Monday, November 12, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 12, 2012
Monday – Year of Faith
by Rev. Fr. David "Dave" T. Concepcion
(Spiritual Director, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, San Carlos Pastoral Formation Center, Guadalupe, Makati City)
Evening Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

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."


They say we that if we keep on speaking good words repeatedly, soon it will become the desire of our hearts. Because your thoughts will become your words, your words will become your actions, your actions will become your habit, your habit will become your character, and your character will become your destiny. Everything will begin in your thoughts.

My dear brothers and sisters, if you can avoid it, as the Gospel has said, if you are falling into sin, the least you can do is to please, not to bring anyone with you. If you fall into sin, sin alone. Because if you will be bringing someone with you, you will be held accountable for your sin and the sin of the other person.

The problem with sin is that it becomes more evil when we try to justify it. Ayaw na ayaw natin 'yong nahuli mo na, nangangatwiran pa, di po ba? Marami sa atin, iniipon ang kasalanan nang buong taon at ibubuhos kay Father sa confession sa araw ng Adviento. Bakit kailangan pa pong ipunin? Minsan ho pagkatapos ng kumpisalang bayan, umuuwi kaming mga pari nang may trangkaso. (laughs) Isipin ninyo tambakan kayo ng basura, wala kayong pakikinggan kundi puro kasalanan, akala nyo po madali, ano po? Nakakalungkot.

At aaminin ko po, sa kumpisalan, mas gusto ko kung ang nangugumpisal ay bata. Bakit? At least 'yong bata pag nangungumpisal, nagsasabi ng totoo, ano po? Ang malungkot, 'yon hong mga matatandang nangungumpisal - hindi naman lahat - nangungumpisal na, nagsisinungaling pa. Nangangatuwiran pa kung bakit nila ginawa ang kanilang mga kasalanan. The problem is when we try to justify our sinfulness.

My dear brothers and sisters, the only way to avoid sin, is to avoid the occasions that can lead you to sin. Sinasabi mo nga na hindi ka na maninigarilyo, pangako, pero nasa daliri mo naman nandoon ang sigarilyo. Kahit mangako ka na hindi mo 'yan sisindihan, siguradong sisindihan mo rin 'yan, because it has become a habit. Kung kayo po ay may alta presyon, diabetic pa, tapos o-order po kayo ng taba ng baboy at kare-kare, tapos sasabihin ninyo, "Peks man, Father, di ko 'yan kakainin, titingnan ko lang 'yan." "Weh. Maniwala ako na titingnan mo lang 'yan." You can avoid sin if you do not allow yourselves, or do not put yourselves in that occasion. The word of the saints would say, "Increase your love for God, so that you can despise sin per se." Two things. If you want to avoid sin, avoid the occasion, or increase your love for God, so that anything that will hurt your God, you will despise it. 
For those who are married, the only way to avoid committing adultery is to increase your love to your husband or to your wife. If you love your spouse truly, you can despise anything or anyone that can hurt your beloved. Kaya kung kayo po ay nangangaliwa (bato-bato sa langit, buking), sa ayaw po ninyo at sa gusto niyo, hindi nyo talaga mahal ang inyong asawa. Mahal nyo lang ang inyong sarili. Hindi po ba? Tapos ija-justify nyo pa. The problem with sin is that we justify it.

The difference, my dear brothers and sisters is, if you will not set your mind on the right thing, then you are simply allowing your mind to derail. If you do not set your mouth on the right thing, then your mouth will derail some day. And when it derails, it will cause you to sin. Therefore, if you cannot avoid sin, keep this in mind - sin alone. Don't bring anyone else. And when you sin, please don't justify.

The good news is the only sin that God cannot forgive are the sins that we refuse to ask forgiveness for. That is the good news. The bad news is, to whom we have committed the sin, it can be forgiven, but it will never be forgotten.

Saint Josaphat – Pray for us

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

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