The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu):
Jesus, in the Gospel, predicts the passion and sufferings that will happen to Him and He asks His disciples to pay attention to it. In doing so, Jesus is preparing His followers on what will happen to Him and they should understand it. But despite all the explanations of Jesus, the disciples do not grasp what he is saying and they are afraid to clarify it. We can understand the reaction of the disciples because it is really difficult to follow somebody who is telling that he will die at the end. How can they continue to be his disciples if they know that he will not stay until the end? It can be a useless way of being disciples.
Our first Filipino martyr, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and his companion-martyrs found meaning in what the disciples of Jesus cannot understand. They decided to follow Jesus and find in Him the true meaning of discipleship even to the point of giving their own lives. They find Jesus, who will suffer and die, worthy of the offering of their lives. They followed Jesus in faith even if they cannot understand His ways. Without assurance of what will happen to them but only with the eyes of faith, they are convinced to offer their blood for the sake of following Jesus.
We are all disciples of Jesus by the grace of our baptism and He invites us today to prove that discipleship to Him. The ways of Jesus may be very vague at times, it cannot assure us of anything but through the eyes of faith we can see clearly the rewards that we can attain in following Him. We do not have to understand Jesus fully in order to be his disciples. The most important thing is that we have a great faith in Him; great as that of the martyrs that we are ready to offer our lives for the sake of His kingdom and the goodness of our neighbors. How great is your faith in Jesus?