Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gospel Reflection

August 01, 2013
Thursday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
by Rev. Fr. Benjamin “Benjo” Fajota - Vice Rector, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine) 5:30PM Mass at EDSA Shrine

Reading 1 Ex 40:16-21, 34-38

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him. On the first day of the first month of the second year the Dwelling was erected. It was Moses who erected the Dwelling. He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns. He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him. He took the commandments and put them in the ark; he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it. He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the commandments, as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling. Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling. Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the children of Israel would set out on their journey. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward. In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house of Israel in all the stages of their journey.


Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!


Gospel Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.


During the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, he had a very staunch critic, by the name of Edward Stanton. This man not only abhorred and condemned all of Lincoln's policies. He also attacked Lincoln personally. He even nicknamed Lincoln 'the original gorilla'. At that time, there was an explorer who was wandering in Africa, searching for a gorilla. But Stanton chided him and said, "You have made your life so hard, when you can easily find one in Springfield, Missouri, the birthplace of Lincoln".

All throughout these years, Lincoln did not say anything against Stanton. In fact, he even made Stanton the Secretary of War or War Minister in his Cabinet, because he was the best person for the job. While Lincoln treated Stanton with utmost courtesy, Stanton treated Lincoln with much contempt.

On the night that Abraham Lincoln fell to an assassin's bullet, he was lying there lifeless, and Edward Stanton was standing there with tears in his eyes, and said, "Here lies the body of the greatest ruler man has ever seen in the whole world." In the end, my dear brothers and sisters, Lincoln's love for patience won.

And this is what the Gospel is telling us. It is not to scare us or to tell us that at the end of the world, there will be separation of the good and the bad. What God is telling us is He is very patient enough to wait for us, for us to be converted, to go back to Him, and be reconciled to Him. The words of the Gospel are not meant to scare us, to tell us that life is hopeless for the sinners. In fact, His words are giving us a message of hope, a message of peace, a message of love. If we take these words into our heart, then our lives would be better off as Christians. We will try to relate with each other as brothers and sisters, and will take into heart the message of the Gospel. Amen.