August 23, 2014

The Gospel Today

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Reflection (Sem. Ramil Sario):

The Gospel today is about the conclusion of Jesus as the Bread of Life. Not only the Jews who heard him but Jesus’s own disciples had great difficulties accepting His call to eat His flesh and drink His blood as a way to life. I certainly believe on the basis of the words by themselves, I can truly sympathize with them if I had been there, I would surely have problems also.  As I reflect on this, it is an indication that the acceptance of the resurrection was very much a matter of faith. I can literally relate that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father. There was a faith conviction that had taken place.

I understand the words of Jesus, that is to understand the real meaning of His words must come from the gift, which is the Grace of Faith. Faith is a gift. It is a gift open to all but it is a gift to which one needs to be open to receive. So that is why I need to have an open mind because most of the time I have little faith on myself and to others as well.

“Believe” and “Know” are the perfect ways to have Faith. It indicates not just a momentary action but an ongoing state. I must reflect more deeply in it. There is really no viable alternative to the Way of Jesus, even when things happen which are difficult to understand or accept. The Way of Jesus is not just adherence to our religion. It is to see that the way He proposes is the way for every human being to live. I believe to assimilate Jesus into one’s life is not just to become a good Christian but a perfect human being on the model of Jesus, who is Himself God in human flesh. So I pray to God our Father to help me to see our world with the eyes of Jesus and to help others to do the same.

 

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