The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Reflection (Sem. Alfredo Dimaano, Jr.):
Herod desires to kill Jesus and for this, He was forewarned by the Pharisees. Jesus, knowing that He was sent following the will of the Father and for a purpose that is to bring salvation to mankind, stood firm telling them: “…Behold, I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day, I will accomplish my purpose. I must continue my way today, tomorrow and the following day.”. Jesus was unafraid not because He is the Son of God, but because He knows that He is just performing what is expected of Him, following the command and the purpose for which He was sent. And for that, he never loses heart. He remained faithful to the cause for which He was to serve the people of God. He was committed, even if there were threats to His life.
Twenty-one years ago, our country bore witness to a man who selflessly offered his life believing that the Filipinos are worth dying for. He suffered much from imprisonment, torture, arrests, and endured being sent away far from home, family and country to fight for freedom and the much-anticipated democracy. He was unafraid, although who he was up against was a tyrant that nobody would bother to question. But he believed in his cause and though he was forewarned of the fate that he would be in should he decide to go home to the country, he still pushed with his plans never minding what that fateful day would bring him.
Ninoy Aquino, our modern day hero, continued to accomplish his purpose to free his dear Philippines, something that he never saw in his lifetime. He too, was unafraid and the world saw how big his heart was for the people he longed to serve.
I also remember the whistle blowers we have today, who have, for the sake of truth, exposed themselves to harm which has affected much of their personal freedom. I must say that there is a sense of admiration in me for them. While others would just ignore the circumstances, they continue to stand up and push for the side of truth.
Last December 2012, our community was at Batasang Pambansa together with many other religious and lay groups lobbying against the passage of RH Bill. Never minding the heat of the sun, thirst, hunger, and most of all, the taunting of the pro-RH groups, it was a day that I would always remember that I stood up for my faith. Despite being in the losing end, I was a witness how the faithful kept their faith in that troubled circumstance, fighting for the Gospel values which they believe in. It takes bravery to do that but a person who believes possesses courage backed by his trust in the Lord. In addition to that, it was a way to show commitment to faith, never minding anymore if that would bring harm to us.
Today, we pray to the Lord that when things and events make it hard for us, or when there are threats to our mission, we may remain faithful to our baptism to seek for the truth, stand up for it, fulfill our purpose and offer everything for the greater glory of God. We pray that when we lose heart, God would strengthen us, and in times of trials may we never surrender to the ways of the world which offers what is convenient and what is relative.
I would also want to say: I will accomplish my purpose. I must continue my way today, tomorrow and the following day” because that is how I want to show my love for the Lord and my commitment to which I am called. May I stand firm, holding on to my trust in Christ and like St. Paul, believe that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”