Monday, July 15, 2013

Gospel Reflection

July 15, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Ex 1:8-14, 22

A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt. He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave our country.”

Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel to oppress them with forced labor. Thus they had to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses. Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread. The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel and reduced them to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.

Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, “Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews, but you may let all the girls live.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us–
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous  will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.


Here in our Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus talks about His final instructions to his apostles. Here, we see that to be an apostle of Jesus, we must be ready to make sacrifices. Jesus is telling us that if we love other people more - even those dear to us, such as our parents and children - then we are not worthy of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that there will be times when we have to give up our own life for the sake of His Kingdom.

In other words, and in summary, we, as followers of Jesus Christ, must learn how to carry our own crosses. We have a lot of trials and difficulties in life, and we consider them as our crosses. But the most unbearable and hardest cross to carry is the cross of our own life, the cross of our own selves. 'Yon daw po ang pinakamabigat na krus na buhatin, 'yong krus ng ating pagkatao. Marami tayong mga pagkakamali, marami tayong mga pagkukulang at mga kakulangan. Pero itong mga kakulangang ito ang dapat nating laging pilit na binabago at pinapasan na aayon sa turo ng Ebanghelyo.

Maraming tao ang hindi na marunong magsakripisyo. Maraming tao ang ayaw nang makaranas ng sakit. They don't like pain. One of the titles of a book of a certain author, best summarizes for us the problem of our own crosses. And the title is "The Pain of Being Human". Napakahirap maging tao, mas lalo na ang magpakatao. Pero kung tunay na Kristiyano at tunay na mga anak ng Diyos ang turing natin sa ating sarili, kahit na anong bigat ay kakayanin nating pasanin.

Pero kadalasan, 'yong pagkatao natin na madali tayong manghusga, madali tayong magparatang, 'yong ating pagkakalat ng mga hindi magagandang bagay ukol sa ibang tao, ay sadyang napakahirap tanggalin sa ating sarili. Kung tayo ay nais maging alagad ng Diyos, maging kasunod ni Kristo, kailangang tayo ay maging banal.

Iisa lamang ang panawagan ng bokasyon sa ating lahat. Kahit tayo ay pari, relihiyoso, layko, may asawa o wala, iisa lang ang panawagan. Tayo ay maging banal, dahil ang ating Panginoong Diyos ay ganap at banal. Amen.