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

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. ... 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Saturday August 27: Matthew 25:14-30


My Reflections:
The talent/s that we have is to be shared freely for the reason that we are just stewards of it, we don’t own it to ourselves. But how come there are people who don’t want to share their talents unless there’s a financial consideration in exchange for it.  Perhaps these people are already consumed by the values of this world wherein profit and greed for money is paramount. 

Not everything in this world is measured by the money that we can possess. There are far more important things than money such as selfless service for those who are badly in need.

Let us not allow ourselves to be eaten-up by this materialistic world, share your time, talents and treasures even if you won’t be getting anything in return. Don’t keep it to yourself share it so that others may learn the virtue of selfless sharing through you. ...   

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?

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Sunday August 14 Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 15:21-28


My Reflections:
The phrase Son of David means Anointed One, Messiah, Savior and Christ; it is somewhat a mystery why a non Jew like the Canaanite woman knows the true identity of Jesus. We can conclude therefore that the woman is a silent believer and basing on her actuations she is not just an ordinary believer she is a believer with deep faith.

Around that time Jesus was within her vicinity so she went to HIM to ask for His help for her daughter was being tormented by a demon.  She wasn’t able to immediately catch Jesus’ attention for she was an outsider; aside from that; she was also being despised by His disciples. But she persisted and she never gave-up until Jesus gave in to her request for healing for her daughter.

What were the three qualities that caught Jesus attention concerning the Canaanite woman? First was her humility, second was her deep faith and third was her persistence. A person with a very high regard of herself and with feeble faith could have walked away immediately the moment she heard the insults from the disciples. But she is humble and has deep faith that’s why she remained and persistently begged Jesus to cure her daughter.

What is the lesson for us in this gospel episode? Jesus’ love is for everyone of us; it doesn’t even matter who we are and how big or small our sins are. For as long as we humble ourselves before Jesus and for as long as we continue to nurture our faith in Him always expect Him to help us in every way possible with our problems. He may not immediately respond to our pleadings and prayers but He will surely respond in His own perfect time.

Are we persistent with our prayer petitions before Jesus? Do we humble ourselves before Jesus?  Do we have deep faith in Him?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for August 7 Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 14:22-33


My Reflections:
Every Sunday morning after serving at Mass I would immediately go to the house of an eighty four years old former Eucharistic Minister to give him Communion. Being sick he could hardly move and barely speak and I always notice that after I arrive he would encourage everyone in their house to be silent. Then on a small table the candle is immediately lighted after which I place my corporal and put my pyx, open it to expose the Body of Christ. While seated he would bow in reverence and quietly worship Jesus in silence as I say the prayers after which I give him the Body of Christ.

It’s always a moving experience for me as I quietly observe him how he worship Jesus with faith in silence, how he quietly desire to reverently receive the Body of Christ in silence and how Jesus creates peace and calmness in his life.

In our first reading the Lord God said to Elijah go outside the mountain for God will be passing by. There was a strong wind but God was not there. Then followed an earthquake but God was still not there subsequently fire came but God was not in the fire.  After these thundering manifestations then came a tiny whispering sound and it was God; He spoke to Elijah.

 In our gospel, the boat where the disciples were was being battered by the waves then amidst the disturbance came Jesus silently walking on water to assure them that in their fearful and unstable present environment He was there to calm them to assure them that everything will be all right for He was there to save them.

We are oftentimes being tossed upside down by our environment that creates fear and disturbance in our hearts.   We are being tossed by fear of losing our job, we are being disturbed by fear of sickness, we are being tossed by fear of getting old and there are countless more fears that may come our way.

But in the middle of all these fears and disturbances in our lives Jesus silently comes into our hearts. To assure and calm us that everything will be okay to say to us that we need not fear for He is there to save us. 

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 3 Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 15:21-28


My Reflections:
Saint James had said that faith without action is empty  (James 2:20); if we want something to happen to us we must pray  hard and work hard also for its achievement. Our faith and actions must always go together we must not pray and do nothing, instead we must pray and do something to achieve what we pray for; after which we leave it all to Jesus’ mercy.

The Canaanite woman did this; she never gave up on Jesus to heal her daughter tormented by a demon. She continued to badger Jesus no matter his rejections until Jesus saw her great faith. If the woman easily gave up her daughter would have not been healed but she persisted in faith then Jesus saw it that’s why He granted the wish of her heart.

When we ask Jesus for something; let us pray hard with faith and let us also work hard. …

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. ...