December 16, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Monday of the Third Week of Advent 

Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
And who gave you this authority?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me,
then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.
Where was John’s baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd,
for they all regard John as a prophet.”
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
He himself said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

            Our Gospel for today is about giving testimony. John the Baptist used words to the Jews in giving testimony about Jesus in order for Him to be known as the Messiah. On the other hand, Jesus made another form of giving testimony; it is by performing miracles in order to glorify the Father who has sent Him.

            In our seminary, every time when a seminarian would celebrate his birthday, we would have a so-called creative paraliturgy for him. It is the time when after our evening prayer, we would ask the birthday celebrator to sit in front of our chapel and someone, whom he had chosen, would deliver a testimony about him. He would say the things he knows about the birthday celebrator, which the community has not heard of yet. The testimony given is often based on the personal experience of the giver with the birthday celebrator. And because of that, most of the time, the community is surprised to the things that we discover about him.

            When we give testimony to a person it is based on our personal encounter with him. We give testimony because we want other people to know how great this person is. Our experiences with this person are somehow remarkable that we could not contain ourselves but to let others to experience it as well. What more when we give testimony about Jesus? I’m sure that all of us have our own personal encounter with Him that we are willing to testify about His greatness. Giving testimony about Jesus does not end in merely delivering a speech, but to bring Him to everyone through our actions and examples so that they themselves will be able to discover His greatness and to be able to testify as well.

            We pray that we may experience more about Jesus so that we can testify more about Him, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary. Amen.

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