Monday, April 29, 2013

Gospel Reflection

April 29, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)

Reading 1 Acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their leaders, to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas. They realized it, and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside, where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.” He jumped up and began to walk about. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian,“The gods have come down to us in human form.” They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,” because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,“Men, why are you doing this?  We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.” Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.


Responsorial Psalm PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
“Where is their God?”
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.


Gospel Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit  whom the Father will send in my name–  he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”


Halos kalahati ng lahat ng mga kwento, mga nobela, mga pelikula at mga awit ay tungkol sa tema ng pag-ibig. Pero bakit ang tao ay napakahirap pa ring umibig?

Kahapon, sa Ebanghelyo, narinig nating sinabi ni Hesus, 'Magmahalan kayo, tulad ng pagmamahal Ko sa inyo, tulad ng pagbibigay ng Aking sarili, tulad ng paglilingkod Ko sa inyo na hindi naghihintay ng kapalit, tulad ng pagmamahal Ko sa mga taong hindi kaibig-ibig, at sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatawad ng kanilang kasalanan'. Through this, Jesus Christ showed us how it is to love. At ito ang Kanyang inaasahan sa atin. Umibig tulad ng pag-ibig Niya para sa atin.

Ngayon, narinig natin na ang mga taong nakikinig sa Kanyang salita ay ang mga taong umiibig sa Kanya. People who listen to the Word of God are those who really love Him. Kaya't sinasabi Niya, this kind of love is radical. It is revolutionary. It is something that asks for no reward nor a response from the beloved. Kahit na walang katugunan, walang kapalit, walang sinusukli 'yong taong iniibig mo, ganito ang pag-ibig na dapat nating ipagpatuloy, dahil ang mga taong nakikinig sa Salita ng Diyos ay tunay na nakapagmamahal ng kanilang kapwa, kahit wala itong kapalit na anumang pag-ibig.

Doon sa pelikulang 'Tanging Yaman', ilang taon na ang nakalipas, mayroong tatlong bagay doon na sinabi 'yong lead character na babae. Ang pag-ibig daw ay ang paggawa ng mabuti sa taong hindi gumagawa ng mabuti para sa iyo. Ang pag-ibig ay isang bagay na ipinapakita mo o ipinaparamdam mo sa pamamagitan ng panalangin.

Ngayon tinatanong natin sa ating sarili. Paano nga ba magmahal tulad ng pagmamahal ni Hesus? At narinig natin, walang iba kundi ang pagtalima sa salita ng Diyos. People who are obedient are really lovers of Christ. Pero 'yong pagtalima ay hindi pinupuwersa, hindi 'yon pinipilit. Ito ay kusang-loob. Because of our freedom, because of our free will, God allows us to love Him the way we are capable of. Kaya kung tayo ay tunay na nakikinig sa Salita ng Diyos, maaari nating mahalin ang bawat kapwa. Hindi 'yong pinipili, hindi 'yong katulad din natin, hindi 'yong kasama lang natin, hindi 'yong mga taong makapagbibigay din ng kapalit ng ating pag-ibig.

Ito ang wagas na pag-ibig na ipinakita ni Hesus para sa atin. At ang pagtalima lang dito ang siyang pagpapahayag ng ating tunay na pag-ibig para sa Kanya. Amen.