Friday, June 7, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 07, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
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 Ez 34:11-16

Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places. In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6.

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Reading 2 Rom 5:5b-11

Brothers and sisters: The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Gospel Lk 15:3-7

Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,  'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance."  


At today's Feast of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are provided with the Gospel of St. Luke. And in the Gospel of St. Luke, we will find some peculiar passages. We can find the three parables which you can only find in the Gospel of Luke. The parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the prodigal son.

The very central message of our Gospel is that, our God is a God of mercy and tenderness. Our God is a God of a million chances - a God who gives second chances, a God who calls also the sinners, not only the righteous. But why is it that St. Luke came up with the great parables, which gives the same message that God is a God of a million chances? Isn't it already redundant for St. Luke to mention the three parables with the same message?

Theologians say that the three parables depict the Blessed Trinity. The parable of the prodigal son talks about God the loving Father who created us, who is so extravagant in loving us, who lavishes us with great love. The parable of the lost sheep, which we heard today, talks about the Good Shepherd, who is none other than Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity. And the parable of the lost coin - of a woman who is assiduously searching for it - talks about the Holy Spirit. So for St. Luke, he is talking of a God of a million chances, yes, a God of tenderness and mercy, but taking into consideration the role of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

So, napakahalaga po ng kapiyestahang ito, because we talk about the heart of Jesus. Sino po sa inyo ang nakakita na ng shape of the human heart? Nakakita na po ba kayo ng puso ng tao? Gusto n'yong makakita ngayon? Sino po ang gustong mag-volunteer (laughs) na magpabukas ng puso para makita natin ang shape of the human heart? The shape of the human heart is not complete. It's not a perfect one. Bakit po kaya? God made it so, so that we can reach out to Him. Ang tunay daw pong kaligayahan ay kapag ang puso natin at ang puso ng Diyos ay nagkaisa. That is total peace. That is total joy. Kaya ang tao, hanap nang hanap ng kabiyak kung saan-saan. Sa pera, sa kapangyarihan, sa materyal na bagay. But the reality is only God can fill up the gaping emptiness that we are experiencing. Ang Diyos lamang po ang magpupuno ng lahat ng ating pagkukulang, sapagkat Siya ang pinanggagalingan ng lahat ng bagay.

The heart of God is so big, so huge, that He embraces all of us. Not only the saints, not only the righteous, not only the religious, but even the irreligious, even the sinners. Look at the Gospels. We talk about Jesus calling, not the perfect disciples. Jesus calls Mary Magdalene. Jesus calls Dimas, the first canonized saint, who is a thief. Pero ito po ang larawan ng Diyos. Hindi mahalaga sa Diyos ang ating mga pagkakamali. Mahalaga para sa Kanya ang ating pagbabalik-loob.

Our Gospel for today talks about the heart of Jesus. Paano po ba magmahal ang Diyos? Pagmamahal po ba ng tao? Ang pagmamahal ng tao ay may kondisyon. Di po ba? I love you, if.....I will love you if you will fill my pocket. No visa, no money, no honey. (laughs) I love you means I love your dollar account. I love you because you are handsome, you are sexy. Eh paano kung hindi ka na handsome, kundi handsama na ng mukha mo? (laughs) Paano kundi ka na sexy, kundi siksik, liglig at puro bilbil na? (laughs)

But the love of Jesus is so different. It's not 'I love you, if...', it's not 'I love you because....'. The love of Jesus says, 'I love you, in spite of all your shortcomings.' Mahal ka ng Diyos, sa kabila ng lahat.

Do you honestly believe that God loves you? (people say 'yes') Do you feel and believe that God loves you, in spite of all your problems, your sickness? (people say 'yes') That is what we are celebrating today - the love of Jesus that is so powerful that it can change our lives, only if we accept Jesus into our hearts.

Alam po ninyo, I have discovered the five 'mits' of healing. Number one - you admit that only God can heal you. Second, you permit the heart of Jesus to be the most important consideration in your life. Third, after permitting, you submit to the heart of Jesus, to the reign of God, which is the reign of love. And then after submitting, you commit your life totally to the Lord, in loving service. But it is not complete. After committing, you are called to transmit. See the five 'mits' of healing? This is what we need to do, just like the Lord. He is looking for us. He is running after us. He is always searching for us. At kapag tayo'y natagpuan Niya, masaya tayong ilalagay sa Kanyang balikat. At hindi lamang Siya magsasaya. Tatawagin pa Niya ang Kanyang mg kapitbahay at sasabihin Niya, "Ito ang nawawala Kong tupa, siya'y namatay at muling nabuhay."

That's the joy of God, looking for all of us, and finding one of us. What is being highlighted in our Gospel is the importance of all of us. Mahalaga tayo sa Diyos, kahit isa sa atin. Napakahalaga ng pagbabalik-loob ng isang taong makasalanan.That is important to the Lord. The heart of Jesus is so huge, so big, to accommodate us, to welcome us, for He is a God of a million chances.

May the Holy Mass inspire all of us to come back to the Lord and to renew our life, so that we may be able to admit that there is something wrong with us, and that only God can heal us, and we permit Jesus' heart to be our own heart. And then we submit our heart to the heart of Jesus - ready to love, ready to sacrifice. And then we commit to the Kingdom of God, so that we will be able to transmit the Word of God and the healing that God has given us. May this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus inspire our hearts to always bleed for the love of Jesus and all people. Sana po ang puso natin ay maging kamukha, kawangis ng puso ni Hesus - handang magmahal, magpatawad at umunawa sa ating kapwa, katulad ng puso ni Hesus. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

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