Monday, May 27, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 27, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Juancho "Choy" Ramos (Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Parish of Sta. Cruz, Manila)
12;15PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Sir 17:20-24

To the penitent God provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope and has chosen for them the lot of truth. Return to him and give up sin, pray to the LORD and make your offenses few. Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin, hate intensely what he loathes, and know the justice and judgments of God, Stand firm in the way set before you, in prayer to the Most High God.

Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High in place of the living who offer their praise? Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly, but offer your praise before death. No more can the dead give praise  than those who have never lived; You who are alive and well  shall praise and glorify God in his mercies. How great the mercy of the LORD, his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial Psalm PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (11a) Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Gospel Mk 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell,  and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”


'Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." That was the response of the man who was asking for salvation, or how he can inherit eternal life. And as we heard from the Gospel, he did all the commandments. But Jesus said that there is one thing that the man did not do in his life, and that is to sell what he has, his treasures, and give it to the poor.

Oftentimes, we might think that this particular Gospel is only addressed to the rich. But I believe it is not. It is addressed to all of us. In one way or another, we have some attachment. Ito ay pinapahalagahan natin sa ating buhay. And once we try to let go of that attachment that is precious to us, we find it very difficult. Nahihirapan tayong pakawalan ito.

It reminds me of my grandmother, who is so good in keeping things. Mayroon siyang porcelain collection na laging naka-display sa cabinet niya. Ginagamit niya lamang ito kapag may bisita siya sa pamilya, o kung may espesyal na okasyon. And after the event, dahan-dahan niya ulit itong itatago at walang makakahawak ng mga gamit na 'yon.

One time, ang aking isang brother ay nagkaroon ng bisita, kaya kinuha niya ang mga glasses and cups na kailangan niya from the porcelain collection of my grandmother. At ito na ngayon ang Lola namin, nagwala siya in front of my brother. Para sa akin, at that time, ang sabi ko, wow - talagang mahal na mahal ng Lola ko ang mga gamit na 'yon. At ang Lola ko ay paladasal. Palagi siyang nagsisimba, palagi siyang nasa okasyon na kung saan ay mayroong religious event, at hindi siya nawawala sa loob ng simbahan. Pero deep within me, sabi ko, mukhang magkaiba ang kanyang pananampalataya at ang kanyang aksiyon.

My dear friends, this is just one of those concrete actions that probably, in one way or another, show that we have this attitude of attachment. Maaaring hindi tayo attached sa salapi, maaaring hindi tayo attached sa mga bagay, pero attached naman tayo sa tao. Na kung minsan, hindi natin mapakawalan ang tao na 'yon dahil mahalaga siya sa ating buhay. It could be in terms of family, in terms of friendship, in terms of work, in terms of things that are so dear to us. But the challenge here is - is this really my focus or priority in life?

The challenge is to take God as our primary focus in life. Siya ang priority ng ating buhay. Anuman ang ating mithiin, anuman ang ating galaw, anuman ang ating gawin, kapag siya ang sentro ng ating buhay, lahat ng meron tayo ay magkakaroon ng kahulugan. This is our prayer in this celebration. I hope that as we receive Jesus during Communion time, let us ask ourselves - Lord, ano nga ba ang priority ko sa buhay ko? Ikaw ba ang sentro ng aking buhay, o ano nga ba ang gusto kong mangyari sa aking buhay? If our answer is 'yes', then we are close to the entrance of heaven. Let us challenge ourselves to make sure that Jesus will be the center of our lives. Amen.