November 1, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Solemnity of All Saints 

Matthew 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

Whenever I am assigned in different parishes in our diocese during long vacation, I would often experience people asking me about life and sufferings. They would often asked, ‘If there is a loving God, then why there are so much pain in this world?’ some would say, ‘Where is God in the midst of our suffering?’ With all honesty, my answer is one and the same, ‘I’m so sorry, but I do not know. God only knows.’ Because I really do not know the answer for such questions. In as much as I wanted to help them alleviate and understand what they were going through, all I could say is that, I do not know. Indeed, only God knows.

God has plans for all of us. But most often than not, those plans are not according to what we want them to happen to us because God has His own special way to teach us about life. We often complain about the pains and sufferings we are experiencing that we tend to forget what God is trying to say to us. We tend to focus on the negative feelings and we grumble on the seemingly distant God. We feel that God abandons us that we often ask His presence during these times.

Remembering those people who asked me about pains and sufferings, I could say that they are actually the ones who have solid foundation of faith in God. Though they whine about their struggles in life, they still believe in the grace of God, they still do not loose hope and they are optimistic that they will get through their own dark valleys. During our conversations, I could not help myself but to be amazed in them because after complaining to God about their sufferings, in the end they still praise God and try to let Him do His will in their lives, leaving me speechless, reminding me that I really do not have the answers to their questions, but they do.

Our Gospel today is so beautiful and it speaks about the beatitudes. The seemingly difficult ways of life in the human eyes are indeed rich in the eyes of God. ‘…those who are mourning will be comforted, those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness will inherit the Kingdom of God…’ the reward will be great in heaven! We may experience tribulations in our lives today and we may not understand its reasons for now, but one thing is clear: God loves us so much and He has His perfect plans for us. All we have to do is to fully trust Him and we will soon inherit the Kingdom of God as He promised.

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