Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gospel Reflection

April 13, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
by Rev. Fr. Leo Nilo C. Mangussad, Rector, Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA (EDSA Shrine)
12;15PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)

Reading 1 Acts 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the Apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.


Good afternoon my dear brothers and sisters. Notice the benches you are sitting at, and the parts that make it so - the nuts, the bolts, the wood, the lacquer, everything. Put them all together, and the whole chair becomes an important tool. But simply put, the whole chair is important, as all its parts are important. 

It is the same as our church. Every unique member of the church is important to the church. That is the reason why we must take care of them. You and I are important. But our importance is only useful if we are going to help one another. 

That is the reason why, in the First Reading, St. Stephen and his companion disciples started to help those who are in need. We are in need, but we can help better, those who are more in need compared to us. Just like in the First Reading, if we could only learn to take care of the needs of our wayward brethren who have lost their faith and need our light so that they can go back to the fold. Then, we become true disciples of Christ.  

There will be lots of difficulties, there will be lots of challenges that we may need to undergo to bring our wayward brethren back - maybe even resistance from them. But as the Lord says in the Gospel, He Himself will lead us as we do this ministry for the church. 

The question we must ask is this. I have been faithful to the Church. Am I a good contribution to the ministry of my faith, or am I more of a hindrance to those who need light that should come from me, for them to go back to the Lord?