The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
Reflection (Sem. Jesus S. Salamanca Jr.)
We just celebrated the Solemnity of Christ as our King. Our readings today challenge us about the things at the end times. Every time I hear the end times, I feel afraid. I am afraid because nobody knows when it would be. What will happen when that day comes, no one knows. Although there are passages in the Bible about what the end times would be, still the reality of it is that it illicits fear.
While in general the end of the world strikes fear, the Lord speaks to us today in a different tone. “Be ready. Do not be afraid,” he said. “This is the chance for you to testify to the Good News.” This is how God works. Even in a seemingly dark situation, God reassures His guidance and presence, “I am with you always until the end of time.”
Fr. Nick Blanquisco, the current parish priest of Sta. Clara de Montefalco in Pasay City, who served as rector of the Holy Apostle Senior Seminary, always reminds us, we who are taking our apostolate in his parish, to always seek the Wisdom of God especially in difficult times in our seminary formation.
In the seminary, there are many things that I cannot fully understand and ask myself why I need to do such tasks or activities. There are activities where my resistance is so strong. Yet after that event or after the task has been done, I feel the abundance of God’s wisdom and grace. In everything there is wisdom.
To me the feeling of fear and resistance is natural to everyone. It is okay but do not forget that it might be a way of God to work and manifest Himself in us. Many times, when I experience challenges in life, I easily conclude that God has abandoned me already, but I am wrong. God never abandoned me and I believe that He will not abandon me.
Do not be afraid to walk by night. Take courage to go in to the dark. For it is in the darkness of the night that we can see and appreciate the beauty of the moon and the stars. It is also true that during the dark times of our life, we can experience the real presence and abundant graces of God. Darkness only defines the beauty of light. We long for light because of our dark experiences in life. Do not be afraid of the dark. Get ready to testify to the Good News.