October 16, 2014

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Twenty-eight Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 11: 47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Reflection (Sem. Ramil Sario):

The Gospel for me is about the lawyers and scribes described here as the “power of the keys” since they were the official interpreters of the scriptures. I believe that their interpretation of the scriptures was so distorted and difficult to understand. They also hindered others from understanding God’s word. It was through pride and envy that they rejected not only the prophets but Jesus himself.  Jesus is the source of everlasting life. Only the humble of hearts, those who submit to God and acknowledge their dependence on Him will acquire wisdom. Through Jesus, God is ever ready to speak His word to us and to give us wisdom and understanding.

As I reflect on this gospel, it reminds me of the song “Santong Kabayo, Banal na Aso”. The song describes the people who pretend to be holy but deep inside they were just using God’s name for their own personal gain. As a seminarian and hopefully as a priest someday, I must not be like the scribes and lawyers. I remembered during our last home weekend, I my parish priest requested me to bless two vehicles so I could already have an idea and experience of future pastoral activities. I should read in verbatim the prayer in the book my parish priest instructed me to read so I could properly give the blessings. I must not add or remove any of the words of the prayer so no deception would be made.

Therefore when I am also wearing the clerical anywhere I go, like apostolate mission or other similar activities, I must exercise proper decorum and right conduct in the manner Jesus taught us. And in the future if I will be preaching to a group of people, I must be honest and tell what is true to those who will listen to my words. In everything I do, I must do it for the Lord and not for my own personal gain.

The Gospel also makes me reflect on Honesty. Honesty is a direct reflection of my inner character. My actions are a reflection of my faith, and reflecting the truth in my actions is a part of being a good witness. Learning how to be more honest will also help me keep a clear conscience. My character plays a big role wherever I go. When I am faithful and honest, it shows. I remember the time during my last spiritual direction with Fr. Jun, I told him if I would only have one last good trait in the seminary, it would be honesty. So that is why when I commit mistakes in the community, I will take the initiative to admit my mistakes and go to the priest of the day and inform him of such mistakes. For example, there was a time during a recollection weekend, I was late for my individual vigil because the time was 1:30 am. Something went wrong with my alarm clock. So I went to see Fr. Robbie immediately who was the priest of the day, to tell him of the incident. He told me that I should learn something from this and to make sure this would happen again. I learned that for me to become a priest, I should be honest all the  while I am here in the seminary or not

I know that being honest is not always easy. As Catholic and Christian as well, I should know how easy it is to fall into sin. Therefore, I need to do my best to be truthful. The world does not give me easy situations, and sometimes I need to really work to keep my faith in God in order to find the answers. Being honest can sometimes hurt, but knowing that you are following what God wants will make you more faithful in the end. Honesty is also not just how I speak to others, but also how I speak to myself. Therefore it is important for me to find a balance of knowing my blessings and shortcomings so I can continue to grow to be a good person.

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