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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Friday, August 26, 2011

My Reflections for Sunday August 28 Twenty-Second Sunday in OT: Matthew 16:21-27

My Reflections:
There’s this teaching called Prosperity theology or gospel, the center of this philosophy is this: You follow and serve Jesus and you will prosper materially. You give to your church without measure because you will receive what you gave a hundredfold. The proponent of this idea focuses on God as a giver of wealth and prosperity. Some charismatic groups are using this teaching to attract more followers and they are successful with this; who wouldn’t want prosperity and a blissful life.

But is this always true? That once we choose to follow Jesus and generously give to the church we will have a prosperous and blissful life?

Jesus in the gospel said to the disciples: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  In effect Jesus is contradicting this teaching of prosperity theology; many of us has this mistaken notion that once we choose to follow Jesus then life will be OK already for us.  This is not always the case, often times the more that we faithfully follow Jesus the more that we are persecuted, the more that we create enemies for ourselves. There are even those who were martyred for their faithful discipleship.

Does this discourage us already? The person with a faint heart will be easily discouraged by this paradox of true discipleship. But if we really desire to faithfully follow Jesus we must be prepared for persecution, for hardship and we must even be prepared to die for the sake of our true discipleship. Full blooded followers will never be afraid with whatever sufferings and crosses that may come their way. Because they know that in the middle of their hardships and persecutions Jesus will always be there for them to strengthen and guide them in every step of their way.

So why be afraid of sufferings, of persecution or even death? Life is temporary anyway and aside from that we don’t own our lives, God owns it. If we suffer because of our faithful adherence for Jesus then expect a reward someday.

It may not come our way during our lifetime but there will eventually be a reward when we are already up there in His heavenly kingdom. ... 

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Reflections for August 21 Sunday Twenty-First Sunday in OT: Matthew 16:13-20

My Reflections:
On the surface Peter seemed to be the most articulate and gifted among the apostles because he knows the true identity of Jesus. Is it by his own effort that he knows that Jesus is the Christ? Of course not! It was God who gave Peter the wisdom to know that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah.

But let us examine his life, Peter is the most prominent among the twelve apostles he was the one who told Jesus to let him walk on water towards Him (Matthew 14:28-29). He was with Jesus along with James and John during Jesus’ Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-10). When Jesus was about to be arrested it was Peter who defended Jesus by cutting off the ear of the soldier Malchus, (John 18:10). Peter was the first apostle to enter the empty tomb (Tumb) of Jesus, (Luke 24:12). And Peter was also the first apostle to whom Jesus appeared after His resurrection, (Luke 24:34).  In other words Peter was always by the side of Jesus.       

So we can therefore conclude that being always with Jesus is an advantage. Because we get to know Him better, we become close to Him thus we develop this personal relationship with Jesus.  We must therefore find time to meet Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Mass, we must worthily and reverently receive Him during communion we must listen and have that personal dialogue with Him by reading the bible regularly.  

Let us constantly remember that there is always a blessing for those who exert effort to know Jesus deeply. Saint Peter was given the wisdom to know that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. And the grace of being the first pope of our universal church which was founded by Jesus through him.                

Do we exert effort to know Jesus deeply?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for August 4, Thursday of the Eighteenth Week Ordinary Time: Matthew 16:13-23

My Reflections;
When Jesus was giving some hints of His forthcoming sufferings and eventual death; Peter rebuked Him by saying: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

If we are really dead serious with our discipleship with Jesus then expect sufferings here and there for its part of our Christian discipleship. But don’t worry because as we suffer expect also the comforting love of Jesus. He will be there for us to help us carry our sufferings.

I’m presently giving the Body of Christ every Sunday morning to an eighty four year old man who is a former Extra Ordinary minister of the Holy Communion. Because of his sickness he can’t stand anymore and he is bone thin already but I never heard him complain. He would instead always thank me for being patient with him and for bringing Jesus to him. …     

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for August 2, Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

My Reflections:
Just like the Pharisees and the scribes some of us are so good on observing the church traditions but when it comes to living our faith we are inadequate.

For example, a lady who is always in the church to lead the novena prayers but when she’s at home she’s a domineering figure.

Another example, A Lay churchman who is faithful to his church obligations but he is not faithful to his obligations towards his family.

The Pharisees and the scribes were very particular with the fake exterior, the pretence. But Jesus is very particular on the pure interior, the real us, the things that we do when nobody’s around to see us. ...