Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 24, 2013
Tuesday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Msgr. Bong Lo, Chaplain, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (SM Megamall Chapel)
12:15PM Mass, SM Megamall Chapel

King Darius issued an order to the officials of West-of-Euphrates: “Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God; they are to rebuild it on its former site. I also issue this decree concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that house of God: From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates, let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay. I, Darius, have issued this decree; let it be carefully executed.”

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building, supported by the message of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia. They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The children of Israel–priests, Levites, and the other returned exiles– celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. For the dedication of this house of God, they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs, together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel, in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel. Finally, they set up the priests in their classes and the Levites in their divisions for the service of God in Jerusalem, as is prescribed in the book of Moses.

The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion, sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Responsorial Psalm PS 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Gospel Lk 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers  are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”


The Manila Cathedral has been built, destroyed and rebuilt for about 8 times already, since the Spanish period. And for the past months, the Manila Cathedral has been closed, because it needs repair. And we hope that the Manila Cathedral will be open by the first week of December this year.

In the First Reading of today, we have heard from the book of Ezra that the people of Israel were given the privilege to rebuild the destroyed temple of Jerusalem. The temple of Jerusalem was destroyed twice, and the last time it was destroyed was in 17 A.D. Until now, it has not been rebuilt. It will be difficult to rebuild it, because a mosque has been built on the site where it used to be. Mahirap na sirain ang mosque para i-rebuild ang temple of Jerusalem.

The function of the temple of Jerusalem, and for that matter, any temple or any church structure, is to be a sacramental sign, to be a concrete manifestation, to be a visible sign of God's presence among His people. In the New Testament, we are reminded that all of us - in fact, you and I - are the temples of God. We who are created in the image and likeness of God, we who were saved by the precious Blood of Christ, we who are living souls - we are the living temples of God.

My sisters and brothers, as we are living temples of God, we should be a concrete manifestation, a visible sign of God's presence. When people see us, what do they say? 'Speaking of the angel' or 'speaking of the devil'? There could be different reasons why they would say that. But Jesus, in the Gospel Reading of today, tells us that His family - His mother, His brother, His sister, His people - are those who hear the Word of God and act on it. It is not enough for us to be baptized, or to memorize the difficult Biblical passages, to be with the family of Jesus. To be with the family of Jesus, the community of Jesus, the Church of Jesus, the temple of Jesus, is to do the will of the Father, to act on the Word of God, like what our Blessed Mother Mary did.

And the will of God for us is, of course, to do good, and avoid evil. To forgive, and not to get revenge. To be kind, and not to be selfish. We need to be faithful in our prayer life and in our worship. Let us pray in this mass, my dear brothers and sisters, that we may do the will of God, that we may do our duties and responsibilities at home, in the office, in the school, and in the community. As we do our duties and responsibilities generously, faithfully and joyfully, may we become more and more the family of Jesus, His community, His church, His temple - living signs of His presence and kindness.

As we said in the Responsorial Psalm, 'let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord'. But even the house is not a home. If we go to the house of the Lord, let us go in such a way that we make each other feel at home. That we are not only a house, that we are not only a structure, but truly a home where everybody is welcome and could feel at home.

No comments:

Post a Comment