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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Reflection for Monday September 30, Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church, Luke 9:46-50

Gospel: Luke 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company. Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.
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My Reflection:
We can’t help but ask, why did the disciples argue as to who among them is the greatest? Perhaps they got carried away with the sudden fame of being with Jesus. That’s why they were arguing as to who was the greatest among them.

For good measure, Jesus took a child…  and said, for the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest. Least in what aspect? Least in promoting oneself and least in arrogance. It’s indeed very tempting to use Jesus to enhance our self-image. But reality check first, this is not what Jesus wants for you and me to become. Jesus desire for all of us is to embrace humility at all times.

No one is greatest for Jesus but those who are humble. And those who silently give their time to help him advance His teachings. They are the greatest people in the eyes of Jesus. If you give your time for Jesus no matter how little so long as you give it with all your heart. You’re already the greatest in Jesus eyes.

Let us always cloth ourselves with the greatness of Christ which always points us to the virtue of humility. …    

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Reflection for Friday September 27, Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest, Luke 9:18-22

Gospel: Luke 9:18-22
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.
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My Reflection:
After Peter rightly identified Jesus as the Christ/Messiah of God, Peter received a reprimand from Jesus. But there was a reason behind the rebuke; Jesus wanted to be true to His title as the suffering/humble messiah not a warrior like conquering messiah.  

This invites us to reflect on how we carry Jesus or how we present Jesus to our fellowmen. There are some who proudly present Jesus that they eventually end up bigger than Jesus in all aspect of their life.  This they do by their eloquence, intelligence and knowledge of the bible, they increase and Jesus decreases. This is very much opposite to what Saint John the Baptist said that, He must increase; I must decrease (John 3:30).

If we want to become effective messengers of Jesus we must always bear in mind. That we must at all times be humble and be willing to suffer for our belief and discipleship for Jesus. For this is the only way that we can become effective messengers of Jesus.

How do you carry Jesus in your life? Do you carry Him with arrogance or humility?   

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Reflection for September 22, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 16:1-13

Gospel: Luke 16:1-13
Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward. The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes. He called in his master’s debtors one by one.

To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty. Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe? He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat. The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and mammon.
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My Reflection:
A man had a dream that Jesus had asked him if he was able to share his faith and bring others to Him. The man said, I’m sorry I wasn’t able. Afterwards Jesus told the man, since you failed to share the faith I will take away everything that I’ve given you. The man bargained with Jesus to give him one more month before He is given his punishment and Jesus said yes.

In that one month he gave food to his poor neighbors, he brought to the hospital those who were sick and he built modest houses for his homeless neighbors. He told everyone that they’ve received from him was a gift from Jesus and in return Jesus wanted them to go to Mass and to read the bible.

We have in our gospel for this Sunday an unproductive steward who was told by his master that he would be loosing his job. The steward was obviously worried about his survival that’s why he arranged a meeting with his master’s two debtors. So he discounted all their debts, to the first one he said, pay only fifthly measures of olive oil instead of one hundred and to the second one he said, pay only eighty kors of wheat instead of hundred. The steward did this crafty move for the reason that he was hopeful that they would help him also when he is already out of job which was soon forthcoming.

The master in our gospel commended the dishonest steward for doing this scheme. Then Jesus told His disciples, I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

All of us are mere stewards of everything that we have such as wealth, possession, intelligence and the like. All these years we may have been using all of these to serve our selfish ends only. We may have not thought yet of using these for the greater glory of God. For example, have we already used our wealth and intelligence to bring others closer to Jesus? Have we already used the vast potential of cyberspace to spread our Christian faith?

Let us do away with this me, me and me alone mentality for this is not our sole purpose in life. We must also be concerned with the welfare (Especially spiritual welfare of our fellowmen). If there’s a need for us to use our money and intelligence so that others may know Christ then by all means let us use it.

Let us not forget that we are mere steward. Sooner or later we will be knocking on the doorway of the afterlife. Where would end up then if we have not used whatever we have to bring others to Jesus?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday September 19, Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 7:36-50

Gospel: Luke 7:36-50
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.

Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
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My Reflection:
The repentant woman went to Jesus she did not verbally ask Jesus for forgiveness. But it was very evident that through her actions she wanted Jesus to forgive her of her sinfulness. She wanted a renewal on her life which no one could give her except Jesus. By her actions Jesus recognized her desire for forgiveness and renewal, therefore her sins were forgiven.

Repentance is a perpetual call of Jesus for all of us sinners and our faith tells us that the best way to repent is for us to submit to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are required by the church to at least submit to this healing sacrament at least once a year. But if we could submit to this sacrament as often as possible that would be so much better.

You and me are always in need of Jesus forgiveness for no one of us are clean or sinless. We have been made impure by our many sins. Let us find it in our hearts to humble ourselves before the almighty God through this healing sacrament.  

My Reflection for Wednesday September 18, Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 7:31-35

Gospel: Luke 7:31-35
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
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My Reflection:
Every once in a while each and everyone of us are guilty of judging our fellowmen by what we exteriorly see on them. This happened to John and Jesus, they both were unfairly judged based on what they exteriorly saw on them. But the danger of judging quickly is we immediately close our minds to further be enlightened by the person/s that we judge.

But how could we know the person better if we quickly judge them? How could we see their pureness, gentleness and humility if we judge them? It’s always better to know the person first and if possible to get acquainted with them before we judge them. Because if we do we would not be judging or condemning them anymore for the reason that we would be able to discover who they really are.
  
Those who judged John and Jesus were deprived of discovering the real identity of Jesus and John. They also unknowingly deprived themselves of their friendship and wisdom.

This may happen also to you if you are quick to judge. …    

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Reflection for Monday September 16, St. Cornelius, Pope, and St.Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs; Luke 7:1-10

Gospel: Luke 7:1-10
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.

Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come here, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
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My Reflection:
When the centurion/soldier heard that Jesus was nearby. He asked one of his people to ask Jesus to pass by his house so that HE could heal his slave. 

The concern of the centurion to his slave is very commendable. I wish that we are all like him: very concerned with the welfare of the less fortunate. But the reality of it all is many of us do not care for the slaves or the less fortunate.  We just have to look around and we’ll see that poverty is all over the place. What are we doing about this? Are we doing something to help them in whatever way possible? Or we don’t mind them for the reason that they are poor and they can’t pay us back.

Many are poor nowadays because many of us are indifferent to their plight. And many of these indifferent people are politicians who shamelessly steal money  which is supposed to be given to the poor. Let us become modern day centurions by being helpful to the slaves of our times none other than the poor people of our society.

Jesus will surely be happy if we would help them. But are we concerned with their welfare?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Reflection for September 15, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 15:1-32

Gospel: Luke 15:1-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.

Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns, who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.
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My Reflection:
Do you sometimes doubt the infinite love and mercy of God? Do you sometimes feel that you are not anymore worthy of this love of God. For the reason that you’ve offended God for so many times already.

God’s love is always there for you. No matter who you are and no matter how grave the sins that you have committed, God’s love is always there for you. As a matter of fact God is always seeking you and ever ready to embrace you with HIS unconditional love once again.

In our gospel for this Sunday, we have three stories of God’s love and mercy. The first story is about the lost sheep. The moment the owner discovered that one of HIS one hundred sheep was missing. HE left behind the ninety nine to look for the lost one, HE never stopped searching until HE found it. The same is true with the story of the lost coin. The woman did not stop searching for the lost coin until she found it. 

The third story is about the prodigal son, the younger son asked for his share of inheritance from his father. So he was given his share then the younger son wasted thru his life of dissipation. After realizing that he had nothing more left, he went back to his father and begged for his mercy and forgiveness. This was immediately bestowed upon him by his loving father without any condition.

This is the love of God. It’s a love that is always seeking and forgiving. Embrace therefore this love and permanently walk away from your sins. Ask God to forgive you of your many sins.

Never forget that Jesus is a God of mercy, a God of forgiveness and a God of infinite love. …        

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday September 14, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, John 3:13-17

Gospel: John 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
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My Reflection:
Did you ever wonder why the cross in the altar  is always situated higher than anyone else inside the church? Did you ever wonder why many of us take time to look-up to Jesus on the cross?

The cross inside the church is above all for the reason that it’s meant to be looked-up and reverenced by us. For without the cross with Jesus hanging upon it there would have been no salvation for all of us. This is the reason why we deeply respect the cross of Jesus. On the same cross of Jesus, we find healing, we find forgiveness and we freely unburden our heavy loads on that cross of Jesus. 

Sometimes it’s very intimidating to look-up to the cross of Jesus for it literally means hardship and supreme sacrifice. Nevertheless, we have to look-up to that cross because it’s our source of strength and salvation.


If you have a cross right now, close your eyes and say a prayer. Then offer your cross to Jesus and humbly ask Jesus to help you carry it. …  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday September 12, Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Luke 6:27-38

Gospel: Luke 6:27-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?

Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
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My Reflection:
John was reflecting on these teachings of Jesus in our gospel and he said to himself, this is very hard to follow. These teachings are indeed very hard to follow, for example; how can we love our enemies, how can we do good to those who hate us, etc..?

But come to think of it, why is this gospel teachings of Jesus hard for us to follow? The answer is very simple.  It’s hard to follow for the reason that we are not faithful followers of Jesus. We are followers in name only not followers by words and deeds.

Since we are followers in name only, we don’t have yet in our hearts the true essence of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness and love.

The root cause of our conflict with our fellowmen is the absence of obedience to these commands of Jesus. It’s about time therefore to truthfully follow what Jesus tells us in the gospel. Once we follow these commands of Jesus, we will be free from hatred, from any form of resentments in our hearts.

Let us all aspire to become faithful followers of Jesus. … 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Reflection for Monday September 9, Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Luke 6:6-11

Gospel: Luke 6:6-11
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the Sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.

But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
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My Reflection:
Are you selective when it comes to making a positive difference in the life of your fellowmen? For example, if you see someone who is in dire need of your help, do you immediately help? Or you’re sometimes constrained by the events around you. 

To make a positive impact in the life of others is always in season there’s no exception on doing good. Jesus proves this point by healing a man’s withered hand amidst the protestation of HIS usual critics, the Pharisees.   
In the three years public life of Jesus, He would always heal without discrimination. He was not afraid even if there was threat of physical and verbal abuse His main priority was to impart His miraculous help to everyone in need.

Can you somehow be like Jesus?