By Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol
In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus not just being with the ordinary people in the society but among the last, lost, and the least.
A former altar server in our cathedral parish once approached me and shared his intentions and plans in helping the Badjao children who are begging alms and roaming around the cathedral premises. He asked my idea and help in implementing a feeding program every Friday noon. I expressed my appreciation and support to his plans by asking and encouraging people to donate any amount to help defray the cost in preparing the food to be shared and to personally participate in giving the food and interact with the Badjao and other beneficiaries. The said apostolate program is, until now, being conducted through the collaboration of some private individuals and groups. This also became the venue to instruct the children with proper conduct and table manner and to be grateful to God through the benefactors of the program. I remember our late Bishop- Elenito Galido, D.D., who has a big heart towards the Badjao, who also personally made such apostolate to a Badjao community in Iligan.
My participation in the said apostolate is very minimal given my unavailability, but I am happy for such concrete program for the last, lost, and the least in our society. I will continue to help in my own little ways. In doing so, I continue to see Jesus among the people and hopefully they will see and experience Jesus, our merciful Lord, in us.
In the seminary formation, I am challenged to look into my personal apostolate now as a priest-in process. I am being invited to be dispenser of Jesus’ presence and mercy by being with the community. It is always about Jesus present among us. May all that I do be an expression of my love for Jesus Christ.
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Mt. 15: 29-37
At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.