The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
Reflection (Sem. Kein Harvey P. Chito)
What if I had the privilege to be one of Jesus’ disciples during His time? That was the big question that came into my mind while reflecting on how I would touch your heart by this reflection. Paano nga kaya kung nangyari (what indeed if it happened)?
Quite frankly, I would feel unusual if Jesus said to me and my friends in a random manner: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mk. 1:17).
Amazement would also run in my mind if I heard Him say this: “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” (Mk. 4:30-32).I would also feel terrified if I were one of the apostles who experienced the violent storm at sea. I would feel guilty if I heard Him asking: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mk. 4:40).
Surprise, admiration, and appreciation. I would perhaps feel those if I saw Him healing, feeding, preaching, and doing miracles for others, including the experience of doing a special last supper with me.
I would also be sad if I saw Him being rejected at Nazareth and my heart would be in excruciating pain seeing Him suffer and die. Hope would motivate me seeing Him risen after three days.
These are just some of the many things that the apostles experienced when they chose to follow Christ. He was the One who became so compassionate when He saw a large crowd who were like sheep without a shepherd.
In this Gospel, Jesus invites me to just come to Him to a quiet place and rest. How gracious is the feeling of being with God! If I were there with Jesus resting, that would be the most humbling experience for me. I came not just to be in a vacation with Him, but also to think and to feel with Him.
What a privilege that the twelve apostles had! No wonder they offered their lives to preach the Word.