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

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Gospel Reflections for the third Sunday of Advent, (Gaudete Sunday) December 14, John 1:6-8, 19-28

My Reflections:Today is the third Sunday of Advent called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice; today the priest will wear a pink stole instead of the advent standard color of violet. We rejoice because we anticipate with great joy the coming of our savior.

But let us have a reality check first; is there still a reason to rejoice considering the worldwide economic gloom? Is there still a reason to rejoice considering that a lot of our relatives will be loosing their jobs because their companies/factories where they are working will be closing before soon? Is there is a reason to rejoice for a young couple with four mouths to feed who both lost his jobs a few days ago? As we read the news we read a lot of depressing items, is this reason to rejoice?

A few minutes ago I went to the Christmas party of a poor community here in our parish, being poor we shared little and simple food but it was all right. The little food that we had didn’t matter at all, what was important was we shared, we laugh and we were happy. In spite of the discouraging events unfolding before us there is still a reason to rejoice and that is the birth of our Lord.

In the first reading according to the prophet Isaiah it says: “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.

Like John the Baptist, we who are deep in our faith must be an instrument of God (with humility) to convey to those who are poor and to those who are losing hope that there is still reason to rejoice and that reason is the forthcoming birth of our Lord Jesus our Christ.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Gospel Reflections for the Second Sunday of Advent: December 7, Mark 1:1-8

My Reflections:

Yesterday afternoon I presided a funeral blessing for a 92 years old man, when I arrived, the chapel was already teeming with people. There were speakers who gave him glowing tributes, an old lady told me that he was instrumental in the building of their chapel, another one told me that he encourage a lot of people in their place to attend the cursillo, another old man who was his contemporary told me that he was always leading the rosary in their chapel. There were many more good things that I heard about him and it all told me one thing: in his own humble manner he prepared the way of the Lord for them.

On this second Sunday of Advent we reflect on how John the Baptist fulfilled with humility the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah. He preached repentance and forgiveness of sins; he prepared the way for Jesus with humility when he said: “One mightier than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John perfectly knew that his role was to be a herald for the coming of our savior Jesus.

As Christian Catholics, this is also our role; to be messengers for Jesus with humility. To help spread the good news about repentance and forgiveness of our sins through the Sacrament of Confession.

We should not keep to ourselves this beautiful call for repentance we must echo this call to our friends and most specially our family members. However, it’s easier said than done, it’s not easy to encourage them to humbly submit themselves to the Sacrament of Confession. But if we will be like John who embraced his discipleship with all humility I think we will be effective.

On this second Sunday of Advent we are therefore being challenged by the gospel to help prepare the way of the Lord and to respond to John’s call for repentance.

Are we prepared to respond?