Friday, November 23, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 23, 2012
Friday - Weekday – Year of Faith
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
Morning Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)

Reading 1 Rv 10:8-11

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me. Then the voice spoke to me and said: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, "Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey." I took the small scroll from the angel's hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then someone said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Gospel Lk 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves." And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.


It is very surprising to some that Jesus, who is meek and humble of heart, would have to be getting angry at people, and shouting at them. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus even made a cord out of ropes to whip the people and the animals that are being sold in the temple.
What is this anger that we see in Jesus Christ? It is very simple. He said, "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves." A lot of times, we are also angry. But we could ask ourselves - what are we so angry about? During confessions, I will be hearing, "Father, I could not control my temper." "Father, it is so petty, but it really irritates me and I easily get angry with the people around me, especially when I have problems." But you see, anger in itself is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when it is directed to God and to other people, and when it is already at a stage of leading you to another sin. Nagiging kasalanan lamang ang ating galit kapag ito ay yumuyurak na sa dangal ng ibang tao, nananamantala, at napapailalim na ang tunay nating mabubuting motibo, dahil lamang sa ating galit, na hindi natin ma-control.
Jesus was very strong and very brave in incarcerating these evil things that are happening. Tayo tatanungin natin sa ating sarili - do we also voice our anger on the injustices that we see around us? O tahimik lamang tayo? There is a time for everything. Mayroong panahon na kailangan tayong manahimik, pero mas marami ang panahon na kailangan tayong magsalita laban sa kawalan ng katarungan na nakikita natin sa ating paligid. Pero minsan, mas ginugusto nating manahimik dahil sa takot.
Jesus was not afraid to speak of the evil things during His time, that is why people were plotting to kill him. Tayo - mayroon kaya tayong lakas ng loob para maging tinig ng ibang taong walang kakayahang ipagtanggol ang kanilang karapatan, o para ipahayag ang mga katiwalian na nakikita natin sa ating lipunan?
God is with us. He is always with us. And if we consider this temple a house of prayer, truly, the courage that we need and the grace of the Holy Spirit will be with us in everything we do. Amen.