Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gospel Reflection

October 31, 2013
Thursday – 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)
5:30 PM Mass at the EDSA Shrine

Reading 1 Rom 8:31b-39

Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?

As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31

R. (26b) Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Gospel Lk 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”


How does one become a saint? I will tell you true stories.

There was one religious sister who loved Mathematics for 50 years in high school and in college. When she was no longer able to teach, she set up an apostolate that gathered day-old bread from different bake shops, and distributed these to the poor. When she could no longer do this, she was placed in a retirement house. Walking with a cane and a bent back, she would always greet everyone that she comes across with, with a smile. One day, a younger sister told her, 'Sister, I just want you to know that your smile means a lot to me.' And to this, she answered, 'This is all I have to give.'

There is also this 9-year old boy who was able to save his allowances to buy an old poster of Titanic. When he learned that the mother of his best friend was going to be operated on and they don't have enough money, he sold his poster. A TV program learned about it and bought the poster for $60,000.

There is also this family which lost their house on fire. While they were watching, they were so shocked and could not do anything because everything was burned. Then there is this pizza delivery boy who was passing through. He decided to give a box of pizza to the family who was so shocked and distraught over the burned house. After giving the pizza, he already left. 

Another story is that of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, the last Italian saint who was canonized by Pope John Paul II. For her fourth child, she learned that she had a tumor in her ovary, and that the doctors told her that she would die if her pregnancy would push through. During the day of her delivery, she told the doctors, 'If you are to make a decision between me and my child, protect the child. Deliver her, forget about me.'

My dear brothers and sisters, sainthood is not about doing great things and a lot of sacrifices. Sainthood is about doing and seeing things with the eyes of Jesus Christ. It is doing and seeing things differently. For they know that religion is not a set of rules, not a set of commandments, not a set of prayers, but a relationship with God, and doing and seeing things for the sake of God's Kingdom. 

Let us all be saints. Amen.