Monday, November 12, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 12, 2012
Monday – Year of Faith
Memorial Saint Josaphat – Bishop and Martyr
by Rev. Fr. Rey Reyes (Society of St. Paul)
Lunch Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Ti 1:1-9

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior, to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you, on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious. For a bishop as God's steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Gospel Lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples, "Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,' you should forgive him."

And the Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."


For our reflection this afternoon, we will be taking the second and last part of our Gospel. What our Lord Jesus Christ proposes to us is the right attitude in acting whenever somebody wrongs us, if something has been done to us by other people. Let us understand clearly in the proper way the words of the Lord, because we might interpret the word of the Lord in another sense. For example, if your brother wrongs you seven times in one day, and he returns to you seven times, saying "I'm sorry", you should forgive him. Seven times would mean no limitation, not exactly literal as it would mean to us. Our Lord proposes that when we forgive, there should be no limitation. It should not be putting any restriction. 

Kasi po sa atin, pag may gumawa ng kasalanan - asawa man, kapatid, kaibigan - pag humingi sila ng sorry, ano ang ating sinasabi? "Huwag mo nang uulitin 'yan ha. Magagalit ako ulit." As if the next time that the person would do that, it would already be difficult for us to forgive. "Eh paulit-ulit na eh, paano ko patatawarin 'yan?" However, simply the Lord is reminding us that when we forgive, there should be no limitation, but there should always be the attitude of being able to forgive wholeheartedly. Patawad. Pasensiya na. I am sorry. We would just have to respond positively. "O sige, ok. Kalimutan na natin ito. Tapos na ito. Nakalipas na ito."

The Lord is simply calling us and asking us to look at our attitude whenever somebody has done something wrong against us. But what are the usual things that we do? Number one, we don't talk to the person. Number two - we usually talk it out with somebody else, but not to the right person or to the person concerned. And this is always our tendency; this has always been our practice. Nasanay na tayo dito, at nahirati na tayo sa ganitong sistema. Pag tayo ay nagalit, isnabang katakut-takot. Hindi ka papansinin, hindi ka kikibuin. Makasalubong mo, patay malisya. Parang walang nakita, at parang walang nakasalubong. We always have the nerve to tell other people other than the people concerned.

Let us check it out. Baka naman ganito ang ating sistema. And that is why the problem or the issue is not being addressed properly or adequately. What the Lord is telling us is something a little difficult to comply with and to put into practice. But I believe that the good Lord is always practical, and that the good Lord will not say anything that is impossible to do. When we hear our Lord telling us to rebuke our brother, rebuke him in the most civil way. Kausapin mo ang kapatid mo nang mahinahon. Pagpaliwanagan mo nang maayos. Huwag nating dadaanin sa init ng ulo. It is because if we are already hot-tempered, it is useless to talk to the person because we might be able to say something that we will regret later on. Kasi, at the height of our anger, kahit ano masasabi natin eh. And that is why it is not advisable to talk to the other person if the emotion is high. The Lord is telling us that if we need to rebuke our brother, let us talk to our brother privately and focus on the issue but never on the person himself.

The Lord is also reminding us that if our brother says sorry, we have to take it, and complement it. "Ok, I will take it." Huwag na tayong magdadagdag ng "O huwag mo nang uulitin 'yan ha." We are plain and simple human beings. We may be able to do it again. But when we give our forgiveness, there should never be any condition. Forgive and forgive generously, that is the mind of the Lord.

Let us ask the Lord for one good grace. Lord, help me to forgive, and to temper my anger and emotions. Help me, Lord, to be cool and calm. Please Lord, help me, that I may be able to talk this matter out to the person concerned. 

Whether or not the other person will be very kind and good enough to listen to us, nasa kanya na 'yon. It is his responsibility. What is important is that we are able to do what the Lord Jesus Christ is telling us. Maybe this is one thing that we have to learn during the observance of the 'Year of Faith", and that is to improve our relationship with one another, to restore the relationship that has been destroyed. The Lord is telling us the right thing to do. May God bless us all. 

Saint Josaphat – Pray for us

You may also want to see: A Holy Life - Saint Josaphat
                                             Gospel Reflection - Rev Fr. David Concepcion - November 12

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