The Gospel Today
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):
This Gosepl reading invites us with what we call as the “universal apostolic mandate”, a command from Christ Himself to the apostles, to preach the Gospel throughout the whole world. Like the apostles, we too, as Christians are invited to do the same through the Church.
This apostolic mandate is not that easy. It entails sacrifices and even the cost of one’s life. One would experience rejection not only from strangers, but even with his/her friends and more so his/her own families. For isn’t it that our Lord said if we want to follow Him we must leave our own families?
Our life in the seminary is a kind of leaving our own families. We left our comfort zones and our families, and be formed according to what Christ wants us to be. We have to align ourselves to the teachings of the Church, to the teachings of our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Though during breaks we could visit our respective families but our minds are always preoccupied on what to do next in order to succeed in this endeavor of becoming a priest someday.
Perhaps one could ask, what about the family people? What about those who are called to another life like single blessedness or married life? Well, the vineyard of Our Lord is just so vast that everyone can always share in proclaiming God’s kingdom. The way the parents care for their children is already a great help for God’s kingdom. The way the parents teach their children to become good Christians or good citizens of a country, the way the children respect and obey their parents and the way each one of us live our lives in accordance with what God wants us to be, are good indicatives of proclaiming and living this apostolic mandate.
Let us ask the intercession of St. Paul whose feast of his conversion we celebrate today, that he may obtain the graces from Jesus for us to follow always God’s will, no matter what even to the point of death. Amen!