The Gospel Today
Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora, Jr.):
Today’s Gospel reminds me of two similar apostolates with a different audience. The first apostolate is giving a retreat to the youth in Davao, as well as the neighboring City of Tagum. The second apostolate is giving catechetical instruction to 4th year high school students in one of the schools in Makati City.
I am not sent to shrewd men. I am not going to deal with intellectuals. I am sent to teach and make Jesus known to the humble. They are the blessed ones which Jesus loved to be with.
I am sharing this experience not because the youth handed me over to the authorities or to the priests. But I am sharing this because there is something in the society, lurking like wolves. What Jesus said to the apostles is now a reality: brother handing over brothers to court; children rising up against their parents; and some are starting to hate the teachings of the Church.
I am so worried of what to say, what to teach them. I am confronted with the reality that I don’t have enough time to be with them and guide them. I sometimes feel that my apostolate would not suffice to bring them closer to God. But this is all about me.
Jesus in the Gospel is telling us to do our part because He will take care of the rest. To Him, what we can do now is enough. Jesus tells us that this mission to preach is not only to individuals but also to all Christians, to His witnesses. We are all invited today to preach the Good News of our salvation, Jesus Christ.