Monday, December 17, 2012

Gospel Reflection

December 17, 2012
Monday – Advent – Year of Faith
Second Day – Misa de Gallo
by Rev. Father David "Dave" T. Concepcion
(Spiritual Director, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, San Carlos Pastoral Formation Center, Guadalupe, Makati City)5:30AM Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

Reading 1 Gn 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them: "Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father. "You, Judah, shall your brothers praise --your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. Judah, like a lion's whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts--who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people's homage."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Gospel Mt 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.


I have brought with me our seminarians from the Holy Apostles Seminary, for two reasons. Mangangaroling kami, pero mangangampanya kami na baka mayroon kayong kapatid, anak o boyfriend (laughs) na gustong magpari. 

Brothers and sisters, this is the second day of our novena and hopefully, I pray that you will be able to complete it. Please complete it, regardless of the struggle. Because as I have already explained to you, the 9-day novena represents the 9 months that Jesus was in the womb of Mary. Kaya pag nag-absent kayo sa isa, kulang na ng isang buwan si Hesus. Kaya ho huwag kayong a-absent. 

Yesterday, the Gospel talked about joy. Joy as a law from God, joy as an exhortation from God. But you can never give joy, without being responsible. You have to be responsible with your people. Kailan man ay hindi ka magiging masaya, kung wala ang iyong kaukulang pananagutan sa iyong kapwa. By simply sharing your cloth, by living a life of righteousness, by not extorting on people, falsely accusing people. In one simple term, live a righteous life.

We have heard the genealogy of Jesus. And there are three things that I would like you to think upon. First, in the genealogy of Jesus, you don't have names of perfect people. Even in the genealogy of Jesus, you can find prostitutes, prophets who turned away from God, people who were committing adultery. What I'm trying to say, my brothers and sisters is, you don't have a perfect past, but God has given you the power to make your future. Hindi nila mababago ang iyong kahapon, kahit gaano kapangit ang inyong lahi, ngunit may kapangyarihan kang gawing maganda ang iyong bukas. 

Palagi ko po itong sinasabi. Wala na pong perpektong tao ngayon. Ang mga perperkto ngayon, apelyido na lang, ano po? So don't expect that you will have a perfect husband, or a perfect wife, or perfect children, or perfect parents. Kahit sa simbahan, walang perpektong pari, walang perpektong nagse-serve, at walang perpektong nagsisimba. Kung kayo po ay kaanib sa isang komunidad, walang perpektong komunidad. 

Sometimes, the imperfection that we complain about in life is simply about ourselves. We can never change people. Don't wait for other people to change, because the only person we can change is ourselves. And in changing ourselves, others might change. Huwag ninyo pong antayin na magbago ang ibang tao, bago kayo magbago.

The second point I would like to stress on the genealogy is that, we have to understand that the choices we make, will either bring a curse or a blessing, not only to ourselves but even to the generations that come after us. Sin will always bring curse. Whether you like it or not, the choices of our leaders will either bring us curse or blessing in the future. Kaya nga po magandang ipaalala dito, mas maganda sa wikang Tagalog, 'sa mga magulang na kumain ng hilaw na ubas, ang mga anak ang nangangasim'. Ano po ang ibig sabihin nito? Kapag ang magulang ang nagkamali, kadalasan, ang anak ang nagdurusa.

It is good to ask ourselves, my dear friends, my dear brothers and sisters - will my choices make the generations after me curse themselves? Anuman ang pinagpipilian natin ngayon, may kapalit na bukas. Life is like a stick. You cannot simply pick up the other end and leave the other end behind. There are always consequences of our actions. Kaya't pagnilayan po - pagnilayan kung ano ang inyong ginagawa.

Sabi nila, hindi ka nakakapamili ng kamag-anak. You have no right to choose your own siblings, no right to choose your own parents, no right to choose your own children. Sa mga magulang dito, nakapamili ba kayo ng anak? Yes, you don't have the power to make a choice over your own relatives, but you have the power to make a choice over your friends. They say five years from now, your life will be dictated by the books you read and the friends you are with. May kasabihan tayo, 'birds of the same feather flock together'. Pero totoo din po ang kasabihan, birds of the same flock, feather together. Ang magkakakulay, madalas magkakasama, di po ba? Pero 'yong madalas magkakasama, nagkukulayan. Kaya ang tanong dito? Sino po ba ang ating mga pinipili? Sabi nga nila, the word 'osmosis' simply means nagiging kamukha mo ang madalas mong kasama. 

Kaya ang mag-boyfriend or girlfriend, madalas na sinasabihan ninyo, 'uy magkamukha na kayo'. Pero bakit kung mag-asawa na, hindi na nagiging magkamukha? Pagnilayan ninyo 'yon. Sabi nga noong parokyano ko, "Father, bakit kaya 'yong asawa ko, kamukha ng kapitbahay namin?" (laughs) Magandang itanong 'yon, hindi po ba? (more laughs) 'Yong mga anak po ninyo, sino ang nagiging kamukha? Gusto nyo bang sila ay katulad ninyo? How come they look different, they think different, they make their choices different?

Third point that I would like you to think about, my brothers and sisters, is this. Yes, it is true, that all things work for good to those who love them. That is always true. In spite of our sinfulness, God will continue to bring us back to what is right. But as God tries to correct the wrongs of our lives, we continue to suffer the consequences of our sins. Pinipilit itama ng Diyos ang mga pagkakamali ni David, but it took 28 generations in order to reach the birth of Christ. From David to the Babylonian exile is 14 generations, from the Babylonian exile to the birth of Christ is another 14 generations. Can you imagine how long it takes to correct a generation that had made a wrong choice? Hindi porke nagsisi na, pwede na ulit.

Mga minamahal kong mga kapatid, walang iba ho itong sinasabi kundi - hindi lahat nang nagkamali ay nagkasala, pero lahat nang nagkasala, nagkamali. Pag nagkamali, dapat itinatama. Kapag nagkasala, dapat ihinihingi ng tawad. But the only wrong we can correct are the wrongs we can accept. The only sin that God cannot forgive are the sins that we refuse to ask for forgiveness. Kahit kailan, hindi natin pwede itama ang isang mali na hindi natin kayang aminin. At kahit kailan, hindi natin pwedeng ihingi ng tawad sa Diyos ang mga kasalanang sabi nga ay ayaw nating ilapit sa Kanya. Sabi nga ni Barbara Streisand, "There are no mistakes in life, but only lessons to learn."

Sana po, sa tuwing may pagkakamali, nagtatanong ako. Ano kaya ang itinuturo ng Diyos sa akin? Ang palagi ko pong example diyan, ay 'yong nagtitimpla ng kape. Pagkatapos pong ilagay ang kape sa tasa, pupunta kayo sa dispenser, at instead na mainit na tubig ang mailagay ninyo, malamig ang nailagay ninyo sa inyong tasa. Hindi po kasalanan 'yon. May tawag do'n, ano po? (laughs) Pagkakamali ang tawag do'n. (more laughs) Hindi lahat nang nagkamali ay nagkasala, pero lahat nang nagkasala, nagkamali.

Mga minamahal kong mga kapatid, sa gitna ng ating mga pagkukulang, huwag nating kalimutan na mayroon pa ring Diyos na patuloy na nagmamahal sa atin. Noong siya ay seminarista pa, si Cardinal Chito Tagle ay lumikha ng isang awit. Sabi niya, (Father Dave sings.) "Musmos ka pa lamang, minahal na kita......Sa bawat tawag mo, ika'y malayo, hindi manlalamig, ako'y naririto." Sa gitna ng ating mga pagkakamali, patuloy na tumatawag ang Diyos. Kasi alam ng Diyos na kung ikaw ay magpapatuloy, ang pinaparusahan mo lang ay ang iyong sarili.

Mga minamahal kong mga kapatid, kahit kailan hindi nanakot ang Diyos. Pero ang Diyos ay nagmistulang alipin para maintindihan at maramdaman mo ang Kanyang pagmamahal. Nagmistulang mangingibig upang ikaw ay tumugon nang mayroon ding pag-ibig.