September 23, 2015

The Gospel Today

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

St. Luke 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
“Yes Lord! I will go and obey You.”

Reflection (Sem. Leonides Jimmy T. Jesuro III)

9.23final

 

The Gospel speaks about the sending forth of Jesus Christ of His apostles to go out to the ends of the earth, not only to make the Kingdom of God known by everyone, but to also share His mercy and love through healing the unwell.

As a seminarian, I just had the feel of how it is to be sent on a mission when I received my assignment for our  “apostolate of presence” in one of the parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila. I could remember the excitement I had before my assignment was announced and as to who would be my companions in the said journey.

As soon as my name was called and the other details of my assignment were told, there was joy that I felt especially when I pronounced my “Yes Lord, I will go and obey You,” which were my words of obedience to Him. I admit that before proceeding to my area of mission, I also thought of being received by a family whose convenience in their way of living I may also enjoy. This was my sense of ambition while being sent on a mission.

However, when I got to my apostolate area, along with my other two seminarian brothers, I realized that the evangelization work is still prodigious, and the convenience I was initially hoping for was not at hand. The need to make Christ known and loved in my area of assignment is really present and the challenge for me was to respond to it only through my presence, and not through my words.

As I am now on my third month in the said apostolate, I am learning a lot from my experiences and encounters with the people in my apostolate. One of the lessons I learned is simplicity. The people I come in contact with during my exposure are people with no pretensions and are living a very simple lifestyle. Although they may not be abundant in material blessings, they take pride in their strong faith in God. They have shared with me many life lessons with the hope that I may be able to use it in my future ministry.

There is really wisdom in living a life of simplicity, for simplicity is extravagance before the eyes of God. My apostolate experiences have reminded me that I shall be driven by the missionary zeal I have espoused for myself, and not the things I long for while in mission. In other words, be driven by mission, not by ambition.

Today, we remember in special way St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who once said that his real mission would begin after his death. It is inspiring to know that Padre Pio’s love for God started in his young age when he decided to dedicate his life to Him. While he was already a priest, he was endowed with several exceptional spiritual gifts such as bilocations, experiencing heavenly visions, ecstasies, and reading the souls of his devoted penitents. Padre Pio was a beautiful soul when he was still with us and was a compassionate Alter Christus of our time! May he continue to inspire us to live a holy life and to remind us never to be afraid to undergo suffering for it is a sure way to reach God in heaven.

 

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