Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 27, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Ramon Jade Licuanan (Head, Youth Ministry, San Carlos Seminary)
Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Gn 16:1-12, 15-16

Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. She had, however, an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram:  “The LORD has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse, then, with my maid; perhaps I shall have sons through her.” Abram heeded Sarai’s request. Thus, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, his wife Sarai took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his concubine. He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant. When she became aware of her pregnancy, she looked on her mistress with disdain. So Sarai said to Abram: “You are responsible for this outrage against me. I myself gave my maid to your embrace; but ever since she became aware of her pregnancy, she has been looking on me with disdain. May the LORD decide between you and me!” Abram told Sarai: “Your maid is in your power. Do to her whatever you please.” Sarai then abused her so much that Hagar ran away from her.

The LORD’s messenger found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur, and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.” But the LORD’s messenger told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her abusive treatment. I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the LORD’s messenger, “that they will be too many to count. Besides,” the LORD’s messenger said to her:

“You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the LORD has heard you, God has answered you.

This one shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; In opposition to all his kin shall he encamp.”

Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram named the son whom Hagar bore him Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.


Responsorial Psalm PS 106:1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5

R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD,
or proclaim all his praises?
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
R. Alleluia.
Visit me with your saving help,
that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of your people,
and glory with your inheritance.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
R. Alleluia.


Gospel Mt 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.


Napanood n'yo na po ba ang 'Man of Steel'? Sino na po ba ang nakapanood ng 'Man of Steel'?

Just to share with you one striking element of the movie...When the character, Clark Kent, was growing up, as usual, he was always being ridiculed by his friends, by his peers. He would be at a losing end, siya 'yong inaapi, siya 'yong sinasaktan, binubugbog. At kahit mayroon siyang pwedeng gawin, di niya gagawin. You know why? It is because he was looking at this father. And his father will tell him, 'No, do not retaliate. Do not do something about the matter. Be still. Let it just happen." Kahit inaapi na siya, kahit binubugbog na siya. Iiling lang ang Tatay niya at magsasabing wala siyang dapat gawin. Until the time that his father will already die, he could have just easily pulled away his father from danger, but the father just signaled to him, 'no, just stay where you are'...and that was the death of his father. 

It came to light later on that during those times when his father will tell him not to do this, not to do that, there is something happening under or beneath the character of Clark Kent. There was this character building up within him. It was creating and forming underneath, that I think is in consonance with his title as 'Superman'. There was this super character, this super strength, this human character within him, that planet Crypton could not give. Because of his obedience to his father, later on, at the right time, it was seen in the movie that he had the character, the ability, the strength to fight his enemies, and victory and triumph came after all this time. 

Ano po ang sinasabi dito? In that movie, we can see that through the obedience of Clark Kent to his father, something happened under the circumstances and the fruit or victory came after the circumstances. 

God is calling us to be 'under and after' Christians. Look at the Gospel today. If you have an idea on how houses are built, you will easily understand the comparison or the analogy that Jesus made use. As we all know, the sturdiness of a structure relies so much on its foundation. And the foundation of every house is under the soil; you cannot see that. And you will just realize how sturdy and strong your house is, after a storm, after strong winds, after floods. 

That is what God would want to make us. We are not just to be 'above and present' people who rely on what we see on the superficial level, or the circumstances that we are going through. We are not just after what will happen now. The Lord is telling us, through the Gospel, that we should be conscious or more concerned about what's happening under us, and what will happen after. 

Papaano tayo makakasiguro na meron tayong magandang character, under and after? If we, as the Gospel says, obey God. If we will just be faithful to the Father. If we will just be firm and steadfast to God's commands and statutes, despite the storms in our lives.

Hindi natin alam, sabihin nating tapat ka sa pamilya mo, sa trabaho mo, sa buhay mo. But on the surface, parang walang nangyayari. But we don't know that a character is already being formed under. And in due time, after all these, we will see the result after, and the result is an incomparable reward from God. The under and the after. 

I heard the story of a friend this morning. She was so devastated. She was working hard, and she was trying to be fair and legal in all the processes that she goes through in her business, but circumstances confront her that many people are abusing her business. In spite of her being honest and fair, she is faced with not-so-good circumstances. And that poses a challenge. 

And this happens not only to my friend, but to all of us, I guess. May mga pangyayari sa buhay natin na matatawag nating unfair. I have been so faithful, why is this happening to me? I have been fair, wala akong inaagrabyado, bakit ito dumarating sa akin? Lord, I've been following You. I've been so faithful to Your Word. Why is this happening to me?

My brothers and sisters, the Lord is telling us not to be the 'above and the present' Christian. He is telling us to be the 'under and the after' Christian. A good character beneath or under, followed by eternal reward after. Let us pray, my dear friends, that we may not just be men and women of steel. God desires for us much bigger things than that. He wants us to be men and women of faith - men and women, under and after.