The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.
When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
A bruised reed he will not break. Last summer, our batch, Pentekostes, underwent our Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at San Juan de Dios Hospital and Manila Adventist Medical Center. It is learning how to minister to the sick and furthermore, it is a journey of knowing thyself with the help of a group. Initially, I thought that having a background in nursing, I can “breeze” through the program but I thought wrongly. The first visit to a patient was awkward and terrifying. I was there not as a nurse but as a chaplain. I can say many things about the patient’s sickness because of what I know but it was a struggle for me not to say what I know but to listen; just listen and be present. I was so preoccupied with what to say and how to help but what the patients wanted most of the time is for someone to not “do” something for them, they just want someone to “be” with them and listen. I wouldn’t have realized that if not for the discovery of myself in the process of the CPE.
My past,I can’t really boast. I am a sinner and my past is a testament of that. But despite my brokenness and weaknesses, which I tried to hide; run away from for so long, God never gave up on me and continued to search for me until I am found. A bruised reed I am even today and yet God never breaks me because of His loving mercy. He is giving me this opportunity to respond as a priest-in-process to show me that despite being bruised, I am loved. Before, I used to blame Him for letting me experience all those bad things. I was angry at Him for not doing anything from preventing me to feel all those hurts and pains. I know now that all those blaming and questioning were wrong for without those experiences, I wouldn’t have the greatest realization I have now about God’s loving mercy. He allowed me to be bruised so that I will be humbled and realize that in my brokenness, He is there waiting for me to run to His embrace and receive his forgiveness. God patiently listened to my dramas. He is teaching me to do the same for others. He is inviting me, as a bruised reed, to listen to the story of the bruises of others and be a channel of God’s mercy and compassion.