Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 28, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. David 'Dave' T. Buenaventura, SDB
Councilor & Pugad Centre Director and Counsellor, St. John Bosco Parish, Makati
7:30AM Mass, St. John Bosco Parish Church (Don Bosco Church), Makati

Reading 1 Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a

I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered, “To measure Jerusalem, to see how great is its width and how great its length.”

Then the angel who spoke with me advanced, and another angel came out to meet him and said to him, “Run, tell this to that young man: People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst. But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.

Responsorial Psalm Jer 31:10, 11-12ab, 13

R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd guards his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Gospel Lk 9:43b-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”  But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.


Good morning and Happy Feast Day to everyone. I offer this Holy Mass for those among you who are called Laurencia and Lorenzo.

My dear brothers and sisters, throughout the centuries, thousands of men and women of all races have been put to death because they believed in Jesus. And one of them is our very own San Lorenzo Ruiz - the first Filipino saint - whom we are honoring today. When Lorenzo was threatened that he would die if he would not abandon his Christian faith, Lorenzo said, "I am a Christian, and this I profess until the hour of my death. And for God, I shall give my life. Although I did not come to Japan to be a martyr, nevertheless, as a Christian, and for God, I shall give my life."

When given the offer to abandon his Christian faith and save his life, Lorenzo said, "That I will never do, because I am a Christian. I shall die for God. And have I many thousand lives, I shall offer them for Him." Because of his public profession of faith, Lorenzo Ruiz was water tortured and finally hanged inverted from the gallows with his head inserted in a small pit. He died a martyr's death in Nishizaka Hill near Nagasaki on September 28, 1637.

My dear brothers and sisters, the message of our faith today is loyalty to Jesus. Loyalty to the Lord. Can we, in our daily life, offer our life to Jesus? Can we love Him above anyone and anything else? The Lord tells us, where your heart is, there your treasure will be. Is our faith in the Lord our treasure? Is our heart really for Him? Is the law of the Lord really ruling in our lives? Is this reflected when we are at home, when we are at work, when we are with our friends?

Quite often, we forget these realities, these truths. And I would like to remind myself and all of you gathered here about this. Christianity is not a theory about Jesus. It is not an idealism. Christianity is loyalty to Christ, as Peter would declare, the Son of the living God. And this loyalty simply means obedience to the Lord. Our Christian faith is not a dress that we can wear and remove as we like. Our Christian faith is a way of life. Our ideas will show we are Christians. Our words will speak we are Christians. And above all, our examples will profess our loyalty to Jesus. 

And I would not be wrong when I say that when a person is loyal to someone, don't even doubt it, he is also faithful. And when one is faithful and loyal to someone, do not doubt it, he will also be true and honest to that person. And when one is honest and faithful to someone, you can be sure that he has that sense of justice to give to anyone what is due to him. And this is the kind of Christianity that we are called for - not the devotional Christianity - that will eliminate corruption in our families, and most especially in our society.

We, Christians of today, should wake up and never believe that just because I am devoted to so many religious things, I am already an authentic and true Christian. As I would always say, our devotional practices should be the fruits of true Christianity. Meaning to say, I am loyal to Jesus, I am truthful to Jesus, I am fair in dealing with my God, and the devotional practices are simply expressions of who I truly am. And when the time comes, we will appreciate the devotional practices that we are doing. And the others who will see us performing them will believe us because they are fruits of who we really are. 

This is my Word of Life for you today: Our Christian faith is a breastplate of identification that we accept Jesus in our lives as our Teacher, Master, Ruler, King, and our God. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.