Repent and Believe!

October 22, 2016
Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Luke 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
He said to them in reply,
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed
when the tower at Siloam fell on them–
do you think they were more guilty
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable:
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’”

REFLECTION (Sem. Edgar R. Calma)

When I was still working, there was an impression among the applicants vying for a certain position in an organization that it matters whom you know not what you know. Indicating the name of a senior manager in the application form was a plus factor for the applicant, especially when that senior manager is the hiring manager. For some cases it matters both, what you know and whom who know. The chances of landing a good job would be high if the following elements are present such as skills, knowledge, attitude and an influential reference person that could support the applicant’s qualifications.

The Gospel for today tells us that salvation is not guaranteed by our affiliation, association or inclusion to major religion or religious groups. Neither it is assured by blood relations or race. Jesus said, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Lk 13:2-3). The call to repentance is essential to have a change of mind and heart oriented towards Jesus. The salvation promised by our Lord Jesus Christ has now been given and being offered to everyone particularly for those who will repent and believe in the love and mercy of God.

In a society inflicted with uncertainties, fear, confusion and sinfulness because of the worldly allurements and vain promises, our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, continuously invites us to look into ourselves and examine our ways so we can uphold the innate goodness in each and everyone of us. We are called to mend our ways, do what is right and just to everyone, forgive and be compassionate to our neighbors. Salvation is for those who adhere to Christ’s call of repentance and conversion. To be saved, it matters to know, follow, and obey Christ in our daily lives.

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