Friday, September 27, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 27, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
by Rev. Fr. Ernie M. Cruz, SDB - Rector, St. John Bosco Parish Church (Don Bosco Church), Makati
6:30AM Mass at Don Bosco Church, Makati

Reading 1 Hg 2:1-9

In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: Tell this to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and to the remnant of the people:

Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, And take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work! For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, And my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear! For thus says the LORD of hosts: One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, And I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. Mine is the silver and mine the gold, says the LORD of hosts. Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the LORD of hosts; And in this place I will give you peace, says the LORD of hosts!

Responsorial Psalm PS 43:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (5) Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight
against a faithless people;
from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
For you, O God, are my strength.
Why do you keep me so far away?
Why must I go about in mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Gospel Lk 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”


Jesus asked His Disciples the question. "Who do the crowds say that I am?" And Peter said that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. But why did Jesus rebuke them? Why did He tell them not to tell it to anyone?

At that time, the people were under the Romans. And any talk of a human Messiah, of somebody who would free them politically from the clutches of the Romans, may cause an uprising, a revolution. And it will be a great disaster for the people. If there was real confrontation, many of them would die, and Jesus did not want that, that people will be put to a disadvantage, or to be in a difficult situation. And so He says it's not yet time to talk about it. However, Jesus already told them that the Messiah will be rejected and will suffer greatly under the elders and chief priests, and be killed, but on the third day will rise again. Jesus already told them what will happen in His time.

But unlike the Gospel, in our present time, we are asked not to keep quiet about who Jesus is, but to tell people about Him, to announce and proclaim the Messiah who we believe in. This is a time when Jesus would say, "Now, you are ready to proclaim who I am." It is at this time that Jesus has to be spoken of from the roof tops, from the house tops. And Jesus calls us to do that in our own different ways. We all are in various areas of work, our home, everywhere. We are always in touch with people. And this is a very right moment for us to proclaim Jesus in our own way.

Saint Vincent de Paul proclaimed Jesus, while ministering to the poor at the same time. The situation of the clergy's formation was very poor at that time, so St. Vincent de Paul had to organize his own congregation primarily for the formation of priests, so that they will be able to proclaim better who Jesus was, through very good formation. Secondly, St. Vincent de Paul proclaimed Jesus as a living and compassionate God, by ministering to the poor. At the mention of St. Vincent de Paul, at once, what comes to mind is his work for the poor, and his great effort to form the clergy at that time.

Therefore, as we continue our celebration, let us look into our own lives and ask how we can proclaim Jesus today. We have to speak about Jesus and make him familiar to our friends, to people in the office, to people in our homes, to the members of our family. Only in that way can we be participants in the mission of the Church. By nature, as a Christian, every person has to proclaim, to evangelize and be a missionary. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.