Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gospel Reflection

February 07, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Weekday
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)
Reading 1 Heb 12:18-19, 21-24

Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 9, 10-11

R. (see 10) O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God;
God makes it firm forever.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.

Gospel Mk 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


It is the experience of parents, that when they want to ask their children to do something which their children do not want to do, they would either use force, or use diplomacy. Of course, this will vary on the degree, depending on the age of their children. If the children are much younger, then the more force you have to use with them. But when they are old enough and become adults, then you will have to use more gentle persuasion. You have to reason out to them, and use more diplomacy and tact, in order to have them do what you want them to do.

This is also the case with God our Father. During the time of the Old Covenant, the people were scared of God because He showed His might. In Mount Sinai, He showed them thunder, fire, lightning, earthquake. And the people trembled with fear. God was able to show His force and people obeyed because relatively, the people remembered with fear what God could do to them.

Now, in the New Covenant, the author of the book of Hebrews is telling us that God can also use gentle persuasion to His people. When God sent Jesus Christ as the meat lamb to be sacrificed for our salvation, God showed His might, not by power or force, but by the power of His love. And so it is, also with us. Whenever we preach and teach other people that God is love, we should not force them. We should use our gentle persuasion. We should ask them to remember God's love, through the love that we also show to them.

However, when we are told to preach that we are sent to proclaim God's message, most of us would be hesitant. Most of us will be reasoning out, "We have not been trained to preach the Gospel. We were not taught." We always point to the priests, the nuns, and the catechists, and say, "It is their duty. They are the professionals. Let them do the work of proclaiming the Kingdom of God."

My dear brothers and sisters, there is no other. There is no one else. All of us have been sent, by virtue of our baptism, to proclaim the message of God. His truth should go on at all times. And we will do it, not merely by words, but more so by our gentle actions and persuasion. Amen.