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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Friday, August 30, 2013

My Reflection for September 1, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 14:1, 7-14

Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’

Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
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My Reflection:
One of the hardest virtues to follow is humility. For example, are we really capable of inviting the lame, the blind, the poor and the crippled to our house to share our meal without any false motivation?   If we are invited to a wedding banquet or to any feast for that matter, would we wait to have our place until our attention is called?

This seems hard to do, but this is the challenge of Jesus for all of us. To always be humble, not to push ourselves to be in the limelight. To serve the poor and the handicapped without hidden motives and without trumpeting it to high heavens.

But the problem with many of us is we love to be on the center stage, we flaunt the actions that we do for people to see, hear and know. But this is not what Jesus wants us to become, HE rather wants us to be humble and to be helpful at all times. The more that we become bigger in the eyes of the world the more that we become humble and the more that we become willing to serve the poor rather than be served.

Let us make humility as our way of life, let us not worry if  others will not notice us. Let us be content to quietly fade away and leave behind imprints of humility for our fellowmen to remember us by. …

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday August 31, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 25:14-30

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable:“A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’

His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
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My Reflection:
Unlike the first and second servants who became productive. The third servant was not because he was fearful of his master. Why did he fear his master? He feared his master because he did not know the master very well. If he knew his master that well he would have endeavored to be as productive as the two servants. But unfortunately the third servant was fearful of his master and the same fear paralyzed him to become unproductive.

There are some who present God as a punishing God and a God that must be feared. This is done by some parents to their children to force them to abide by their rules. Thus, the child now will grow-up with the notion that God is a strict and punishing God. And by having that notion the child will now mature to become fearful of God. Thus in terms of his growth in faith he might become an unproductive child of God.

Let us always present Jesus as a loving, understanding and motivating God because this is the true nature of Jesus. …     

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Reflection for August 25, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:22-30

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.  After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.

Depart from me, all you evildoers!’And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
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My Reflection:
Mike and Joseph were best friends, Mike was from a poor family while Joseph was from a rich family. Being rich Joseph has everything that he could ask for and because of it he grew up a spoiled man thus he wasn’t able to finish his studies.  On the other hand Mike the financially disadvantaged boy has to become a working student so that he could finish his college studies.

Ten years had elapsed; there was now a reversal of roles. Mike was already a very successful man brought about by his hardwork and determination. While Joseph the former rich and spoiled man became poor and miserable.

The ending statement of Jesus in our gospel is so meaningful, HE tells us: Behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Our discipleship with Jesus in this world is never easy and always laden with trials. It may seem that we are going through a narrow gate. But this is the reality of faithfully walking with Christ in this world. In fact Jesus himself said that anyone who is truly willing to follow HIM must forget himself and be ready to carry his own cross (Matthew 16:24).

We have nothing to worry about if we continue to face a difficult life for the sake of Christ. If we feel that we are the least/lowly person in this world because of our hardship for Christ. So be it, this is temporary anyway; someday we shall depart this world.  And by that time those who are last/least in this world shall now become first in the kingdom of God in heaven.

Let us continue to be faithful to Jesus and let us continue to lead our fellowmen to HIM no matter the difficulties. …  

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Reflection for Tuesday August 20, Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church, Matthew 19:23-30

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?”  Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
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My Reflection:
It would seem that Jesus is anti rich in today’s gospel reading but no HE is not. In fact Jesus wants us all to become rich so that we can generously share. So why is Jesus angry with the rich in our gospel? The rich that HE wants to point out here are the greedy and corrupt rich.

What would it benefit us if we gain all the riches of this world if we’re not able to go to heaven? What would it benefit us if we are rich yet we are not able to sleep at night?

There are many corrupt and greedy who are so callous that they don’t care anymore about the source of their dirty wealth.  Many are even proud to heartlessly display their stolen wealth. Someday there shall be reckoning… but why wait for that day to come?

While we are still alive let us walk away from corruption, from greed and other forms of immoral wealth. By doing so we will someday be able to enter God's kingdom in heaven. …

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Reflection for August 11, Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:35-40

My Reflection:
There is a story of a holy man who would always find time for God and his fellowmen. When he was asked why he was like that he would always tell them that this is his way of preparing for the coming of the Lord. He would compare the coming of the lord with death which comes to us without warning at all.  

Jesus in our gospel for this Sunday tells us to always be prepared and vigilant servant of the Lord. To be like the Israelites in our first reading who patiently waited with faith and courage for God to liberate them from the bondage of the Egyptians.  

How could we become vigilant and prepared servant of the Lord? By serving and obeying the Lord without any reservation. By having faith in HIM faith that is alive and working. This is the only way wherein we could be prepared and vigilant servant of the Lord.

If death will come to us which will certainly happen on God’s appointed time. Then, we are prepared we have nothing to fear for we will be in heaven with God.

What if we are not prepared and not vigilant servants? Where will we end up?  


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday August 8, Memorial of Saint Dominic, Matthew 16:13-23

My Reflection:
Just like Peter many of us are averse with sufferings; we want to avoid it as much as possible. Perhaps this is our human nature; we don’t want to suffer for the simple reason that it’s difficult. But sufferings are part and parcel of our lives. No matter how we deftly avoid it, it will eventually catch us along our journey in this world.

How about Jesus? Was HE averse with sufferings? No, HE was not, in fact HE told HIS disciples that HE would be suffering greatly from the hands of elders, chief priest and scribes then eventually be killed by them.

Jesus embraced HIS sufferings for the reason that HE knew that it was part of HIS mission of salvation. HE let go of HIS life and HE entrusted it to the almighty God.

Life is not always how we like it to be, there will come a time that we will encounter hardships and sufferings. Let us not lose sleep about this, let us simply trust our all knowing and all loving almighty God. … 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Reflection for Friday August 2, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 13:54-58

My Reflection:
Disrespect has been the feeling of Jesus’ town mates toward Him because they were familiar with Him. To them He was just a carpenter’s son; they knew Him so well that‘s why they belittled Him. But looking deeper into their hearts we may also see that they were full of envy and hatred toward Jesus. They were envious of the adulation that Jesus received from the people.

Envy and hatred are harmful emotion that darkens our judgment. It prevents us from achieving total wellness in both mind and body. And Jesus knew of their envy, disdain and lack of faith in Him that’s why He did not do miracles in His native place. If only they were not disrespectful and envious of Jesus. If only they were not lacking in faith, they could have received many miracles and healings from Jesus.

Lord, forgive us of our doubts and lack of faith. Lord help us overcome our resentful and disrespectful feelings to our fellowmen. Lord, grant us your forgiveness and compassion. …