May 21, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 9: 30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Reflection (Sem. Rolly C. Teng)

I believe the central theme of the today’s Gospel is the second announcement of Jesus regarding denying oneself, carrying the cross and walking behind Jesus from the cross of Good Friday into the Glory of Easter.  Perhaps this is the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Chris, His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Similarly in the first proclamation regarding this Paschal Mystery of Jesus, the disciples were frightened and they were fearful. They did not understand the words about the cross, because they were not gifted to understand or to accept a Savior who became the servant of everyone. Somehow the disciples continued to dream of a glorious Messiah and besides that, they showed great confusion. When Jesus proclaimed his Passion and Death, they discussed who among themselves who would be the greatest. Jesus wanted simply to serve. Ambition led the disciples to promote themselves at the cost of Jesus. I believe this to be true of present time; this same longing of self-glorification still happens in our communities.

Pondering on this reflection, I was able to evaluate the experiences I had in my apostolates, semestral or Christmas breaks, and even home week-ends. Am I bringing Jesus closer to the people I met or closer to myself?

I admit that when I received affirmation from other people I have the tendency to own it and not return it to God. I know I do not have the right to boast on what I have now. These talents and skills I have are all from God. I am just a steward of all these things. If I receive recognitions, I must return it immediately to God by simply whispering Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (all for the greater glory of God). I must bear in mind that all I do is all for the glory of God and not for my own exaltation. I am not the master of the vineyard but just a simple servant. Ready to carry the cross of Christ and ready to follow His footsteps. Amen.

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