and “talent,” but they never refer to a momentary flash of inspiration, but rather to what comes naturally as a result of the accumulation of daily efforts. It is important to know how much you have faithfully devoted yourself to small things on a daily basis. Athletes often say, “The god of victory watches not only during games, but also in all aspects of your daily life.” In other words, “the god of victory dwells in the details.” Faithfulness to the small things that you do every day can make the difference between victory and defeat. This is not limited to sports, but is a matter of the outcome of our lives, and the same has been said by the great saints of the Church.

 Jesus warned, “He who is unfaithful in very small things is also unfaithful in great things.” One will receive what one gives. At the entrance to eternal life are inscribed in vivid letters the words, “One will reap what one has sown.”

      (Father Akabae)