The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 9:43 B-45
While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Reflection (Sem. Jesus S. Salamanca Jr.)
Today, our Gospel passage teaches us to listen. The disciples were not able to understand the word of Jesus proclaimed to them because they were too amazed by what the Lord has done. Prior to this account, the disciples witnessed various miracles of the Lord: the multiplication of the loaves and the feeding of more than five thousand people, the glorious Transfiguration of our Lord and the deliverance of a boy from the evil spirit. These miracles, I believe, overwhelmed the disciples, that is why when Jesus talked about the suffering and death that He was about to experience, they were not able to understand it.
Like the disciples, are we ready to be docile to the will of the Lord without reservations? Are we putting conditions or criteria on the Word of God being proclaimed to us? How do we treat the Word? Are we selective in what we want to hear?
During the live-in discernment seminar, Fr. Dave Concepcion, the former dean of seminarians and vocation director of the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, asked me if my decision to be a priest is what God really wants. I learned that discernment is not only about doing good things. It is about doing what God wants me to do. I learned to listen not only to myself but more so to Him. After the interview with Fr. Dave, my prayer to the Lord was this: “Lord, you know me. You know what is in my heart. You know that I love You and though unworthy as I am, I want to serve You. Lord speak to me so I will be able to know what is in Your Heart too. Lord, speak. Your servant listens.”
Today we also commemorate the memorial of the martyrs Sts. Cosmas and Damian. These early Christian martyrs of the faith learned how to listen and understand the Word of God. Their blood which was shed as a witness to their faith tells us that listening is not about hearing.
Listening (to God’s Word) means to live like Jesus, think like Jesus and act like Jesus. Jesus is the incarnate Word of God, let us listen to Him.
Let us continuously pray that the generous Lord grant us the grace to really listen to His Word. May the inspiration of the ancient martyrs of faith become a living testimony for us and challenge us to be docile to God’s will.