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Home » Migrated » DECEMBER 03, 2011

DECEMBER 03, 2011

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, priest

Reading 1: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26

Psalm: Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

Gospel: Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5, 6-8

“At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned”

A lot has been happening in the world today and more staggering in our country and in our very own province.  Of late, the dark images that are flashed before our very eyes are various form of natural calamities the world over.  In the national scene, we read about parricide committed in a number of Filipino families.  Locally, we are disheartened by the news about the ambush in Basilan that left grieving family members for the loss of loved ones as well as grieving military men for fallen comrades.  Amidst all these scenarios, the questions for reflection that invite me to ponder on at this moment are: “Where is the value of compassion in all these.”  “What is the price of man’s inhumanity to man?”

If there is a word that has served as my guiding principle in life as a person, as a teacher, and as a mother, it is compassion.  To me, it encompasses the very nature of being human, of being a Christian.  That is why, when I was articulating the passage assigned to me, I needed something to inspire me what to write about “being moved with compassion.” So, I leafed through my small book of quotation, “Spirituality Passages in Search of the Heart of God.” Then, I chanced upon the beautiful words of Arnold Toynbee that goes “compassion is the “desire that moves the individual self to widen the scope of its self-concern to embrace the whole of the universal self.” Here, I see a beautiful image of a wide, warm embrace.  However, I also see the other side of the picture.  Do the signs of the times indicate the loss or death of this desire in some of us?  Have our hearts become calloused and insensitive to the needs of others?  We know that it is not true at all.  We know for a fact that unfortunate events birthed heroism in some people.  It is in these trying times that heroes are actually born.   Do we need more trying times if only to test our faith?  I thought so.  We need more heroes and the opportunities to become one are there for the taking.

Realizing this, I thought, our Lord’s compassion for the crowd in today’s gospel. “At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned” These words are still being relived today.  Many of us are still moved with pity at the sight of the varied “crowds” in our contemporary world.  Many of us could be potential “heroes.”

This reality is the primary reason for us to anticipate with joy the coming of our Lord as we celebrate advent, and eventually as we celebrate Christmas: when God, in his abundant love and mercy was born to us on that first Christmas day and lived among us in flesh and blood for more than thirty years.

Reflection questions:

1. In what way can I use my eyes to see a “crowd” with compassionate heart during this season of advent?

2. How can I flesh out today the love, mercy, and peace offered by the Prince of Peace on that first Christmas day?


Faculty, SLA Department