Friday, May 10, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 10, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
6:00AM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, “Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.” He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, saying, “This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.” When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, “If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews; but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.” And he drove them away from the tribunal. They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”


There was a certain community of monks, whose members are not in good terms with each other. They will always be quarreling. Even on simple things, they will be fighting. One of the monks thought of an idea, and he went away for a few weeks. When he came back, he said, "I was into a retreat and deep meditation, and I learned that one of you here is the Messiah, but I am not in liberty to tell who He is." So, from that day on, the members treated each other more reverently, thinking that the other one is the Messiah. And there was harmony, and there was peace in the community. 

We learn in the first letter of St. Paul, that he was teaching in the city of Corinth, where he stayed for one and a half years. And while he was preaching, some other officials were against him. But then the Lord spoke to him in a vision and said, "Do not be afraid. Do not be silenced. Go on with your preaching. No harm will be upon you." St. Paul then continued in his preaching, though some people were against him. 

When I was working with different companies before I entered the seminary, almost all the companies I have been to, has this single line which says, "There is no room for mediocrity in our company." And so a lot of employees in the different companies I have been to, will always be pursuing excellence in their work. They will always be striving for the best. 

Relating this to our faith, we should ask. Are we mediocre in our faith? Ganoon na lamang ba ang pananampalataya natin? Kung maganda o malaki ang nangyayari sa ating buhay, malakas ang ating pananampalataya. Pero kapag dumating na 'yong sunod sunod na problema, o mga dagok sa ating buhay, humihina, nawawala ang ating pananalig sa Diyos. Can we not strive for excellence? If we are striving for it in our profession, in our work, in our daily lives, can we not make our faith also excellent in terms of our relationship with God? In terms of our relationship with our brothers and sisters? Hindi lang kung kailan maganda ang takbo ng buhay natin, tsaka tayo nagpapasalamat sa Diyos. At kapag dumating na ang mga bagay na di natin maunawaan, nagagalit tayo sa Diyos. 

My dear brothers and sisters, the Word of God must change our lives. It must change our hearts, it must change our attitude. But it must start from hearing and adhering to the Word of God. Amen.