Reflection: XII Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A


Jer. 20:10-13; Rom. 5:12-15; Mt. 10:26-33

In the first reading we see the enemies of Jeremiah plotting against him so they could take vengeance on him. He complained to the Lord, “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all day. I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will not speak in his name no more” (Jer 20:8-9). Jer. 38:15-16 reports, “The princes were enraged and had Jeremiah beaten and thrown into prison… Jeremiah entered the vaulted dungeon, where he remained a long time.” Again ch. 38:6 reports, “They took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern… letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud.”  But Jeremiah was confident because “the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion,” to him “I have entrusted my cause.” Jeremiah won over his enemies.

This confidence is being encouraged on us by Paul saying that though sin and death prevailed over Adam and his descendants, “the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many.” From Adam to Abraham there was no revelation. God spoke personally to Abraham and his descendants, guiding them and telling them his plans until Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. Only with Moses did we have the Ten Commandments and other rules of conduct and rules of worship. It was then God established the Old Testament Church with Hierarchy of High Priest, Priests and Levites, sacrifices and offerings, Holy Days and Holy Years and other ritual observances. Then Jesus came and perfected the Priesthood and hierarchy, the sacraments, forms of worship and norms of conduct through the beatitudes and the spirit of the Law. Finally he took our sins upon himself on the cross and destroyed sin and death by his resurrection. Indeed, the “grace of God… overflowed for the many.”

And so now Jesus tells us, “Fear no one…What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light, what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” We Catholics often fear to proclaim by our words and actions that we uphold God’s commandments. We condone adultery and many brag that they are real macho by maintaining a second and a third family. Many graduates from Catholic exclusive schools become powerful and rich politicians eating up the taxes of the people and the budget for public services. Many Catholic boys want to be female and we adore them in TV programs and movies, as though gender were a personal not a divine choice. If we reflect on it, a woman is female down to the bones, so is a man is male down to the bones. The pelvis of a female is shaped for child bearing, not that of a male; a man can never bear a child because his pelvis cannot hold a baby. And you boy, are you ready to take the role of motherhood, carrying a baby within you for nine months, and rearing it for two years until he or she can live on his/her own? Bakit gusto mo maging babae? Kaya mo ba ang maging nanay? Please, mga nanay at tatay, remind your children that we are born male or female by God’s plan, not made so by personal choice. “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light, what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul… So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.” Let us not be afraid to live the teachings of Bible, of Jesus and of the Church, and show our faith in our thinking, words and actions, our dealings and our relationships.

For the eight years that he was President of the U.S.A., Obama claimed that he was not against the Catholic Church, but by his legislations he was killing the Catholic faith. Abortion was legalized so was divorce. Crucifixes were removed from schools, no prayers allowed in classrooms and Satan’s statues were put in city halls. Same sex marriage was legalized, and gender was made by choice. In our country, if Catholics do not profess their faith in the legislature, non-Christian Laws will be passed. Artificial birth control is now legalized through the RH Law. Divorce is being pushed through Congress and granted by civil annulment of marriages. In the name of “being modern,” we betray our Catholic faith and we little by little adopt pagan ways. Let us read again our Gospel passage as written in italics above: What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light……” and add the last sentence, “but whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” Let us not fear to proclaim our faith on the housetops. Amen

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Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.