July 16, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Reflection (Sem. Jason Villafuerte):

There are just times when we get insensitive in many ways. We tend not to believe even if signs or great deeds have already been happening in our midst. In tomorrow’s Gospel, Jesus began reproaching the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done. However, the people would not believe on what they had witnessed. Yes, they were amazed but probably, they were just left in amazement and were not able to seek and understand the signs of the times they had experienced. Jesus was sad because of their unbelief, that’s why he uttered what we have just read in the Gospel: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!”

Is Jesus’ reproach only for these towns? Or is that reproach also hits us right on our own faces? First, we have been complaining a lot about traffic, garbage everywhere, flooding, etc., yet what do we do? Do we become part of the solution or we just blame the government every time these things happen? In the provinces, how many forest lands do we still protect? In my stay in Compostela Valley last summer, I realized that indeed there were many damaged forests and mountains because of illegal logging, mining, and kaingin. Jesus will certainly reproach us because we abuse our environment!

Secondly, we also get insensitive in our relationships. When was the last time we approached our parents or siblings for casual talks? When was the last time we listened to them? Do we still spend time with our families, or do we just spend overtimes at work? This insensitivity leads us away from our families, and Jesus certainly does not want that. He loves the family that’s why he was born to one.

Third, do we still hear ourselves? Or are we becoming more insensitive to our very self? We have many plans for the day, for the week, and so on. When was the last time we stopped for a while, and in silence, listen to our inner self? There, God is waiting for us so that he can tell us his plans – his best plan for us. The sad part is, we get insensitive to our inner self that’s why we forget to see ourselves from within – from God’s prespective.

This feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, may we open ourselves to Jesus, which is being carried by the Blessed Mother. She wants us to see her Son and continually follow his plans for us, as she says, “Do whatever He tells you.”

 

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