Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gospel Reflection

January 02, 2013
Wednesday – Year of Faith
Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen,
Bishops and Doctors of the Church
by Rev. Father David "Dave" T. Concepcion
(Spiritual Director, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, San Carlos Pastoral Formation Center, Guadalupe, Makati City)
12:15PM Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

Reading 1 1 Jn 2:22-28

Beloved: Who is the liar?  Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.  Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you.  But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Gospel Jn 1:19-28

This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him,“What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


I will share with you the story of a penitent who came to confession and the first word he said was, "I'm a liar. I'm a liar. Ako po ay sinungaling, Father." Bago siya makapagpatuloy, tinanong ko siya, "Ngayon ba, nagsasabi ka ba nang totoo?" (laughs) At sabi niya, "Opo naman Father. Nagsasabi naman ako nang totoo." Then I clarified the issue. When you are a liar, when you say you're a liar, you never say something that is truthful. But when you say 'I have lied', sometimes you say the truth, sometimes you don't. Magkaiba po 'yong ikaw ay sinungaling, at ikaw ay nakapagsinungaling. Magkaiba po 'yon. Dapat maliwanag sa atin ito. Kapag sinabi mong 'ako po ay tamad' at 'ako po ay tinatamad', magkaiba po 'yon. Di po ba?

My dear brothers and sisters, why do we lie? Why do we lie? An old woman came to confession, ang sabi ko sa kanya, "Nanay, ang tanda n'yo na, nagsisinungaling pa kayo. Malapit na kayong mamatay." (laughs) Ang sabi niya, "Eh Father, baka magalit eh. Baka magalit." Baka magalit po sino?

One of the reasons why we lie is that we are afraid that people might get angry. Parents lie to their children; children lie to their parents. Husbands and wives lie to each other. Officemates lie to each other. Even friends lie to each other. But the problem with lying is that, what? When you lie, you have to remember the words you have said, because you want to be consistent with your lie. Pag ikaw ay nagsinungaling, kailangan mong tandaan ang iyong pagsisinungaling, para pag ikaw ay nagkwento ulit, dapat consistent ang iyong pagsisinungaling, hindi po ba? The beauty of being truthful is that you don't have to remember what you have said. Why? Because you will remain consistent in the truth you have said.

Second, because we don't want to hurt the person, then we lie. Yes, for a moment, we have not hurt the person, but you have ruined your own credibility. Saying the truth might hurt the person for a moment, but it gives you freedom, to yourself, and even to the other person. Maganda pong pagtuunan ng pansin 'yon. Ano po ang mas maganda, malaya ka sa iyong mga pananalita, o parati kang natatakot na baka ikaw ay makulong?

My dear friends, my dear brothers and sisters, regardless of how good your attitude, you can never change your past, but a good attitude can always give us the power to change our future. As we begin this year, just like John in our Gospel, you can decide to live in the truth, to speak the truth, regardless how painful it is.

My dear brothers and sisters, sabi nga nila, hindi bale na, na makapagsinungaling ako. Pero ang problema nito ay, mas nakakatakot kung sa sarili ako nagsisinungaling. You have to understand that when we lie to other people, we are not simply lying to them; we are also lying to ourselves. What we say to ourselves is more powerful than what other people are saying about us. What prevents us from becoming, is not what people are saying about us, but what we say to ourselves. Ang nagiging hadlang para sa ating pag-unlad sa isang magandang bukas, ay hindi kung ano ang sinasabi ng ibang tao sa atin, kundi kung ano ang kasinungalingang sinasabi natin sa ating mga sarili. 

Mga minamahal na mga kapatid, sino po ba talaga ang makakaalam kung kayo po ay nagsisinungaling o hindi, di po ba? Kasi may mga tao rin na pwede nang magsinungaling na hindi man lamang kumukurap ang mata. They are so stern that they can look at you eye to eye, but their words are full of lies. Sabi nga, and let us remember - when you lose your money, you lose nothing...when you lose your health, you lose something....but when you lose your character, when you lie, you lose everything.