Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 19, 2013
Wednesday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev.  Fr. Joel Jason (Dean of Studies, Graduate School of Theology San Carlos Seminary)
12:15PM Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (Megamall Chapel)

Reading 1 2 Cor 9:6-11

Brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 9

R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”


Meron po akong ikukuwento ako sa inyo. Meron daw pong isang babae na nag-book siya ng kanyang flight. Napa-aga po ang kanyang booking, kaya meron po siyang little time to spare. So habang naghihintay siya, she decided to buy a bag of cookies. And then umupo siya to wait for her flight, and took out her book, and began reading the book. And while she was reading the book, kumuha siya doon sa bag of cookies, then kumain siya. At noong kumain siya, napansin niya na 'yong katabi niya na lalaki, kumuha din ng cookies doon sa bag of cookies. Nakidampot. Kumain din. Deep inside her, she was telling herself, 'ang lakas naman ng loob ng lalaking ito'. And then pinabayaan na lang niya.
And then kumuha na naman siya ng cookie, at 'yong lalaki ay kumuha din ng another cookie. Sa madaling salita, every time she gets a cookie, the man will also get another cookie. Hanggang sa isang cookie na lang ang natira. So sabi niya, 'ano kaya ang gagawin ng lalaking ito, ano...isa na lang ang natirira'. And to her surprise, the man took the last cookie, smiled at her, broke it in half and asked her, "Gusto mo?" (laughs) So sabi niya, "Hindi, sa iyo na lang 'yan." And then tumayo na siya at tamang tama naman na tinawag na ang kanyang flight.
So on the plane, she took her seat. And then she opened her bag to take out her book, and to her surprise, nandoon ang bag of cookies na binili niya. (laughs and mixed reactions from the congregation) 'Yong kinakain pala niya, pag-aari no'ng mama. (loud laughs) Samantalang ang akala niya 'yong mama ang lakas ng loob, ang siba-siba, walang modo, kain nang kain, 'yon pala siya 'yong walang modo. (laughs) Siya pala 'yong kain nang kain nang hindi naman sa kanya.
Now, why did I tell you this story? Because look at this man. This man was willing to give and give and give. Kahit na hindi siya na-a-acknowledge ng babae. Kahit na akala ng babae ay sa kanya 'yong kinakain niya. The man was willing to give to the woman, without expecting anything in return.
I think this is God's message for us in today's Gospel. Jesus is telling us, when you give alms, when you pray, when you fast, or when you do good, do it for the sake of goodness. Only for goodness' sake. Do it, not because you want to be acknowledged. Do it, not because you are waiting to be repaid. Do it, not because you want to call attention to yourselves. When we do that, we are closest to the heart of God. When we do good without expecting something in return, we become closest to God. We become almost like God. Why? Because God is the ultimate giver. God is the ultimate giver who always gives and gives, without expecting anything in return.
In fact, if you are going to reflect about it, bakit ba tayo binibigyan ng Panginoon? It is not because He expects something back from us. Hindi naman Niya magagamit 'yong binibigay din natin sa Kanya eh. Hindi Niya kailangan 'yon. God needs nothing from us. Everything that God gives us, is simply from God, out of the generosity of His heart. I think ito 'yong gusto ni Hesus na maranasan natin.
You know, some spiritual masters will say that the best way to give is when you do not know the person that you are giving to, or the person you are giving to does not know that you are the one giving to him. 'Yon bang hindi alam ng nagbibigay kung kanino nanggaling ang kanilang tinanggap. Bakit? Because in that set-up, the ego is totally put aside. Minsan kasi pag kilala natin ang ating binigyan, di ba nando'n 'yong temptation na maghihintay tayo ng kapalit? O kaya naman pag kilala no'ng taong binibigyan natin na tayo ang nagbigay sa kanya, para bang nando'n din 'yong temptation for the person to give back what we have given to him. And so, the temptation of the ego, looking for its own reward, is always there.
In our Gospel for today, that is one of the graces that Jesus wants us to participate in. He wants us to participate in the utter joy of experiencing how it is to give, for goodness' sake. Not for the sake of the ego, not for the sake of any recompense, not for the sake of any reward that the person will give back to us.
As we line up later on and receive Holy Communion, let us remember that. Ang ibinigay natin sa Panginoon, tinapay at alak lang. Pero ang ibinibigay Niya sa atin ay ang Kanyang sariling Katawan at Dugo. He gives from the utter generosity of His heart. And so in this Holy Mass, we pray for that grace, that though it is difficult, let us try to give from goodness, and for goodness' sake. Amen.