Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gospel Reflection

January 08, 2013
Year of Faith
Tuesday after Epiphany of the Lord
by Rev.  Fr. Joel Jason (Dean, Graduate School of Theology San Carlos Seminary)
12;15PM Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord
Reading 1 1 Jn 4:7-10

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

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

R. (see 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
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. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Gospel Mk 6:34-44

When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.


Today is Tuesday....after Monday (laughs). Kanina 'yong ating commentator, she was introducing the mass, tama naman ang kanyang introduction. Today is Tuesday after the Epiphany. Last Sunday was the Feast of the Epiphany.
Ano ba 'yong nakita natin during the Feast of the Epiphany? It was the manifestation of the Lord, the Lord being revealed to the people. It was, as it were, the beginning of the introduction of the Child Jesus, not only to the Jews, but to all people. And Jesus was manifested as Savior of all of humanity.
And so the feast last Sunday was, in a way, a sort of introduction to the ministry of the Lord, which, we will see, slowly unfolding. Next Sunday, we will be celebrating the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. 'Yon ang panahon ng official entry ng Panginoon in His active ministry.
In today's Gospel, we hear the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves. Ano ba ang ipinapakita dito? Jesus is already beginning His mission. And this mission was very much in conjunction with the mystery of His birth. We have just celebrated the mystery of Christmas, and we are still very familiar with the Christmas story. Ano ba 'yong narinig natin doon sa Christmas story? Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem. And Bethlehem literally means 'house of bread'. There's a reason why Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem. Why? Because He is the Bread of Life. And that is why even the town where Jesus was born was already pointing towards the mission that Jesus was to accomplish. He is to give His own life as Bread, as food for the salvation of all humanity.
So nakikita natin dito 'yong unti-unting pagkakasatuparan ng ating Panginoon ng Kanyang misyon. I think it is a good reminder for all of us, especially as we begin the New Year. I am sure all of you here have your own New Year's resolution, 'yong inyong mga misyon na gusto ninyong simulan sa taong 2013. They said there are three kinds people when we talk about mission, or things that need to be accomplished. Who are those three kinds of people? Sabi nila, those who make things happen, and then secondly, those who watch things happen, and thirdly, those who ask 'what happened?'.
Now, it would be good at the beginning of the year to ask, "In what category do you fall?" Are you the kind of person who makes things happen? Or do you simply watch what happens? Or do you simply ask what happened?
Ano kaya ang mga tao who simply ask what happened? You can find that in the Gospel for today. In the Gospel, the people were hungry. And the Apostles were, in a way....para bang they fell into the third category. They did not want to do anything about the hunger of the people. When Jesus asked if they had something to feed for them, ano ang sabi nila, 'Lord, pauwiin mo na lang. Huwag na nating abalahin ang ating sarili.' Para bang they did not want to do anything. People who simply asked what happened are those kinds of people. They do not want to act. They simply ask what happened because they always remained in the background.
Once I received a text message, ang sabi, 'mga bagong kasabihan ngayong 2013'. Sabi doon, "Kung kaya ng iba, eh di ipagawa mo sa kanila." (laughs) Nagbago na ano. Dati sinasabi natin, "Kung kaya ng iba, kaya ko rin." Pero ngayon iba na. There are people like that. They only ask what happened. Why? Kasi inaasahan nilang may gagawa ng lahat. "Lord send them home. Let other people take care of them."
And then, there are people who simply watch things as they happen. They know that they can contribute something, but they are still hesitant, because they do not believe that they have something to contribute.
But there are those people who make things happen. And in our Gospel for today, this is also very evident. Who is that man, or who is that person who made things happen? Number one, the boy who had those five loaves and two fish. He knew the people were hungry, and he heard the Lord asking if they had something to feed for them. Ano'ng sinabi ng bata? Hindi niya sinabing, 'Ay, akin lang 'to. Ay, hindi ko ito ibibigay.' So what did he do? He offered his five loaves of bread and two fish. He wanted to make things happen. Jesus also was someone who makes things happen. He accepted the offering of the boy and when He took it, He blessed it, and then distributed it, and then the multiplication of the loaves happened.
As we begin the new year, let us ask for the grace that like the little boy, and like our Lord Jesus, in front of our many resolutions, let us be the kind of person who will make things happen. And we know that we can make things happen, not when we rely only on our own power, but more so, if we ask the intercession of God's grace. We have that very beautiful principle of spirituality: "Grace builds on nature." In this mass, let us ask for God's grace, that He may help us in all our projects. But let us offer back to the Lord our willingness to cooperate in His grace. That with the help of the Holy Spirit, we, too, can make things happen, especially for this New Year, 2013. God bless us all.