Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 28, 2012
Year of Faith
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Jim Ferry (San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex EDSA, Guadalupe, Makati)
Anticipated Sunday Mass at Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

Reading 1 Jer 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2 Heb 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.


The Holy Father has declared officially from this year on October 11 until next year around Christ the King, that we celebrate the Year of Faith. That is exactly what the Gospel today has just proclaimed. The blind man had faith in Jesus. Remember - he never saw Him, but he heard His voice. He did not see any of the miracles that Jesus did, but he heard about Him. So he called out, "Son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus tells his disciples, "Bring him here to me." And then Jesus very simply says to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" This man had such great faith in Jesus, that he was not afraid to ask the question that only the Messiah would be able to respond to. Jesus is the Only one who was prophesied in Jeremiah in the very First Reading. And it was foretold that God will gather the people and bring them together to Him, and He would reveal Himself to them as Father. This is fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus says, "I invite you to be one with Me, as I am with my Father, so that when you are one in us, then you possess that wonderful gift of being able to return to the Kingdom of My Father."

Bartimaeus had so much faith in Jesus. And as a consequence of that faith, he quit sinning. And not only that. Having heard about Jesus for many, many years, and now seeing Jesus for the first time, he did not go away from Jesus. He followed Jesus.

In the First Reading, God reveals Himself to us as Father. In the Responsorial Psalm, we are told about the joy we have in acclaiming God as our Father. And in the Reading from the Hebrews, we see the priesthood of Jesus and His being different from all other priesthoods. Jesus's priesthood is an eternal priesthood. He is the One who has entered into the Holy of Holies, and He is more for us what priesthood is all about. It's about faith; it's about joy, it's about service. And yes, even to the point of laying down one's life in order to help someone else. 
We know so many wonderful nurses and doctors who have risked their lives over the centuries, caring for people who had very serious, communicable diseases, taking care of the lepers. Here in our very own Philippines - the Martinian brothers, who care for lepers there in Tala, the lepers in Cebu, and the lepers in Tawi-Tawi. Why do they do it? It is because they are men of faith. They realize that God is their Father. They realize that Christ is the eternal High Priest, and they live out their service in joy. They have faith in Jesus.

You and I, right now, here at Greenbelt, at this celebration of the Eucharist - how strong is our faith? Whenever adversity comes, we may rebel against God. Or do we only accept God and have faith in God when everything is going very very well?

This morning, I said mass in Quezon City, at the Sisters of Charity. They care for the blind, and they have something like 30 young women. And all of these girls are blind since birth. Many of their families didn't want them because they were born blind. And as a consequence of that, they were abandoned. The Sisters have brought them together. They don't pray each and every day, that they may have the gift of human sight, although I am sure that they pray every now and then for this. But when you speak to them and ask them about their situation right now, they say "God has been good to us. He has brought us together. We live a life of joy, even though we cannot see." And you should see how they care for each other. They hold hands together, and they walk together. The older girls take care of the young girls. Young women of faith. They trust in God, even though they have not been given the gift of sight.

How about us? We see. Are our eyes avenues of goodness, or are they avenues of sin? We speak. But do our words bless, or do the words that come from us condemn and curse, or express anger? We have a wonderful gift to hear. Do we listen in silence to Jesus, or do we listen to all the gossip about others, and then join in, in destroying reputations of other people? What do we do with the gifts that God has given to us? Unless we are truly and sincerely, people who have faith in Jesus, people who not only hear the Gospel of Jesus but are sincerely trying to live the Gospel of Jesus, if we are doing this, then yes, we are men and women of faith.

My brothers and sisters, remember this. There is nothing magic about salvation. Jesus Himself has told us - we must work out our salvation. There will be moments of suffering. There will be moments of doubt. There will be moments when we feel we are rejected. That's when the gift of faith enables us to say yes to all the difficulties in life, and still, like the blind girls in Cubao, be people of joy, people of happiness, people who are faithful to Jesus.

We should renew our faith each day. Choose these simple few words: "Jesus, increase my faith in you." Every day, just those words. You'll be surprised how it will affect our daily lives, and how over a week and perhaps a month, and then even years, we will find that we are becoming more and more, people of faith in Jesus. Faith that enables us to recognize Jesus as the eternal High Priest. To recognize that Jesus is bringing us to His Father. And with this, we live our life in joy.

How can you and I - how can we - who believe in Jesus, not be faithful children? Like the blind man, we ask Jesus to take from us the blindness that comes from sin so that we can continue to follow Jesus.

Today we also celebrate the memorial of St. Simon and St. Jude the Apostles

Saint Simon and Saint Jude – Pray for us

You may also want to see: A Holy Life - St. Jude Thaddeus
                                             A Holy Life - St. Simon

A Holy Life

Saint Jude Thaddeus
Apostles, Patron of Hopeless and Desperate Cases
Feast day – October 28

St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. St. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.

Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.

He is an author of an epistle (letter) to the Churches of the East, particularly the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics. This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity did not take place until the third century of our era.

Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa; possibly martyred with St. Simon in Persia.

Jude is invoked in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stresses that the faithful should persevere in the environment of harsh, difficult circumstances, just as their forefathers had done before them. Therefore, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and his feast day is October 28. Saint Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot who betrayed Our Lord and despaired because of his great sin and lack of trust in God's mercy.


John 14:22-31

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered him,


Sources for this article were taken from:



O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.


True relative
Of Jesus and Mary,
I salute you through
This Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Through his Heart
I praise and thank God
For all the graces
He has bestowed upon you.

Humbly prostrate before you
I implore you,
Through His Heart,
To look down upon me
With compassion.

Despite my poor prayer;
Let not my trust
Be confounded!

To you God has granted
The privilege of
Aiding mankind
In the most desperate cases.

Oh, come to my aid
Until I can thank you in heaven.

All my life
I will be your grateful client
Until I can thank you in heaven.

St. Jude, pray for us
And for all who invoke your aid.

Saint Jude Thaddeus – Pray for us

Saint Jude Heals King Abgar of Edessa
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar