April 4, 2013

The Gospel for Today

Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Lk. 24: 35-48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

Reflection (Sem. Louiemar Melgar)

We heard from the preaching of other people that no religion could save us and only we could save ourselves. And this was perhaps the reason why there were people who did not want to go Church and participate in any liturgical celebrations. An uncle of mine, already dead, once said that he would not attend Mass because he would acquire more sins if he entered the church.  That was his belief in life; may his soul rest in peace. While talking with him I said that “It is fine if that is what you think, but remember that one of the reasons why we come to Jesus through the Church is because we are sinners. We are a community of sinners and we are also one community of saints.” However, in the latter part of his life, he participated in the Mass.

We cannot deny the fact that the individual person has sole responsibility for his own salvation because he / she is the one making the decision: to do good or evil. However, we cannot discredit the reality that we also belong to one community, the Church, which is the body of Christ. We cannot live by ourselves; we need company. “No man is an island.”

Practically speaking, when we have personal problems that we cannot solve by ourselves then our family, or the community, or the Church can help us in solving these problems. So, the community, or the Church, is an instrument in helping us be saved. It is not true that the community or the Church cannot save us, but they are instruments to help us in saving ourselves.  So, to be with the Church and join the church celebrations are necessary. Through the Church we will be saved. Since, we belong to the body of Christ, then we also receive our salvation through the Church as the body of Christ.

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