Saturday, March 28, 2009
5TH SUNDAY OF LENT
5TH SUNDAY OF LENT – B
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like
the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,
says the LORD. I will place my law within them and write it upon their
hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer
will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know
the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and
supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to
save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son
though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he
was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all
who obey him.
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to
Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we
would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and
Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a
grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain
of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his
life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve
it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am,
there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves
me. "I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from
this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have
glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and
said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for
yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of
this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of
death he would die.
It takes 10 years of studies and formation before a Jesuit is
ordained. Hence, ordination is a happy occasion, the finale of so many
years of waiting. It is a festive occasion that usually brings about
so much tears of joy to those ordained as well as their families who
realize their blessings and God's graciousness.
One has to take into consideration the many years of waiting,
perseverance, hard work and endless hours of academic work in oral and
written communication skills in English and Filipino, philosophy and
theology, weekly apostolate work with various groups and places mostly
in depressed areas — these are what they had to hurdle before they
were deemed ready to receive the responsibility of becoming shepherds
of God's people in the priesthood.
In a true sense, this gift of ordination came at great costs. It took
a lot of dying on each of these deacons, preparing for an exam,
skipping reunions with family and friends in order to work in an
apostolate, and experiencing the frustrations and hardships of their
work. And after ordination, much more dying is expected. They will be
given assignments which will be treading on unfamiliar terrain. They
will leave familiar surroundings and work with new people in other
areas. In a sense, they will have to experience again a dying to
oneself in order to be able to fulfill the mission given to them.
This dying is what is essentially given focus and importance in the
Gospel reading. Death is something that all of us are afraid to face
though it is something inevitable. It is so because it brings us to
something unfamiliar. But we know life is full of suffering and dying
to oneself. Little deaths are part and parcel of daily life. We do not
have to see beyond our own families. Our parents have fully and
generously dedicate themselves for our welfare, perhaps even to the
point of forget ting themselves. They choose to do so, so that their
children will be prepared for a better future and the family will be
one and united.
Then there are teachers who are devoted in preparing their lesson
plans so that they may teach well. There are the doctors who
painstakingly review the history of their patients so that they may
render the best quality of service. There are the people in the
service industry, the janitors and maids, who keep the environment
tidy. These are just a few examples of people who do what Christ wants
them to do, that is, "GIVE UP ONESELF FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS. TO SERVE
OTHERS RATHER THAN TO BE SERVED." These are examples of dying and may
serve as inspiration for us, how people can die to themselves in order
that others may be given life. Death then becomes necessary in order
to bear fruit.
And we know that we are somehow able to do this because Jesus showed
us the way. He himself experience death so many times. He gave up
home, family and friends. He spent most of his time and ministry in
service. He poured out all his love to his disciples and still
experienced betrayal, denial, and abandonment. In the end, he offered
himself totally in his crucifixion. These were clear examples of
Jesus' dying to himself.
Let us then beg for the grace of perseverance as we accept our dying
to self experiences as our ways of being in solidarity with Jesus in
order that we may bear fruit for others to live.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Ester Marcelo
… for the safety of Johnson Cuiting
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Elena Acero. Eternal rest
grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and all
the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Eustaquio T. C. Acero
- Birthday: Eustaquio Acero
- Wedding Anniversary: Charlie & Thumble Tan
- In Memoriam (+): Augusto D. Lao
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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