October 1, 2016
Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
The Gospel Today
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power
‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy
and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Justin Gatus)
While reading through the Gospel for today, I recalled my experience of my first home weekend. I was filled with the joy, ecstasy, and the excitement of being a newly accepted seminarian. I was also filled with stories and inspiration that I enthusiastically shared to my family and friends especially my first time experiences as a seminarian. Every person I saw, then, I shared my joys of being a seminarian. I can’t help but imagine the seventy-two disciples as they return to Jesus and reported to Him their experiences. They might have happily told Jesus about their amazing and wondrous experiences in their missions.
In our lives, there are times when we rejoice in smaller things that come our way. What we sometimes fail to celebrate are the bountiful and grander blessings that come after the small ones. There is nothing wrong in celebrating the small things but in our rejoicing, we must not forget to feel, cherish, and taste the grander providence of God. We need to deepen the ecstatic feeling in order to really appreciate the blessing that God bestows on us.
Relating it to my seminary formation, it has been almost 3 months since I’ve been invested with the soutane. I can still relish that moment when I first saw myself in the mirror wearing that soutane. I felt the grace and mercy of God of letting me wear that soutane despite of my vulnerabilities and unworthiness. The memory of the graces and blessings I received from Him must not be left as memories. There must always be a deepening of all the experiences and the learnings that helped me to be invested and become the seminarian that I am now. I must always remember to deepen that feeling of elation and live out the purpose and the challenges it entails—that is to serve and to love.