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

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Reflections for Wednesday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
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My Reflections:
Jesus depicts His kingdom as treasure and pearl that whoever will find it will give up everything just to have it. Indeed, the kingdom of God is a priceless treasure and pearl that we must all desire very hard to possess. For what it will do us if we have treasures in this world yet we don’t have God in our lives?

The riches of this world are all passing and temporary we will leave it all somewhere along the path of our lives. Whether we like it or not we have to leave everything that we have in this world. So who will remain without end?   The one that will forever be there for us is God; the one that shall bring us to heaven is God. These temporary things that presently surround us will not be able to bring us to our eternal heavenly destination. It’s only through God that we will be able to go to heaven.

In our gospel, the person found the true treasure of life that is Jesus; he willingly gave-up everything just to have Him. The same also with the merchant when he found the true pearl of his life that is Jesus he sold everything in his possessions so that he could possess the greatest pearl that is Jesus. Many saints have done this too, they gave-up everything just to have Jesus. 

Let us not yield Jesus for the temporary and sometimes immoral enjoyment of this world. For what is inside this world is temporary and passing.

But our treasure and pearl that is Jesus will forever be there for us. …

My Reflections for Monday July 30, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.  "The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" He spoke to them another parable. "The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened."

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
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My Reflections:
The tiny mustard seed became the largest of plants, the yeast was little until it was mixed with three measures of wheat flour after which it grew bigger. There’s that transition in the gospel for both parables from being small both grew big.

By virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Confirmation Jesus planted that small seed of faith in us. He has no other desire but for us to nurture it and let it grow and bloom where other could benefit from us. But somehow as we mature we put aside our faith and we prioritize the temporal things of this world.

God’s desire is for us  to nurture our faith it’s His perpetual yearning for us: to grow our faith. Let us therefore ask Jesus to grant us the grace to increase our faith and of course let us also do our part by faithfully adhering to the teachings of the church and by reading our bible.

Do you read your bible and do you pray to Jesus for an increase of faith?  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Reflections for Friday July 27, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 13:18-23

Jesus said to his disciples: "Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
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My Reflections:
How do we respond to the words of God when we encounter it? Do we take time to ponder and reflect on it even for a short time?

We understand that we are always busy but we must not let this busyness take us completely out away from God. We must allocate some of our precious time for God otherwise we might become walking beings that is totally enslaved by this world. Walking being that is entirely at the mercy of power, riches, flesh and other worldly undertakings that is attractively sugar coated so that it could completely veer us away from God.

Jesus’ wants to be the rich soil at all times (to hear the word, understand it and live it) that’s why He gives us people that will introduce and guide us to God. But some do not even care to listen, some do care to listen but after a while they forget it, some listens and they remember but they forget to practice it in their daily life.

What Jesus wants from us is to hear the world of God, to reflect upon it and to apply it in our daily lives.  By doing so we now become the seed that was sown on the rich soil which bore fruit and yielded a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.

Let us  therefore take time to listen and reflect on the worlds of God in the bible. ... 

My Reflections for Thursday July 26, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Matthew 13:10-17

The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven    has been  granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
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My Reflections:
Parables are stories filled with lessons about God and life, the disciples being close confidant of Jesus were aware of this and they know the meaning of each parable that Jesus gave them.

But not all were discerning of its meaning most especially the fickle crowd who would be there only because they want something from Jesus.  After they’ve got what they want from Jesus they once again detach themselves from Him in other words the fickle crowd were followers in need only.

There are still many nowadays who are like the fickle crowd they follow Jesus or they go to church because they are in need, for instance their need for the Sacraments. After they’ve gotten what they’ve wanted they distance themselves from the church until their next need of the church comes up once again.

We must follow Jesus the way the disciples followed Him they were not followers in need only, they were always there for Him; in good times and in bad. …

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Reflections for Wednesday July 25, Feast of Saint James, apostle; Matthew 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom." Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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My Reflections:
The mother and the two sons obviously do not know the virtue of humility otherwise they would have not requested to be at the side of Jesus in heaven. If they know something about the virtue of humility they would have not asked Jesus that self-promoting request. How is it to be a true servant of the Lord? To be a true servant is to be humble at all times to be self-effacing at all times so that Jesus will be more highlighted over us.

 We have our different motivations in serving in the different ministries in our church or in helping our fellowmen. Some use it as a spring board to enter their local politics. Some use it for them to be known in their community and as a badge of honor for them to be respected.

It’s none of the above actually.

True service in the church and with our fellowmen must always be accompanied by the virtue of humility. Our motivation is to serve without thinking of the gains and accolades that we will reap in return and this is how Jesus served us, His church.

Let us always serve with humility and let us always put forward the welfare of our fellowmen. 

My Reflections for Tuesday July 24, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you." But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."
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My Reflections:
There’s a story of a man who badly wanted to be close to Jesus so he went to a wise man and he asked for his counsel on what he must do to achieve his desire. The wise man told him to do good all the time, to help and extend love to everyone without expecting something in return. He followed the wise advice without question and true enough he found closeness with Jesus.
Closeness with Jesus is something that is always within our reach, it’s always there for us to take. Yet closeness with Jesus also requires us to follow His devotion to the will of God the Father for Him. We must do this also if we want to be close to Jesus and be called Jesus’ brother, sister and mother.

We must also desire to be called Jesus’ brother, sister and mother.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Reflections for Monday July 23, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."
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My Reflections:
A single lady who was in her early thirties was eyeing a man to be her boyfriend but she was not sure if he was the right one for her. So she said, I need a sign I need to see a white butterfly so that I will say yes to him.

Some of us may demand a sign from Jesus to confirm something but no sign is needed anymore for as long as our faith in Jesus is strong and for as long as we have that personal intimacy with Him. Jesus is more than enough for us to carry us through this life.

Let us always trust on Jesus, let us endeavor to know more about Him by reading our Bible, by visiting Him at the Adoration and by frequent presence in the celebration of the Holy Mass.      

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday July 22, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
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My Reflections:
To whom can we compare Jesus in this world?

We can somehow compare Jesus to our parents. Try recalling how patient our parents were in teaching us the basics about life. Try recalling how hard they’ve tried to provide the very best for us. Try recalling the many family bondings that they’ve planned to further strengthen your family’s union. Try to recall the countless shepherding or guiding moments that we’ve received from them. And try to recall when they comfort and motivate us when we were feeling weary and tired.   

In essence Jesus is like a parent to the apostles and to those who followed Him He was a unifying factor for them. He motivated them, He bonded with them, He guided them, He healed them, He empathized with them and most of all He was a good shepherd to them.

In our gospel, after doing their mission and after telling Jesus what they have done the apostles were naturally exhausted. Jesus told them to go to a deserted place to rest for a while to recharge their weary bodies and minds. Perhaps Jesus also wanted to give an inspirational talk to His apostles so that He could further strengthen their resolve to continue their mission. Isn’t this what worthy parents would normally do the moment they see their children tired and weary from doing something commendable and important?  

Finally when Jesus arrived on the supposed to be deserted place the vast crowd who have been following Him were already there waiting for Him. Instead of telling  them to go away because He wants privacy He was moved with pity for them for they were like sheep without a shepherd and being a good shepherd himself Jesus began to teach them many things.

The shepherding that Jesus gave to His apostles and followers during that time is still very much alive up to this very moment and He is offering it to us right now. If we are tired and weary with the challenges and burdens of life let us go to Jesus for He will always be there to tell us to come let us go to a quite place and let us rest there for I (Jesus) will be there to shepherd and strengthen you. 

We have in Jesus the personification of a good parent and shepherd who has nothing but the very best for us. Let us always go to Him let us always desire to be with Him.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Reflections for Monday July 16, Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time Matthew 10:34-11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household. "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple? amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
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My Reflections
A very generous man was being envied by his friend because he does not seem to run out of money even if he constantly give money and food to his poor neighbors. So the friend asked this very generous man: “What is your secret that you don’t seem to run out of money? The generous man said, no secret at all I just continue to give because it is in giving that I receive.

Whatever that we generously give will come back to us a hundred fold if we don’t believe this let us try to be generous even for a week and see the reward that will be ploughed back to us.

Jesus in our gospel mentions reward for those who do good no matter how small the act of generosity.

Let us always generously give especially to the poor for God rewards a cheerful and generous giver.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday July 15, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick-- no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them." So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
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My Reflections:
Part of the growing-up experience of a child is to be summoned and instructed by his parents to do this and that. Then as the child enters school the teacher will once again summon and give instructions to the child.

The child will now become an adult and will be through with his college studies perhaps he will tell himself: At long last! I am through from being summoned and being instructed, but not yet. There shall be a very powerful voice that will perpetually summon, tell and guide him on how we must properly live his life.

This very powerful voice is no other than the voice of Jesus who speaks to us thru the church. The voice of Jesus who speaks to us thru the voice of a Godly relative or friend. And the voice of Jesus who will speak to us the moment we read the bible with reverence.  If we will listen to this powerful voice of Jesus we would be assured of a worthy life in this world.

In our gospel the apostles were summoned, given authority and instructed by Jesus after which He sent them to their mission two by two. These were the instructions of Jesus: “Take nothing for the journey but a walking stick-- no food, no sack, no money, wear sandals, wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them."

The apostles faithfully followed these instructions from Jesus that’s why they were very successful with their given mission. One of the countless concrete evidence of their success is the faith that we have right now. We partly attribute the Catholic faith that we hold-on today to their faithful discipleship to Jesus. They responded to the voice of Jesus and faithfully followed His instructions.

This is what will happen to us also we will achieve fulfilment in our life (perhaps not material fulfilment it’s passing and temporary anyway). Once we faithfully respond to the many summons and instructions of Jesus who powerfully speaks to us up to this very moment.

If today you hear His voice harden not your hearts. (Hebrews 3:15)  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Reflections for Sunday July 8 Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Mark 6:1-6

Gospel Mark 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" 

And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
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My Reflections:
What usually happens when we belittle or look down on someone (For example our relatives/friends)? We normally are deprived of the privilege of knowing that person more deeply. Not only that we are deprived we also miss the opportunity to be blessed by that person’s insight and wisdom.

In marriage there’s a saying that goes: “Familiarity breeds contempt” this means that once you know your spouse well enough you somehow stop respecting him or her. This frequently happens  most especially when the couple reaches their seventh year together otherwise known as: The seven-year itch. Wherein the man looks for other women aside from his wife this infidelity may somehow lead to the couple’s separation. And if they eventually separate they are deprived of the many blessings that are due to couples that stay faithful to their vows of marriage.   

The moment these two relationships (friendship and marriage) fail to successfully materialize there’s one common deprivation that happens: The deprivation of many blessings. The blessing of insight, wisdom, lasting companionship and friendship just to name a few which  our friends and spouse could give to us.

The townmates of Jesus where amazed when they saw Jesus teaching in the synagogue they were wondering as to where did Jesus imbibed all of His wisdom and healing power. They said: “Where did this man get all this?” Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joset,Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" They were full of contemptuous feeling for Jesus because they know Him well as an ordinary carpenter. They could not accept that this ordinary man that they know very well is now  an emphatic speaker and healer.

Since Jesus was ridiculed by His own townmates they missed the opportunity to know Him well, they missed the opportunity to partake of His wisdom and they missed the golden opportunity to be spiritually and physically healed by Him.

This is also what we will miss if we will not listen to Jesus who continuously speaks to us through the daily events of our lives. Jesus also speaks to us through our spouses, relatives and friends but we continue to belittle them for the simple reason that we are already very familiar with them. 

Do you always listen to Jesus? Or you don’t anymore listen to Him instead you only listen to this noisy world and yourself. ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Reflections for July 5 Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 9:1-8

My Reflections:
Who brought the paralytic to Jesus? Nobody knows because their names were not mentioned by Jesus in the gospel. Jesus knew that those who brought the paralytic to Him were very humble and not very concerned with the credit that they could receive. It was enough for them that they’ve helped this paralytic go to Jesus. After they were through with their mission to bring the paralytic to Jesus they simply blended with the multitude of people. Not concerned of their good deed and not concerned of the publicity that they may receive.

How many of us are like those who brought the paralytic to Jesus? They were very humble, very selfless not concerned of the credit that was rightly due to them.  

Let us help without any expectation of something in return, let us help without trumpeting the good deeds that we’ve done.

Just like those people who brought the paralytic to Jesus...   they humbly faded away. …  

My Reflections for July 4 Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 8:28-34

My Reflections:
Demons are for real it’s just around us waiting to pounce on us the moment they see that our faith in Jesus is weak. But it’s not anymore the typical frightening towering figure for it has also evolved with time. It disguises itself now in so many ways that we can hardly recognize it until it captures us and eventually destroys us.

It could disguise itself within us through our evil thoughts that comes to us every once in a while. For example the feeling of lusting after someone even if it’s immoral, we will not be able to recognize it until it’s too late already.

But let us not be fearful because there’s somebody who can easily defeat these demons and it’s no other that Jesus. So we must always embrace Jesus and we must always ask His help and guidance. 

Do you always embrace Jesus?  Do you always ask His help and guidance?  

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Reflections for July 3 Tuesday Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle John 20:24-29

My Reflections:
Doubting Thomas is how we normally call the apostle Thomas who doubted unless he sees the risen Jesus in the flesh. But did he really doubt or Thomas simply wants to have a confirmation about the wildfire news that Jesus has risen?

Perhaps, Thomas simply wants a confirmation of his faith in Jesus because when Jesus told him: “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." After which Thomas uttered these words of reverence: "My Lord and my God!" (Which many of us silently mention during Consecration)

There’s absolutely no wrong when we simply want to confirm what we believe. For the reason that when we want to confirm what we believe it simply means that we are thirsting for something that will further reinforce our faith.

Continue to thirst for Jesus and never stop seeking more about Him.