November 3, 2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 14: 12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Reflection: (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)

We are living in a give and take relationship. This is my first focus for reflection. When we give a gift, we sometimes expect something in return. When we give favor, we expect that our request should be granted. We see the things we give as a security of receiving something in return. But should it always be that way? Is this a true security? Or, are we too proud of ourselves that we cannot be humble to those who need us more than those people whom we used to be with? Are we attached with our friends whom we consider generous in every aspect? Is this an authentic generosity? How do I give?

Many questions run in my mind. I know that I grew up in a family with many expectations. Why? Because the mere fact that I am incapable of sustaining myself, I should be fulfilling the expectations that my family has of me. I do not say that this is my motivation now that I am in the seminary but I have this sense of responsibility, if I may say so, to give in return what is due for their help. Is this a healthy giving and receiving relation or is this just a mere pressure on my part?

Seminarians like me are supported whenever the people can see a high possibility for ordination. But who can really say? Nothing seems to be certain in our stay here in the seminary. We may be qualified in some aspect but we cannot disregard that the demand of formation is never easy. When I entered and experienced the first few weeks in the seminary, I really cried a lot. I almost wanted to give up because of the pressure inside the formation and outside the community. But I admit that these were my primary motivations for me to strive hard in the formation. Maybe God continues to purify my intension that until now I am still here and continuously forming myself.

Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. This is my second point for reflection. As I have read the Gospel, this saying reminded me of the people whom I usually associate with. I admit that convenience and comfort are my become a criteria in choosing someone or a group of people to be with. But in this community I find myself in, all the most difficult personalities, if I may say so, are present. Should I disregard them? Should I avoid them all the time? I believe that it should not be. Is it always about smooth interpersonal relationship? I don’t think so. Even with this kind of people I know I can experience the presence of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Eucharist is a banquet for everyone. This is my last point for reflection. It is indeed true that in the Mass there is no elite and deprived, no fancy and old fashioned, no classy and ragged, everybody is equal. The body of Christ that will be received by one is the same host that others will receive. The Word that is proclaimed is the same Word that any rich or poor people with receive all over the world. This is how I feel everytime I attend Mass. I usually observe the people and see the beauty of being one community praising and thanking God for all the graces that He gives.

I am in my second year of formation. We are always invited to have a devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Now that I can see the liturgy as a beautiful gift passed by Jesus Christ, every celebration is an intimate time for me and God. Reliving the gift of salvation and receiving graces in the Eucharist keep me in a grateful disposition with this grace-filled life. May I become like Christ who humbled Himself to to become man to save ankind, as I form myself as a minister of the Eucharist. May I let others see the joy of being with the celebration and not merely being present physically.

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