6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
I have a friend who proudly and fondly calls herself a “plain housewife and housemother.” When people ask her if she does not get bored being a “fulltime house worker” she would always say, “Anybody will get bored anywhere she or he works if she or he does not find the right reason for doing things.” Without sounding to be self-righteous, she would also say, “I try my best to do everything for the glory of God – be it rising early in the morning to cook for my family or housecleaning or doing the laundry.” “Be it going to the market, or driving my kids to school, or helping them with their school assignments.” “I guess that is the antidote to boredom: to do everything for the glory of God.”
My friend’s attitude is exactly what St. Paul is talking about in today’s second reading, from his First Letter to the Corinthians. Paul urges us, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” What Paul is telling us is this: “The whole of your life… everything about you… everything you are interested in… from the most significant to the least significant concerns, cares or affairs you have… from the greatest to the least things you do… from the biggest to the smallest projects you pursue… everything you do must be for God’s glory. In all things give God the glory. Sad to say, much of what we do is for ourselves – for our own glory, honor, or credit.
If only more of us would learn from that “plain housemother” and St. Paul, we would avoid many of today’s problems. Too many of us are not enjoying or finding satisfaction in what we do. We hear of surveys about students being bored with school, workers finding their jobs dull, professionals feeling unfulfilled, career-oriented people getting easily burnt out, businessmen and businesswomen feeling unsatisfied, in spite of their massive wealth and portfolios, family members getting annoyed and tired of one another, quarantined people suffering from depression.
The causes for these problems are many and complex. But one of the causes may be that we are not doing what we do for the glory of God. If we did, then many other things would fall easily into place.
Take our work, for example… If we did our work for the glory of God, then we would take pride in our performance, we would always try to do and give our best, we would do everything with diligence and passion, we would show genuine interest in our co-workers, and we would even take care of our equipment.
Take our relaxation and recreation, for example… If we did our leisure activities for the glory of God, then we would not watch TV, Netflix, K-drama all the time, we would not spend 3 to 4 hours a day on social media, or we would not play video games or online the whole day; instead, we would find something to stimulate our mind, we would try something to exercise our body, or we would get involved in something to calm our nerves.
Take our meals, for example… If we ate and drank for the glory of God, then we would eat nourishing food instead of junk food; we would consume a sensible amount instead of stuffing ourselves; we would not be wasteful, we would not throw away food; and we would make every meal as an opportunity to engage in pleasant conversations instead of upsetting.
Everything we do must glorify God – must give God glory. What we think, choose, decide, say, and do must glorify God. How we relate to our family, how we keep our friends, how we help our neighbors, how we treat our kasambahays, and how we reach out to others must glorify God. How we perform our duties at home, how we do our jobs, how we pursue our dreams, how we strive for excellence, how we use our gifts, talents, and material resources, and how we carry on our mission must glorify God. The books and magazines we read, the music we listen to, the movies and teleserye we watch, the video games we play, the clothes we wear (especially as we go to church), our vacation, relaxation and recreation, and our hobbies and interests must glorify God. The conversations we make with our friends, the things we say about others (even about our enemies), the comments we make on Facebook, the pictures we upload on Instagram, the words we say on Twitter, and how we use social media must glorify God.
At the end of each day, we must examine ourselves and ask: Did my thoughts, decisions, choices, desires, projects, words, moves, actions, works, and deeds today glorify me or God? “Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”