Saturday, August 31, 2013

Gospel Reflection

August 31, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Dennis Edralin, Chaplain and Dean of Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Lyceum of Aparri, Cagayan
12:15PM Mass, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (SM Megamall Chapel)
concelebrated with Rev. Fr. Lloyd Tiu, Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society (LMI-Makati)

Reading 1 1 Thes 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters: On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 7-8, 9

R. (9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Gospel Mt 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey  called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–  to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time  the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”


First and foremost, I would like to thank Father Lloyd, for allowing me to celebrate with him this noontime Holy Mass. I am three years older than Father Lloyd by age, but in the Ministry, I am seven years older. Father Lloyd was the one who suggested that I do the Homily, and I had to be very obedient, because he is the main celebrant. (laughs)

The Gospel today is all about talents. Talents, as I understand it in the context of today's Gospel, is the power and the capacity of men to do good. If we go back to Creation, when God created the world, God said it was good. But when He created man, God saw it was very good. The goodness in us is actually a talent. It is a power that we are very creative in our own way, in order to project ourselves as true sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

Naalala ko 'yong isang kwento....Sinasabi nga natin, we have talents, but in different degrees. God appreciates us and the manner we use our talents, which we receive as gifts from God, also in different ways. Ito 'yong kwento ko tungkol sa aking pamangkin. Seven years ago, I came here in Manila all the way from Aparri. Pagdating ko sa bahay, sabi ng pamangkin kong babae, "Tito Father, yesterday was my birthday." Sabi ko, "Ano ngayon?" And my niece said, "I want ice cream." So I told her to dress up. My niece was so excited about the idea of eating ice cream, kaya wala pang 5 minutes, bihis na bihis na siya, hindi pa nga naligo. (laughs)

We went out to one of the ice cream houses in Timog, and when we were eating our ice cream, somebody noticed her and said, "'re so beautiful." And you know what her reaction is? Nilagay niya 'yong kamay niya sa baywang niya, and she said, "Alam ko. May problema ba kayo?" (laughs) Na-shock ako. So on our way back to the house, I told my niece, "You know, those two ladies were telling you that you are so beautiful...but only on the outside. You need to become beautiful on the inside. My niece said, "Tito Father, I did not know that." Then I told her, "When somebody appreciates you, you should thank that person. When somebody wrongs you, forgive that person. And not only that, pray for that person."

Then one time, my niece had a petty quarrel with her younger brother. She was crying and went inside her room. When I had the chance to peep, I opened the door, and I saw her kneeling down before the altar, praying and crying. I went to her, patted her shoulder and asked her, "Ano'ng ginagawa mo?" And my niece said, "Tito Father, sinaktan ako ng kapatid ko." "Eh, ano'ng ginagawa mo?" "Nagdarasal po ako, para mapatawad ko siya. At pinagdarasal ko rin po na maging mabuti siyang tao." Tapos bigla siyang tumayo, at ang sabi niya sa akin, "Tito Father, am I now beautiful on the inside?" And I said, "Yes, I am very proud of you. You are now so beautiful on the inside."

My dear brothers and sisters, lahat po tayo ay binigyan ng talent. God is so good, and that goodness He inculcated in each one of us in different degrees. Kung tayo'y naging masama, hindi iyon dahil sa kagustuhan ng Diyos. Iyon ay dahil gusto mo, o ginusto mong maging masama. Kung mabuti ka, ikaw ay mabuting tao dahil pinili mong maging mabuting tao, at dahil gusto mong maging mabuting tao.

My dear friends, in this parable of talents, God is telling us that He created us in His image and likeness. But we have to keep that image and likeness in line with God's plan. Remember, Jesus said, "Be perfect, as the Heavenly Father is perfect." Kung araw-araw tumatalikod ka sa kasalanan mo, kung araw-araw ay gumagawa ka ng mabuti sa kapwa mo, God will be very happy. Kaya sa buhay natin, dapat hindi lang puro defensive ang game natin. Siguro nanonood kayo ng basketball. Kapag naglalaro po kayo ng defensive game, hindi kayo makaka-score, kaya dapat maging offensive din ang inyong plan game. Sa ating buhay, huwag mong sabihing wala ka namang ginawang masama, hindi ka naman nagnakaw, hindi ka naman nagsisinungaling, hindi ka naman sumusuway sa magulang, hindi ka naman nandaraya. Totoong hindi ka nga nandaya, hindi ka nga gumagawa ng masama, pero tanungin mo ang sarili mo. May ginawa ka bang mabuti sa iyong kapwa?

And I think that is what matters most in the eyes of God. The very reason why Jesus was telling all the people listening to Him, "When I was hungry, did you feed Me? When I was naked, did you clothe Me? When I was in prison, did you visit Me?" And the people asked when did they see the Lord hungry, thirsty, naked, in prison, a stranger...And Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of My brothers and sisters, you do it to Me." It is because that is the talent that God has given you - the power and the capacity to do good.