The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
“Everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
Last Christmas was the first Christmas I served in our parish wearing my soutane. My fellow seminarians were telling me that people will surely welcome me differently soon as they see me in my new garb. True enough during the first few Simbang Gabi, those who saw me in my soutane the first time gave me a big smile. There was even an incident after the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in one of the chapels, a family friend who was a balikbayan asked me on when did I had my ordination. I, of course, said it would take few more years before I get ordained and that I am still in my formation. Some would address me as “father” and would take my hand for blessing. For some, they would slightly bow at me when I pass by them in the Church. All of these experiences were brought about by the change that they see in me. The soutane definitely brought about a different look but more than that is what they see inside of me. They see changes in me that manifest in the words that I say and in the actions that I show whenever I mingle with them. They see a priest in process.
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” People were very generous to me last Christmas. I did not expect that much generosity but I was emotionally moved by their kind gestures. I was in awe. The first verse of the Gospel today explains such generosity of people towards those who dedicate their lives in serving the Church. The laity in general, regardless of status in life, really show generosity and respect to those who aspire to become disciple of Christ. As for me, this is an invitation to be more thoughtful to them, to persevere in becoming the person that I ought to be as the servant of Jesus Christ, to be a holy priest some day.