November 2, 2013

The Gospel Today 

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) 

John 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Reflection (Sem. Rolly Teng):

     Today we celebrate the commemoration of our faithful departed or what we all know as “All souls day”. We rejoice and thank God with all those who have left this life and are presently being purged from the bad effects of their sins in the state we call purgatory. We pray for them in a very special way that God may grant them peace and permanent union with God in heaven.

     Today’s Gospel speaks of the last judgment which everyone undergoes immediately after death. Commentaries would say that this Gospel pronounces truths regarding our life. It tells us that there will be a last judgment at the end of time, wherein Jesus identifies himself with everyone: the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, and the sick and the in prisoned. It confirms us also that the sinful will experience eternal punishment and the just will experience eternal reward.

     We heard directly from Jesus, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  This particular passage reminds me to do good all the time to my brothers and sisters who are in need of help.

     I remembered when the time we visited the Aetas in Porac, Pampanga. At first I would admit that I was very hesitant to visit them because I thought, I could not do anything for them. I told myself that I could not help them since I did not have work. But to make the story short, even there were hesitations within me I still visited them. When we met them, they were very happy to see us; we brought some goods for them and we joined them in their meals. I saw on their faces how happy they were, eating and talking to each together, sharing their different stories and experiences in life. Later, I realized that being with them was already good. I did not need to do big things or bring extraordinary things for them to make them feel happy. I realized that my simple presence made a big difference.

     Perhaps this is the challenge of today’s Gospel: to bring Jesus to others in spite of our limitations and struggles. What we do to our least brothers and sisters, we do to Jesus.

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