July 20, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 12:14-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante):

          “Many people followed him, and he cured them all but he warned them not to make him known.”

          I think I have already shared this dream of mine before when I was younger. I wanted to become an “artista,” an actor. Yes, believe it or not, I once dreamed of becoming famous. In my day dreaming, I have already played so many roles, and have endorsed so many products. I remember there were times when I locked the door of our room and play as if I am being interviewed in a show. What made me want to become an actor before? I think it is the fame, the feeling of being famous. Knowing that everyone knows your name and everyone likes you.

          In tomorrow’s Gospel, God can be the most popular person ever in Israel.  Imagine, He is being followed by so many people.  People look for him, and would admire him not just because of his teachings but by his ability to heal. But unlike the actors of today, Jesus refused the perks of being someone and remained humble instead.

          Humility is a virtue that each and every one of us should possess. As priests in process, the temptation of being famous, of being an “artista” is always there. Even now that I am still a seminarian, whenever I go home to Bulacan, I feel the special treatment of my family and friends, and I  have to admit, I fall to the perks and comforts I am receiving. But I feel I need to let them know that I am still the same Philip that they know. I still can wash the dishes, clean my room, and I can still eat “isaw” and fishballs on the streets.

          I think this is the challenge for me, to stay as I am even if I am going through formation. I need to keep myself grounded and never aspire for the “artista” treatment that I one dreamed of.

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