May 13, 2013

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Jn 16: 29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Reflection (Sem. Arnel A. Calata, Jr.)

“I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33) Jesus, in today’s Gospel, did not promise complete victory to his Church in this world. We are urged to rejoice that the earth which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth fruit in many places under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  This is short of saying that in following Jesus, we are not given the promise of an easy life. Pain and suffering will always be part of life. The good news is that, through the help of the Holy Spirit, always present to increase our faith, hope and charity, we will be able to surpass every trial that we will meet along the way. Our faith calls us to rely solely in Jesus’ unfailing presence and providence.

I remember one time I met the mother of a friend seminarian, who has become almost a second mother to me. She had just lost her husband that time. I approached her and said my condolences, after which, I embraced her. I felt how hard it was for her and for the family to have lost a good husband and father. But even in the midst of bereavement, she asked for prayer for a person who helped them throughout the wake who was diagnosed of brain tumor. I was surprised because even at the lowest point of her life, she exemplified genuine faith and charity, virtues taught by Jesus in sowing the seeds of the Gospel, operative in her life.

I believe that growth in charity and faith can only be gauged through retrospection. Even in the midst of life’s struggles, we can find the hands of God maneuvering us toward something greater and better. We only have to anchor our faith in Jesus who “overcomes the world” for us. If we are in touch with ourselves, there we will find our connectedness with others and God. It is only then that we can find the seed of charity and faith growing as a natural part of us and that is the only time we can say that we have experienced the peace Jesus offers.


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