Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gospel Reflection

February 16, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith – Lenten Season
by Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Prefect of Discipline, Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, Makati
12:15PM Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord, SM Megamall
Reading 1 Is 58:9b-14

Thus says the LORD: If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the Sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD’s holy day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice Then you shall delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (11ab) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Gospel Lk 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”


This morning, I was at the Layforce Chapel at the San Carlos Complex in Makati. I was there to give a talk about the healing ministry of Jesus. I gave a talk to our church lay leaders. Punong-puno 'yong chapel. Just like what I do in Quiapo, every time I see a huge or a large number of people, as I look at you now, I always ask myself, "Ano kaya ang hinihingi nito sa Diyos?" Looking at you now, I am asking myself, "What are you asking from God? At this very moment, what is your request? What are you asking for, from God?" 

Perhaps some of you are asking for a good result - exam....medical result. Perhaps some of you are asking for a good deal. Good income. Or a good partner. You know I have a friend and I asked her, "Bakit hindi ka pa nag-aasawa? Why are you still single up to now?" Ang sabi niya, "You know Father, I am waiting for the perfect guy." So I said, "'re waiting for the perfect guy? Then you go to La Loma and Loyola, they are all there, lying down." (laughs) You cannot find a perfect person here on earth. But you can become one. You can try to become one.

But I am sure we are all asking for good health. Lord, pagalingin mo ako. Please heal me. Pagalingin mo po sila. Heal my husband. Heal my wife. Heal my child. Heal my parents. 

But healing does not just start from 'what'. Healing may also come from 'whom'. Because sometimes our illness is not just about the physical - not just the virus or the bacteria that we got. Sometimes, the illness or the pain that we have now is also caused by somebody, by someone else. 

The call of Levy in our Gospel today has something to do with healing. We have heard the story of the vocation of Levy. He is also Matthew. The people during the time of Christ, even till now, are suffering, not only from body or physical illness, but from moral, spiritual, emotional pain. When Jesus heals the blind, when Jesus heals the lame, when Jesus heals the leper, He is actually healing the people around Him. The people who are indifferent to the poor and the sick, who are uncharitable, who are hypocrites, who are judgmental. Because during the time of Christ, for them, sick people are sinners. 

Sabi nila, kaya may sakit, pinarurusahan ng Diyos. Di ba, until now, we have that mentality? May sakit kasi pinarurusahan ng Diyos. My goodness. God is all good. Walang ginawang masama ang Diyos. Huwag mong isisi sa Diyos ang pagkakasakit mo. Huwag ninyong sabihin na 'galing kay Lord ang sakit na ito'. Huh? Eh nagpapagaling nga Siya. How come He will give you that illness?

Sinners need healing. And we are all sinners. We all need healing. 

This Lent, my dear friends, let us listen to the call of Christ. We are all called by Christ to believe and to repent. Christ is inviting all of us to turn away from our sinful thoughts, from our sinful words, from our sinful actions. Turn away....but turn away, not from the poor. Turn away not from the sick. 

This morning, I told the people at the Layforce Chapel. "Do not just pray for the sick. Pray with the sick. Be with them." Do not turn away from the sick. Do not turn away from the sinners. Turn away from your selfishness and pride. Turn away from your sin and turn back to God. 

As we continue this celebration, just like Levy, listen to the call of Christ. God knows we need healing. We all need healing. After I got sick, my doctor advised me to change my lifestyle. Today, Jesus, the Great and Divine Healer, is calling us to change our lifestyle. Now, He is calling you. Do not be afraid to turn away from yourself, and turn back to God. Amen.