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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jesse M. Robredo, (May 27, 1958-Aug. 18, 2012)

Farewell to a great Filipino, an honest, simple and humble public servant. A model family man, a true man of God and of faith, a true man of the poor (Jessie M. Robredo, May 27, 1958-Aug. 18, 2012). 

Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday August 19, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time John 6:51-58

Gospel:
Jesus said to the crowds: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
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My Reflections:
There was a non practicing catholic whose house was located across the church. Every morning his wife would wake him up to accompany her to go to church to attend Holy Mass but he would always refuse. For so many months it was always like that every early morning. Out of curiosity he decided to go with his wife just to see what was going-on inside.

Upon going inside the Holy Mass has just started and to his amazement he saw angels all over the altar especially near the tabernacle. During consecration instead of the Holy Host, he saw real flesh being raised-up by the priest for the faithful to adore. Thereafter the retired man became a faithful believer and a constant presence in the daily celebration of the Holy Mass.

When Jesus said that He was the living bread that came down from heaven…     the Jews did not believe him. “In fact they said, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Indeed, how come that the host that we receive during Holy Communion becomes the body and blood of Jesus? It takes deep faith to believe the real presence of Jesus’ body and blood during Holy Communion. Obviously the Jews who were complaining about this brave declaration of Jesus did not have faith.

But do we really have faith?

When we fall in line for Holy Communion are we deeply focused with faith on the blessing that we are about to receive? After receiving Jesus do we still kneel and deeply communicate with Him? Or we just kneel because that’s the gesture that we have to do and we do it just for the sake of doing it. Do we still observe the Eucharistic fast and do we humbly submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year or as often as we want to? Do we go to Sunday Mass for the reason that it is our Sunday obligation? Or we go because we are influenced by our deep faith and love for Jesus?      

Many are always going to Mass every Sunday or even almost everyday but not everyone goes through the process of conversion. For the simple truth that we don’t allow ourselves to be converted by the Body and Blood of Jesus.

We persist to dominate Jesus because we refuse His call to walk away from our sinfulness. We continue to increase and Jesus continuous to decrease because we persist to be self-righteous and we intentionally refuse His call for us to be humble like Him. … 

The Youth and the Birth Control Quarrel by: +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan



Please click on this link: 

http://rcald.org/?p=674

Monday, August 13, 2012

Interview of Archbishop Luis G. Tagle by Fr. Thomas Rosica for Salt and Light TV Canada (June 2012 Dublin Ireland)

My Gospel Reflections for July 26, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: John 6:1-15

My Reflections:
The precursor to Jesus’ miracle of the loaves and fish was a boy who had five barley loaves and two fish; we cannot speak of this miracle without him. The boy was generous to give what was for him alone, he did not mind if he will get hungry; he just gave his food for others to eat.

Out of the selfless heart of the boy, Jesus miraculously multiplied the food and they were able to feed the five thousand plus hungry followers. And they still have some more to gather and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments.

We see here the enormous benefit of selfless sharing; sometimes we don’t share because we think that what we have is only enough for us. However, if we will learn to share we will also notice that what we share comes back to us a hundredfold. It is already immaterial how big or small the food that we share what is important is we are very much willing to share whatever blessing that we have.

There are similarities in the institution of the Eucharist and this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. Jesus instituted the Eucharist in remembrance of the Passover meal and coincidentally Jesus did this miracle of the loaves when the Passover feast was near. Jesus also took the loaves and gave thanks and distributed it to them. These are actions that He did during the Institution of the Eucharist.

Why did Jesus tested Philip? Because Philip had a shaky faith, he was with Jesus all along witnessing His miracles and all. Yet he was still doubtful that’s why Jesus tested him. Are we not like Philip once in a while? We are impatient sometimes and we doubt if Jesus will grant our dreams. If only we know that the period when we think that Jesus has already abandoned us is just His design to test us. Let us be patient and wait, let us pursue and not give-up on our visions. In time this testing period of Jesus on us will be over and He will eventually help us achieve what we want.

After doing the miracles of the loaves and after having so much fragments leftover. Naturally the crowds were amazed. Who would not be? So it’s time now to hail and exalt Jesus with praises. But Jesus would have none of it. True to his humility and self-effacing character He simply walked away to the mountain to be alone perhaps to pray and thank God for the blessing of the miracle of the loaves.

In this occurrence we see how different is Jesus from us, we love it when we are being honored, praised for the things that we do. We are tickled pink by it and our ears flap in agreement, often times we don’t do things without people noticing us. We want people to see what we do and we want them to praise us (like politicians and public officials). Let us all wake-up from this selfish and useless attitude for this is the mind-set of the world.

By His actions Jesus shows us valuable lessons on true sharing and true humility. ....

My Gospel Reflections for the nineteenth Sunday in ordinary time August 9: John 6:41-51

My Reflections:
The Jews murmured as if doubting or complaining and what were they murmuring about? It was Jesus’ statement that HE is the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:41) they were also mocking HIM when they said: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, I have come down from heaven (John 6:42)?”

This scene is somewhat the same when Jesus had His homecoming because His town mates were looking down on Him also (Matthew 13:54-58).

The bone of contention of their murmuring was the statement of Jesus that He is the bread that came down from heaven. Perhaps they were murmuring this: How can it be that He is the bread that came down from heaven? The Jews finds it hard to understand or accept what Jesus was saying to them for the reason that they were full of unbelief and scorn towards Jesus.

Our unbelief or shaky faith is the wall that prevents us from truly understanding the real identity of Jesus. On the other hand our firm faith on Jesus is the catalyst that will open our minds regarding HIS true identity. And it is thru the grace of God with the Holy Spirit that we begin to comprehend the real Jesus: HIS Humanity and Divinity.

Without a doubt Jesus is the true bread that came down from heaven. He is the same bread that we receive during Communion when we are at Holy Mass. He is the same Bread that is always in the Blessed Sacrament. We need to believe on it by doing so we open ourselves a gateway to receive further graces from God that will open our hearts about the truths of our faith.

So the secret to full comprehension of Jesus our Bread of Life is to walk with Jesus not with our sight but with our faith.

Why not start faithfully attending the celebration of the Holy Mass as often as you can. Why not try having regular scheduled visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and leave everything to Jesus our True Bread of Life. …

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday August 12, Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time John 6:41-51

Gospel:
The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven," and they said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, 'I have come down from heaven?'" Jesus answered and said to them, "Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
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My Reflections:
Yesterday the Philippines was inundated  by an unexpected high volume of rainfall it caused massive flooding which killed at least twenty people. It displaced thousands more, it destroyed unquantifiable amount of properties and many poor were begging and crying for help because nothing was left for them except the tattered clothes that they were wearing. 

What must we do when we are confronted with this type of heart-wrenching situation? Of course we must help, there’s no other option but to help. We must help them because this is our duty as followers of Jesus: To help those who are in need.

In our first reading for this Sunday, the prophet Elijah encountered so much hardship during his journey in the desert that he was almost on the verge of giving-up. But the Lord helped him, the Lord sent him an angel to give Elijah hope, food and water for him to continue his journey going to mount Horeb.

On every occasion that we present ourselves in the celebration of the Holy Mass the Lord offers Himself to us. Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion He invites us to partake of His Body, Blood and Divinity. For what reason?  He wants to help us, He wants to strengthen us and He wants to give us hope as we face the many challenges of our life.

However it must not end here, our partaking of the bread of Life must propel us to be Christ like in everyway. We must allow Jesus to change and transform us the way He wants us to become. We must be like Him in humility, in kindness and in compassion.

Our partaking of the Bread of Life should also move us to courageously share Jesus. Let us not be daunted by the obstacles before us let us rather use it as our inspiration. To bravely share Jesus because many are still not aware of the enormous blessing of the Bread of Life.

Let us share Jesus with them so that they too will be blessed by the Bread of Life which is no other than Jesus Himself. …

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Reflections for Tuesday August 7, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 14:22-36


Gospel:
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."

Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
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My Reflections:
Do we always have time for the development of our personal intimacy with God?

Jesus has that time, He always make it a point to be by Himself to pray and speak to God the Father. To speak to His Father was His energy booster it inspired Jesus to move-on and continue His mission of salvation.

In this modern frenetic world which is dictated by hedonism and materialism we seem to hardly have time in prayer for God, we have less time to know more about the life of   Jesus in the bible. Why? Because we allow ourselves to be overpowered by the demands of this fleeting world.  If we can create time to renew our ties with our  relatives and friends. Why can't we exert effort to daily renew our ties with the Lord in prayer? Let us not forget the giver of everything that we have let us always have our daily time for Him in prayer. 

No distractions whatsoever You and Him alone in prayer. ...  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday August 5, Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time John 6:24-35


Gospel:
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." So they said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.? So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
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My Reflections:
There’s a saint named Catherine of Siena, she was badly sick during the latter part of her life that she would spew out every kind of food that she swallowed. What sustained her during that crucial period of her life was her daily reception of Jesus through Holy Communion. She was sustained for a number of years by the Bread of Life until she eventually died.

Jesus in our gospel for this Sunday boldly tells us that He is our true bread of life that we must look for, the true bread of life that we must always hunger for. Why? Because once we find Jesus we will never hunger and thirst any longer for the material things of this world which in reality is very fleeting and can be taken away from  us anytime.

There are people who treat material possession, money, power, influence and the like as their own bread of life. However this is not the real bread of life but the bread of the world. There’s no satisfaction with this bread of this world because the more that we possess it the more that we crave for it. We will continuously hunger and thirst for this bread of the world until it completely possess and destroy us.

There’s a true story of a woman who complained about her pressure packed work. She grumbled that since her re- employment she is now often sick with high blood pressure, ulcer and other sickness caused by her pressure packed work. Her friend asked her why she keeps on working when she can comfortably live for the rest of her life  with her deposited money in the bank. 


Her curt reply was this: she wants to save some more because she will buy a much bigger house. This is always the scenario once we allow ourselves to be enslaved by the bread of this world: We will endlessly crave for things and possession even if we actually don’t need it anymore.

But what if we seek the true Bread of Life that is Jesus? We will be satisfied with whatever we have, we will not crave for material possession or wealth we will not experience so much pressure. We will instead be serene and peaceful because Jesus the true Bread of Life is with us.

Let us always hold close in our hearts this very powerful statement of Jesus: "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:35)