Monday, December 10, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 10, 2012
Monday – Advent – Year of Faith
Memorial of St. Gregory III
by Msgr. Bong Lo (Chaplain, Chapel of Eucharistic Lord)
12:15 PM Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Is 35:1-10

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (Isaiah 35:4f) Our God will come to save us!
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD --for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Our God will come to save us!
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Our God will come to save us!
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Our God will come to save us!

Gospel Lk 5:17-26

One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven."

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins?" he said to the one who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."

He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, "We have seen incredible things today."


I would think that most of you are married. Most of you ay may mga asawa, ano po? Do you consider your spouse a partner, or a competitor? I am sure you consider your spouse your partner. But the question is - is your spouse a partner in crime, or, according to the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, are you partners in the Gospel? What does it mean to be partners in the Gospel? 

In our First Reading of today, from the book of the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah prophesied the return of those exiled, the return to the land of promise. It was also mentioned that the people will walk through the holy highway, the holy road, the holy avenue. A highway called the holy way. Yes, God will prepare a way. Yes, God will make a way. But we have to do our part, we have to do our share, we have to do our best to be partners with God, to be partners in the Gospel.

If you noticed, during the time of Blessed John Paul II, on several occasions when he canonized saints, he did it, not only in honor of one particular saint, but the particular saint with companions. San Lorenzo Ruiz and companion martyrs. Bakit po laging may 'and companions and partners'? Kasi po, not only because they died supposedly together, or not because the Vatican wanted to economize and save on expenses kaya sabay-sabay ang canonization, but because Blessed John Paul II rightly believed that if you go to heaven, you bring with you those you have inspired, those who you have guided, those who you have loved. And if I go to hell, I won't go alone. (laughs) I'll bring you also with me. (more laughs)

Whether we like it or not, no man is an island. We affect each other, for better or for worse. We are committed to help each other become holy. To help each other walk the holy highway, to be partners, not in crime, but to be partners in the Gospel. To pray for each other and pray together. To support each other and forgive one another.

Sa Gospel Reading po, narinig natin kanina that four friends brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. At dahil hindi sila makapasok sa pintuan dahil napakaraming tao, the four friends found a way and brought their sick friend at the rooftop. At sinira pa nila ang bubong - grabe ano. Para lang maibaba ang paralyzed friend nila sa harap ni Jesus. Please take note and pay attention to the detail. According to the Gospel Reading, when Jesus saw their faith - not His faith - nang makita Niya ang kanilang pananampalataya, it was not the faith of the paralyzed man, but the faith of his friends that touched Jesus, that facilitated the healing, both of mind and body. The forgiveness of sins and the curing of the man's paralysis.

Talaga naman po, for better or for worse, we affect each other. The faith of the friends facilitated healing. My sisters and brothers, we pray for our families, we pray for our friends. Sino kaya ang mga taong nagdala sa inyo sa Panginoon? Sino kaya naman ang mga taong nadala ninyo at napalapit sa Panginoon? Sino naman ang mga taong nagpalayo sa inyo sa Panginoon? Sino kaya naman ang mga taong nilayo ninyo sa Panginoon? 

Saint Gregory III – Pray for us