April 11, 2013

The Gospel for Today

Memorial of St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

Jn. 3: 31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.

Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Peña)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”  These lines taken from today’s gospel speak of two opposing ideas – reward and punishment.  It speaks of God’s justice.  We will be rewarded with eternal life if we follow Jesus and suffer eternal punishment in hell if we disobey Him for “everything has been given to the Son”.  But in spite of our sinfulness, God still continues to show His fatherly affection to us for He is not just a God of justice. He is also a God of mercy and compassion.

The gospel leads us to further reflection.  Who is Jesus in our lives?  It is essential to ask this question for our knowledge of Jesus will define the kind of relationship we have with Him.  The more we know Jesus, the deeper our relationship with Him becomes.   In my case, I have known Jesus during the most trying times of my life and I know, in spite of the hardships and the pain that I have gone through, there was never a chance that He left me.  He accompanied me throughout this dark and painful stage in my life.  He never forsakes anyone who approaches Him in prayer.  We just have to believe and we will be surprised how Jesus could really make wonders in our lives.

“What can I give?” I posed this question to myself. As God has given His Beloved, how should I respond to that? As Jesus had laid down His life on the cross, I am moved to serve Him by laying down my life, too: offering my personal dreams, forgetting the comforts that I enjoy before, striving to follow His path, and committing myself to be faithful daily. His Death and Resurrection have brought mankind to salvation and I believe, it is also in dying to myself and the worldly attachments that I may begin to truly fulfill my promise to Him.

My response is to give my very ALL in everything that I do, not in installment basis. The Father has given us His all, His everything. How must I respond? I must respond in faith. I must believe entirely in Jesus that I may attain life eternal as He has promised.

Two-gives or three gives, anyone? Let us give all that we have got.


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