September 13, 2014

The Gospel Today

Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Luke 6: 43-49

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?
I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Reflection (Sem. Rodel Aclan):

The flood   with  its strong and fast  current  damage or even destroy  everything  on its path.  This is a reality that we cannot avoid though  maybe sometimes we can escape from it by moving out of its path,  but if we will be  caught on it  we can do nothing but to stay  and try to withstand its disastrous rush .  Our safety and that  of our properties depend on the strength of our houses , how well it was founded and constructed will tell us if it can survive the flood.  In our Gospel  today, it also speaks  of houses and its foundation but this time it is  not only about the  foundation that can withstand  strong flood.  The gospel message is about  how well our life is founded in the Words of our Lord.  Many people including me hear the Word of  Jesus and most of us are  moved and sometimes even bring us to tears.  But there is another requirements aside from hearing the Word in order to  have a well founded life and that is acting on the Word of God.  This is where many of us fall short.  The Words of Jesus are not  just empty rhetoric  or collection of beautiful   words that only appeal to our minds  and emotions, but rather the Words of Jesus are alive and meant to  be lived out , to be acted and to be shared with others.  It is only when our lives and  our way of life  are anchored and founded in  His word  that we can endure  the strong  rushing current  of everyday trials  and  difficulties.

As I further reflected on this Gospel , it came to my mind the many times  I failed to live out the Word of God even though it stuck and inspired me.  I failed to do what  Jesus was telling me to do through the Scripture.  For these  are the reasons why my commitment to Him trembled when temptations and difficulties come. I tend to regain control of my life, I easily get back the surrender of my life from Him. Since this is not what God  wants to happen, I know  He  keeps on inviting me  not only to hear His Words but to listen and experience it by living all His teaching.  It is only through experiencing and living the Word of God that I  can start to feel  Him and  build  my life,  and using Him  as the foundation   so that when the strong current of floods  of trials and  difficulties will come, I am assured that my life will not stumble because He is the rock where my foundation is built.

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