Friday, September 6, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 06, 2013
First Friday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Joseph “Joey” Faller (Spiritual Director of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center, Lucban, Quezon Province)
12:15PM Mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (Megamall Chapel)

Reading 1 Col 1:15-20

Brothers and sisters: 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.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Gospel Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink.” Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”


I was away for 40 days. I came to visit the U.S., in California, San Francisco, L.A., then I went to Chicago, to New York, New Jersey, then to Boston, and came back again to San Francisco. It was a long, long marathon of healing masses. And to tell you honestly, all the masses that I celebrated was full of people. Habang tumatagal ay dumadami po ang mga tao. The average attendance is more than a thousand. Umuuwi po ako sa tinitirhan ko na kamag-anak at almost 2 o'clock in the morning, that is every day. At magigising po ako the next day, in the morning, may mga tao na po sa sala ng Tita ko, asking for prayers. My average sleep is 2 or 3 hours. It was not really vacation time for me.

Noong dumating naman po ako sa Pilipinas, gayon na rin po ang schedule ko. Sometimes, hindi po kaya lahat sa isang araw. Sabi ko po, kung ang isang araw ay may 30 hours, siguro makakayanan ko ang requests ng mga tao. Yesterday, three hospitals were awaiting me, but I had three masses, so I was not able to come to one of the hospitals. Kaya sabi ko, to tell you honestly, nakakapagod po itong ministry na ito, but it's very fulfilling. Ang mga tao po, walang ubos sa kahihiling. Hiling ng boyfriend (laughs), hiling ng asawa, hiling ng kagalingan, and so on and so forth. But I am happy doing my job, but still, I also need to rest. Sometimes, I really need to take time for myself, and with my God. Kaya sa mga darating pong oras, I will try my best to rest.

In our Holy Gospel for today, we heard the Scribes and Pharisees complaining. They said, "Why are Your disciples not fasting?" They are 'fast-eating' (laughs) or feasting? And the Lord said, "How can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" What does the Lord mean? Well, nakakita na ba kayo ng kasalan na ang handa lang sa kasal ay kape at singkamas? (laughs) Isn't it that a wedding is really a celebration of joy, a celebration of life? So how can you mourn during that time? Kaya sinasabi ng Panginoon, to be with the Lord is to experience joy. Though we have problems, though we have debts, marami tayong utang na hindi mabayaran, though we have a lot of illnesses, marami tayong mga pinagdaraanan, if we believe that Jesus is with us, it can be a joyful experience.

May tatlong bagay po kung bakit nagfa-fasting ang mga Scribes and Pharisees. Number one is to mourn for somebody who died. Second, to pray for conversion and renewal, for reparation. And third, they fast to sustain the presence of God. Isa-isahin po natin ang reason. First is to mourn for the dead. Wala pa naman pong namamatay noon sa mga disipulo ni Hesus, at ang Panginoon naman po ay kasama nila. So, there is no need for mourning. Second, on renewing one's life, Jesus's disciples were already converted and renewed. And the third reason on sustaining the presence of God, Jesus is very much present with the disciples. Therefore, there is no need for fasting. There will come a time that they would fast, if Jesus is no longer with them. What the Lord is suggesting is, our religion is a religion of joy. Kaya tignan mo ang kasama mo at sabihing mong 'may pag-asa ka pa'....hindi ka pa mamamatay (laughs)....ngayon....bukas na lang (loud laughs).....biro lang po. Ours is a religion of joy.

The second lesson, which is the last point that I would like to share with you is this. Sabi ng Panginoon, hindi mo pwedeng isama ang lumang damit doon sa bagong damit. Masisira pareho. Gayun din naman, you do not put old wine on new wineskin, because the new wineskin will break. What is the Lord suggesting here? The Lord is telling us that if you have received the Lord, if you have received Jesus in your heart, you already have new life. Therefore, there should be no more turning back. There should be no more going back to the old life. There should be no more trying to enjoy a double life. If you are with Jesus, live a new life that Jesus has shared with you.

May the healing mass today inspire us to really walk in the life of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says, let us put on a new man, a new mind, a new heart, patterned after Jesus Christ our Lord. May this healing mass inspire us to have new life and new hope. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.