July 20, 2018

 

Let us all remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8.
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

 

Reflection
At one of the largest hospitals in the country, a surgical resident-in-training saw a 1-year old patient, who by some twist of fate, sustained burns covering a third of the boy’s total body surface area. ‘How negligent were this child’s parents, and how irresponsible and incompetent was that doctor, who saw the infant at a clinic near the patient’s residence and merely did nothing,’ the resident could not help but utter to himself. In today’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus poignantly reminds us to take caution and be more charitable whenever we feel that urge to pass judgment on other people’s actions (or inactions) based on the standards of behavior and the norms of morality we so dearly uphold. The same message speaks to us when we so decisively take the murder of people believed to be drug pushers or drug addicts, as a matter of just retribution for the ills these people bring to society. Our Mother Church reminds us in the most recent pastoral exhortation issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), “Yes, we are aware of the sufferings of those who have been victimized by substance abusers, but can we not see them also as sick people who are struggling with a disease? Should we not rather look at them also as victims who are crying out for help? Are we to remain as bystanders when we hear of people being killed in cold blood by ruthless murderers who dispose of human lives like trash? Do we not realize that for every drug suspect killed, there is a widowed wife and there are orphaned children left behind — who could hardly even afford a decent burial for their loved ones?” When was the last time we chose to deprive our erring brethren the same mercy and understanding our Heavenly Father so generously gives us?

 

Lasallian Guiding Principle
From the Foundational Principles of Lasallian Formation, we read, “communion… as a way of accomplishing mission… suggests solidarity- the ‘concern for the common good AND for the good of each individual in a community.’ At the same time, it encompasses “openness to all persons and the desire to be brother or sister to all especially those in need.” Communion never seeks to estrange us from people who are different from us but calls us to consider the welfare of each and every member of society- no matter how upright or crooked they may seem. It is actively choosing not to “cast the first stone” but mustering enough courage and will to reach out to those who are astray and need our help.

Further, the Lasallian Principles of Lasallian Social Development teaches us that liberating actions “must always be life-affirming”, constantly working to “preserve and bring forth the fullness of life.” Indeed, it is through these “individual and collective efforts” that we, as members of the Church militant “hasten the manifestation of the Reign of God in all its plenitude.”

 

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we come before You, humbled by Your immense mercy and compassion. We once more ask forgiveness for the many occasions when we have been quick to condemn our brethren, either casting that first stone or passively watching in content, as society strips them of the dignity that comes from You. Forgive us, Lord for these times when we have wallowed in conceit and have forgotten those occasions You have willingly given us the chance to reform ourselves. Thank You Father that You remain steadfast in Your love for us and for all humanity. Help us to partake of this unconditional positive regard for all, especially to those people who have gone astray. Inspire us to embrace them as members of the same family, and constantly pray and work towards their conversion, so that we may do our share in welcoming Your kingdom and making Your love felt by all. We earnestly ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Our Lady of the Star, pray for us.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
St. Miguel Febres Cordero, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

VALUE: REVERENCE FOR LIFE (Nurturing Life)
CULTURE THEME: We affirm human dignity.
PRODUCTIVITY THEME: UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD FOR THE HUMAN PERSON
ICV Week 3: We uphold the principle of common good.

 

Sources:

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Rejoice and Be Glad.
La Salle Provinciate (2009). Guiding Principles of the Philippine Lasallian Family.
(n.d.) Daily Gospel. Retrieved on 17 July 2018 from https://dailygospel.org/M/AM/

 

 

 

(Prepared by: Van Jerwin P. Mercado)