March 28, 2016

The Gospel Today

Monday in the Octave of Easter

Matthew 28:8-15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

Reflection (Sem. Maximilian B. Estayo)

“Helpless but not hopeless.” This was the nugget of wisdom I got from a formator in the seminary when I shared with him my pain of seeing my parents not being devotedly attended to by my siblings. My parents have missed some medicines recommended by their doctors because they could not find a store that sells them.

I entrusted my parents to God the moment I entered the seminary, but it is not smooth sailing yet. And I have been anguished by the fact that I could not care for them at this point because I am here.

I really get the feeling that I am “entombed,” not being able to do many things because I have to focus on my formation and be stuck here in the seminary. Six years is a short time, but it can be long when I think of the days I cannot be beside the people I love most.

“You are maybe helpless, but not hopeless.” These were the exact words of the formator. I was consoled because I was brought back to the sense that I will not be in formation forever; soon, it is done and I can be of service to people, including my family, again.

Today’s Gospel further strengthens me to bear the momentary isolation: Mary Magdalene and Mary rushing from the tomb to tell the disciples of Jesus’ disappearance from His burial bed. After the pain and suffering, the promise of new life has come to fruition as Jesus Himself has foretold when He was still preaching.

Every road has an end. Jesus’ resurrection is a hope that everything in life will not terminate in the tombs. Time will come when I cease to be a seminarian and can go back to the world again. In the meantime, I have to serve my tenure as a person in formation.

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