Monday, September 16, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 16, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
by Rev. Fr. Montecarlo Veloria, Parish Priest, Parokya ng Pagkabuhay, Bagbag, Novaliches, Quezon City
12:15PM Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (SM Megamall Chapel)

Reading 1 1 Tm 2:1-8

Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time.  For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Responsorial Psalm PS 28:2, 7, 8-9

R. (6) Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you,
lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine.
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield.
In him my heart trusts, and I find help;
then my heart exults, and with my song I give him thanks.
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
the saving refuge of his anointed.
Save your people, and bless your inheritance;
feed them, and carry them forever!
R. Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.

Gospel Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come here, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.


As an introduction to our reflection, let us take the Gospel of today as an extension of the Gospel we heard yesterday on the prodigal son. The message of yesterday's Gospel is about the mercy of God, and today's Gospel is an extension of this message.

In today's Gospel, we can see the mercy and goodness of God, and also our faith in God. We can see a centurion, whose rank is equivalent to a general in our army. The centurion is very influential and very powerful. In the Gospel, the centurion had a slave who is ill, and he wanted to extend his kindness to the slave by looking for a cure. He learned about Jesus, but even if he was a centurion, he considered himself unworthy to approach Jesus. So, he asked the elders to approach Jesus. But when Jesus was near to his house, the centurion told Jesus that he was unworthy to let Jesus enter his home, and that Jesus' word was more than enough to heal his slave. True enough, the slave was healed, in response to the centurion's kindness and faith.

Alam n'yo mga kapatid, to be kind to someone, to be merciful to someone, is not easy. When you want to extend mercy, sometimes it can be painful. You have to invest time, resources, and even your reputation. That is mercy and kindness. The centurion humbled himself to Jesus, just to extend his mercy to someone, and to his slave, in particular. Sa iba, iisipin nila, palitan ko na lang kaya ng tatlo, pauwiin ko na lang itong aking kasambahay na maysakit. But no. The centurion gave his time and gave up his authority to help his slave. That is kindness and mercy in action.

If we are not willing to sacrifice or to be hurt, if we are not willing to undergo anything in our life, it is very hard to be kind and merciful. And for Jesus, even if the centurion is not a Jew (as he was a  pagan), he deserved the mercy and kindness of God, because he has shown kindness and great faith - an extraordinary faith that the Lord has discovered in the whole of Israel. And because of this, Jesus healed the centurion's slave, even from a distance.

My brothers and sisters, the Lord God does not look at our rank, or our status in the society, or our work. Ang tinitingnan ng Panginoon ay kung ikaw ay nangangailangan ng awa, at ito ay ibibigay Niya. Let us show our faith in the Lord, our Master and our Savior.