Friday, June 14, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 14, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Msgr. Bong Lo (Chaplain, Chapel of Eucharistic Lord)
12:15PM Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 2 Cor 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 116:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. (17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
R. Alleluia.
I believed, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm,
“No man is dependable.”
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
R. Alleluia.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
R. Alleluia.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”


There is a saying in English that goes, "If others can, so can I." Kung kaya ng iba, kaya ko rin. Pero parang mas maganda ang sinasabi ng kaibigan ko na, "If others can do it, let them do it." (laughs) Why should I do it? Kung kaya nilang gawin, di gawin nila. Bakit ako ang gagawa? (laughs)

My dear sisters and brothers, our First Reading for today from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, tells us that St. Paul, just like countless human beings, including you and me, went through a lot of difficulties, trials, persecutions. Marami siyang pinagdaanan. Marami siyang problemang hinarap, marami siyang krus na pinasan. Pero ang lahat ay pinasan niya, sinuog niya, pinasok niya, at ito ay nalampasan niya, napagtagumpayan niya. In our Reading, St. Paul says that "We are afflicted in every way but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

It is good to know na hindi lang ikaw ang may problema, na hindi lang ikaw ay may pagsubok sa buhay. Misery loves company, ano. (laughs) It is much better to know na ang lahat ng pagsubok ay pwedeng pasahan, pwedeng lampasan, pwedeng pagtagumpayan. 

Of course, it is sad to know na may mga taong bumigay. May mga taong hindi nila nalampasan. They were driven to despair. We have no right to judge them; we have no right to condemn them. We have to pray for them, and offer them our compassion and support. But we should never forget that we are not alone in facing the challenges of life, and we can learn from others. 

St. Paul, in the First Reading says, 'We hold this treasure in earthen vessels.' Ang ibig sabihin nito ay palayok, na gawa sa clay, very fragile, breakable, madaling mabasag. But within this breakability, this fragility, there is a treasure within us, and that is the surpassing power of God. God's presence and graces are always with us, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, not only until death, but even beyond. So this fragility of our being earthen vessels, sa kabila ng ating mga kahinaan, karupukan, kadukhaan bilang mga palayok, within us is that power, that grace, that strength from God that we can always access.

On the other hand, the Gospel Reading talks about marriage and divorce. Again, we have no right to judge or condemn those couples who have separated and who have married again. Our duty is to pray for them, to extend to them our understanding, support and compassion. But we know what is the ideal. And with the grace of God, let us do our best to help one another to uphold and fight for the ideal. Alam nating may mga taong nakayanan nila. If they can do it, so can we. Of course, we have different personalities, different circumstances, but we all have that treasure of God's presence and grace in us, to help us. We need to commit and communicate at a deeper level, para tanggapin ang dapat tanggapin, at baguhin ang dapat baguhin. 

In the Sermon of the Mount, in the fifth chapter of Matthew, God said, blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. And according to biblical scholars, to be pure of heart means to be focused, to be committed, hindi divided ang attention. Focused, committed. Focused on God. Kung papansinin mo 'yong ibang aspekto ng buhay o pagkatao ng asawa mo, eh talagang madidismaya ka. We really need to focus our attention and to re-commit ourselves. 

Sabi ng Panginoong Hesus, 'anyone who looks at a woman with lust, has committed adultery'. Pero dapat gender-sensitive na rin ngayon, ano. Any woman who looks at a man with lust also commits adultery, ano po? (laughs) Hindi lang mga lalaki ang tumitingin na may lust. Pati mga babae din. (laughs) Dapat fair din, ano po? There are really different ways of looking, of seeing. We say that the eyes are a window of the soul. Mayroong tingin na talagang very loving, very respectful. Pero mayroong tingin na magtatanong ka nga kung paano ba ang tingin niya sa iyo, ano. How does the person look at you? May galang ba o wala? May malasakit ba o galit? 

Finally, in the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, chapter 4 verse 8, St. Paul said, "Brothers and sisters, whatever is truthful, whatever is holy, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever deserves praise, think about it." Dapat daw po ang ating isip should be filled with whatever is truthful, holy, just, pure, noble and deserves admiration. Let us be like this. Magandang 'yan ang ating iniisip.

It is said - Plant a thought, and harvest words. Plant words, and harvest actions. Plant actions and harvest habit. Plant habit and harvest character. Plant character and harvest destiny.