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, March 28, 2012

My Gospel Reflections for April 1, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord; Mark 15:1-39


My Reflections:
Imagine the scene of Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem. Imagine that you’re there spreading your own cloak and waiving your own palm. While shouting hosanna, hosanna in the highest! To honor Him as He pass by you on a donkey. The mood is festive isn’t it?

But after a few days the festiveness is replaced by somberness and isolation. The crowd shouting hosanna, hosanna has suddenly evaporated like morning dew.  The crowd who’ve been with Jesus in His healing ministry is nowhere to be found. Where were they when Jesus needed them most? They simply abandoned Jesus because He was not doing anymore miracles and healings.

They were the same crowd who allowed themselves to be dictated by the chief priests. That is why they shouted to release Barabbas instead of Jesus. And ironically the same crowd who loudly shouted: Crucify Him! Crucify him! With their betrayal Jesus’ went through His passion and death on the cross.

Who are this modern day crowd? It’s no other than many of us if not all of us! We only acknowledge Jesus in our triumphs and victories, we recognize Jesus during the happy episodes of our lives. And when we are in need of His help and guidance. But when we undergo trials and testing we question Jesus why we have to go through these sad stretches in our lives.

We also betray Jesus when we allow ourselves to be tempted by the evils of our time. Such as corruption, betrayal of the sacred marriage covenant, by ignoring those who are in need. And by doing many more actions which is against the will of God.

Let us be with Jesus this entire Holy Week let us not leave Him. Let us not only be with Jesus during Palm and Easter Sunday. Let us be with Him in all the Masses to be celebrated such as the Mass before the way of the Cross. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper during Holy Thursday, the veneration of the cross during Good Friday and the Vigil Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection during Saturday. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Gospel Reflections for Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 25 John 12:20-33


My Reflections:
A young man was aspiring to become a future priest so after his high school studies he went to a seminary to present himself to the vocation director. When he was asked why he desires to become a priest he said that he want to serve the people of God. To make a long story short the young man was accepted by the in seminary.

What the vocation director does not know was this: the young man lied when he answered that he wants to serve the people of God. He only want to become a priest because he loves the special attention given to priest in their parish. He loves the influence that a priest wields in the community, he loves the respect given to a priest most specially when the hand of the priest is blessed by the parishioners. And lastly the man loves the abundance of food that he often sees in their parish church.

After a year of studying the young man was eventually told by the vocation director to permanently consider a life outside of the seminary. For the reason that he could not cope-up with the very strict discipline of the religious institution.       

We sometimes seek Jesus with the thought in mind that once we are with Him life will be blissful already. We seek Jesus because we think that the moment we are with Him there will be no more problems and difficulties to overcome. We seek Jesus because we think that He is the panacea for our personal and emotional difficulties.

In the beginning of our gospel there were some Greeks who came to worship at the Passover Feast and they wanted to personally see Jesus. For what reason did they want to see Jesus? Were they expecting to witness more miracles from Jesus? Were they expecting to be healed by Jesus?  Were they expecting to hear more life changing preaching from Jesus?

Yet Jesus mysteriously tells us in the gospel as He told Andrew and Philip that if we want to have a full comprehension of His Lordship. We must be ready to die from our own selfish desires; we must be ready to lose our worldly lives in order to have eternal life with Him. And if we really want to truly serve Him we must be ready to bear our own cross as He carried and bore His own cross on His way to Calvary.  

A life with Jesus is never easy but it’s only through Him that we will discover the true meaning of our lives.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Reflections for March 18, Fourth Sunday of Lent John 3:14-21


My Reflections:
Facebook is the in thing right now and every member has their own way of expressing themselves. They shout to the wired world what is in their minds; they show to the world their latest activities, best photos and videos.

Yet we seldom see self-expression about Jesus or self-expression that relates to Jesus. We seldom see also pictures and activities that relate to God and His nature: Is this a sign that our love for God is slowly being eased out by our love for ourselves? Where will we go if our lives is centered on ourselves and on our worldly activities?

The readings most especially the gospel for this Sunday directs us to center our lives once again to the one who is the creator of this world and that is God. We must look-up to Jesus once again and make Him the center of our lives. Let us not focus our lives on worldly things and possessions for these are passing and temporary.

We may have the best luxuries in this world but if we don’t have God in our lives it will all be for naught and worthless. We may have all the wealth in our family but if we don’t have Jesus it amounts to nothing.  Our possessions will not grant us salvation it’s only God who can give us salvation and eternal life.

Are we willing to once again focus our lives on Jesus?

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Reflections for Monday March 12, Luke 4:24-30


My Reflections:                  
 Crab mentality perhaps were in the minds of Jesus townmates that is why they did not acknowledge Him as their prophet. His townmates were envious of His newfound celebrity status they could not accept that a simple carpenter was doing all these healings and miracles.

The reality of our lives is this: We don’t control the destiny of others only God controls it. God can raise-up seemingly ordinary people to give them extraordinary gifts and missions. We must not be envious of these people who were given by God with these extra ordinary gifts we instead must be happy for them. The result of their loathsome behavior towards Jesus is this: Jesus did not do much miracles in their place.

Let us not be like the townmates of Jesus let us embrace Jesus and let us deeply believe in Him for He is our Lord and Savior.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Reflections for Third Sunday of Lent March 11, John 2:13-25


My Reflections:
In a faraway parish there was a Eucharistic Minister that was designated by his parish pastor to lead the first Friday devotion of the Blessed Sacrament. To be prepared the Eucharistic Minister asked the pastor about the prayers to be said and the proper decorum during the ritual.

The Eucharistic Minister faithfully studied the prayers and the movements. After which he immediately went to church to do the delegated function. As the ritual was going-on there was a newly ordained priest from a nearby seminary who witnessed everything. And he found some flaws in the gestures of the Eucharistic minister.

After it was over the priest immediately went to the sacristy. And arrogantly scolded the Eucharistic minister in the presence of his fellow volunteer church workers. Recognizing the authority of the priest the minister meekly said that he was just following orders. And after the Mass the visibly guilt stricken minister calmly approached the same priest to apologize and say sorry through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We sometimes are very particular with the behavior or mistakes that we see from our fellowmen just like how the priest behaved  in our story. Yet we are not sensitive with our own irrational behavior and with our own superiority complex. We must also be sensitive with the feelings of the people that we will scold or berate. The priest could have been more creative in pointing out the mistake of the minister. He could have approached him without the presence of his fellow volunteer church workers. And there he could have calmly corrected the minister. But the priest chose to be arrogant and he egotistically imposed his authority.

Let us not forget that we are also temples of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthian 6:19). We must ensure that we rid ourselves of arrogance, superiority complex, egotism and other impure thoughts/actions that might defile us.

Do we clean ourselves from these negative attitudes that defiles us? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Reflections for Saturday March 10, Lk 15:1-3, 11-32


My Reflections:
After wasting his money on his vices the younger son decided to return to his father. He swallowed his pride; he braved the insults and ridicule that might come his way just to be home again with his father who unconditionally loved him.

There is also a stretch in our lives that we drift way from God; we personally take command of our lives. We indulge in different worldly vices thinking that it will make us happy after which we realize that there is still this void that has not been filled by our worldly cravings.

Afterwards the time will come that we will be facing sure death our money no matter how big will not be of help to us neither our power nor influence. During this end time moments we have no other option except to call on Jesus.        

But let us not wait when we are already in death’s doorway before we return to Jesus. Let us do it now while we are still strong and healthy. Jesus is compassionately waiting to lovingly embrace us back again.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Reflections for Monday March 5, Luke 6:36-38


My Reflections:
Jesus gives us precious lesson about being merciful because He is merciful to us. No matter how sinful we are His unfathomable mercy is always there before us. But are we merciful most especially to the poor and powerless?

Jesus gives us lesson about judgment: We are not to judge because we will be judged too. On hindsight who are we to judge our fellowmen? Are we God to Judge them? What right do we have to judge them? Do we judge because we are rich, more educated and more powerful?

Jesus tells us not to condemn, instead of condemning why not motivate and be an instrument of healing. We may not know this but our words are very powerful if we are quick to condemn. We might push to the brink of desperation those that we condemn and the result may be tragic.

On forgiveness, Jesus tells us to always be forgiving.  Why are there people who cannot forgive? Perhaps the love of Jesus is not yet in their hearts, when we don’t forgive we are only punishing ourselves with undeserved burden. So let go, forgive and leave everything to God.

On giving, Jesus tells us to give from our hearts not from our excess because many of us give for the reason that we don’t need it anymore. Let us give from our hearts because whatever we freely give will be ploughed back to us a hundredfold.   

Let us reflect on these priceless insights from Jesus.