Friday, February 1, 2013

Gospel Reflection

February 01, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Weekday
First Friday of the Month
by Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joey” Faller (Spiritual Director of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center, Lucban Quezon Province)
12:15PM Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Heb 10:32-39

Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction; at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated. You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you had a better and lasting possession. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

For, after just a brief moment, he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him. We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life.


Responsorial Psalm Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
Though he fall, he does not lie prostrate,
for the hand of the LORD sustains him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.


Gospel Mk 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.


Whenever I start my Homily, I should always begin with a story. Perhaps mga teleserye, o 'yong mga pelikulang napanood, at pag nagsimula ka ng tungkol sa istorya, talagang makikita mo 'yong mga tao, nakikinig sa inyo. You don't go right away to the Gospel. Naalala ko po, when I was very new in the ministry, I usually give homilies, straight from the theology books. Eh may lumapit po sa akin. "Father, ang ganda po ng sermon n'yo. Ah, kasi po Father, may insomnia po ako. Hindi ho ako makatulog. Pero Father, wala pa hong 5 minutes sa homily n'yo, tulog na po ako. Salamat po at gumaling ang aking insomnia." (laughs) 

So whenever you start with something, you start with a story. And even the Lord in the Holy Gospel, must have told a lot of stories. He is a very good storyteller. Napakarami po Niyang mga istorya. And in all the accounts that we have read from the Holy Gospel, we find the stories of Jesus, which are called parables. Ano po ba 'yong parables?

Well, the Lord is a very down-to-earth speaker. He will always use the things that can be found and can be experienced by men. Ang Kanya pong ginagamit na mga istorya ay hindi lang tungkol sa ating karanasan. He talks about the net, He talks about fish, He talks about a seed. He talks about whatever things that can be found by people. Kaya nga po, if we can define parables, for me I simply define them as "earthly stories with heavenly meaning". Ito po ay istorya nating lahat, na may kaugnayan sa ating karanasan, pero ang kahulugan po ay makalangit. Jesus will always pick up events and things that are ordinary, so that He can reveal to us the divine meaning. 

Kaya dito makikita po natin, talking about the Kingdom of God, Jesus used the seed. Talking about salvation, He talked about the mustard seed. Today, we have read twin parables. The first parable is all about the seed that grows by itself. And the second parable talks about the parable of the mustard seed. What could be the lesson in these parables? Let me begin with the first. 

The lesson that we can derive from the first parable is very clear. The seed has the power to grow. Sino po sa inyo ang nagtatanim? Taas ang kamay (a few raise their hands). Ay taga Manila...hindi nagtatanim. (laughs) Kung taga-Quezon po lahat nagtatanim. Sino po sa inyo ang marunong magtanim? (Almost all raise their hands.) Magtanim ng sama ng loob? (loud laughs) Ayan....Siguro 'yon po ang tinatanim natin minsan. 

Alam n'yo, pag nagtanim po tayo ng sama ng loob, ang bunga niyan, rayuma. (laughs) Pag nagtamin ka ng sama ng loob, ang bunga niyan, hypertension. Pag grabe ang iyong itinanim, ang dulot niyan, atake sa puso. At pagdating ng araw, patay kang bata ka. (laughs) So what you planted.....if you plant hatred in your heart, you will reap sickness like cancer and other grave illnesses. Kaya maganda ho na huwag na ho kayong magtanim ng sama ng loob. Kung nakikita natin sometimes, bakit hindi tayo gumagaling sa ating mga karamdaman, that is because you have been nurturing in your heart a certain kind of deep-seated anger, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment. 

So today, the Lord is asking you and I to reflect on the power of the seed. It has the power to grow by itself. Just like the Kingdom of God. Just like our life. Everything is grace from the Lord. Lahat po ay grasya. Ang pagka-pari ko ay grasya. Ang pagiging healing priest ko ay grasya. Ang inyong pagiging Kristiyano is by the grace of God. Everything is grace from the Lord. No amount of success can be experienced with our sole efforts, with our sole performance, because it must be always compensated, complimented by the grace of God. Ang lahat ay biyaya ng Diyos. Let that be the lesson that we can derive. Gawin mo na'ng lahat ng gusto mong gawin sa buhay. Kunin mo na ang lahat ng gusto mong makamtan. Hindi ka pa rin magiging matagumpay, if you do not rely on the grace of God. Everything is grace from the Lord. 

The second lesson in the Gospel from the second parable about the mustard seed is also very, very clear. Small beginnings have great endings. Ito po 'yong sinasabi ni St. Francis. Magsimula ka nang maliit, magtatapos ka nang malaki. In the hand of the Lord, little can become big. In the hand of the Lord, insignificant events or people, can become significant and important. It is because in the hands of the Lord, miracles are happening. 

I could always remember Kamay ni Hesus, when we started it. It was very small. Alam n'yo po, I dreamed just a small church, maliit lang po na simbahan. Kaya nga po napaliit 'yong simbahan ko. Dahil ang akala ko po, ang taong dadating do'n, isang daan lang, dalawang daan. 'Yon lang po. I just dreamed of a place which will be a haven for the sick. But I never dreamed that this will be visited by a lot of people. Siguro po, in a week's time, we are visited by 12,000 to 15,000. Would you believe that? Pati ang longganisang Lucban, tumaas ang produksiyon. Pancit habhab, tumaas ang produksiyon. (laughs)

Sino po ba ang maniniwala when I started it? Even my brother priests, ang sabi sa akin ng mga kasama ko sa ministry, "Aba'y ano na namang kalokohan 'yan? Ano na namang racket 'yan?" But this is the design of the Lord. He started with something small. And in the hand of the Lord, later on, little did I know that this will be the center of healing in our country. Little did I know that it will become a tourist spot, not only for the Filipinos, but a lot foreigners coming from some parts of the world. Sino po ang mag-aakala? 

Alam po ba ninyo ang humble beginnings ng Kamay ni Hesus? I started with just the inheritance that I received from my parents - P300,000.00 'Yan lang po. Sabi ko, "Lord, hindi naman po ito magkakasya sa pangangailangan namin, kaunti lang. Ano ba naman ito, pang-gimik ko lang ito eh. Eh pang-bigas lang ito. Hindi ito magkakasya." But then, it was an inspiration. Share what you have, and the rest is history. 

When I started in 2002, I had a very meager start. Little did I know that a miracle will start from this small beginning. After ten years, later on, the approximate value of the Kamay ni Hesus - the land and property - is now around three hundred million. Sino po'ng mag-aakala na ganito ang mangyayari? It's all because it is the grace of God, and secondly, in the hands of Jesus, small things can become big. 

This is the message that I would like to bring to all of you. If you find your lives so boring, so broken, so hard, I want to remind each and everyone of you - God is bigger than all your problems. God is bigger than all your sickness. God is bigger than your cancer. God is bigger than all your problems combined. And God has a big plan for all of us. Sino po bang mag-aakala, that God will use me in this ministry, magnanimously? 

Ito po ang katotohanan. God uses small people, simple people, ordinary people like me - and like you - to bring His Kingdom into reality. Are you willing to be a part of the Kingdom of God? In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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