When I was a kid, my uncle Jeffry gifted me with a small rooster. But he did not just “give” it to me in a box with a ribbon! I had to catch it from their farm in Obo-ob, Bantayan Island. With the help of my other cousins, it was an adventure to run after it for hours. We were able to finally catch it when it became so tired of running.
That day, I was so proud to have a new pet. I brought it home to the city where I took charge of feeding it daily. Before I go to school I would prepare its diet of “tahop” and water. I was so excited to go home immediately after class to watch my pet grow everyday. It became like a ritual to me. I would caress it and play with it spending time and money to nurture it.
But one day, it was attacked by an unknown virus. At first it became weak and would not eat. I never thought of bringing it to a veterinary then. But daily I watched it deteriorate. Then it died! I was so devastated. I even cried from loosing a pet rooster. I have become so attached to it as if it were a part of my life.
Disordinate attachment can be a dangerous thing!
The Gospel last Sunday (Mk 10:17-30) illustrates the danger of deep attachments. The young man in the story was a good lad. He was a conscientious observer of the commandment. He loved God with his heart. But there was something more Jesus challenged him to do: give up his wealth!
At this he felt sad. He could not part with it. He was so attached to his riches. No way will he give it to the poor! It was just too difficult. He went away sad for he loved his wealth more than Jesus. He failed to recognize that the real treasure was Christ!
We can be like this young man in the Gospel. We can also be attached unto something or someone. It becomes disordinate when we give it a greater value more that it should be.
A young person may be attached to a cellphone. The 2009 Young Asians Survey show that 26% of Filipino youth are inseparable from their cellphones or around 1 out of 4 young Pinoys couldn’t live without their mobile handsets. Others may be attached to the internet becoming even addicted to online games or chatting. Or perhaps their girlfriend, boyfriend, barkada or their school work and activities to the point of neglecting their Sunday duties to God.
Adults could also be attached to their work or leisure. Vices could also be sources of attachments like smoking, drinking or gambling. The “Truth Survey” commissioned by the Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas conducted during the second quarter of 2012 showed that 57.7 percent of the 2,500 Catholic respondents were found to be unmarried in churches. One reason for this is that people are attached to their freedom. Getting “tied” in marriage will be a burden for them.
Whatever it is that we are attached to, let us ask the Lord Jesus to give us the grace of detachment. Let us pray that we may have a big love for God and have the wisdom to recognize, like St. Teresa of Avila, that God alone can fill up our life.