Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 08, 2013
Wednesday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
by Rev. Fr. Ramon Jade L. Licuanan (Commissioner, Commission on Youth, Archdiocese of Manila)
7:00PM Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel (Greenbelt Chapel), Makati


After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens, they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything. He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’ as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We should like to hear you on this some other time.” And so Paul left them. But some did join him, and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial Psalm PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

May I ask here kung sino po sa inyo ang nakaakyat na po ng Mount Everest? Other than me, sino pa po? (laughs, no one raises a hand) Anyone? When I was No, I have read an article about it and one thing that struck me about this mountain was, if you reach the very summit of Mount Everest - the highest point on earth - that can accommodate, not just one, not just two, but up to six persons. 

Why do I say this? In the Gospel, we are confronted by a reality, a truth about our faith, about God's revelation to us. In the Gospel, Jesus Himself acknowledges that what He has are all from God. They all came from the Father. So whatever miracle or teaching or powerful preaching, Jesus acknowledges as coming from the Father. And then, Jesus tells us that there is so much He wants to tell, but we cannot bear it now. But when He comes - and He was referring to the Holy Spirit - the Spirit will guide us to all truth. 

What does this impresses on us? It means that the reality of our faith is that God is revealing Himself to us, not just as one sole person enjoying all the glory, the majesty and the power, but God is introducing Himself to us in three persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to emphasize to us the importance of learning to live with each other and that we may all learn to share with each other. 

As much as the highest point on earth or the summit of Mount Everest can accommodate many, so we can also share the glory, the power, the authority altogether. We can share whatever we have. We can share our wealth altogether; we can share the pedestal with others here on earth. We do not have to own them all. We do not have to solely enjoy them all. Whatever we have, we can share with others. We do not have to stand at the summit alone. We have each other. And the reality, the truth about the Holy Trinity proves to us that that is possible and essential, and that is a must in a Christian life. In our Christian faith, we are being challenged and invited to learn and share with others. 

Alam ninyo, napakaimportante po nito, especially these days. The campaign period is about to end, elections are coming, and we heard of a lot of news about violence, about the money laundering of some candidates. For whatever reason, these candidates - although not all - will annihilate other competing candidates, just to enjoy the limelight, the authority, the office, the power, by themselves alone. It is now how God showed Himself to us. When Jesus revealed Himself to us as the Son of Man, as God made man, He introduced us to His Father who is the source of all. Later on, He introduced to us the Holy Spirit, which the Gospel today mentioned as the One who will teach and guide us to all truth. 

Imagine - if God will tell us and show Himself as sharing in three persons whatever glory and authority He has, so we should, by ourselves, and with ourselves. We have to learn to share with each other, not just the burden and the problems, but even the fame, the glory, the wealth, the honor. We have to give space to others, to share with the glory. 

'Yon po ang problema natin, lalo na po pag panahon ng eleksiyon. It is so sad. 'Yon ba ang mamanahin ng ating mga kabataan ngayon? How our political parties slander and slaughter each other, just to get into that position, that office? It is so sad. As Catholic Christians, we have to learn to see the faith that God has shown us, that we do not have to own everything. We do not have to possess all; we have to learn to share. 

Even in our offices, di ba? When something good happens, or if there is an achievement, some people will claim everything to their credit. Of course we all know that whatever fruit has come out is a result of everyone's effort and collaboration. We have to learn to share. Come to think of it, if you look closely into the Gospel, you will realize that God is not only sharing into three persons, but God even shared the treasure of heaven to us. Can you imagine that? God is sharing with us the inheritance of heaven, the wealth of His kingdom.

That is why, my brothers and sisters, we should all pray that we may learn to share the summit of our 'Mount Everest' in life with others. We do not share only our crosses to others, but even the triumphs, the blessings, the consolations, the peaks and joys of our life - all these we share with one another. And that is our prayer. Amen.