Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gospel Reflection

November 29, 2012
Thursday – Weekday – Year of Faith
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 Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. He cried out in a mighty voice: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a haunt for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, a cage for every unclean bird, a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast." A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea and said:

"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down, and will never be found again. No melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again. No craftsmen in any trade will ever be found in you again. No sound of the millstone will ever be heard in you again. No light from a lamp will ever be seen in you again. No voices of bride and groom will ever be heard in you again. Because your merchants were the great ones of the world, all nations were led astray by your magic potion."

After this I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:"Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."

They said a second time:"Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever. "Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Gospel Lk 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."


I read a news article in one of the daily newspapers today. In the inside pages, there was news that a Filipino, 17-year old boy from General Santos City won the Tony Blair 'Faith Dialogue' Short Film competition. The title of the short film that he made is, 'Let go, let God'. It is a 3-minute short film that tells of the importance of holding on to faith in times of illness and tragedies in life. Another Filipino short film was included among the 15 finalists, and the title is "Bago Kumain', which tells of the importance of prayer in everything we do.

Itong mga ganitong kwento, hindi nagme-merit ng front page. Nandodoon lang sa loob. Bakit kaya? Ano kaya ang pinapansin at hinahanap na balita ng mga tao? Mga balitang makapangyayanig sa atin, mga balitang sinasabing tumataas at gumaganda ang ating ekonomiya, mga balita tungkol sa isang foreign artist na nag-concert na napakaraming tao ang nanood. Pag binuksan mo ang mga pahayagan ngayon, makikita mo karamihan ay mga 'sale' ng iba't ibang mga binebenta. Christmas sale. Dahil ang ipinipilit sa atin ng mga traders at mangangalakal ay bumili nang bumili. Materialism is the name of the game.

Naghahanda tayo para sa sinasabing pagtatapos ng mundo. But how do we prepare for the Second Coming of Christ? Again, we hear the apocalyptic writings in the Gospel where a lot of people are scared. Kaya sinasabi nila na kapag nakikita nila na iba na ang galaw ng ating mga solar systems ay malapit na daw magunaw ang mundo. People are looking for signs.

But what sign are we looking for?

In the United States, people are already preparing for the season. But they don't call it the Christmas season. They say, "We are preparing for the holidays". Tinatanggal na very subtly ang pangalan ni Kristo sa lahat ng pagdiriwang. They want to ease out God in every activity, in what they do.

Tayo rin kaya? Ganito rin ba ang ginagawa nating paghihintay? Tumitingin ba tayo sa mga signs, naghahanap ba tayo para tayo ay makasigurado na tayo ay mabubuhay, tayo ay maliligtas? If we are going to look for one sign, it will be only the sign of Christ. And for these signs that we are looking for, can we ask ourselves - is Christ present in those signs? Amen.