January 30, 2015

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

 Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Reflection (Sem.  Ramil Sario):

The Gospel makes me reflect that the parable of the sower is about human life. There are many obstacles in life that have to be faced. There are days that are successful and productive. And there are other days that are not. Life can truly be full of joy and happiness because of accomplishments. And life can be frustrating because of failures and unfulfilled desires. Life is a cycle of ups and downs.

Whatever the situation I’m facing, either good or not so good, it is something that I need to discern. God is telling me something. In my spiritual directions with Fr. Jun, he always tells me these words “What is God telling you?” In all the trials, challenges, joys, and successes I experience in the seminary, God always has a message for me. Everything has a reason. All I need is to communicate with God through prayer.

I always want to make the best of my life in the seminary. I’m always doing my best to be a deserving member of the community. Even if I make mistakes, I make sure I learn something from it. I’m trying my best to achieve what is expected from me. I’m open to all constructive criticisms and feedback so I can improve myself and for me to grow as a good priest in process and as a good person.

In this Gospel, it also makes me reflect on what I believe in and how I live my faith. I believe that God is with me always. Just like what Fr. Jun told us before our Integration Day, “You may feel lonely, but you are not alone.” I could never forget those words. Many times I felt lonely in formation, especially during first semester. All the requirements, frustrations, depressions, anxieties, and conflicts with fellow seminarians, and sometimes with the formators and the staff members of the community, I learned that prayer was the answer. All I had to do is to believe and have faith in Him, who is always watching over me. When the day for me is successful and productive, I will offer God a thanksgiving prayer. If the day for me is not good, I will also pray and ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to help and guide me.

Every day, before the day ends, I always evaluate my words and actions that I had done. Especially if the day didn’t turn out right for me. I would reflect that maybe there is something lacking in my part. One example is, during first semester I wasn’t able to pass a reflection paper in Fr. Benjo’s subject in Ancient Philosophy. I overlooked the deadline because of the tight and hectic schedules in academics. And during that time I was overwhelmed of the demands of seminary formation. But still that wasn’t an excuse. I had learned my lesson that I should be mindful of the deadlines of requirements and not blaming others for my mistakes. But since this already happened I will do my best for this not to happen again. I reflected on the words of Fr. Dave, that if the same mistake is done the second time is already a choice.

But there were many good things that happened in my life. For me, my greatest success as of to date was our Phonetics night. I wasn’t expecting that something really successful happened to me here in the seminary. I was flattered by the praises of my fellow seminarians and other people like my professors, visitors, and the formators especially when they told me I was a revelation to the community. I thank God for everything because I know He was with me all the time and I was praying to Him all the time. I also received a grade of flat 1.0 in Phonetics from my professor Fr. Gerard Reyes and he sent me a message where he exclaimed alleluia for my performance. I will keep believing in God and I will  never lose faith in Him because as long as I trust Him above everything else, He will never leave my side.

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