Monday, September 30, 2013

Gospel Reflection

September 30, 2013
Monday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota, Vice Rector, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)
12:15PM Mass at the EDSA Shrine

Reading 1 Zec 8:1-8

This word of the LORD of hosts came:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her. Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain.

Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women, each with staff in hand because of old age, shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also, says the LORD of hosts? Thus says the LORD of hosts: Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun. I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem. They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice.

R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence.
That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together,
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.

Gospel Lk 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.  Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”


John Maxwell, an existentialist philosopher said that the poorest person on earth is not the person who does not have a dime. The poorest person is one that does not have a vision. If you do not have a goal, you do not have a dream, then your life is useless. 

And a lot of us must have placed the goal or the dream to become the greatest - to be acclaimed as the best. That is why when Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples, He took a little child in His lap and said that whoever wants to be the greatest, must be like these little children. 

Nowadays, it has become sort of an election - a priority, a preferential option in our society to be the best. Most of us would want to be the greatest by becoming the most popular, the richest, the most powerful. But actually, in the eyes of God, the one who is the least, is the greatest. 

Similarly, our Gospel yesterday about the poor man Lazarus, who has the Hebrew name 'Eleazar', which means 'my God is my help', tells us that whoever puts his trust and total faith in God is the one who is considered the greatest. This is the reason why Lazarus went to heaven. He may have been poor in terms of material wealth, but he was rich in the eyes of God, because of his faith. 

Saint Augustine said that it is pride who turned the angels into devils, but it will be humility that will make man angels. Amen.