The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Reflection (Sem. Tommy Gawain Lira):
Saint Agnes is one of the most celebrated Roman martyrs. She was only 12 years old but she had strength with great conviction ready to die for her faith.
In our first reading Samuel was tasked to anoint the next king of Israel, who will replace Saul. Among the sons of Jesse, there’s only one the Lord has chosen to be a king. Now it’s only up to Samuel to find which among the six siblings of Jesses’ the Lord is delighted. After series of presentation of the candidates before the Lord, the Lord rejects them. However, there’s only one left, the youngest of them all, David to whom God anointed him as king of Israel. Maybe at first, Samuel misses the point on how he chooses and select not just by outward appearance but eventually what is on the inside is what the Lord’s standards of judgment. Like Saint Agnes, she may be judge as a foolish girl but her passion and deep faith is what acceptable to the Lord.
God sees beyond what we see. That’s exactly the way God sees everything. He is not a God who judges deeds by simply on appearance but a God who looks inside the hearts on each one, the intentions, desires, and perhaps our inner longings.
Our judgment is often times wrong. Someone may see somebody as weak and stubborn but God looks on differently. One may judge someone as hopeless and carefree but God sees that someone as an opportunity to share His loving care.
Many times we don’t feel good about ourselves. The failures we’ve made, we keep a list of all our shortcomings. We look at everything we’ve done wrong over our entire lives and forget God. But we should always remember that when we are weak, God is strong. He knows our difficulties and struggles. He knows your defeats and failures. He knows us who are weak and sinful. But God’s love and mercy is greater than our weaknesses.