Sunday, March 2, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, March 2, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 49:14-15
14 Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” 15 Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
P S A L M - Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R: Rest in God alone, my soul.
1 [2] Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation. 2 [3]He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all. (R) 5 [6] Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. 6 [7] He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed. (R) 7 [8] With God is my safety and my glory, he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.8 [9] Trust in him at all times, O my people! Pour out your hearts before him. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Brothers and sisters: Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.

The word of God is living and effective; discerning reflections and thoughts of the heart.
Matthew 6:24-34
24 Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? 28 Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. 29 But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30 If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. 34 Do not worry abouttomorrowtomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.


In the conclave of March 2013, our very own Cardinal Tagle was considered to be a papabile, a contender for the papacy. When asked whether he thought he would be elected pope, Cardinal Chito clarified, “It was clear to me that the task of the cardinals is to elect a new pope and not to have yourself be elected pope.”

       A servant of God is not a career person. As Paul said in today’s First Reading, he is “an administrator of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1). Simply put, he is a steward. A steward is not self-appointed; he is called.

       Blessed John Paul II’s remark at his election as Pope referred to a strong sense of being called as well as unworthiness. Referring to himself in the third person, he said, “They called him from a faraway country.” A “faraway country” was his metaphor for Poland, his native country, an “unknown country,” so unlike the great country where the Popes of the past have originated. He said further, “He was afraid to receive such nomination but he did it in the spirit of obedience to the Lord and total trust in His mother…”

       In the Conclave of 2013, many self-proclaimed Vaticanisti (Vatican experts) had their own list of “strong contenders.” When the name “Jorge Bergoglio” (now known as Pope Francis) was announced by the Cardinal Deacon, not a few wondered, “Who?” Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales humorously but insightfully explained why Cardinal Bergoglio was chosen. “I told them it’s because the Holy Spirit does not read social media or watch CNN or BBC.”

       When our spiritual leaders forget that they are stewards, administrators of God’s mysteries, careerism creeps in and they become mere Church functionaries. They begin to serve the God of money and not the real God, just as Jesus warned in the Gospel today.

       This Sunday, let us pray fervently for our Church leaders. When we do that, the first beneficiary will be the whole People of God. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you in a position of leadership? How do you see your role in the light of today’s readings?
Lord Jesus, I pray for our Church leaders today. May they remain faithful and obedient to Your call to them.

St. Agnes of Bohemia, pray for us.

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