Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 17, 2012
Wednesday – Year of Faith
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr (Memorial)
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
Mass at EDSA Shrine/Shire of Mary, Queen of Peace/Our Lady of Peace Quasi-Parish

Reading 1 Gal 5:18-25

Brothers and sisters: If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (see Jn 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

Gospel Lk 11:42-46

The Lord said: "Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk."

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, "Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too." And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."


I recently gave a retreat to graduating students of a certain Catholic university. During the confession at the counseling session, one of the students approached me. He is a young man, and he said, "Father, kasalanan po bang pagtangkaang patayin ang sarili mong ama? I was in the garage, he was at my back, naroon ako sa loob ng sasakyan, at muntik-muntikanan ko nang sagasaan ang Tatay ko." 'Yong ikawala ang sabi din sa akin, "Father, ang sama sama ng loob ko sa Nanay ko. Nag-away kami, sinabihan niya ako - 'sana noong nasa sinapupunan pa lang kita, pinatay na kita'. Hindi po kami nag-uusap, mahigit isang taon na."

Why do these things happen? It is because a lot of us impose heavy burdens on other people, while we ourselves do not even lift a finger to do them. Kamukha ng sinasabi ni Hesus sa Ebanghelyo. Marami kayong mga batas na ipinasusunod sa ibang tao, marami kayong mga regulasyon, pero hindi nyo naman ito sinusunod. Ano ba ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaroon ng pananampalataya, kundi naman ito isinasabuhay?

The reason why these things happen is - we have failed. We have failed to be witnesses of the Gospel values. Because we have listened more to the spirit of the world. In the First Reading, St. Paul warned us about hatred, rivalry, idolatry, selfishness, drinking bouts, orgies and the like. But if we listen to the Holy Spirit of God, we will bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity. Sadly, we have listened more to the spirit that tells us that for us to be happy, we have to be powerful, we have to be rich, we have to be popular. We have listened to this and it has given us false identities, that we are what we have, we are what we do, and we are what other people say who we are. Instead of listening to the Word of God, we have listened to what other people, or what the world, imposes on us.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is transformation and conversion. We would like to change the world, but we do not want to change ourselves. Napakagandang pakinggan ang mga salitang ito, pero hindi lamang sapat ang pakikinig. Ang mas maganda, isinasabuhay, isinasagawa, Amen.

St. Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us

You may also want to see:  A Holy Life - St. Ignatius of Antioch

A Holy Life

St. Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop, Martyr (Memorial)
Feast day – October 17

St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan's persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life. His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, "I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread."

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of memorial of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Her feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on October 16. St. Ignatius feast in the Extraordinary Form is on February 1.

St. Ignatius of Antioch
In the Martyrology we read: "At Rome, the holy bishop and martyr Ignatius. He was the second successor to the apostle Peter in the see of Antioch. In the persecution of Trajan he was condemned to the wild beasts and sent in chains to Rome. There, by the emperor's order, he was subjected to most cruel tortures in the presence of the Senate and then thrown to the lions. Torn to pieces by their teeth, he became a victim for Christ."

The bishop and martyr Ignatius occupies a foremost place among the heroes of Christian antiquity. His final journey from Antioch to Rome was like a nuptial procession and a Way of the Cross. For the letters he wrote along the way resemble seven stations of the Cross; they may also be called seven nuptial hymns overflowing with the saint's intense love for Christ Jesus and his longing to be united with Him. These letters are seven most precious jewels in the heirloom bequeathed to us by the Church of sub-apostolic times.

The year of St. Ignatius' death is unknown; perhaps it occurred during the victory festivities in which the Emperor Trajan sacrificed the lives of 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 wild beasts for the amusement of the bloodthirsty populace. The scene of his glorious triumph and martyrdom was most likely the Colosseum; that mammoth structure, glittering with gold and marble, had then been just completed.

"From Syria to Rome I must do battle with beasts on land and sea. For day and night I am chained to ten leopards, that is, the soldiers who guard me and grow more ferocious the better they are treated. Their mistreatment is good instruction for me, yet am I still far from justified. Oh, that I may meet the wild beasts now kept in readiness for me. I shall implore them to give me death promptly and to hasten my departure. I shall invite them to devour me so that they will not leave my body unharmed as already has happened to other witnesses. If they refuse to pounce upon me, I shall impel them to eat me. My little children, forgive me these words. Surely I know what is good for me. From things visible I no longer desire anything; I want to find Jesus. Fire and cross, wild beasts, broken bones, lacerated members, a body wholly crushed, and Satan's every torment, let them all overwhelm me, if only I reach Christ."

The saint, now condemned to fight the wild beasts, burned with desire for martyrdom. On hearing the roar of the lions he cried out: "I am a kernel of wheat for Christ. I must be ground by the teeth of beasts to be found bread (of Christ) wholly pure".


Sources for this article were taken from:



Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendor, so it may be for us unending protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


St. Ignatius of Antioch – Pray for us