The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.
“This is the meaning of the parable.
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramil C. Sario)
Here in the seminary, I have been actively listening to the Word of God in prayers, Masses and even in conferences, recollections and retreats. I believe it nourishes my soul. But the questions I have for myself are: Do I really live with it? Do I apply it in my everyday life? What I have learned from the Gospel is that the Word of God is not only for good people, but for sinners like me, too.
There are many Gospel passages that I find meaningful. I also learn from the homilies of priests. One of these is about white martyrdom, which explains that not all deaths are meant to be physical in nature.
For this school year, I have been assigned as one of the house assistant coordinators here in our seminary and I admit it is an added burden to me. I need to help in the housekeeping tasks because the head coordinator cannot do it alone. I have to wake up earlier than usual to open the doors and windows of the seminary and turn off some of the lights in the building. Every night before bedtime I also need to secure the premises by locking the doors, closing the windows, turning off some lights.
In addition, maintenance is part of my duties like replacing fluorescent lights and light bulbs; reporting damages, and preparing rooms for guests, etc. I find it difficult until now because of the various activities in the formation and also my academics.
White martyrdom is both like dying and being born again. And that is my experience, being given extra tasks in the seminary. But it has changed me into a better person. It is like God is getting me out of my comfort zone and making me experience things that I don’t like to transform me. One time, I was given a feedback by a younger seminarian because I forgot to close the lid of the monstrance before picking it up. He was very serious and looked at me sternly while he was correcting me. It was hurtful and degrading at first. But as I looked into the bright side of it, he was right.
What if because of my carelessness, I damaged the monstrance? The more I will get myself into trouble. I learned humility from this, that I must accept advice from people who are more knowledgeable than me.
The invitation of the Gospel for me is to listen. And I must apply it my life so I will become a better person. It is sometimes not easy to follow but as a Christian and a priest in process, I must undergo the formation with dedication, passion and love. I must trust in the Word of God because I know it will lead me to the right path because I am obeying His will.