October 21, 2016
Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to the crowds,
“When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny.”
REFLECTION (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
What am I ought to do? What am I ought to be? These are the two discernment questions that our formators would always ask us to think about especially whenever we are in our apostolate areas or during breaks. These two are somehow very familiar to me that I can say, “I already know that.” But today’s Gospel challenges me to take into action what I think is right.
Signs are interpreted by man. Our mind has the capacity to see beyond what our senses can determine. But more than that our mind knows how to interpret and do necessary response to that interpretation. Not doing what is necessary can lead a man to error. For example, I feel that I am hungry, therefore my mind would tell me to eat. Not doing so can lead me to consequences of not eating, like hyperacidity, stomach upset, and others. In a deeper example, a man knows that when his wife got pregnant (even to that mere moment), he knows that he is not just an ordinary man but a father. And being a father leads him to do actions necessary for a father. These are not just dictated by our norms but these are ministries or vocations that transform every stage of life and are from a God who calls.
As a seminarian, I know that I am not just a simple son or community member – not that I am more special than others nor extraordinary than them. I know the call for my identity. Everytime we are outside the four corners of the seminary, I am invited to discern my actions and words. Not because I want to please anyone nor boast my being a seminarian, but because this is my identity and not doing what is necessary can lead me to incongruence to what I ought to be. The mind who judges the actions is not just a mind that thinks of what is humanly acceptable. This mind can be a venue to look at what God wants me to do. With the help of our senses and with the heart that is full of love for Him and for others, the actions and the mind can be in harmony to do what is necessary, right, and true. Completing the response on the commandment to listen to God and love him with all our heart, soul, and strength (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-5).