The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
Jesus Christ strengthens and prepares a person from any trials who perseveres in following Him. The Paraclete is with him as an assurance that Jesus Christ never abandons those who truly believe in His Words. This is the message of the Gospel for today: Jesus Christ’s assertion of His presence through the Holy Spirit.
My decision to enter the seminary and to give up an abundant life was something which I feel was blessed by the Holy Spirit. I would have not had the courage to make a decision had it not for the assurance of the scriptures that “there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age.” These are the very words of God promising His divine providence to those who will follow Him.
God knows that I have the capacity to love. He sees it on how much I love my family. But He knows that I can do more. He knows that my love can even go beyond my family. This is the reason why I am called to this vocation. He wants to stretch my heart to love more. But I will not deny that I was so anxious at first before I answered His call. My biggest worry was my family. How will they cope with the radical change that will happen in our life as soon as I enter the seminary? I was worried about the uncertainty of the things that was to come. But God assures that His Holy Spirit is upon those who believe in His teachings. I believe! Praised be to God for the people whom He used to help me be enlightened with my decision. I was able to transcend my fears.
Soon I will be in Theology school! Thanks be to God for not abandoning me amidst all the trials I faced. It was never easy. There were days that I wanted to give up, the trials were too heavy at times to bear. But the grace of God was always there as He promised. I was never alone and will never be as He promised. He makes the yoke easy to carry. Truly, if you believe in His teachings, no trials that can be so difficult for a faithful not to handle.