|Posted on June 20, 2019 at 2:50 PM|
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time C
Turning Something Bad into Something Beautiful
Fr. Aaron Niño P. Galvizo, AM
In Nov. 11, 1843, a Danish Poet published a fairy tale that has become famous all over the world.
The story begins when a mother duck's eggs hatch. One of the little birds is perceived by the other birds and animals on the farm as a homely little creature and suffers much verbal and physical abuse from them. He wanders sadly from the barnyard and lives with wild ducks and geese until hunters slaughter the flocks. He finds a home with an old woman, but her cat and hen tease and taunt him mercilessly and once again he sets off alone.
The duckling sees a flock of migrating wild swans. He is delighted and excited, but he cannot join them, for he is too young and cannot fly. Winter arrives. A farmer finds and carries the freezing little duckling home, but the foundling is frightened by the farmer’s noisy children and flees the house. He spends a miserable winter alone in the outdoors, mostly hiding in a cave on the lake that partly freezes over. When spring arrives, a flock of swans descends on the lake.
The ugly duckling, now having fully grown and matured, is unable to endure a life of solitude and hardship any more and decides to throw himself at the flock of swans deciding that it is better to be killed by such beautiful birds than to live a life of ugliness and misery. He is shocked when the swans welcome and accept him, only to realize by looking at his reflection in the water that he has grown into one of them. The flock takes to the air, and the now beautiful swan spreads his gorgeous large wings and takes flight with the rest of his new kind family. (taken from wikipedia)
The title of the Story is… The Ugly Duckling.
Why has this become so popular? Because it speaks more than just a fairy tale. It speaks about the life of Hans Christian Andersen himself, and to which many people can relate to.
Like the ugly duckling, we too may sometimes feel that we are “ugly”, “puny”, “unworthy” or “sinful” because of some people or experiences that made us think that we are indeed as such. That is why Isaiah said “Woe is me, I am doomed! I am a man of unclean lips.” when he heard God’s call. And also Simon Peter after realizing who Jesus was, he exclaimed “Depart from me Lord, I am a sinful man.” Why this reaction? Because the world made us think that we are ugly. But we are not.
We may have flaws, yes. We may have committed some mistakes, yes. We may have done something awful, yes. But that does not take away our inner beauty, the one that God has created in his own image and likeness —the good. God is calling us back to see and acknowledge that beauty in us to proclaim the gospel, the good news of salvation. That is why God said to Isaiah, “your wickedness is removed, your sins purged.” and to Peter “Do not be afraid, from now on, you will be catching men.”
My dear brothers and sisters, we are more than just ugly ducklings. We are sons and daughters of God. And God is calling us to proclaim the good news of salvation. And who would be the best evangelizers, teachers and guides to our fellow men than us? We and our weaknesses, that flaws, imperfections, sins, is what makes us beautiful. Because our journey to the unfolding of God’s beauty is manifested through it. And by way of telling our stories, our faith to people through communities like this, like ours, is witnessing to God’s glory. Share your stories. See your beauty and know that you are too are called to become fishers of men.