July 21, 2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

Reflection (Sem. Rodel Aclan):

At the onset of my discernment on my vocation to the priesthood, I would say that everything was unclear and confusing.  I felt worried as a result.  I asked God for signs that would point to the reality that He was indeed calling me to the priesthood.  My strong desire to heed God’s call was always accompanied by doubts and worries.  I doubted because I felt that I am unworthy to become a priest.  Moreover, I was worried because I have to give up my job, my independent lifestyle, my free use of my time and my ability to extend financial assistance to my family and relatives.  I realized that I have to leave everything behind and surrender myself totally to God.  I was unsure of what lies ahead of me.  Given this, I thought that asking God for signs to confirm His call is just and reasonable.  After continuously praying for several days, I did not receive any sign from Him.  Nevertheless, I noticed within myself that the strong desire to become a priest persisted.  However, I was disappointed because my plans were disrupted and I also found it difficult to decide whether to pursue the priesthood of not.  It seemed that everything in my life was put into a halt and I cannot make a new plan for myself.  I got tired of thinking that I just paused.  Without any conscious and intentional though, past experiences flashed into my mind and I saw clearly the guiding hand of God. In my life.  With that, I realized that He has continuously been preparing me to respond to his call.

As I reflect further on the Gospel narrative, I realized that the signs of God’s presence are all around us and within us.  To ask for a sign from God reveals that we are not attuned to His presence and we are not sensitive to the works that He is doing.  It also shows that we have other preoccupation in life.  Finally, the greatest manifestation of God’s existence and love is no other than Jesus Christ.  If we don’t believe Him, then no other sign can make us believe.

 

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