Monday, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time   

            “He has sent me to bring glad tiding to the poor.”

            The story is told by a Franciscan friar in Australia assigned to be the guide to Mother Teresa when she visited New South Wales. Thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this great woman, he dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about. But during her visit, he became frustrated. Because although he was constantly near her, the friar never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet.

            Finally, her tour was over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the Franciscan friar spoke to Mother Teresa: “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him and asked, “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” “Yes,” the friar eagerly replied. “Then, give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”

            Mother Teresa understood that Jesus’ ministry was to the poor and she made it hers as well. She knew that they, more than anyone else, needed good news.

            Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, defines his mission as: bringing glad tidings to the poor. Kung ito ang misyon ni Kristo, ito rin ang misyon natin bilang mga tagasunod at alagad ni Kristo.

            Inaanyayahan tayo ng ebanghelyo na suriin ang sarili natin at itanong: Tayo ba ay nagsisilbing mabuting balita sa mga dukha? Are we really good news to the poor? Are we good news to Jesus?

            The Lord Jesus demands from us a corresponding commitment to his mission. His message for us today is: “Honor me by imitating me…Follow me by proclaiming the Good News…Proclaim the Good News by liberating the poor…Liberate them by becoming food and drink, shelter and refuge, well-being and fullness of life for them…BE EVERYTHING FOR THE POOR! That is how you can truly honor me.   

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