Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 28, 2012
Wednesday – Weekday – Year of Faith

Memorial Saint Catherine Laboure, Virgin and Visionary

by Rev.  Fr. Joel Jason (Dean, Graduate School of Theology San Carlos Seminary)
Lunch Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Rv 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring: seven angels with the seven last plagues, for through them God's fury is accomplished. Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire. On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name. They were holding God's harps, and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:

"Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 7-8, 9

R. (Rev. 15: 3b) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

Gospel Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd: "They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."


We are now on the last days of our Liturgical Calendar. Alam naman natin na ang tinatawag nating Liturgical Year or the Calendar of our Church is based on our reflection on the mysteries of the life of our Lord. Ang ating calendar year ay sumusunod sa ating pagninilay sa buhay ng ating Panginoon.

Kung inyong napansin, ang ating mga pagbasa nitong mga nakaraang araw - in fact nitong mga nakaraang linggo - most of them speak about the end. Most of them speak about the coming of the Son of Man. Most of them speak of the theme of judgment and accountability and responsibility. As I said, we are already at the end of the Liturgical Year, and by next Sunday, it will already be the first day of our church calendar. Kasi tayo ay papasok na sa bagong panahon, na ang tawag natin ay panahon ng Adviento, where we welcome the birth of the Lord.

But before we welcome the birth of our Lord, our readings remind us of something that is, what we can call, frightful or frightening. Di ba ho kung napakinggan ninyo ang ating Unang Pagbasa ngayon, it speaks of judgment. The Reading yesterday speaks of an Angel of God who will come with a sharp sickle, and he will harvest everything, and he will separate the good fruits from the bad fruits.

The First Reading the other day mentioned that the sun, the moon and the stars will no longer give their light. Ano ba 'yong sun, moon and stars? 'Yon 'yong ating source of security. 'Yan ang pinagmumulan ng ilaw. And yet, amidst all of these, sinasabi ng ating Ebanghelyo, '"Do not fear, do not fear". Now pwede nating sabihin, naku naman ano, the sun, moon and stars no longer give their light, and then sasabihin sa atin 'do not fear'. Now, how are we going to understand this?

The sun, the moon, and the stars will no longer give their light, not because God has destroyed them. The sun, the moon and the stars will no longer give their light because when the Son of Man comes, they will have to give way to the ultimate Light of the World. So ang ibig sabihin, natapos na nila 'yong kanilang papel. Natapos na nila 'yong kanilang purpose. 

And so the end should not be understood in terms of destruction. The end is supposed to be understood in terms of completion. Nature has already accomplished its role, and that is why they have to give way to the God of nature. So hindi naman mangyayari na doon sa katapusan ay sisirain ng Diyos ang mundo dahil nagalit ang Diyos sa mundo.

Katulad nga noong narinig natin sa Responsorial Psalm, it says, "Great and wonderful are Your works, Lord God, Almighty". Maganda ang ginawa ng Panginoon. At lahat ng maganda ay hindi Niya sisirain. Mawawala lang ito dahil nagawa na nila o nagampanan na nila ang kanilang purpose. And now, they will be renewed, and there will be new heavens and a new earth. Parang magkakaroon lamang ng renovation, and everything will be under the dominion of God Himself.

Pero ito ang particular challenge for all of us. Kasi ang nature, they only follow what they are dictated to do. Pero tayong mga tao, there is something in us that God has given. And what is that? The gift of freedom. So ang ibig sabihin, when our time comes, we actually have a choice. When the end comes, will it be for you a time of destruction, or will it be for you a time of completion? Maliwanag po ang imbitasyon ni Hesus sa ating Ebanghelyo. Sabi Niya, "With righteous perseverance, you will preserve your life". If we perservere in our love for the Lord, the end will be, for us, not a time of destruction. It will be a time for us for completion.

Kaya naman 'yong papasok na panahon, 'yong panahon ng Advent, is a very good consolation for all of us. Ano ba at sino ba ang hinihintay natin during the time of Advent? 'Yong pagdating ng Panginoon. Pero paano darating ang Panginoon? He comes to us in the form of a helpless infant. Bakit infant? So that we will never be intimidated. Because the God who will come to us will come, not to condemn us, but to invite us to begin again. And that is why the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is a very good symbol of rebirth. Beginning again. Magsisimula ulit tayo.

At this time of the year, pag tinitingnan natin ang ating buhay, parang sinasabi natin, 'Naku, mukhang the end for me will be in the form of destruction'. The infant that we will await during Christmas in inviting us that time is not late. That time is not lost. There will be a re-birth. We can begin again and again. Jesus came, not to condemn. Jesus came to invite everyone to salvation. That is why the Advent season is always a time of joyful expectation.

Sa misang ito, 'yon ang hilingin natin sa Panginoon. That even if we hear in the Readings about the end, fear will not overcome our hearts. Let us pray for the grace, that in place of fear, joyful expectation may replace it. And the baby that we are awating during Christmas will become a symbol of optimism, a symbol of hope, a symbol of re-birth, a symbol of starting again and again. Amen.

Saint Catherine Laboure – Pray for us

You may also want to see: A Holy Life - Saint Catherine Laboure

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