April 14, 2017
At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter
Mt 28: 1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead,
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”
Reflection (Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura)
My mother in the apostolate area lamented: You know, brother, sometimes I feel I want to quit in my involvement in the parish. I am not able to prioritize my family over the many activities in BEC. My nanay there could be correct in saying that. But I told her: Nanay, those are the struggles given to you by God for your own growth as a parish servant-leader. You know what, wherever we are, for example, I in the seminary and you in the parish, we always get to encounter struggles. In life, we have plenty of struggles. Being a disciple of Jesus means there will always be struggles in front of us.
In the Gospel for tonight’s Easter Vigil, Jesus has risen from the dead and has shown Himself to the women disciples. Saint Mary Magdalene, named by Pope Francis as “apostle to the apostles,” had the privilege to know Jesus. She had the privilege to be with Jesus every day. Even when Jesus died and was laid in the tomb, Mary Magdalene continued to be a disciple of the Lord.
Before, whenever I saw seminarians serving in our parish wearing the soutane, I felt they were really privileged to be there in the altar. Now that I am also a seminarian, I find this privilege to be coupled with a big responsibility. To be a disciple of Jesus is to know Jesus more. To be a disciple of Jesus is to follow Jesus more closely.
Nowadays, being a priest means having many privileges in our society. But there are only a few seminarians who are able to reach the day of ordination. Privileges are not enough motivation to persevere for priesthood. Every day is always a privilege to follow Jesus. Every day is always a privilege to take up my own cross. Every day is always a privilege to write another page in my vocation story. Every day I ask for the grace of the Lord that I may persevere in this calling to be a disciple of Jesus.