19th Sunday in Ordinary Time          

            Once there was a stonecutter who lived alone in a tiny bamboo hut. Though he had acquired great skill, he was very poor and his clothes were tattered.

            One day, as he was chiseling away at a huge stone, he saw the king pass by. The stonecutter gazed in awe as the king, dressed in marvelous silk, was greeted by his subjects. He said to himself, “How I wish I were the king, who had power and glory.” Heaven heard his prayer and he was transformed into a powerful king, riding on his horse and waving at the crowds.

            But during the summer months he noticed how people and animals and plants withered under the powerful rays of the sun. He looked at the sky and thought, “I wish I were the sun.” And heaven granted his wish again… He spread his powerful light earthwards and kings and princess hid under their parasols, and warriors weakened under his gaze.

            Then one day, a tiny cloud moved over the land and cut out the sun’s rays. Seeing that there was something more powerful, he thought, “I want to be a cloud.” Again, his wish was granted…

            Now he blocked the sun’s rays and felt very important. He became a gigantic cloud which poured down rain on everything: trees, animals, people. Everything except a huge rock was untouched by his power. So, he wanted to become a rock. And he did.

            As such he felt unmoved by sun or rain or anything that nature could bring. Then one day, a man approached him, carrying a bag. He stopped, pulled out a chisel and hammer and began to chip away at the rock. So, here was someone stronger than a rock. And he prayed that he would be like him. Heaven heard his cry again… And he became a stonecutter once again… And he lived in his bamboo hut and hammered and chiseled away… and he was content.

            We are people who love to complain and murmur. Like the stonecutter in the story, seemingly we are not content with who we are and with what we have. We wish we were somebody else, and we wish we had something more. That is why we complain and murmur a lot. Nagrereklamo at nagmamaktol tayo sa Diyos.

            Today’s gospel reading opens by saying, that as soon as the Lord said to the Jews, “I am the bread that comes down from heaven…” they started to murmur to one another. To murmur is to express disbelief about what God or somebody has done for us. We see here that Jesus is the object of gossip, ridicule, belittlement. They murmur about him. What a silly thing for the people to do.

            Let us stop murmuring, complaining, grumbling. It is just a matter of attitude! Let me end by sharing with you this article.

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.
Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.
Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new pieces of knowledge.
Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body, and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

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