Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gospel Reflection

July 16, 2013
Tuesday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
5;30PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


Reading 1 Ex 2:1-15a

A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the river bank. His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe, while her maids walked along the river bank. Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him and said, “It is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” “Yes, do so,” she answered. So the maiden went and called the child’s own mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you.” The woman therefore took the child and nursed it. When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

On one occasion, after Moses had grown up, when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor, he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen. Looking about and seeing no one, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting! So he asked the culprit, “Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?” But the culprit replied, “Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses became afraid and thought, “The affair must certainly be known.”

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death. But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34

R. (see 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am sunk in the abysmal swamp
where there is no foothold;
I have reached the watery depths;
the flood overwhelms me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
But 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.

Gospel Mt 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”


Upon first reading of today's Gospel passage, we might say that it does not relate to us. But looking deeply into its message, it is our very core. It hits us right through the heart, because Jesus is directly speaking to us through this Gospel. The towns of Tyre and Sidon in the Old Testament were symbols of corruption and immorality. And Jesus is telling the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida that if only the people of Tyre and Sidon heard His teachings and have seen the miracles that He has performed, perhaps they would have repented. It is the same with Sodom which the Lord destroyed because people were so immoral. If only they heard Jesus preaching, Sodom would have still remained until this day. But they who have heard His preachings and seen His miracles, still have not repented.

Sinasabihan tayo ngayon ng ating Panginoon - mula nang bata kayo, naririnig n'yo na ang Ebanghelyo. Naririnig n'yo nang itinuturo at ipinapangaral ang Salita ng Diyos. Nagkaroon ba ito ng pagpapanibago sa inyong buhay? Nagkaroon ba ito ng pagpihit sa inyong mga sarili para pagsisihan ang inyong mga kasalanan, magkumpisal sa mga pari, at humingi ng tawad sa Panginoon?

The message of the Gospel is conversion. The Word of God must lead us to repentance, confession, conversion and, ultimately, transformation of the heart. Maraming tao ang nakakarinig ng Salita ng Diyos ngunit lumalabas lamang sa kabilang tenga, dahil hindi sa puso tumatagos ang itinuturo ni Hesus. Gano'n pa rin, punong-puno pa rin sila ng inggit sa kanilang mga puso. Punong-puno ng pagmamataas, punong-puno ng pagmamalaki, paninira ng kapwa, pagsabi ng hindi maganda ukol sa kanilang kapwa, kahit na hindi totoo, kahit na kulang ang kanilang basehan. People would rather destroy you, because they have not heard the true message of the Gospel.

Pag narinig natin ang pangaral at turo ng ating Ebanghelyo, automatic sinasabi natin, "Hindi para sa akin ito, para sa ibang tao 'yan." Kaya't hindi nagkakaroon, hindi natatanim, hindi nagkaka-ugat ang Salita ng Diyos para sa atin. If we look humbly at ourselves, all of us are called sinners, all of us need the mercy and compassion of God. One way of leading us into conversion is that, in every situation, at all times, we choose God. Amen.