Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 20, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Lloyd Tiu, Lorenzo Mission Institute
12:15pm Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (Megamall Chapel)

Reading 1 2 Cor 1:1-11

Brothers and sisters: If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me! Please put up with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ. For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough. For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.” Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge? I plundered other churches by accepting from them in order to minister to you. And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. By the truth of Christ in me, this boast of mine shall not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1b-2, 3-4, 7-8

R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”


In the parallel Gospel of St. Luke on the same story on the Lord's Prayer, there was a disciple who approached Jesus and said, "Jesus, teach us how to pray." Then, after that request, Jesus taught His Disciples 'The Lord's Prayer'. On the last section on the Gospel of St. Luke, the Disciple, - who was not even given a name - was never mentioned again. And after that, I believe, knowing the Lord's Prayer, that Disciple lived out that prayer.

And this is also the same invitation to us in today's Gospel - that our lives may also be our prayer. Oftentimes, maybe, we are at a loss on how to start our prayer. Or we don't even know how to end, or we don't even know what to pray. But one of the greatest moments in our life, in our prayer, is just to be with Jesus. Oftentimes, when we pray, we always do the talking. Our prayer is our form of communicating with Jesus, but in our Christian faith, when we pray, we can just be with Jesus. We should also allow Jesus to talk to us, and not us doing all the talking. We should listen to Him. Just like now, the mass is one of the greatest treasures that you can give to Jesus - by listening to His Word of life, listening to the reflection, and listening to the Readings.

My brothers and sisters, every day, yes, we go to church. We pray and receive the sacrament. But Jesus is asking us that if we leave the doors of the church, we live out what we receive, we live out what we pray. This is Jesus' invitation, which is also a complete prayer. Let us acknowledge the blessings of God, asking Him for our daily needs, not the needs of tomorrow or of the past, but what is given to us today, because we know that Jesus will never leave us and will give us what we need.

My brothers and sisters, in the last part of today's Gospel, it is written that in order for us to receive forgiveness, we, too, must forgive one another. This is very true. Free yourself from bitterness. Free yourself from resentment. Free yourself from anger.

Every time we pray, we are doing ourselves a favor, not others, not Jesus. Because even before we pray, Jesus already knows what we need. When we pray, we realize deeply our needs, and our total dependence on Jesus.

My brothers and sisters, in a short while, we will be reciting the Lord's Prayer. Allow this prayer to let us deeply reflect. Allow this prayer to be an opportunity to thank the Lord for everything that we receive from Him. And then, after leaving this chapel, let us live out our Christian faith. Amen.