Monday, May 20, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 20, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
5:30PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Sir 1:1-10

All wisdom comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever, and is before all time The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain, the days of eternity: who can number these? Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth, the depths of the abyss: who can explore these? Before all things else wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity. The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom and her ways are everlasting. To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed? Who knows her subtleties? To whom has the discipline of wisdom been revealed? And who has understood the multiplicity of her ways ? There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne: There is but one, Most High  all-powerful creator-king and truly awe-inspiring one, seated upon his throne and he is the God of dominion. It is the LORD; he created her through the Holy Spirit, has seen her and taken note of her. He has poured her forth upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends.

Responsorial Psalm PS 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

Gospel Mk 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him.  He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”  They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around  and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”  He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”


The basis of our Gospel reflection is on the last sentence. This kind of demon can only come out through prayer. By making a connection with the evil spirits and prayer, Jesus Christ is stressing the importance of prayer in our lives - communion with God, communication with Him at all times. In our busy and fast life, we need to pause, rest, and slow down a bit. Then we will realize that silence is the language of God. We can only commune with God through silence. If we are busy, if we are noisy, if we are allowing a lot of noises come into our lives, then we will not recognize, we will not be able to listen to the voice of God.

Demons come to us in many figures or forms. It is not only the demon that we know. There are the demons of anxiety, unfounded fear, doubts, and all these depression and hopelessness because of all our problems. These are the demons in our lives that stun our spiritual growth, that make us like dead corpse. Jesus Christ is trying to tell us and stress to us a very important thing. Daily and at every moment, we should be praying to God. Praying is our communication, our lifeline to God. But most often than not, we take this for granted. Sometimes, in our times of problems and depression, we ignore prayer. But God is telling us that if we want to be faithful to our call, to our duty as Christians, we should always keep praying.

And then we would ask ourselves. What do we need to pray for? None other than strong faith. We should pray for our unbelief. We should pray for strength. We should pray for hope. This is the kind of prayer that God is pleased about. He is not trying to tell us, "Come to Me, pray to Me, so that I can give you all the things that You want.", because God will give us the things that we need.

My dear brothers and sisters, we have different demons in different forms in our lives. And the only thing that could drive them out is prayer. Amen.