The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Everyone is called to serve and not to be the greatest but to be a living witness to God’s enormous love for us. We are now on the second week of lent and we are still reminded to be God’s arm in helping and serving everyone around us. It is life that Christ called us to live, it is the life that Pope Francis kept on reminding us. It is not just a call but a way of life.
On the second week of lent, we are reminded to be always available, to give to those in need and to share what we have. Sharing is not limited to the material wealth we can give. Material wealth are just manifestations of God’s grace and they are the most tangible thing we can give. However, there is much more to wealth.
The season of lent also calls us to make personal sacrifices, to give up something as a reminder of how blessed we are. It is not deprivation but more of being able to let go of the simple pleasure for others. It may be a simple act of letting go of some comforts that we have in life in order to detach ourselves from them.
The small sacrifices that we give up, which in turn become our acts of mercy to those in need should help us develop a deeper sense of self, and more so, our deeper relationship with God. We ought to give up these small sacrifices for a better understanding of God’s call.
My seminary formation continually helps me realize all of these and God continues to deepen these through the different experiences I have. It is through the grace of God that I am able to move on and continue despite the many struggles that I have. It is through His sacrifice that I see the deeper meaning of what it means to be a servant.
Christ did not choose to die on the cross to be recognized. Christ chose to die on the cross to remind me of how much love He has for me, for all of us. It is in this sacrifice that He made me understand that loving is not just a physical act.
The season also is a reminder for us to reflect and repent. During the imposition of the ashes last Ash Wednesday, we were reminded to “turn away from our sins and believe in the Gospel” a reminder to go back to the fold and to the loving arms of God. Our Lenten experience should help us deepen our love for God. It should help us understand that every Lent is an encounter and a deepening experience. An invitation for us to grow more and more from the last experiences of Lent.
Let us continue to ask God to help us have a deeper relationship with Him not only during this season of Lent but also throughout our life. Let us ask Him to make this experience our way of life.