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

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Reflections for Sunday December 4 Second Sunday of Advent Mark 1:1-8 (Originally posted on December 5, 2008)


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, an old man who was his contemporary told me that he was always leading the rosary prayer 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? 

My Reflections for Sunday December 4 Second Sunday of Advent Mark 1:1-8


My Reflections:
Humble people are simple they live simply without the unnecessary appendages of life. They shun publicity, they silently work in the vineyard of the Lord with competence and if they are given honor for what they do. They try very hard to deflect the honor and points to someone else as the one who deserves it.

John is a model of humility, simplicity and true discipleship let us look at how he lived. John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey and he preferred to be alone in the wilderness.

He is also a model disciple; he preached repentance and forgiveness of sins without any ulterior motives whatsoever. He humbly preached and extolled Jesus as someone whom he was not even worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.

On this second Sunday of Advent let us ponder on the humility of John the Baptist as with our own humility if there is any. Let us think about how he humbly prepared the way of the Lord as to our own way of preparing others on the forthcoming birth of the Lord if there is anything that we are doing now.

There is still time for us to become humble and there is still time for us to create awareness about the forthcoming birth of Jesus. ...

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Friday December 2 First week of Advent: Matthew 9: 27-31


My Reflections:
How strong is your faith in Jesus? Is it as strong with the two blind men in the gospel? The two blind men were healed by Jesus because their faith in Him was rock solid. Our strong faith in Jesus will bring us healing it will bring us inner peace that this world will not be able to give us.

What will this temporal world give us? It will give us wealth but not faith, it will give us power but not faith and it will give us popularity but not faith.

It is only through Jesus that we can have faith, the same faith that the two blind men had. That is why their eyes were opened and healed courtesy of their deep faith in Jesus.

How is your faith in Jesus?

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Monday November 28 First week of Advent: Matthew 8:5-11



My Reflections:
The faith of the centurion must also be our faith, the concern of the centurion towards his servants must also be our concern towards our fellowmen. This must always be our behavior because many of us are very feeble with our faith and many of us are only selfishly concerned with our own well-being.   

Jesus will certainly come to us and help us realize what we want in life provided we persevere in faith. No matter how long our waiting and no matter how arduous the road the lies ahead of us. ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Sunday November 27 First Sunday of Advent: Mark 13:33-37



My Reflections:
During the medieval period wherein kingdom and royalty were the ruling power. Whenever there is a threat of invasion the kingdom who is under threat would position soldiers miles away outside of its kingdom to spot the incoming enemy. Once they see the incoming threat they would blow horns or they would shout loudly to alert their kingdom’s soldiers about the coming invaders. Therefore the soldiers would be able to prepare their war equipments and properly defend their kingdom.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent which means coming this is a time of expectation for the coming birth of Jesus. Unlike the soldiers in the middle ages who prepared for the coming of their invaders.  Advent reminds us that we need to prepare for the coming of the savior who gave His life for our sake. 

How are we preparing for His coming? Is it a preparation that involves material things? If this is so, then Jesus wants us to dig deeper in to our spiritual lives for this is the proper preparation for His coming. We need no material things to prepare we just need to be sacramentally prepared by humbly submitting ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. We need no material things we just need to do Corporal and Spiritual acts of mercy and these to me is already enough preparation for His coming. The context of the gospel for this first Sunday of Advent is Jesus’ exhortation for the disciples to be alert and watchful for they do not know when the end may come.

Unlike the disciples who doesn’t know the coming of the end times. We all know what we are preparing for this Advent and that is the forthcoming birth of Jesus. But even if we know the date of His birth we still need to be watchful and alert. Because we need now more than ever to focus our attention with Jesus to prepare ourselves for His coming birth.

The true meaning of Christmas is slowly being battered by materialism; try talking to children and ask them about Christmas. Chances are that they may talk about gifts and other material expectations. Try asking adults who are feeble with their faith they may not be able to identify the true meaning of Christmas. We must be watchful and alert with this slow erosion of the true value of Christ's birth.

On this first Sunday of Advent let us make every effort to bring back the truest meaning of Christmas and that is the coming birth of Jesus our savior. …    

My Gospel Reflections for Saturday November 26; Luke 21:34-36


My Reflections:
What will happen to us if we are so much busy with our worldly activities that we forget our intimacy with God?  We become mechanical beings that exist only for this temporal world thus we eventually cut-off any contact with God in favor of this world.

This is dangerously happening now for example there are countries that prohibit the saying of prayers in schools. There are countries that proudly promote abortion and other anti life measures. We must be watchful and try every possible way to counter these anti life and anti Christians policies espoused by the liberal minds of today.

Where will we start? Start inside your family, bring your children to Mass, pray the Rosary and worship God as a family. Teach them the basics of our faith; teach them how to read the Bible. And read to them the words of God in the bible and reflect on it as a family.

By doing so you will be deeply implanting the roots of our faith in their young minds and they will imbibe it as they grow. Therefore they will be able to withstand whatever worldly tribulations and temptation that may come their way.    

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Monday November 21, Luke 2:1-4



My Reflections:
Pureness of intentions is always first with Jesus, He doesn’t care who you are, even your social status in life it doesn’t count on Him. What is important with Him is our  desire to help regardless of the amount that we give.

This is what we must follow when we treat people; because we are easily awed by the rich and we oftentimes look down on the poor. We must not judge based on their life’s status we rather judge them based on how sincere they are. But how can we decipher that an individual is sincere and true with his intention to help when we don’t have power to read a person’s mind?

This is very simple: We must always be true and sincere with whatever we say and do. ...     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Sunday, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King November 20: Matthew 25:31-46


My Reflections:
In 1925 by virtue of his encyclical letter Quas Primas Pope Pius XI mandated that every last Sunday of October is the Feast of Christ the King. This was done to impress upon us Christ's eternal authority over us it was also in response to the growing secularism at that time. In 1969 Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new date. Henceforth it is now celebrated every last Sunday of the liturgical year.
What is the significance of the Solemnity of Christ the King in our lives? It encourages us to make Jesus the center and King of our lives; it persuades us to make Jesus the priority of our lives. In other words before anything else it must be Jesus first in our lives.

But look at what is happening now; Jesus is not first in our lives; Jesus in fact is the least to some of us. We need no factual statistics to validate this; we just need to look at the attendance of Mass goers. We look at the spiralling crime rate, the corporate greed wherein the rich becomes richer and they further push down the poor to the gutter. Obviously the Kingship of Christ is nowhere in their hearts, the kingship of Jesus is slowly being eroded by the kingship of materialism and greed.

Will we allow this erosion of the Kingship of Jesus in favor of the kingship of the secular world? We must not allow this to happen! We who are followers of Christ must see to it that He is always part and parcel of our daily lives. We may not verbally preach Him but we must learn to preach Him through our daily lives. As Saint Francis of Asisi has said: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.”  This means that we must live the gospel in every moment of our lives by  doing so we will be perpetuating the kingship of Christ in this world. But this is seldom done now what is often preached now is greed, materialism, egotism and other forms of secularist teachings.

We are therefore being challenged by Jesus to help Him become more relevant in this present world. Now more than ever the world needs the Kingship of Jesus, His values and His teachings. Let us not run away from this responsibility that Jesus gives up, let us live His kingship, let us embrace it and let us share it.

Can we measure up to this challenge?   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Saturday November 19: Luke 20:27-40


My Reflections:
Perhaps some of us are worrying as to what will happen to us when we die. Let us not worry about it because when we die there is no more worries only happiness. When we die there is no more conflict only loving friendships and when we die there is no more distinction as to who we are for we shall all be equal in God’s eyes.

The afterlife in the kingdom of God is the perfect life for us, let us aim for it while we are still in this worldly journey. Let us start by living our lives according to what God wants us to live it and we can do this by following the two greatest love commandments of Jesus. (Matthew 22:37-40)

By doing so we shall have a foretaste on how it is to live in the afterlife. ... 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for 33rd Sunday in OT, November 13: Matthew 25:14-30


My Reflections:
Very recently a talented inventor passed away; he was praised by the world for his contribution to the advancement of cutting edge computer technology. He used his talent to the fullest extent to feed the technology cravings of this world. I just don’t know if he used a part of his talent to advance the kingdom of God.

We all have talent/s that God has given us that is why we sometimes say this statement to our friends: You have a God given talent. However, we oftentimes selfishly use this talent to advance our own agendas such as to increase our wealth and status in life. There is nothing wrong with this kind of usage of our talents for we are humans. As such our tendency is to grow and nurture this talent/s to feed our human needs.

But Jesus gives us another purview on how to use the talent/s that He gave us by way of the parable of the talents in our gospel. He tells a parable of a master who went on a journey but before proceeding he called his three servants and he entrusted them his wealth. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one after which he proceeded with his journey.

After a period of time the master came home and he called the three servants so that he can be updated on what they’ve done with the talent/s that he entrusted them. We all know what happened; the first two were very enterprising for they were able to multiply the talents entrusted to them.

But the servant who was entrusted with one talent was not as enterprising as the two. Out of fear for his master he instead buried the one talent that was entrusted to him. Naturally the master was furious with this unproductive servant and we know already what happened to this unproductive servant.

There is no question that Jesus has given us talent/s and we have already used it to advance our own well being for example, to have a good and comfortable life. I think it’s about time now that we use this/these God given talent/s to help Jesus advance His kingdom in this world.

Let us not fear nor doubt if we are not that talented.  Jesus is simply asking us to move and put to good use the talents that He gave us. …

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Friday November 11, Luke 17:26-37


My Reflections:
The people during the time of Noah and Lot were preoccupied with immoral and worldly things; perhaps this was the reason why without any warning came the catastrophe. Why did it happen? It happened  because they were very much preoccupied with the things that would satisfy their lust, their greed and their love to commit sin.

We never learn from these incidents because up to this very moment some of us continue to crave to commit immorality! Some of us are still very greedy we have no satisfaction and we continue to amass corrupted wealth!   We continue to commit sin; we continue to harbor Satan in our midst. 

We better stop these sinful actions that we do before it completely devour us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Thursday November 10: Luke 17:20-25


My Reflections:
Each and everyone of us has different awareness of the kingdom of God; for some it’s already here and now. This is basically attributed to their rock solid faith and close intimacy with God.

Others have no sensitivity of the kingdom of God in their lives and the sad part here is they think that life ends with death. In these others lies the challenge for us. What must we do so that these immeasurable others will know that the kingdom of God is real?  

Should we preach about it? Should we teach them about it?

WE must preach, we must teach and we must live the kingdom of God in our lives. ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for 32nd Sunday in OT, November 6: Matthew 25:1-13


My Reflections:
In the gospel there are two sets of virgins who waited for the bridegroom. The one set belongs to the five who were foolish and the other set belongs to the wise ones. We would always want to be identified with the five wise virgins who brought more than enough oil. The oil that they brought keep their lamps lighted until the arrival of the bridegroom. By doing so they gained entry to the wedding reception which is the kingdom of heaven.

To say that we want to be identified with the wise virgins is easier said than done. Because how can we gain entry if we are not presently living our lives according to what God wants us to live it?

Being prepared and wise requires us to do good always, to always be humble, to always be loving even to those who are not lovable to our sight. Being prepared requires us also not to be judgmental and to always be forgiving.

It’s not easy to always be prepared because this will require us to walk on the less travelled road of righteousness. 

But this is the challenge before us if we really desire entry in the kingdom of heaven. …

My Gospel Reflections for Saturday November 5: Luke 16:9-15


My Reflections:
What is the true wealth that Jesus speaks about in the gospel?

The other wealth such as money, possessions, power and the like are temporary, fake and passing. And if we are not careful on handling this temporary wealth it may possess and eventually destroy us or we may destroy others just to possess this temporal wealth.

The true wealth is Jesus himself! Let us strive: To seek Him, to know more about Him, to have this personal relationship with Him and to share our knowledge about Him.

If we have the true and everlasting wealth that is Jesus; we will not anymore be looking for the temporary wealth. ...

My Gospel Reflections for Friday November 4: Luke 16:1-8


My Reflections:
Someday when our life in this world is over and done with,  there shall be an accounting of what we have done in this world. God will ask us: What have you done during your lifetime? How shall we answer God by that time?

Shall we say then that we have shared the many gifts that He has given us? Or we will be mum and speechless because we have not lived a productive life in terms of sharing the gifts that God had given us.

Some of us will say that how can we share our time when we hardly have time for ourselves. This is a very self-serving statement because if we really desire to share we will be able to share. It all boils down to desire; if we really want to share what we have we can make it happen. Let us all remember that there shall be an accounting of what we’ve done during our tour of duty in this world.  

A well lived life is a life that is altruistically shared with others.