Friday, June 21, 2013

Gospel Reflection

June 21, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota (Vice Rector of the EDSA Shrine)
6:30AM Mass, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)

Reading 1 2 Cor 11:18, 21-30

Brothers and sisters: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of  (I am speaking in foolishness) I also dare. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they children of Israel? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?  (I am talking like an insane person). I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (see 18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Gospel Mt 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”


We hate people who boast. Galit tayo sa mga taong mayayabang at nagyayabang.

In early Christian communities, a lot of them frowned on St. Paul because he was preaching very eloquently and was considered boastful. But his boasting did not come from his own ego or pride. His boasting is actually an act of love. An act of love, because he was boasting of his weakness, and claimed that it is only Christ who can actually heal his weaknesses. And this we can see in St. Paul's acts of charity, his acts of love, by going out to the Gentile regions to preach the Gospel at all costs.

Whereas, wrong boastfulness can be like this. There was this boy who was a great fanatic of the New York Nets, the baseball team. And all throughout his life, the boy learned about his heroes - all the members of the New York Nets. Mula noong bata pa siya, pinag-aralan na niya, kinilala niya kung sino itong mga ito. Pinagmamalaki niya lagi na ito ang best team sa buong mundo. However, up to a certain point, when he was already grown up, when someone told him that there was a player better than his favorite hero, he killed him. 

A lot of people will be claiming that they have Christ in their hearts. But only a person who really treasures Christ will boast of him, no matter what. In the prayer of St. Francis Severino, he said, "I love You, Lord, not because You can give me heaven, or You can condemn me to hell. I love You, because You are my love. I love You, because You are You." Amen.