September 8, 2014

The Gospel Today

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Matthew 1: 18-23

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante):

At times when I am alone on the rooftop, I would recall the many trials and challenges I have experienced here in the seminary, all the hurts I got from the people around me, the pain and sacrifices I have to endure for myself and for other people, and the struggles that I have undergone. I have been here for two years already and I am still standing and holding on to this vocation. I asked myself, why am I doing this to myself? Can I still handle it?

After reading the Gospel for today, I saw that at the tender age of 15, Mary became a mother without a husband and a father for her son. The man who was to marry her planned to divorce her secretly. During her time, bearing a child out of wedlock would mean death. Trials in her life never ended there because she saw her Son being crucified and died on the cross but she cannot do anything about it. She even buried her Son, which is not the natural cycle of life.

From the beginning, her life has been filled with pain and suffering, but she freely accepted everything in her heart. She endured all the pain and suffering she was experiencing. Her strength comes from her Son, Jesus Christ, whom she named Emmanuel, “God is with us.” A constant reminder that in all the things that are happening in her life, God never left her side. I suddenly realized, who then am I to complain about suffering and pain when someone had experienced

Things worse than what I am experiencing now, yet she remained faithful to her call. I have always dwelt on the pains in my life, forgetting that God never abandoned me in times of joy and distress.

Though my life has been with struggles, I realized that there are more blessings and graces rather than pain and suffering. I am learning from the experiences, whether good or bad. I am experiencing the love of God in all my triumphs and realizations, and feeling the presence of God through the people I meet every day. God has always been with me, continuously leading me to where He wants me to be.

My journey towards becoming a future priest, so far, has been rough, but it is very fulfilling and satisfying knowing that I am journeying with my God and through the help of Mary, our model of strength and perseverance.

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