Friday, March 22, 2013

Gospel Reflection

March 22, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Lenten Seasons
by Rev. Fr. Leo Nilo C. Mangussad, Rector, Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA (EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass at Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA)
Reading 1 Jer 20:10-13

I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.” But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7

R. (see 7) In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
the snares of death overtook me.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Gospel Jn 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?  If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?  If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.


A rainy afternoon my brothers and sisters. 

Retaliation is never an option for a Catholic. It is poor taste if you try to get even with a person. That is never an option for a Catholic. Jesus shows that in the Gospel. 

If you retaliate, you are going to concentrate on the retaliation, rather than the good works that you are supposed to do in the first place. You are too caught up with trying to get even, that you have forgotten what you intend to do for the Lord. Result? You become non-children of God because that is not the way of God. Retaliation is never an option for a Catholic. 

There are better ways of trying to face a detractor. One is by legitimate defense. Just like what Jesus did in the Gospel, He explained to them, proved to them, and showed them. He tried to enlighten them with the truth. Second, complain to God. In the First Reading, Jeremiah complained to God, and God listened to Him. God will never give a deaf ear to an honest, sincere prayer, even if it is a complaint, because God loves His children. 

Come to think of it. Enemies are wonderful for us. Why? Because they will be able to unleash the true color of our skin. Are you really gold or just gold-plated? Our friends will always tell us good and nice things about us. Our enemies will tell negative things about us. It is our reaction to all these negative things that define who we really are. 

Retaliation is never an option for a Catholic. We have a choice. Are we truly sons and daughters of our Father in heaven? Do we show our true color as children of the Father in whatever we do to our detractors, as abrasive as our detractors may seem? Or are we non-children of God, because our bad nature comes out?