Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gospel Reflection

July 14, 2013
Sunday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Rey Reyes (Society of St. Paul)
5:30PM Sunday Anticipated Mass, Mary, Mother of Hope Chapel (Landmark Chapel), Makati


Reading 1 Dt 30:10-14

Moses said to the people: “If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul.

“For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”

R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

R.(9a) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Reading 2 Col 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Gospel Lk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?”  He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.  They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.  He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.  If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


This is my first mass in this beautiful chapel of Our Lady of Hope. Please make it memorable for me, by putting off or putting into silent mode your cellphones (laughs) and second, don't sleep while I am giving the Homily (laughs). I will not give you the opportunity to sleep during my Homily. (laughs) Before you start sleeping, I am already finished with my Homily.

I access my Yahoo account twice because I look at fresh news, na una pa sa mga newspaper, at tsaka 'yong special features. The other day, I was so struck to have read something. Pardon if I will mention China. Nagkakaroon po ngayon ng problema ang Chinese government sa pag-aalaga ng mga matatanda. It has been a long time that China has been practicing the one-child policy. The children have already grown and have become family men and women, so they already have their own family. And since the Chinese family is very basic, probably they would not have time to take care of their parents who are now very old. So ang nangyayari ngayon, parang ibinabato ngayon sa Chinese government ang pag-aalaga ng mga matatanda. Now, the Government is trying to convince the Chinese adults to take care of their parents, and not to pass the responsibility to the Government. This is not new to us. We know that in highly industrialized countries in Europe, in America, in Australia, if the parents are already old, lalo na kung mahirap alagaan, sila ay dinadala sa nursing home.

I visited a friend of mine, who is already old. She is past eighty already, and very sick. She is very close to me and it hurts me kasi ang kanyang mga anak ay nagtuturuan. Nagtatalo sila kung kanino tutuloy pagkagaling sa ospital, sino ang mag-aalaga, sino ang magbabantay sa ospital, sino'ng magbabayad sa ospital. It pains me to know that.

You know, when my mother was still alive, when she got sick and my mother was in Obando, Bulacan, I did not have time to visit her because I was very busy. Ang dami kong masses, appointments and engagements. But I would send fruits, food, and money. And I will ask my cousin to bring those to my mother. Until my cousin told me, "Pinasasabi po ng Nanay n'yo, hindi daw po niya kailangan ang pera, prutas at pagkain. Ang kailangan daw po niya'y dalaw n'yo." That struck me so much. And then from then on, I really made it a point to visit my sick mother. I would always find the time to visit my mother. And so when she died, I had no regrets, because I was able to spend time with my mother, and I was able to give to her what she was very much in need of.

Mga kapatid, nagsimula po ako ng ganitong sharing sapagkat our Gospel today talks about being a good Samaritan. And the good Lord tells us, "You shall love the Lord your God with your very being, and you shall also love your neighbor as yourself." And that is why the man who approached Jesus asked Him, "But who is my neighbor?" And Jesus gave a dramatic answer, by telling the story of a man being robbed and left half-dead, until a Samaritan man came to his rescue and attended to him. The Samaritan went out of his way and did what he was supposed to do in order to help the man.

In the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ, the neighbor is the person who is in need of love. That we have to understand so clearly. The neighbor who Jesus mentioned in the Gospel is somebody, anybody who is in need of help.

Nakikilala na po ang maraming Pilipino sa buong mundo. Walang makakahigit sa mga Filipino nurses. Our Filipino nurses are still the best, because of tender, loving care. Because that is what is being needed by the patient. And now, the whole world also knows are Filipino caregivers. Sapagkat ang mga Pilipino ay matiyaga, magalang at mapagbigay ng atensiyon sa mga nangangailangan. And now we are known for this very important, very honest and edifying dictum: "If you want a job to be done, give it to a Filipino." It is very heartening to know that we Filipinos are gradually being recognized for our traits - sa ating kagandahang loob, sa pagiging matiyaga, pagiging considerate, at maalaga, especially to those who are in need.

My dear friends, brothers and sisters, this is the invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ to all of us - to become a good Samaritan to our neighbor. We have to remember that according to our Lord, 'neighbor' is any person who is in need of our help. And if we define the meaning of 'need', hindi lamang po 'yan tungkol sa pera at sa materyal na bagay. Pagkat hindi lamang ito ang kailangan ng mga tao ngayon. More than money, more than material things, ang kailangan ng tao ngayon ay pagmamahal, pag-aasikaso, pagtitiyaga. Ibalik natin mga kapatid sa ating kulturang Pilipino ang tradisyon ng pagiging mapagmahal at pagbibigay ng konsiderasyon sa iba - sa mga taong may kailangan ng ating atensiyon at pagmamahal.

Nalulungkot po akong makakarinig ng mga kasaysayan ng mga anak na nag-aaway-away para mag-asikaso sa kanilang mga magulang. It is not Filipino, and not being a good Samaritan. Ibalik natin ang ating tradisyon na pagiging mapagmahal at magalang sa magulang. It is sad to say na may mga kabataan tayong hindi na gumagalang sa kanilang mga magulang. They don't care kung ang parents nila ay naghihintay sa hatinggabi, naghihintay kung saan sila naroroon at hindi pa umuuwi. Dahil hindi sila nagpaalam, dahil kung nagpaalam, hindi papayagan. Being a good Samaritan is to, first of all, be a good Samaritan to your parents. They care so much for you. Bago ka maging mabuti sa iba o sa kabarkada mo, maging mabait ka muna at mapagmahal sa mga magulang mo, na siyang nag-aalala sa 'yo. Hangga't hindi ka umuuwi sa bahay, hindi sila nagkakaroon ng katahimikan. Ikaw din ang ina-alala at iniisip. Ang sama kaya ng panahon. Ang daming masama. Ang daming krimen na nagaganap. At may masasamang tao na naghihintay lang ng tiyempo para makagawa ng kasamaan. Sino'ng magulang ang hindi mag-iintindi? Sinong magulang ang hindi mag-aalala kung gabi na ay hindi pa umuuwi ang anak? Que babae o lalaki, wala nang distinction. Hangga't hindi umuuwi ang anak, ang magulang ay nag-aalala. Sa ating mga kabataang naririto, sa mga magulang ninyo muna kayo maging good Samaritan, by being considerate to them.

It pains me also that now, maraming mga kapatid ang nag-aaway-away. Sa ilang years ko po bilang pari, marami na akong na-witness at nasaksihan. May mga magkakapatid na akala mo ay hindi magkakapatid sapagkat sila ay nagkakagalit sa kabuhayan, sa pera, sa titulo, sa lupa. Dahil dito ay hindi na nila na-aalala na sila ay magkakapatid at magkakadugtong ng buhay. It pains me na ang kapatid mo na nangangailangan ng tulong ay hindi mo matulungan. Pagka't galit ka, eh. "Bahala siya sa buhay niya. Wala akong pakialam sa kanya, kahit ano ang mangyari sa kanya." Gano'n? Kapatid mo 'yon? Kaya mo? That is not being a Christian, not being a good Samaritan, not even a good Filipino. Sapagkat ang mabuting Pilipino ay laging nagbibigay at tumutulong sa kanyang kapamilya, sa kadugo, sa kanyang karugtong ng buhay.

Marami po tayong mga kapatid na kailangan ang ating tulong at pagmamahal. Pag may lumapit sa inyo mga kapatid - if there is anybody who comes to you, asking for your help - let's first determine if he is really in need, kung siya ay talagang nasa matinding pangangailangan. And if we are able to identify the need of the person, kailangang gumawa tayo ng paraan. Hindi pwede 'yong lumalapit pa lang sa iyo, sasabihin mo, "Naku po, uutang na naman itong taong ito. Naku eh may utang pa ito sa akin. Uutang na naman ito sigurado." Before you say 'wala akong pera', tanungin mo muna ang sarili mo kung talagang wala kang pera. Dahil ang nakaka-alam lang kung may pera ka ay si Lord at ikaw. (laughs) Kaya pag may lumapit at nanghihingi ng tulong, alamin mo muna kung ano ang kailangan. At huwag kang magsasalita nang wala kang pera. Kasi humihingi tayo kay Lord na bigyan tayo ng pera, eh tapos sasabihin mo na wala kang pera. So, dine-deny mo na wala kang pera. Baka bawiin ni Lord 'yan. (laughs) Kasi, humihingi ka ng pera, ngayong binigyan ka, sasabihin mo wala kang pera. Huwag gano'n. Pinagpapala ni Lord ang mga taong tumutulong sa kanilang kapwa. The Lord can never be outdone in His generosity. Anumang bagay na gawin mo bilang tulong sa kapwa mo, ibabalik sa iyo 'yan ni Lord. Hindi lang doble, triple pa. At kapag ikaw ay gumawa nang mabuti sa kapwa mo at nakatulong ka, hindi lang ikaw ang pagpapalain ni Lord. Ang buong pamilya mo ay suswertehin sa buhay.

As we continue with our Eucharistic celebration, my dear friends in Christ, let us be thankful to the Lord for all the blessings and graces that we have received. And let us ask the Lord that we may be generous and considerate to people who are in need, most especially to the members of our family - our parents, our brothers and sisters. May we be generous to anybody who will come to us and will ask for our help. In the last analysis, it will be the good Lord who will be our best reward. God bless. Amen.