February 24, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph Feniquito):

            What is your faith experience? We celebrate the year of the laity this year. According to one of the documents of the Church on Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium # 31), “The term ‘laity’ is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.”

            As baptized Christian and priest-in-process, I believe that I am called to be a sharer in the offices of Christ. In today’s Gospel, faith is essential to receive the graces, blessings and miracles from Jesus Christ. I cannot help but to say, have faith on Jesus! Through our faith we can totally submit ourselves to the will and power of Jesus Christ.

            As lay people, we can help in the mission of the Church. We are in the frontline of the Church; God has given us the right and duty to do apostolates through the sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation. Individually or by community, we can start working as one to propagate the Good News of salvation. More than words, what is important is we live our faith in our daily witnessing by living our trust, hope and love to God and to our neighbor.

            The Gospel for today invites us to remove our doubts through the power and greatness of our Lord, and for those who believe, all things are possible to Him. Similar to the father of the possessed child and the apostles of Christ, we are being challenged to submit our whole life to Him. As children of God, we too must submit ourselves to Him and live in a manner of prayer, fasting, and allow God’s love and mercy to rule in our life.

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