Friday, December 7, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 07, 2012
Friday – Advent – Year of Faith
First Friday of the Month
Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
by Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joey” Faller (Spiritual Director of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center, Lucban Quezon Province)
Lunch Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Is 29:17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Gospel Mt 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, "Son of David, have pity on us!" When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, "See that no one knows about this." But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.


As I have told you, at the outset of our celebration, we are at the first Sunday of Advent and the Advent wreath represents the four Sundays that we have. There is the first and second Sunday, then the pink one will be the Gaudete Sunday or the Sunday of joy, anticipating the coming of the Lord, while the fourth Sunday will be the last Sunday before Christmas.

When we talk about Advent, we talk about two things. The first meaning of Advent is the First Coming of the Lord, that we are remembering on Christmas day. The second meaning of Advent is the Second Coming, which talks about the end of the world. And when we talk about the end of the world, nakakatakot po. Parang katulad ninyo na nakikinig ngayon sa akin, parang nakakatakot pakinggan ang sinasabi ni Father.

In the Greek word, the Second Coming is called the 'parousia' - ulitin ninyo, 'parousia'. Kita nyo parang may parusa na, ano ho? (laughs) The parousia, or the Second Coming of the Lord, will be with judgment.

Last year noong December 16, what we had was typhoon 'Sendong'. And this year, super typhoon 'Pablo' really devastated the Mindanao area. Could you just imagine, even with the preparations made in advance by the Government, still, a lot of people died. And still, there was much destruction in Mindanao, especially in the Compostela Valley in Davao, where 4 billion pesos worth of agriculture has been lost. About 437 have died, and about 200 to 300 are still missing. 90% of houses were destroyed, 85% of agricultural land were destroyed. And this is before Christmas time, as we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, when we are preparing for the coming of the Lord.

Isa pa ho, kung napapansin po ninyo ha, ito po ha, napansin ko lang po, when they are talking and are pushing the RH Bill, bumabagyo, nagkakaroon ng delubyo. And they are pushing again the RH Bill, and this is the result. Nature - the hand of the Lord - is seemingly telling all of us, read the signs of the times. Have a discerning heart, and a discerning spirit, so that you may know what the Lord wants for all of us.

And then it became very clear to me. The Lord wants us to restore the love for the family, to continue to give importance to the sanctity of marriage, and not on the sex thing, that even a Grade 3 student can already have access to sex education. A lot of people do not understand what they are pushing, especially the lawmakers. This is anti-life, this is anti-family. The family will be under attack and will loose its significance. People don't realize this. But later on, if they push through with the RH Bill, the nation will be divided. The family will be divided, and life will no longer become so meaningful for us. And this will be a great deluge in the morality of the Philippines.

Can we not see the signs of the times? It is happening. The Lord is giving us a signal. Don't push through with this. Reflect. I believe in all my heart that the signs of the times are there. Read it. Discern it for yourselves.

As I have mentioned, there are two meanings of Advent, the First Coming and the Second Coming. But I would like to push through with the third coming. And what is the third coming? It is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts. The coming of Jesus into our family, into our society, into our life.

The coming of the Lord is depicted in the Holy Gospel. The coming of the Lord will be with healings, miracles, signs and wonders. As you can see in our Holy Gospel for today, two blind men were healed, and it was through their insistence that they were healed. Their bold faith, their bold proclamation resulted to their healing. Jesus said, "Do you believe that I can do this?" And they said yes, they believe that they will be healed.

One ingredient for healing is that we believe in the power of God. That we believe that God can heal even the most sick ones, even those who are already suffering and at the point of death. If it is the will of the Lord, it can happen. Mayroon po akong na-pray over, sabi ko po sa sarili ko, 'naku hindi na tatagal ito'. Pagkaraan po ng isang linggo, bumangon, hanggang ngayon buhay pa. Meron naman ho akong na-pray over, sabi ko ito ay gagaling pa. Kinabukasan, patay. (laughs)

What is the message? The message is, it is the Lord's will that is most important. Ang nagpapagaling ay ang Panginoon. Ang mahalaga ay ang kalooban ng Diyos, hindi 'yong kalooban noong nag-minister, who is just an instrument. It is the will of the Lord that matters.

That is why the coming of the Lord will always be with signs and wonders. The Lord touched the eyes of the two blind men. There is healing in touch. That is why ako po, I allow people to touch me, to become a medium of healing. Because I believe with all my heart that what happened 2,000 years ago is still happening even today.

So the Lord is continually touching us, in the Holy Eucharist that we celebrate, in the Sacred Scriptures that we read, in the homilies that the priest delivers. Healing is happening. That is why sometimes, we have teary eyes. Minsan, napapaiyak tayo. When that happens, it is the Word of God that is convicting you to change, and I believe that in that sense, Jesus is touching you through the Holy Eucharist, through the Word of God and even in the events that are transpiring in your life.

So today, as we celebrate this mass, we ask the Lord once again, not only to touch our external sickness, but for the Lord to touch our hearts, to touch our whole being, the innermost part of ourselves, so that we can experience total, immediate, comprehensive healing. The healing of our hearts, the healing of our lives. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

Saint Ambrose – Pray for us

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

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