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

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.”
+ + + + + + +
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.’”
+ + + + + + +
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. …     

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Reflection for Friday August 30, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 25:1-13

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.

Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
+ + + + + + +
My Reflection:
The five wise virgins were able to enter the wedding feast because they waited for the bridegroom’s arrival prepared with an extra flask of oil. The other five was not as fortunate for they were refused entry. They have nothing to blame but themselves, if only they were like the five wise virgins they could have also been present in the wedding feast.

One of the realities of our lives is it’s fragility it may end anytime. We don’t hold our life its God who controls it. It’s upon HIM to say that our temporal journey is already over, yet we don’t know when it will be. This is the mystery of our lives, it’s temporary and uncertain.

So while we are still alive let us always be prepared for God’s call time by doing good always. And by following the road of uprightness that HE prepared for us to walk on. …      

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.”
+ + + + + + +
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. …  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Reflection for Friday August 23, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 22:34-40

Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
+ + + + + + +
My Reflection:
Conflict in marriage is something that happens every now and then. Every married couple goes through this journey once in a while. But how come that despite the conflicts they remain married until the end of their lives? The simple answer is both of them love the Lord God first. Their love for each other is always preceded by their love for God. This is also the same with long term friendships.     

This is the reason why married couples who truly loved God first can forgive and forget. They can start afresh once again as if nothing happened.

So the greatest commandment is to love God first and after that everything will follow. We will be capable of loving anyone else even those who’ve deeply hurt us because we first loved God.  If we don’t forgive and if we continue to harbor hidden sentiments against anyone it’s safe to say that our love for Jesus is shallow and superficial.

We therefore must truly love God for us to truthfully embody these two greatest commandments.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday August 22, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary Matthew 22:1-14

Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.” Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.

The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.

He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
+ + + + + + +
My Reflection:
A young man suddenly died without any cause, his very devoted catholic parents were telling themselves, “If only he listened to our advice to always go to church for Holy Mass we would not been worrying right now about his salvation.”

As we journey in this world, there will be people who will invite us to attend Holy Mass, to read the Bible, pray the Holy Rosary and to walk away from our sinfulness. But because of our many preoccupations we don’t mind many of them we just hear them and not take them seriously. If only we would take them seriously we would have been entitled to many blessings including the gateway to heaven.

The king in our gospel for today gave a wedding banquet.  So he told his servants to call the invited guests to the feast but because of their many preoccupations they refused to heed the call.

Let us not refuse God’s call for us to be closer to HIM. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain if we would only listen to HIS voice. …  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday August 21, Saint Pius X, Pope, Matthew 20:1-16

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise.

Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’  When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
+ + + + + + +
My Reflection:
The actions of God are unfathomable there are times that HIS decisions are hard for us to comprehend. But that’s how God is; HE does not think the way we think. HE doesn’t decide the way we decide.

There are even some who think that God is an absentee God. Because how come many corrupt people are getting richer by the day? And those who are poor are getting poorer by the day.

We will not be able to comprehend the actions of God no matter how hard we try to comprehend it, we will not! But come to think of it, who are we to question God? We are mere mortals with a very limited shelf life in this world.

Instead of questioning the mysterious actions of God, why not simply trust HIM our lives? He knows infinitely better than us, HE has HIS own plan for each of us. …    

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.”
+ + + + + + +
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. …

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Reflection for Friday August 16, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 19:3-12

My Reflection:
In this gospel episode, Jesus gives us insights to some relevant and controversial topics. For example the question regarding, who are allowed to marry? Very clearly Jesus states that it’s between a man and a woman, not man to man or woman to woman.

Another very relevant subject matter is the sanctity of the Marriage Covenant. To Jesus Marriage is sacred, the two become one flesh HE said.  Jesus further said, “What God has joined together, man must not separate.”

But what is the reality right now? Many are violating these rules or guidelines of Jesus. For example on marriage, it’s so easy right now for married couples to betray their marriage covenant. Is this brought about by our modern culture now? Or it’s for the simple reason that Jesus is not an active party to the couple’s marriage covenant?

Allow Jesus to enter your married life. Let HIS humility, love, forbearance and forgiveness rule your marriage. … 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Luke 1:39-56

My Reflection:
Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor the bodily assumption of the Blessed Mother into Heaven. This dogma was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1 1950.

The gospel for today tells us that the blessed Mother stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for three months.  Why three months? Why not one month or two months instead? Three months because the Blessed Mother ensured first that she would be with her cousin Elizabeth until she gave birth to her son John. This is the reason why the Blessed Mother was with her cousin for three months.

Considering that she was also pregnant during that time she could have decided to just stay with her for a month. But she chose to be with Elizabeth until she gave birth. This is how compassionate, loving and kind the blessed Mother. It was not mentioned in the gospel if she had money to give to her cousin perhaps at that time she had no money. But the lack of money was not a hindrance for her to deeply express her love, compassion and kindness to her cousin.  

We live now in a world driven by money, it seems that money is a vital component in almost everything. But the Blessed Mother is telling us that money is not the vital component. It’s Love, Compassion and Kindness.   

Have you recently expressed your Love, Compassion and Kindness to a relative? 

My Reflection for Wednesday August 14, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr, Matthew 18:15-20

My Reflection:
How do we exercise our authority to correct a wayward friend or family member? Do we mightily shout at them so that others may know how powerful we are? Some are like this they want to arrogantly trumpet their authority or superiority. But this kind of method always backfires because instead of correcting a wayward behavior it forces the person to rebel and eventually answer back or fight back.  

Jesus in our gospel for today gives us insights on how to deal with this kind of situation. HE tells us: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” Why you and him alone? Why not you him and others? It’s for the simple reason that if we talk one on one with the person at fault, we convey sincerity, respect and humility.

Just try this method of correction and see the positive outcome. Employ this method of correction in your married life, in your friendship, in your exercise of disciplining your children and even in your exercise of authority in your organization. …  

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?  


Friday, August 9, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday August 10, Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr John 12:24-26

My Reflection:
Jesus gives us today a puzzling statement by saying: “Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” How could this be? The answer to this irony is this: We love  worldly life if we love the frills of this world such as wealth, power and other worldly things.

We hate our life in this world yet preserve it for eternal life if we have Christ like behaviors such as: Humility, Selflessness, Prayerfulness, Kind heartedness and many more Christ like virtues.

Therefore we are given two choices: To love our life in this world or two hate it. Surely there will be those who will choose to love their lives in this world but for what price? The problem of loving our present life for the sake of this world is we slowly close our hearts for Jesus.

Discover the true meaning of life by serving Christ and by loving Him, discover the true meaning of life by denying yourself of the many useless excesses of this world. ...

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. … 

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday August 7, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 15:21-28

My Reflection:
There are many lessons about life and faith that we can derive in our gospel episode today. Such as faith that doesn't waver no matter how impossible the odds against it.

The Canaanite woman was an outsider, she was not a Jew but she did not allow that handicap to derail her approach to Jesus. She went to Jesus to beg for HIS help and her persistent faith was eventually rewarded because her daughter was healed.

We all have our respective journey of faith with Jesus, perhaps many of us have been praying for something for so long. And it may seem that Jesus has not yet granted what we've been praying for. 

But on hindsight HE may have granted it already we just don’t recognize it for the reason that we are always after what we want from HIM. We don’t listen to HIS reply made according to HIS will not according to ours.  

My Reflection for Tuesday August 6, Transfiguration of the Lord Luke 9:28B-36

My Reflection:
Before Jesus was transfigured in the mountain of tabor, HE did a very significant act, HE prayed first. During that moment of prayer Jesus was transfigured: his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.

Jesus transfiguration was facilitated first by HIS profound act of prayer. Perhaps if HE did not pray first there would have been no transfiguration. But HE prayed first and HIS prayer facilitated HIS transfiguration.

We may not be aware of this but when we pray we get also a foretaste of heaven. We are transfigured also although in a different manner because by praying we connect ourselves to God. By praying the God that is distant becomes the God that is very close to us.

Therefore, we must also pray not only every day but in every moment of our day. …

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. …