The Gospel Today
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Joseph G. Verdadero)
As I went through my apostolate experience in Santa Clara De Montefalco Parish in Pasay City, I was able to experience the hospitality of the people towards me – a seminarian being sent for a mission to be with the people through the “apostolate of presence.”
My foster family was very active in the church and in their community. My foster mother (Nanay Minda) was a very responsible leader in her community. She is one of the kawan leaders for the basic ecclesial community (BEC) in their area. Her husband (Tatay Jun) is one of the kagawads of the barangay. There was this instance when I had a chance to be with Tatay Jun to accompany him in his duty in the cemetery, as a guard and a peacekeeper in the area. After accompanying him, Nay Minda invited me to visit some of the members of the BEC community. I had this chance to see their situation in life, and it made me realize the differences of each of the members’ way of living.
As we passed by the area, I noticed that the people were very polite as some of them knew that I am a seminarian. They were very accommodating and very generous to me as some families gave me cash while others gave food. At first, I was hesitant to accept the gifts from them because I know that they are also in need of those things. But as Jesus Christ said in the Gospel, “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, Amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.”
That situation made me realize that they are instruments of God, helping me in my formation as a priest in process. That was also their simple way of practicing generosity and doing a little charity in their community. I am glad to know that there are still people who are willing to help others in their own way.
As a priest in process, it helped me to be more thankful for everything that has happened in my vocation because I know that there will still be generous people who will provide for my needs, both material and spiritual, and most especially pray for the success of my priestly formation.