Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gospel Reflection

January 28, 2014
Tuesday – Ordinary Time

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

by Rev. Fr. Juancho "Choy" Ramos (Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Parish of Sta. Cruz, Manila)
5:30PM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)


 

Reading 1 2 sm 6:12b-15, 17-19


David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom  into the City of David amid festivities. As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings,  he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. He then distributed among all the people,  to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel,  a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes.

 

Responsorial Psalm ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10


R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

 

Gospel mk 3:31-35


The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

HOMILY

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our Gospel this evening relates to us the meaning of spiritual relationship. Jesus's reply to the crowd, which we just heard - "Who are my mother, brother and sisters?' - seemingly is a remark of disrespect or rejection of his close kin. But Jesus's use of the word 'brother or sister' is a dramatic way of stressing a point, which, in this case, is that spiritual relationship is more than that of blood-relationship.

Jesus wants to tell us that true kinship is not always a matter of flesh and blood. You may have relatives, but they may hate you or even want to harm you. Or maybe you belong to a family, but you are not in good terms, always in conflict and finding it hard to forgive or accept each other. Jesus goes on to say that spiritual relationship is achieved when we do the will of God. As Jesus said, 'whoever does the will of God is my mother, my brother and sister'.

So how do we know God's will? One way is through Scriptures. The Word of God. Another way is through the Church, which teaches matters of faith and morals, with the authority of God Himself. The will of God is further manifested to us in the duties and responsibilities of our state of life, and is seen in the particular circumstances of our life. God's will can be also discerned in the events of our day-to-day life - the unexpected death of our loved ones, an incurable illness or sickness, unjust sufferings or events that are beyond our control.

Knowing God's will can't be easy. But we are called to put it into practice. For instance, Jesus says in the Scriptures, "Forgive your enemies, not 70 times, but 70 times 70 times". That is one way of doing God's will. Or "if anyone must be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all". These are all difficult to implement, isn't it? It's not easy to do God's will. But as one author said, "Knowing the will of God is the greatest knowledge. Finding the will of God is the greatest discovery. And doing the will of God is the greatest achievement."

That is why we have the saint whose feast we are celebrating today - St. Thomas Aquinas. He is a Doctor of the Church. He dedicated all his life doing the will of God, although it was not easy for him. But because he entrusted everything to God, doing God's will became his own food and his own life.

Let us pray that in this Eucharist, we may find ourselves doing God's will, and that as we go home tonight, we may find ourselves connected deeply to our own brothers and sisters, especially in our own family. Amen.

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