Friday, November 16, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 16, 2012
Friday – Weekday – Year of Faith
Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
5:30  PM Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)

Reading 1 2 Jn 4-9

[Chosen Lady:] I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father. But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another. For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Gospel Lk 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather."


Our reading is a continuation of the reflection on the end of time. And Jesus is warning is, telling us, in a very very clear manner, that we will now be expecting the end of time as if it were this day, tomorrow, or the next day, that the day of the Son of Man will come. No one knows, only the Father. Nagbigay siya ng ehemplo. Tingnan ninyo 'yong panahon ni Noah at 'yong panahon ni Lot. Kumakain, nag-iinuman, every day, they spend life's monotony, they pre-occupy themselves with life's goings-on. So when they were not expecting it, the day of the Son of Man came. At doon dumating 'yong delubyo.

Ganito rin sa ating panahon ngayon. Baka sinasabi natin, ok lang, hindi tayo pababayaan ng Diyos. Hindi pa tayo kukunin ng Diyos ngayon. Magsaya muna tayo. Let us be merry - live, eat and drink, dahil matagal pa ang pagdating ng katapusan ng mundo. But God is telling us to be always vigilant, to be always prepared. And when Jesus said, 'whoever seeks his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for the sake of the Gospel will preserve it", He is not speaking of the physical body. He is speaking of the more profound and deeper meaning of our life.

Ang buhay ba natin ay pagpapapayaman lang? Ang buhay ba natin ay para lamang matamo ang ating tagumpay? Ang buhay lang bang ito ay itinalaga ng Diyos para makamit natin ang lahat ng inaasam natin sa buhay? Because of consumerism and materialism, we have already lost the time to be silent, the time to pause, the time to reflect on the deeper meaning of life. Ano ba talaga ang mas mahalaga sa buhay?

Baka katulad din tayo ng mga tao noong panahon ni Noah at ni Lot. Pinagsasabihan na sila, ibinigay na ang babala, ang warning, pero hindi sila nakikinig. At ang ginagawa nila ay patuloy lamang sa kanilang pagkain, pagsasaya at pagkamit nang kung anu-anong inaasam nila sa buhay.

The reason why this Gospel is being presented to us during the last few days of the calendar year of the Church - we are already in the 32nd week - is because the Church is in a cycle. We are to be reminded always that our life here on earth is temporary. The Gospel talks about the second coming of our Lord our Savior, when He will judge us, the living, and the dead. The first coming was when He came first as a child. The second coming, or the parousia, is the Day of the Judgment.

But there is another coming of Christ, that we take for granted and we totally ignore. And that is the coming of Christ in our lives every day. Dumarating sa atin ang presensiya ni Hesus araw-araw sa katauhan ng ating kapwa. Pero hindi natin ito pinapansin. Kung ano ang kailangan nila, mauna na muna dapat ang sa atin - me and my family first. Ganoon ang ating panananampalataya. Ako lang at ang aking Diyos. Wala akong pakialam sa aking kapwa. Tinawag na ang ating pananampalataya ay pagkakaisa - unity, community. There is a common bond of unity that binds us all. And that is Jesus Christ. In our communion - common union - meron tayong pinagsasaluhang common sa bawat isa. At 'yon ay si Kristo. Pag hindi natin kinikilala ang presensiya ni Kristo sa araw-araw na pakikisalamuha natin sa ating kapwa, tulad ng nakikita natin kung paano inaapakan ng ibang tao ang karapatan ng kanilang kapwa, kung paano nila minamaltrato ito, kung paano nila ito binabalewala, makikita natin na kung ano ang ginawa natin sa kaliit-liitan ng ating kapwa, ginawa natin kay Hesus. At kung ano ang ipinagkait natin sa ating kapwa, ipinagkait natin sa Diyos.

Kaya mga kapatid, mabuksan sana ng Salita ng Diyos ang ating mga diwa at ang ating isip kung ano ba ang tunay na mahalaga dito sa ating buhay. Are we so pre-occupied with material things alone? Are we pre-occupied with thinking of ourselves alone? Hilingin natin sa Panginoon na tayo ay maging handa sa pagdating Niya. Nawa'y ang paghahanda natin at pagtulong sa kapwa ay hindi lamang sa salita, ngunit higit sa paggawa, Amen.

Saint Margaret – Pray for us