December 26, 2016
Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Mark Jason M. Medrana)
Here in our country we have so many religious denominations. There are Catholics, Christians, Muslims and many more. I have an officemate before who belongs to other religion. We shared many differences between Catholics and other religious sects. One of these is that they do not use the image of saints, of the Mother Mary, and of Jesus. For them, using images for worshipping is against the law of God and is a form of paganism. For them, Jesus is represented by the words that are written in the Bible. This is just one of the criticisms they have against the Catholic Church. The truth is, we do not worship them; we venerate and give them respect in memory of their holy and devout lives.
I as a Roman Catholic learned that in following Jesus, I must be willing to accept the burden of my own cross in life and carry it all throughout my journey here on earth. God did not promise an easy journey to His people, but if we are already tired and almost want to give up, He will always be there to share in our burdens and give us rest.
Through the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, whatever criticism is thrown to my religion, I will still hold on to my belief that our God is the real God. I will continue praising and believing in Him. God is a loving Father, for He continues to provide and to protect those people who are willing to sacrifice their lives for His sake. God loves us and He will never leave and forsake us.