Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 25, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Ernie M. Cruz, SDB - Rector, St. John Bosco Parish Church, Makati
6:30AM Mass, St. John Bosco Parish Church, Makati


Reading 1 Sir 17:1-15

God from the earth created man, and in his own image he made him. He makes man return to earth again, and endows him with a strength of his own. Limited days of life he gives him, with power over all things else on earth. He puts the fear of him in all flesh, and gives him rule over beasts and birds. He created for them counsel, and a tongue and eyes and ears,  and an inventive heart, and filled them with the discipline of understanding. He created in them knowledge of the spirit; With wisdom he fills their heart; good and evil he shows them. He put the fear of himself upon their hearts, and showed them his mighty works, That they might glory in the wonder of his deeds and praise his holy name. He has set before them knowledge, a law of life as their inheritance; An everlasting covenant he has made with them, his justice and his judgments he has revealed to them. His majestic glory their eyes beheld, his glorious voice their ears heard. He says to them, “Avoid all evil”; each of them he gives precepts about his fellow men. Their ways are ever known to him, they cannot be hidden from his eyes. Over every nation he places a ruler, but God’s own portion is Israel. All their actions are clear as the sun to him, his eyes are ever upon their ways.

Responsorial Psalm PS 103:13-14, 15-16, 17-18

R. (see 17) The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Man’s days are like those of grass;
like a flower of the field he blooms;
The wind sweeps over him and he is gone,
and his place knows him no more.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Gospel Mk 10:13-16

People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them.


Yesterday afternoon, the parish organized a procession. It was a little different because it was a procession of children. Father Dennis chose 24 titles of the Blessed Mother, and made the children put on the attire of the Blessed Mother according to the title. Iba't iba. Mayroong isang title...'yong parang chef 'yong kanyang ulo. 

But one thing was very interesting. They were walking along Glorietta 5 ending in the chapel of Glorietta....or Greenbelt ba 'yon? And then when they arrived after some time of singing, each of those "Ineng Maria" offered flowers to the statue of the Blessed Mother in the chapel. It was so beautiful, when I was just facing them, because some of the kids would place the flowers, and look at the statue, and some of them will even close their eyes in short prayer. Ang gandang tignan, kasi parang very limpid ang tingin ng mga bata. It is so nice to see; very uplifting. 

Our Gospel today talks about children - how Jesus loves children, and how the Church places importance on children, because they are the treasure and future of the Church. Very often, we will encounter ourselves people with certain comments. Comments like, "Ang childish naman ng taong ito. Ang tanda tanda na, parang bata pa." But then, there are also comments like, "Ang ganda ng aura ng taong ito, parang very childlike." These are two opposites in the spectrum of human relationships. One connotes selfishness, anger, the attitude of 'this is mine', 'this is my right', 'everything is for me', 'akin lang ito'. While on the other, you will find the opposite of it - a person able to enjoy, one who is open to the wonders of nature. Parang open sila sa wonder and awe. Everything is beautiful. They are open to anything that connotes trust. 'Yon 'yong attitude ng mga bata whom Jesus was referring to when He said, 'Unless you become like these again, you will not enter the Kingdom of God." 

One can only understand the First Reading of today with an attitude of openness. That there is something different. When a person is open to anything, the sweetness of a child is irresistible. Sabi nga noong isang araw ng aking dating kasamahan sa parokya...he was actually the parish council president in the parish where I came from...noong nagka-apo siya, tawag siya nang tawag, sabi niya, "Ang sarap, Father. Ang sarap magka-apo." Paulit-ulit 'yong salitang sarap. "Ang sarap Father, tinitignan ko lang siya. Paminsan-minsan nakakangiti siya, ang sarap sarap. Parang gustong-gusto kong palaging nagpupunta sa bahay ng aking anak para hawakan ko lang ang apo ko." Even the simplicity of the child is transferred to the grandfather. 

A child does not have status. A child does not have position, not even intelligence. A child is always as he is, facing the people. And this is what the Lord expects from us. We cannot offer anything to the Lord, we offer ourselves as we are. And aware that although we have grown, we still are the same person wanting to see the Lord, wanting to experience everything that comes from the Lord - everything that brings us to awe and wonder, and that is the goodness of God.

We cannot present anything else other than ourselves, and the Lord is already contented seeing the very us, in relating with Him. That we just face Him with our own nothingness. The Lord really would like to see that in us. 

As we continue our celebration today, let us look into our actuation - sometimes our attitude - into the opposite side of relationships. That opposite side of the beauty of being childlike. In the Gospel, the Lord embraced the children and touched them. The Lord was attractive to the children, all because of that aura. When one does not have anything to pride himself of, there is only the goodness of God that comes out of him. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.