Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 13, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
by Msgr. Bong Lo (Chaplain, Chapel of Eucharistic Lord)
12;15PM Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Brothers and sisters: To this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over the hearts of the children of Israel, but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. And even though our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled for those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 10b) The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Gospel Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:  “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”


How would you translate this English word into a Tagalog word? The English word is 'light' - L-I-G-H-T. Ano po sa Tagalog? (A majority say 'liwanag', 'ilaw', Mammu says 'magaan'.) So, most of you answered 'liwanag' or 'ilaw', which is correct, pero may isa o dalawang boses akong narinig na ang sabi ay, 'magaan', which is also correct.

It is very interesting to note that when there is light, when we are enlightened, when we see things clearly, when we see the bigger picture, when we see with a clearer vision, we can feel a lot lighter. Kung maliwanag ang ating pang-unawa, maliwanag ang ating paningin, nakikita natin ang iba't ibang aspekto ng isang bagay, mas magaang ang dating. The less we are enlightened, the less we see things clearly, the less we see the bigger picture, the narrower our vision, mas mabigat ang kalooban.

In the First Reading of today, in the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, sabi niya, the Jews during his time who listen only to Moses but do not listen to Jesus are people who are veiled. Napipiringan ang mga mata, natatakpan ang paningin. Hindi sila makakita ng liwanag, they are in the dark. Whereas those who believe and listen to Jesus are truly unveiled. Sila ay nakakakita, hindi natatakpan, hindi napipiringan ang mga mata sa katotohanan.

In the Gospel Reading according to Matthew, Jesus said that it is not enough that you have not killed. Kailangan din, you don't hate. Maaaring saibhin mo, over naman si Jesus. Hindi daw tama na sabihin mo sa brother mo na siya ay isang fool. Eh talagang fool naman siya, eh. Natural lang naman 'yon eh. At least di ko siya pinatay. Galit lang ako sa kanya. Namumuhi lang ako sa kanya dahil sa ginawa niya. So if we don't see the point of Jesus, maaaring ganoon ang dating sa atin, na sobra naman si Jesus. Napaka-strict naman. 

Let us pray, dear sisters and brothers, to see clearly the point of Jesus, to see the bigger picture, to realize that big things come from small things. That physical assassination usually comes from character assassination. Ok, it's natural to be angry. But as St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, do not let the sun set on your anger. Huwag mong hintayin na lumubog pa ang araw sa iyong galit. This means huwag mong patagalin ang iyong galit. Buong araw, buong buwan, buong taon, buong buhay. Yes, it is natural to be angry some times. And it is even necessary to be angry some times. Pero ang point ni Jesus, huwag magtanim ng sama ng loob. Anger and hatred are two different things. Let us see the bigger picture. Lahat naman tayo ay nagkakamali at nagkakasala, and if we ask forgiveness from God, and share forgiveness, gagaan ang ating kalooban.

Yesterday, at 4:30 in the morning, I flew to Bacolod to visit our former rector who is now 90 years old and is at the ICU. 12:30 nasa Manila na ako, nag-breakfast lang ako do'n. (laughs) There have been things between us, may mga nangyari, may mga nasabing hindi maganda ang bawat isa. I talked to my former rector and said, "Monsignor, I came to see you. I came to thank you for everything. I came to ask forgiveness." But I did not tell him, 'and I forgive you, too'. Iba naman ang dating no'n. (laughs) I said, "I understand you. I know you have a good heart. Human as we are, talaga pong minsan ay nagkakamali tayo." Then I told him to be at peace, and for us to pray for each other.

My sisters and brothers, we pray in this mass to be able to see clearly. Jesus is the light of the world, the light of our life. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus will make us feel lighter. Let us pray na maging mas magaan ang lahat. Maybe not completely, but less heavier. Kung ating mapapatawad ang isa't isa, kung magbibigayan ang isa't isa, mas magiging magaang ang ating paglalakbay, mas magiging magaan ang pagpasan natin ng krus sa buhay.