August 25,2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 23:13-22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves,
nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert,
and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna
twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,
‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’
Blind fools, which is greater, the gold,
or the temple that made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’
You blind ones, which is greater, the gift,
or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it;
one who swears by the temple swears by it
and by him who dwells in it;
one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God
and by him who is seated on it.”

Reflection (Sem. Julius V. de Gracia):

Witnessing is the most crucial and most effective way of the New Evangelization. It is through witnessing that the Christian faith flourished and was able to survive any gigantic ecclesiastical problems faced. It is through witnessing of the events of the Resurrection that Christianity became the longest ever civilization in human history.

Upon this claim let us never forget that the very foundation and starting point of our faith and of our salvation is the very person of Jesus Christ. Aside from being the Son of the Most High God, He is the faithful witness of the Father. He is the perfect witness of God; there is neither duplicity nor dichotomy in the life of Jesus our Savior. He keeps on telling us as the gospel writers wrote; “I am telling you everything what My Father wants me to tell you.”  And his words of forgiveness, love, healing, power and righteousness was ultimately manifested and was put into concrete action when He died on the cross, thus His first word was “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34)

Heavy words were used by Jesus against the Scribes and the Pharisees in our gospel today. Those words were “WOE” and “BLIND GUIDES”, and the very reason of Jesus is that they do not “practice what they preach and believed in”. In other words, there is disparity and duplicity. They are not witnesses of the faith they proclaimed. Their moral life is separated from their religious cultic life. And that is not acceptable in the standard of Jesus – that still holds true up to this day.

Our sacramental life as baptized Catholics is not just about being in the church or should only be alive and conscious when we are only inside the church, or when the liturgical celebration is ongoing,. But more so after every sacramental celebration there is always a sense of mission attached to it.

Through the Sacramental Confession and Anointing of the Sick we are taught that we should be compassionate and agents as well as witness of healing to others especially to the people who have wronged us. Through the Sacrament of Marriage and Holy Orders we are being called to bear witness to the faithfulness of God and become defenders and protectors of life. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist we are called to become brothers and sisters to all people, acting, feeling and doing works of charity so that people may see, feel and hear Jesus in each of us believers and baptized Catholics.

Let us asked the intercession of Mama Mary our Mother whom we believed and fondly call the “the first servant and partner of the Redemptive work of Christ (CCC#494, LG 56)

Mama Mary, pray for us and lead us to your Son Jesus all the days of our life. Amen

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