Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gospel Reflection

September 27, 2012
St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Memorial)
by Msgr. Bong Lo (Chaplain, Chapel of Eucharistic Lord)
Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord
Reading 1 Eccl 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. All speech is labored; there is nothing one can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, "See, this is new!" has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17bc

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Gospel Lk 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen." But Herod said, "John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?" And he kept trying to see him.


Some weeks ago, may isa akong friend at sabi niya sa akin "Father 'yong family po namin ay mayroong parang sumpa. We have a kind of genetic, hereditary, physical problem." Sabi ko, "Ano po 'yon?" Sabi niya, "Lahat kaming mga lalaki sa pamilya namin, mula pa sa great grandfather ko, hanggang sa akin, hanggang sa anak ko, lahat kami ay pinapanganak na guwapo...." (laughs) "We are born handsome." So I told him, "You are a medical doctor. You know that on matters as serious as these, you must consult other doctors for a second opinion (laughs) or even a third opinion." (laughs)

My sisters and brothers, the First Reading is from the book of Ecclesiastes, and the introductory passage proclaims strongly, repeatedly and insistently, that everything is vanity. According to the dictionary, vanity is the excessive pride over one's looks, talents, abilities, achievements, status, etc. And focusing on being vain is something superficial and temporary.

My sisters and brothers, sa totoo lang pala ano po, no matter who we are, no matter who am I, no matter what we do, mamamatay din tayong lahat. Pakisabi sa katabi, "mamamatay ka". (laughs) At pakisabi mo "mauna ka naman". (laughs) We say that time is gold, we should not waste time. But no matter how much gold we have, there comes a time when you can no longer buy time. There comes a time when "time is up". We say that "health is wealth", but no matter how much wealth we have, there comes a time that we cannot buy health, when health is simply about to give way.

But if we continue to reading the Book of Ecclesiastes, it reminds us and shows us that with God, everything has value and everything will last. As long as we are rooted in God, even when "time is up", we will no longer need any, because we will already enter eternity. When we are rooted in God, even if health will no longer be there, it's ok, because now, there is the Resurrection - the glorified body, the incorruptible body.

So we must take pride of the fact that God loves us. Let us take more pride that we have been given the grace to know God, to enjoy Him and enter into a personal relationship with Him. Let us take pride in the fact that we are given the grace to be a Christian, to remain Catholic, and to experience the Sacraments. Then truly we can say not everything is vanity. There is something much deeper, there is something that lasts forever. It is not diamonds, it is God and our relationship with Him.

In the Gospel today, Herod wanted to see Jesus. But he was only curious to see Jesus - for Herod, it was only something superficial. When finally he met Jesus, wala lang. He was not open to the invitation of Jesus. He was not open to the grace of conversion. He was not open to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. Let us not simply be curious about Jesus. He is our Lord God. Let us be truly open so that we may respond to God's presence, that we may respond to God's call. If you truly encounter God, you cannot but change for the better, then truly, not everything is vanity.
 St. Vincent de Paul – Pray for us
You may also want to see: A Holy Life - St. Vincent de Paul

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