Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gospel Reflection

April 17, 2013
Wednesday – 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 8:1b-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him. Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm PS 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”


Good afternoon, brothers and sisters. Happy Easter.

There is the story of a mother who is cooking a wonderful lunch for her son. For that lunch, she started cooking vegetables. And when the kid was having lunch, he ate everything, except the vegetables. So the mother said, "Son, try to eat the vegetables." And the son replied with a firm 'no'. So what the mother did was she forced her son and said, "You will eat your vegetables, whether you like it or not!" And the son, afraid and with tears in his eyes, tried to eat the vegetables.

Sounds familiar? Don't worry. We are like kids, too. Just like them, we can see our own resistance to eat good food. We would rather eat J.Co or Krispy Kreme (laughs), or sundaes, but never ampalaya, okra or saluyot. But these are healthy food for the body.

Jesus is the Bread of Life. But sometimes, we don't want to take the Bread of Life, because the life He gives us is not always honey and milk. Sometimes, it is difficult to swallow. Sometimes, it is very challenging. Sometimes, it is so hard, that we'd rather not take it. But Jesus is the Bread of Life, and the Bread of Life will bring us to our salvation.

We are also being asked to be 'mothers' to those who refuse to eat the Bread of Life. We need to help them, not because they are going to fail and die, but because Jesus wants to reach out to them. And if we are going to share the Bread of Life with other people, we will receive the same resistance as the child did in our story. But there is a chance to help them accept this food. Just like mothers who will cook vegetables in a very pleasant way to entice their child, we can do the same. If we, ourselves, are good conduits of the Bread of Life, we will be able to help people 'swallow the bitter pill'. We can only be good conduits, if people can see in our selves, in our smiles, in our lives, that Jesus is in us.

The question we must ask is - am I a good conduit of the Bread of Life, or am I so affixed with myself that I don't care how I can convert you? I will force you.

My brothers and sisters, Jesus wants to stay in our hearts. Are we welcoming Him to live inside us?