Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gospel Reflection

October 08, 2013
Tuesday – Year of Faith – Ordinary Time
by Rev. Fr. Benjo Fajota, Vice Rector, Mary, Queen of Peace Shrine (Our Lady of Peace Quasi Parish/EDSA Shrine)
5:30PM Mass at the EDSA Shrine

Reading 1 Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.  Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth  and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm PS 130:1b-2, 3-4ab, 7-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village  where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”


An American homily writer said that one of the best gifts that you can give to someone is open-minded, undistracted listening.

Last night, I received that gift. I met a priest friend of mine who was assigned at another ministry. We are very near each other by distance, but because of our schedule, it has been months since we last saw each other and talked to each other. A few months back, I received a call from him, and he wanted for us to meet, and so we met last night. He arrived after I exposed the Blessed Sacrament at 10 o'clock in the evening. We had coffee nearby. Then he got back here at 12:30am, because he parked his car at the EDSA Shrine, but still, we parted ways at 2:30 in the morning.

My friend just asked one question to me before we parted, and that was 'How are you? Kamusta ka na?' Doon sa tanong niyang iyon, nailabas kong lahat ng aking mga concerns, lahat ng aking mga struggles, lahat ng aking mga pinagdadaanang problema. And I was so relieved after that, unloading all the heaviness within me. True enough, if someone will listen to us, we will be so much relieved of our own problems. That friend of mine did not give any piece of advice. He did not argue with me. He just gave his undivided, undistracted listening.

And this is what we see here in the Gospel, with Martha and Mary. Martha wanted Jesus to listen to her. Mary wanted to listen to Jesus. And that made a big difference. That is why Jesus said that Mary has chosen the better part.

Every time we come here to mass, do we just have our problems presented to God, or are we ready to listen to Jesus Christ in His words? In the readings and in the Gospel, do we listen to the Word of God? If we do, we have chosen the better part. Amen.