Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 18, 2012
Thursday – Year of Faith
St. Luke, Evangelist (Feast)
by Rev. Fr. Agapito "Aga" Tarog (Immaculate Conception Parish, Las Pinas)
Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 2 Tm 4:10-17b

Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Gospel Lk 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"


The specific celebration we have today reminds us of the general vocation of all followers of Christ, and that is to be an evangelist, which means to be a proclaimer of the "Evangelium" or the Good News. Every disciple is a proclaimer of the Gospel. This is not the sole work of the hierarchy or the religious; this is the work of the entire Church - priests, religious and laity altogether. Therefore, everyone who calls himself or herself a Christian cannot avoid or turn his back on the vocation attached to being a Christian, that of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the second point we have to consider is - how did Jesus stipulate the manner of proclaiming the Gospel? Number one, sabi niya sa Ebanghelyo, "I am sending you like lambs among wolves." Meaning that in the work of proclaiming the Gospel, the proclaimers or the evangelists will find themselves in a dangerous situation. Malinaw po 'yan. We will be proclaimers of the Gospel like lambs in the midst of wolves - mga asong nanlalapa, because the proclamation of the Gospel is never easy. That is why even St. Paul pictures to us his difficulties in his own manner of proclaiming the Gospel. Yong mga katulong na niya, he describes as deserting him. Iniwanan siya ng kanyang mga supposedly collaborators in the ministry. May isa pa - the coppersmith did him great harm. At nang dedepensahan na niya ang kanyang sarili, sabi nga niya, "every one deserted me". Only God stayed behind me. Only God remained faithful and gave him strength.
Kung kaya mga kapatid sa pananampalataya, ano ang sinasabi ni Kristo sa atin dito. Since the proclamation of the Gospel has its share of danger and challenges, the second important reminder ought to be in the consciousness of every evangelist for that matter. And what is that? Carry no money bag, no sack, nor sandals. It simply meant that there should be no dependence on material things. Hindi doon naka-depende ang pagpapahayag ng Mabuting Balita. Nor greet anyone along the way. Hindi naman siguro sinasabi ni Kristo na maging bastos po tayo, not to greet anyone along the way. But the whole point of that is, in the proclamation of the Gospel, we should not allow even people to delay us, to be a hindrance to the proclamation of the Gospel, because the proclamation of the Gospel has an urgency, because any time the end might come, and we do not know that. We'll never know that. Therefore, nothing or no one must hinder the proclaimer from his task of proclaiming the Gospel.
In short, the dependence of the evangelist should be on God alone. The evangelist ought to acquire the attitude or the disposition of an "anawim". The Gospel of St. Luke is technically called the Gospel of the "anawim", or the "lowly ones". The "anawims" are people who are not dependent on anything or anyone else except God. Wala silang sinasandalan kundi ang Diyos lamang. Therefore, an evangelist - a Christian proclaimer of the Gospel - ought to be disposed as an "anawim".
Mga kapatid sa pananampalataya, let us be reminded of our vocation to be evangelists in our own right, and make our proclamation of the Gospel be as lowly as the "anawim".

Huwag kang mangamba 
Di ka nag-iisa, sasamahan Kita
Saan man magpunta
Ika'y mahalaga sa Aking mga mata
Minamahal Kita, Minamahal Kita.

St. Luke, Evangelist – Pray for us

You may also want to see: A Holy Life - St. Luke, Evangelist

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