The Gospel Today
Thirty-second Friday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D. Aclan)
The Gospel narrative today mentioned two events from different places and time in the Old Testament. In both events, the people were busy doing worldly deeds when God’s wrath befell them. We know in the story in the Old Testament that they were given warnings and enough time by God to repent and come back to Him but they chose to ignore Him. The happiness and leisure that they were enjoying in their daily lives made it hard for them to believe that such fate will come to them. They were busy with the concerns of their daily life that was rooted in and geared towards the attainment of worldly happiness and satisfaction. They totally forgot God.
This busyness of the people in the Old Testament, their preoccupation to many things that led them to commit sin and forget about God led me to reflect about my own busyness and preoccupation in life. One task comes after another. In the midst of the many requirements and activities in the seminary, is God still the reason why I am doing what I am doing now? I have to ask this question to myself constantly because I know that there are times that because of busyness I never think of calling God even during trials. Confronted with enormous obstacles in my life, I relied totally on my own strength and abilities.
I realized two great sins against God in my experience of busyness. First is the sin of forgetting God. Prayer and liturgical services became mechanical. There was no focus and depth in my prayers. Instead my attention was focused on fulfilling other tasks like the academic requirements and community activities. Second is the sin of sense of independence from God. Relying on my own strength and abilities in facing challenges and trials in life is not necessarily wrong. But not acknowledging that my strength and abilities came from God and that only God’s grace enables me to use them is a great offense against God. These two sins separate me from God. These two sins because of my busyness hinder me to feel God’s presence in my daily life. They make me deaf and blind to God’s warning.
Today’s Gospel reading teaches me to be focused on God. As a priest in process, focus on my seminary formation is very important, especially the formation of my spiritual life. To be focused on and aware of God’s presence and will for me is important so I can respond to His call according to His way.