The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”
Reflection (Sem. Herwyn Bulaun):
In my Basic Ecclesial Community summer apostolate at the Diocese of Tagum, I was assigned in a parish whose parishioners mostly belong to the below average income earner. Despite their life’s condition they still offered the best that they can to make sure that I will be comfortable. Many times I tried to stop them because I would like to immerse in their life and I do not want to burden them. One time a family hosted me together with fellow seminarian and I observed that before we went to their dawn procession Nanay Suling, the kind hearted host prepared biscuits and pandesal for our breakfast while she set aside boiled sweet potato (kamote) for her. Instead I took the kamote and exchanged it with the biscuits and the pandesal. That moment I felt joy because she finally realized that she doesn’t need to be preoccupied with many things. We just sat down in their sala and talked different things especially with her struggles and successes in life. During that time I also realized how lucky I am to be trusted and experienced the generosity of this woman who in her ordinary way is a bearer of God. There was something in me that moved me to feel that God is present in her.
Given the generosity of different people I encountered in different apostolate areas, I remember the words of our Pastoral Director “the least we can do for their kindness and generosity is to pray that the peace of God may reign to these people.
The challenge of the Gospel I believe is for each us to be a bearer of God’s peace to everyone.