March 24, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Luke 4;24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante):

     Have you noticed that in all of the branches of this big and successful mall, there are no branches of this famous drug store? There are rumors saying that during the time the owner of this big mall was starting his shoe business in the streets, he happened to stop by this huge drug store in Manila to sell his goods, but unfortunately, the people from the Drug store shooed him off from his place. I don’t know if this is true or not but, this is how Jesus was treated in the Gospel for today, he was rejected and shooed off by the people.

     The Gospel for today is teaching us respect towards other people because we may never know that the person we are driving out may be the Son of God. Sometimes, I easily judge a person based on his/her status in life. But the formation in the seminary taught me to treat each individual as the same, and treat them as human beings. God created everyone special, and I should look at them the same way also. I have been exposed to different kinds of people, I have lived in the slums, I have met inmates and visited the sick as part of our apostolate, and I can say that these people all have something to offer to me, something to contribute that can change my perspective in life. Just like what happened to me, I can say that these people have helped me for being who I am right now.

     Have you noticed also that in all of the branches of this big and successful mall, there is a certain bank that is open even if the owner of this successful mall already owns a very big bank? It is because they say that this certain bank is the only Bank that believed in the owner of the mall to open up his first business, and as a sign of thanksgiving, all of his malls have this certain bank. God never stopped believing in us, and we should do the same to the people around us. Treat each one nicely because just like what I have said earlier, the person you are sitting beside with may be the next top billionaire or president of the Philippines, and better yet, the person you are sitting with is Jesus Christ himself.

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