December 1, 2013

The Gospel Today 

First Sunday of Advent

Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):

             “Therefore, stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”  This verse speaks about the main theme of the Gospel which is of being watchful or being alert to the will of God.  Jesus further said in the latter part that “So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  This talks about vigilance, being prepared to the coming of the Son of Man.

            A year before my father was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, he was perfectly healthy.  He would always go to his farm to harvest vegetables and some crops that he himself planted and cultivated.  He would get up early everyday to open his small “sari-sari” store for his early-riser customers.  He would also be the one who would cook for our breakfast especially during weekends when all of his grandchildren would sleep-over in our house.  He used to be a very active man despite his age.

            Things really happen when you least expect it.  It was in the middle of 2009 when my father was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer and that surgery was not an option anymore because the cancer cells had already metastasized in both lungs.  The entire family was all so devastated and we did not know what to do.  It was something that we did not expect to happen.  We were all caught off-guard with my father’s condition.  Eleven months after, my father passed away.

            I never thought that my father’s death would come real soon.  All I know was that the lifespan of our clan is long enough and that most of our elders would reach the 90’s and the cause of death would usually be due to senility.  The entire family including myself were all so unprepared.

            The Gospel for today tells me about the virtue of preparedness, to do all the best before it gets too late.  The death of my father left me a question:  have I done everything for my father to express my love for him before he passed away or even before he was diagnosed with cancer?  I was not that prepared to let go when we buried our father.  I know that I have not done much to express my love.  I have not even had the chance to say “mahal na mahal kita tatay” before he died.  I was not ready to let go.

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