[COLUMN] On expanding one’s heart for love and mercy 

If you google the word, minimalism, you will learn that it is a lifestyle of simplicity and moderation. It’s living with less possession and tempering excessiveness and passion for more wealth, objects, and experience.

So, minimalists have few pieces of furniture and less clutter in their house. They party and travel less. They avoid too many activities.

Are you a minimalist?

Minimalism is good because it fosters clarity and singleness of purpose.

But when it comes to the Gospel, minimalism does not apply because the Gospel calls for excessive generosity and lavish care for others,  including those that are not related to us. It means giving the other cheek to the one who offends us and walking an extra mile with someone.

Of course, Jesus preached against inordinate attachment to material things and relationships. But when it comes to the human heart, he urges us to expand it, to stretch it to others in compassion, forgiveness, and love.

Jesus’ ministry, suffering, and death were all about absolute giving of one’s life for our sake. His last words on the cross were replete with forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation. He embraced the Cross, his suffering and death wholeheartedly for the sake of love.

Might we be stingy and average when it comes to relationships and the human heart? It’s something that we may need to reflect on this week.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.

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