I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Images and magnificent work of art inside Catholic Churches does it have basis in the Bible?

If we go inside Catholic Churches be it here in the Philippines or in any parts of the world. We will notice that it has magnificent structures, artworks and various kinds of images most notably the images of Saints, Mary and Jesus. Is this based in the Bible?

Those who are uninitiated in the Catholic faith would say that it doesn’t have any basis in the Bible. In fact some Christians sects criticizes Catholics for having this images. And they sometimes use this as a point of argument to sow intrigue among Catholics so that they will be able to convince some Catholics to leave the faith and eventually join them.

Here’s the real score: Images and artworks in the Catholic Church has its foundation in the Bible in the following passages:

From Mount Hor they set out on the Red Sea road, to by-pass the land of Edom. But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!" In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, "Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover." Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered. Numbers 21:4-9

For when the dire venom of beasts came upon them and they were dying from the bite of crooked serpents, your anger endured not to the end. But as a warning, for a short time they were terrorized, though they had a sign of salvation, to remind them of the precept of your law. For he who turned toward it was saved, not by what he saw, but by you, the savior of all. And by this also you convinced our foes that you are he who delivers from all evil. For the bites of locusts and of flies slew them, and no remedy was found to save their lives because they deserved to be punished by such means; But not even the fangs of poisonous reptiles overcame your sons, for your mercy brought the antidote to heal them. For as a reminder of your injunctions, they were stung, and swiftly they were saved, Lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness and become unresponsive to your beneficence. For indeed, neither herb nor application cured them, but your all-healing word, O LORD! For you have dominion over life and death; you lead down to the gates of the nether world, and lead back. Man, however, slays in his malice, but when the spirit has come away, it does not return, nor can he bring back the soul once it is confined. Wisdom 16:5-14

You shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. Plate it inside and outside with pure gold, and put a molding of gold around the top of it. Cast four gold rings and fasten them on the four supports of the ark, two rings on one side and two on the opposite side. Then make poles of acacia wood and plate them with gold. These poles you are to put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it; they must remain in the rings of the ark and never be withdrawn. In the ark you are to put the commandments which I will give you. "You shall then make a propitiatory of pure gold, two cubits and a half long, and one and a half cubits wide. Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the propitiatory, fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end. The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them; they shall be turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory. This propitiatory you shall then place on top of the ark. In the ark itself you are to put the commandments which I will give you. There I will meet you and there, from above the propitiatory, between the two cherubim on the ark of the commandments, I will tell you all the commands that I wish you to give the Israelites. Exodus 25:10-22

In the sanctuary were two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of olive wood. Each wing of a cherub measured five cubits so that the space from wing tip to wing tip of each was ten cubits. The cherubim were identical in size and shape and each was exactly ten cubits high. The cherubim were placed in the inmost part of the temple, with their wings spread wide, so that one wing of each cherub touched a side wall while the other wing, pointing toward the middle of the room, touched the corresponding wing of the second cherub. The cherubim, too, were overlaid with gold. The walls on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The floor of both the inner and the outer rooms was overlaid with gold. 1 kings 6:23-28

The sea was then cast; it was made with a circular rim, and measured ten cubits across, five in height, and thirty in circumference. Under the brim, gourds encircled it, ten to the cubit all the way around; the gourds were in two rows and were cast in one mold with the sea. This rested on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east, with their haunches all toward the center, where the sea was set upon0 them. It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim resembled that of a cup, being lily-shaped. Its capacity was two thousand measures. 1 kings 7:23-26

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Reflection on the 30th Sunday Gospel: Luke 18:9-14, Oct. 28, 07

My reflection:
Aside from Jesus there are two main characters in this Gospel: the Pharisee who is an educated believer, he seriously observe and teaches God’s law and the Tax collector he is known to be greedy, corrupt and sinful. They both went to the temple to pray to the same God.

The Pharisee was self-righteous he claims that he was not greedy, unjust, adulterous. He was so sure of his goodness, holiness and maybe of his own salvation he even despised the tax collector.

There was also this repentant sinner (tax collector) who did not even dared to raise his eyes to heaven. He was remorsefully beating his breast and keeps on humbly asking God for forgiveness.

Jesus said: “the tax collector went home at peace with God.” and the Pharisee? He did not gain any favor from God because he was self-righteous and proud.

This Gospel is a good reminder for us all who are self-righteous, who are proud. This is also for those who look down on his fellowmen because he is rich and learned. You are no different from the Pharisee.

God looked kindly on the tax collector because he has the greatest virtue called HUMILITY.

Who are you before God’s eyes? Are you the Pharisee or the humble and repentant tax collector?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Lesson of the Coffee bean.


Author Unknown

A daughter complained to her father about how hard things were farher. "As soon as I solve one problem," she said, "another one comes up. I'm tired of struggling."

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen where he filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to aboil. In one he placed carrots, in the second, eggs, and in the last,ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After awhile, he went over and turned off the burners. He fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. He poured the coffee into a bowl. Turning to her heasked, "Darling, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled, as she tasted its rich flavor.

She asked, "What does it mean, Father?" He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity or problem -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg was fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. By being in the boiling water, they changed the water.

He asked his daughter, "When adversity or problems knocks on your door, which are you?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

A very good poem for All Souls Day (Nov.2)

When I'm Gone

by: Lyman Hancock

When I’ve come to the end of my journey

And I have traveled my very last mile

Forget if you can that I’ve frowned

Remember only my smile...

Forgive unkind words I have spoken

Remember some good I have done

Forget I ever had heartache

And remember only our fun...

Forget that I've stumbled and fumbled

And sometimes fell by the way

Remember: I fought some hard battles

But had you at the close of my day...

Do not grieve for my going

I would not have you sad this day

But in time gather some flowers

And remember the place where I lay...

Perhaps in the shade of evening

When the sun paints the sky in the West

Come stand a few moments above me

Remembering only the best...