Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 30, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Rolando B. Briones
(OFM Capuchin, Parish Priest, St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church, Mandaluyong City)
6:00PM Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (Megamall Chapel)


Reading 1 Sir 42:15-25

Now will I recall God’s works; what I have seen, I will describe. At God’s word were his works brought into being; they do his will as he has ordained for them. As the rising sun is clear to all, so the glory of the LORD fills all his works; Yet even God’s holy ones must fail in recounting the wonders of the LORD, Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength to stand firm before his glory. He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come: He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets. No understanding does he lack; no single thing escapes him. Perennial is his almighty wisdom; he is from all eternity one and the same, With nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him! How beautiful are all his works! even to the spark and fleeting vision! The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved. All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6a) By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
For upright is the word of the LORD
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
in cellars he confines the deep.
R. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all who dwell in the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it was made;
he commanded, and it stood forth.
R. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.

Gospel Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”  And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.


We are now on the seventh day of our Novena for our Eucharistic Lord, in preparation for the fiesta mass on June 2. And our Gospel for today is about the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus. The Gospel serves, first, as a commentary to the preceding Gospel of Mark which starts from Chapter 3, Verse 2, and second, as an introduction to the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem. This Gospel of the healing of the blind man serves as a hinge of two Gospels, which means that it is very important in the Gospel of Mark. Although blind, Bartimaeus recognized the presence of Jesus when He arrived, as he cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me." It is because Bartimaeus had a deep, strong faith in God. Matindi ang kanyang pananampalataya Kay Hesus. He saw Jesus through the eyes of faith, which is contrasting to the actions of the disciples who lacked faith. Even during the Passion of Christ - sa gitna ng paghihirap ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo - Jesus' apostles and disciples abandoned Him, and recognized Him again only after His Resurrection. This is what St. Mark wanted to emphasize in this Gospel.

In relation to the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, I want to stress about the importance of the Eucharist. First, the Gospel of John stresses the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. And in the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, importance is given to the Last Supper. These two important events are the same, isa lang po 'yon. The Eucharist is both an event and a Sacrament that commemorates the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist as a Sacrament, we are renewing Jesus's sacrifice, as members of the Church. The Eucharist, then, is both a renewal and a celebration.

In the renewal and celebration of the Eucharist, we see Jesus, both as a victim and priest. Bilang pari, si Hesus ang nag-aalay, at Siya rin ang iniaalay. And we, as members of the Church, are called the mystical Body and Blood of Christ. Therefore, kasali po tayo, first, in the offering of Jesus Christ as a priest and as a victim, and second, in the offering of the mystical Body and Blood of Christ. And as part of the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head, each one of us is also a priest and a victim, dahil nasa sa atin po 'yong tinatawag na universal priesthood, by virtue of our baptism. Napakahalagang tandaan po that the Eucharist happens to us every day in our celebration and our renewal as priest and a victim. Baka po kasi akala ninyo po, kami lamang ang mga pari. Lahat po ng bumubuo ng simbahan ay mga pari. Dito po natin makikita na ganito po kaganda ang Eukaristiya.

Once there was a mass celebrated by St. Padre Pio. And while Padre Pio was celebrating the Holy Eucharist. one of the parishioners noticed that he had a crown of thorns.  And when the parishioner told Padre Pio about it, ano'ng sinabi ni Padre Pio? It is because the Eucharist is the celebration of the Passion, Death, and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is real. Sabi nga, mas mananatili pa tayong buhay kahit hindi sumikat ang araw, pero 'yong mawala ang Eukaristiya sa araw-araw ay maaari nating ikamatay. Without the Eucharist, we will not also have the Church. Mawawala din po ang Simbahan.

Napakaganda din po ng ating Eucharistic celebration because it is a conversation. That is why we are called to participate and respond during the celebration. Unless, hindi kayo sumasagot. Marami pong ganoon na habang nasa misa ay nakatingin lang, hindi rin kumakanta. It is important for all the faithful to participate in the mass, as it is conversational, from beginning to the end. Tayo po ay kumakausap sa Diyos at ang Diyos ay tumutugon sa atin. God is talking to us, the Holy Spirit is talking to us, the priest is talking to us, and we respond in return. That is why the Eucharist is alive. It is the celebration of the Holy Trinity. Malungkot po na ang Diyos ay nakikipag-usap sa atin and yet, hindi po tayo sumasagot, hindi ba? Halimbawa sa kasal, minsan po ang inuuna ay ang damit, ikalawa ay ang picture-taking. Minsan po punong-puno na ng photographers ang altar, minsan po ay katabi ko na sila. They are not aware of these things. It is important for us to remember that the Eucharistic celebration is a memorial of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.That is why Jesus told His disciples to "Do this in memory of Me.".

After the Resurrection, the apostles recognized Jesus only during the breaking of bread. Sana ganoon din po tayo, that every time we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ lives in ang Panginoong Hesukristo ay nabubuhay sa atin, kasama natin. Tayo ay kaisa ni Hesus sa Eukaristiya kaya sana ay huwag nating iwanan ang Panginoong Hesukristo. Jesus personally gave to us His Body and Blood, and all of us are also here as the mystical Body and Blood of Christ, that is why hindi tayo pwedeng paghiwalayin in the celebration of the Eucharist. It is our sanctification, as followers of Christ, na magkaroon tayo ng matinding pagmamahal sa ating Panginoong Hesukristo, gaya ng pagmamahal Niya sa bawat isa sa atin. Let us ask the Lord to help us, and to enlighten us, and to guide us.