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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Gospel Reflections for Wednesday: July 30, Matthew 13:44-46

Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

My Reflections:
There are two important characters in the gospel. The first one is the person who bought the field. The second one is the merchant who found the pearl. Both of them found the kingdom of heaven. After finding it they were never the same again because they found something that would satisfy them for life and without them knowing it what they’ve found will serve as their passage to heaven in the afterlife.

As we go on with our lives in this world, there will be instances wherein Jesus will manifest Himself to us by way of our relatives, friends or even by means of nameless individuals. After our encounter with Jesus some of us will never be the same again because we will desire to steadfastly follow Him. But majority of us will treat it as an ordinary event in our lives and nonchalantly ignore Him.

We need to discover in our lives Jesus who both represents the treasure buried in a field and the pearl of great price.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Gospel Reflections for Sunday: July 20, Matthew 13:24-43

Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

My Reflections:
Jesus spoke in parables because He wants to convey a teaching and He wants His disciples to have a personal reflection on every parable that He gives. These parables are not only for the disciples to reflect on. This is also for us to ponder and contemplate.

The first parable is about a man who sowed good seeds, then while all were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds. The owner just let both the good seeds and weeds grow side by side. However, during harvest time the weeds were pulled first, after that they were tied in bundles and were burned. After which they gently gathered the wheat and they put it into the owners barn.

If our lives will end now, where will we end up? Will it be in hell to burn like the weeds? Or will it be in heaven like the wheat that ended up in the owner’s barn.

The second parable was about the tiny mustard seeds that were sowed in the field. It rose like a big tree where birds find rest. When we were baptized the seed of our catholic faith was also sowed by Jesus into us. Has it risen as big as a mustard seed? Have we become instrument of Jesus’ compassion and mercy in word and in deed?

The third parable was about the yeast that influenced a mass of dough to rise. Have we become yeast to those who are not properly acquainted with Jesus by catechizing them?

These three parables invite us to self-reflections.

How are we as followers of Jesus? Are we like the weeds or the wheat?

Is our faith now as big as the mustard seed in word and in deed?

Have we already become yeast to our followers by way of helping them know Jesus in a much deeper sense?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Garbage Truck: Author Unknown

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.  We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.  My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.  So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'  He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.  Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.  Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,

so ... Love the people who treat you right.  Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

"Faith is not believing God can, it is knowing that God will."

Have a  garbage-free day!

Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well, now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like the Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about. The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? Here's my bet. You'll be happier. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't.