October 15, 2016
Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Ramon Junior Jamora)
I don’t know you!
Rejection is one of the most painful realities in life. It is also perhaps one of the most common emotional wounds even when we were young. It surely breaks a heart.
One afternoon during my high school days, I had a fist fight with the guy who courted my girlfriend for three years. He could not believe that the many years he spent courting had now gone to nothing.
The morning of that day, my girlfriend, then, told me that her friend wanted to see me. He was just curious who I was and really wanted to see for himself the guy who made her say yes.
When it was time for us to meet, I was surprised to see other young men with him. It was as if they were up against a gang. When we were introduced, a shaking of hands was made. He was not so bad after all since he politely greeted me. But as the conversation progressed, he could not help but ask, “What do you want to happen now?” It was a provoking question to fight. I simply replied, “I have nothing against you and I don’t want anything to happen”. Caught of guard, I was punched in the face by someone from behind the guy. I then retaliated and hit the guy who met me. There was a commotion around us. My girlfriend, with her friends, surrounded me and they were pushing my aggressors. When the security guard came they all ran away.
I was then taken to the clinic for first aid. Students gathered outside and most of them were looking inside the clinic. While I was attended to by the doctor, I saw a familiar face. It was my brother. He was outside the clinic staring at me. He did not bother to enter the clinic to check on me. Instead, he whispered, “Good for you.”, turned his back and left. It was one of the most painful rejections I felt from him. I lost my brother’s love. I lost my protector. I lost a part of me.
I could not hate or blame him for what happened to me. I could not oblige him to protect me. I could not do anything with how he reacted. I was rejected.
God knows what pains and hurts us. He uses this pain not to push us away but uses it to acknowledge us. To be denied is not God’s revenge on us if we deny Him. To be rejected is not God’s response if we reject Him. God finds even the most painful and hurtful events meaningful in our relationship. God so desperately wants to recognize us.
If we truly and earnestly love God as Father and Jesus as brother, would we want to hurt them?
Let us begin to acknowledge God today. Perhaps a simple sign of the cross will do, when riding, passing by a church, before and after meals, and in private moments.