Quotations:

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Gospel Reflections for Sunday January 31: Luke 4:21-30

My Reflections:
There are people who like to be praised they love it very much—praises are like wondrous music to their ears. But notice also the behavior of this very people when they are told about their shortcomings. They easily get angry even if the person who tells them about it does it out of love for them. Then, at the end of the day—the one who tells the truth out of pure concern and love becomes now the villain. The one to be persecuted, to be hated and the most extreme that may happen is that the person who’s telling the truth out of love may even be killed.

Sounds familiar isn’t it? During dictatorial regimes or even during normal democratic governance how many people simply disappeared and have never been seen again because they have the guts to tell the truth about the ills of certain regimes/governments.

In families, it often happens that when a bad decision of the most senior member of the family is contradicted by someone who is his much younger than him. The younger one is normally criticized and sometimes subjected to humiliation. This kind of incident is not exclusive to families—it happens also in friendships and organizations.

Sometimes the truth that is told with love and concern will hurts us but this same truth will liberate us and it will set us free.

It’s not also easy at times to tell the truth because it may create enmity with our friends and relatives. But who cares? As so long as we tell the truth out of love and concern—we need not fear anyone. Let us always remember that Jesus is always with those who tell the truth.

Are we like the prophet Jeremiah who was never afraid to tell what the Lord commanded him to do?

Are we like Jesus who boldly spoke of the truth in the synagogue even at the risk of His life?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Gospel Reflections for the Feast of Sto.Nino January 17 Sunday: Luke 2:41-52

My Reflections:
Today here in the Philippines we celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Nino (The Child Jesus) this is a special event celebrated by the church here in the Philippines duly granted by the Vatican. There’s festive mode in almost all of the churches here especially those whose Parish church is named after it.

However, the Philippines being a third world country is also poor and there’s a whole lot of suffering and hungry people specially the children. Just this morning around the neighborhood there were two very poor children one was around seven years old and the other was around ten. I assumed that they were brothers they were both scavenging they were carrying two half-empty sacks full of plastics, bottles, steels and other things that they could salvage to sell then buy for their food. At a distance I saw that the two were being harassed and being insulted by children residing in our community. Then suddenly the two poor children were being manhandled already. I intervened and let go of the two poor children.

I also know of a family with five children the father has a stable job the mother has none. The children are so thin because they are neglected. The father drinks with friends often and the mother doesn’t know how to budget their money. And she also has her own set of wayward friends. So who suffers? It’s their children.

These are but two sad stories of suffering children—there’s a lot more out there I’m sure and who is to blame for this? It’s their irresponsible parents! So where’s the influence of the Sto. Nino? Here lies the problem of our superficial faith—faith that is not imbibed and lived. We celebrate this special feast festively but we don’t properly take care of the poor and hungry children.

In the gospel the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph are both exemplar of righteous and responsible parents. Upon taking notice that Jesus was not with them on their way home—they went back and never stopped searching for Jesus until they found Him in the temple in the company of teachers—He was listening to them. The child Jesus was also well taught of proper values by the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph for the reason that He was obedient to them.

It’s not only the children of the poor who are neglected; even the rich children are neglected also. Some rich parents have this wrong notion that money can substitute for their love and time. They pamper their children with money and other material things. So what happens is that these rich but sadly neglected children turn to other vicious things upon entering puberty and adulthood.

On this feast of the Sto. Nino—I pray that both poor and rich parents will have that enlightenment to know how to properly care of their long suffering children.

Are you a responsible and Godly parent?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Gospel Reflections for the Baptism of the Lord; Sunday January 10: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

My Reflections:
If we will become aware of it the baptism of Jesus is situated in the early part of Luke’s gospel.

Before actually doing His ministry Jesus was first baptized by John in the river Jordan. Through John Jesus was first blessed by God and by means of a Dove the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. By His baptism Jesus first seek God’s blessing before starting His ministry of Salvation. By His baptism Jesus also showed that He was in solidarity with the people who were seeking to be baptized by John. being the anointed of God He need not go through the baptismal process but He choose to be baptized to show that everyone needs God’s anointing and blessings.

As Jesus went thru His self-less three years public ministry this baptismal grace was with Him and constantly strengthening Him.

This baptism of Jesus invites us to remember also our own baptism. When was it? Of course we will not remember because we were still not aware of it then (we were months old then). But being Catholics/Christians we are now being invited by the gospel to remember this very important if not the most important episode in our lives.

We must also be faithful to our own baptismal mission that is to become partners with Jesus in spreading the good news of His salvation. This is where some if not many Catholics are still wanting. Yes we go to church for Mass but does it end there? No it doesn’t we must share the good news about Jesus and the church that He founding through Peter.

We must also learn how to live our faith because the best testament of our faith is on how we live it. We may be Catholics but do we live this faith that we have that was given to us during our baptism?

Mother Teresa of Kolkata lived her baptismal mission to the fullest; she lived it mostly thru her selfless actions. Her kindness—on how she cared for the sick, needy and the dying.

Have we already done something concrete to live our Baptismal mission?