Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 17, 2012
Wednesday – Year of Faith
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr (Memorial)
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
Mass at EDSA Shrine/Shire of Mary, Queen of Peace/Our Lady of Peace Quasi-Parish

Reading 1 Gal 5:18-25

Brothers and sisters: If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (see Jn 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Gospel Lk 11:42-46

The Lord said: "Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk."

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, "Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too." And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."


I recently gave a retreat to graduating students of a certain Catholic university. During the confession at the counseling session, one of the students approached me. He is a young man, and he said, "Father, kasalanan po bang pagtangkaang patayin ang sarili mong ama? I was in the garage, he was at my back, naroon ako sa loob ng sasakyan, at muntik-muntikanan ko nang sagasaan ang Tatay ko." 'Yong ikawala ang sabi din sa akin, "Father, ang sama sama ng loob ko sa Nanay ko. Nag-away kami, sinabihan niya ako - 'sana noong nasa sinapupunan pa lang kita, pinatay na kita'. Hindi po kami nag-uusap, mahigit isang taon na."

Why do these things happen? It is because a lot of us impose heavy burdens on other people, while we ourselves do not even lift a finger to do them. Kamukha ng sinasabi ni Hesus sa Ebanghelyo. Marami kayong mga batas na ipinasusunod sa ibang tao, marami kayong mga regulasyon, pero hindi nyo naman ito sinusunod. Ano ba ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaroon ng pananampalataya, kundi naman ito isinasabuhay?

The reason why these things happen is - we have failed. We have failed to be witnesses of the Gospel values. Because we have listened more to the spirit of the world. In the First Reading, St. Paul warned us about hatred, rivalry, idolatry, selfishness, drinking bouts, orgies and the like. But if we listen to the Holy Spirit of God, we will bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity. Sadly, we have listened more to the spirit that tells us that for us to be happy, we have to be powerful, we have to be rich, we have to be popular. We have listened to this and it has given us false identities, that we are what we have, we are what we do, and we are what other people say who we are. Instead of listening to the Word of God, we have listened to what other people, or what the world, imposes on us.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is transformation and conversion. We would like to change the world, but we do not want to change ourselves. Napakagandang pakinggan ang mga salitang ito, pero hindi lamang sapat ang pakikinig. Ang mas maganda, isinasabuhay, isinasagawa, Amen.

St. Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us

You may also want to see:  A Holy Life - St. Ignatius of Antioch

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