Tuesday, September 30, 2014
26th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jd 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Gospel: Luke 9:51-56
As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. He had sent ahead of him some messengers who entered a Samaritan village to prepare a lodging for him. But the people would not receive him because he was on his way to Jerusalem. Seeing this, James and John, his disciples said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience
To cut cost during our side trip to other European countries from the World Youth Day 2005 in Germany, we travelled on our own without the services of a travel agency. Arriving in Rome the group stayed at the train station. Our leader sent me and another priest ahead to the city to scout for affordable lodging. I found a hotel for 90 Euros per night while the other priest found one for only 85 Euros. We chose the latter, but not without regrets. The hotel air-conditioning was shut down, and breakfast was just as much as a hungry bird’s share. The elevator made me feel it was safer scaling the dilapidated building with a rope. The hotel was called Hotel Mirage….true to its name.
This experience keeps coming back to my mind each time I reflect about the Gospel reading of today. Jesus too asked some messengers to go ahead to prepare lodging for him at a Samaritan town. The Samaritans did not give him any lodging because he was a Jew. James and John reacted violently. There are two ways one can react to rejection. James and John were reactive whereas Jesus was reflective. Few would react like Jesus because the instinctive way is to go the way of James and John. Here lies the need for deeper spirituality. Only a prayerful person can exercise self-restraint when the instinctive thing to do is to be violent. This was what Jesus did when refused lodging by the Samaritans. Realizing that he was only caught in the cross fire between Jews and Samaritans who were locked up in mutual discrimination, he did not allow his disciples to retaliate.
Reflection separates reality from mirage. This was reality: the Samaritans did not mean to be personal when they refused Jesus lodging. The perceived rejection was only a delusion. When we live in delusion we waste energy in shadow boxing or in fighting the wrong enemies. More often than not the real enemy is ourselves. “Madness is fighting outside ourselves when the real enemy is deep within”. Yes, delusion can lead to madness; constant reflection exposes us to the ways of wisdom. Let us immerse ourselves in the spirituality of Jesus so that we too may be reflective and exercise greater control upon ourselves. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, grant us the gifts of wisdom and patience so that by constant meditation we may conquer ourselves and the in the process conquer the world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church. He was born at Stridon in Dalmatia around the year 340. He studied the classical authors at Rome, and was baptized there. He embraced a life of asceticism and went to the East where he was ordained a priest. Returning to Rome, he became a secretary to Pope Damasus. At Rome he began to translate the holy Scriptures into Latin and to promote the monastic life. Eventually he settled in Bethlehem where he served the needs of the Church. He wrote many works, especially commentaries on holy Scripture. He died at Bethlehem in 420.