Public Life
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17).” This was the keynote address of the Lord Jesus upon the start of his public mission. The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion is the third Luminous mystery in the updated recitation of the holy rosary. For about thirty years, Jesus lived the regular life of an ordinary Jewish Galilean of His time. We do not have a biblical account of His life from the time He was twelve years old until the time He started. preaching. This was the time of the hidden life.

We can presume, due to the custom of the time, that the Lord learned the trade of Joseph. He was a carpenter As an ordinary male Jew He would be present at the regular activities of the synagogue in Nazareth. At times, He would make the long trip to visit the temple in Jerusalem. He would be joining the gatherings of relatives and friends. In fact, it was a big surprise to these relatives and town mates when Jesus took a very public role.

Action starter: Are your life principles in consonance with the Gospel?

The life of Jesus took a new turn when He started preaching. He became a public figure and like any man under public scrutiny, he reaped all kinds of reactions. There were those who sought Him for comfort and healing. There were also some people who rejected Him, especially the leaders and teachers of the Law. He gained friends and also made some enemies. He had His admirers and detractors as well. He was considered a teacher, a prophet, and a miracle worker. Others thought He was a fake. Through all these different reactions, Jesus continued speaking and healing knowing that He was doing the will of His Father. This explains the many hours in the evening or early dawn that He went by Himself to pray. He was consulting with the Father.

In varying degrees, as we grow up into adulthood, we take up adult roles and engage more and more in public discourse and action. Some people like Bobby Fischer and the recluse Howard Hughes were public stars who decided to suddenly drop out of the limelight. Others were under the public eye since they were children such as the Kennedy’s and our very own Cris Aquino, a daughter with a president for a mother and a national hero as a father. Most of us are engaged with the public in view of our work as professionals, business people, politicians, church workers, entertainers, or plain citizens.

Along the way we may have pleased some and displeased others. I remember a saying, “You can please all people some times, and you can please some people all the time, but you cannot please all people all the time.” We may have gained many friends, and hopefully few enemies. We may have done some things that we are proud of or things that we regret. Perhaps we wish we have made the right decisions. Human as we are, we sometimes make foolish and wrong choices. In the final analysis, we can just submit ourselves to God and tell Him that we tried to do the best we could.

As we involve ourselves in daily living, it will be good to have some guidelines by which we can satisfactorily answer the questions, “Did I do what is right, truthful, and loving? Am I a becoming a better person?”

We are accountable to the public and its social expectations, but more than that, we are accountable to God. We know ourselves better than the public knows us, but most of all God knows the depths of our hearts.