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).

Preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary. - St. Francis of Asisi

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday November 2, Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) Matthew 25:31-46

 Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ * j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’  Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
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My Reflection:
Jesus speaks about the last judgment today, the separation of those who are worthy in His eyes and those who are not. Those who are worthy will be at His right and those who are not will be at His left.  

Do we need to fear His last judgment? Of course not! We who truly follow Jesus must not fear the judgment of God. If it comes to us we welcome it with open arms, we will not hide from it.

Why welcome the judgment of God with open arms? For the reason that we did what we have to do, we feed the hungry. We gave water to the thirsty, we welcomed strangers without any reservations. We clothed the naked, we took care of the sick and visited those who were in prison.

Put these virtues together and we could label it now as Devine charity. We give not a part of ourselves to help our fellowmen but our very selves. We give and help the marginalized without any motives whatsoever for we are just doing what Christ Jesus told us to do.

Someday we will be joining the multitude of souls. Instead of us visiting and praying for them we will now be the ones who will be visited and prayed for. But the paradox of the end of our lives is we don’t know which side we would be. Would we end-up on the right side or left side of God?

No one can answer this question except God. … 

My Reflection for Friday November 1, Solemnity of All Saints, Matthew 5:1-12a

 Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.  He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
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My Reflection:
As Jesus gathered the crowd and disciples He told them about the beatitudes. We may wonder, why did Jesus tell them about these Beatitudes? Perhaps Jesus wanted the crowd to live and practice this in their lives. On the part of the disciples, perhaps Jesus wanted them to imbibe these beatitudes so that they could be called His true followers.

This is also perhaps the objective of Jesus as we read this gospel about the beatitudes today. Perhaps Jesus is telling us this; If you want to truly follow me. You have to internalize, plant and nurture these beatitudes in your hearts. For this is the ladder going to heaven.  

As we remember the saints today, we are reminded that they lived these beatitudes and they made this part of their daily lives. No wonder they are now in heaven with Jesus, no wonder they are now deeply revered by us.

As we read the beatitudes, let us feel and hear Jesus reading it to us now. …    

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday October 31, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:31-35

Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
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My Reflection:
Instead of fearing the threat on His life, Jesus courageously faced it by doing so He was able to fulfill His salvific mission. What if Jesus allowed fear to grow in His heart? There would be no salvation for all of humanity. But Jesus faced His fears and lived His mission by dying on the cross.

What can we learn from this courageous act of Jesus? We also must learn to face our fears, many of us are not able to evangelize because of fear. Fear that no one will listen to us, fear that we might be rebuked and we have many more unfounded fears. We fear for the simple reason that we allow it to live in our hearts. But once we don’t give a haven for fear we now become successful missioners for Christ Jesus.

The key to become successful missioners for Christ is to defeat fear with faith. But human as we are we often times succumb to fear most especially if we are in the line of fire. If we have this mindset what will happen now to the propagation of the faith that was started by Jesus?     

If Jesus, the apostles and the saints allowed fear to conquer them we have no Christian faith to hold and speak of right now. We would be pagans and faithless wanderers in this world, but we have our faith and we owe this to the courage of Christ Jesus and His followers.

Let us therefore emulate Christ, let us not fear the obstacles before us. For obstacles are meant to be conquered by the strength of our faith in Jesus.   

Face your fears and creatively live your Baptismal mission to evangelize. …

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday October 30, Thirtieth Week 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:
What is the narrow gate that Jesus is telling us to enter before it’s too late? The narrow gate is the pathway that will lead us to Jesus. Jesus is always calling us to renew our lives and follow Him through that narrow gate.

We all know that there’s no certainty in this world. What we own could be taken from us anytime of the day, even our lives could abruptly end at any moment. But before all these happens, Jesus wants us to live our lives worthy in His eyes so that if it ends we can pass thru that narrow door and be permanently with Him in heaven.

What are we waiting for now? Let us renew our lives and let us walk away from our sinfulness for this is what Jesus wants us to do. This will not be easy to do for we already got used with the temptations and sins of this world. But where did these many worldly things has led us so far? It led us to commit many sinful things and it slowly leads us away from Jesus. Be wary therefore if you’re losing your connection with Jesus.

Reconnect and follow Him through the narrow gate now. … 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Reflection for Tuesday October 29, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:18-21

Gospel: Luke 13:18-21
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches. Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
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My Reflection:
Humility is a virtue that is disregarded by many of us. Why? Because humility for many of us is a display of our meekness, simplicity and littleness. On the otherhand many love arrogance and egotism for this shows power and might. But come to think of it, many great personalities of our time are revered for their humility.

Think for example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope Francis and of course Jesus, to name a few. From their humility sprouted greatness and reverence by millions of people. Their words are carefully listened and serves as a refuge of wisdom.

On the other side of the fence is arrogance and egotism. Many dictators became giants by instilling fear in the hearts of their people. They imposed martial rule to manipulate and oppress and there is no doubt that this was brought about by their arrogance and egotism. But where are they now? Are they revered? Are they remembered with fondness and love? No! they are forgotten, despised and confined in the dustbin of history.   

Jesus mentions in the gospel the kingdom of God as a little mustard seed that eventually became big whereby birds took comfort in its shade. He also compared the kingdom of God to a little yeast that was mixed with three measures of wheat flour. After it was cooked it grew big and many ate from it.  

Plant in your heart the seemingly insignificant virtue of Humility. Don’t bother if you will be belittled and be perceived as nobody. In God’s own perfect time you will be admired, revered and your wisdom will be sought by many. …    

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Reflection for Monday October 28, Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles, Luke 6:12-16

Gospel: Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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My Reflection:
Before making the crucial decision to appoint the twelve apostles Jesus prayed first for guidance from God. Perhaps Jesus also asked the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this is how it must always be for us also. Whenever we will make a crucial decision or any decision in our lives we must pray first and ask guidance from God.

After praying Jesus went on to choose the twelve apostles. They were ordinary people like us, some were fishermen who became fishers of men and they were sinners like us. What does this gospel tells us? It tells us that everyone of us could be a partner of Jesus in His desire to evangelize the whole world. 

During this time of internet, evangelization is not anymore limited to actual or physical evangelization. We can evangelize using the cyberspace:  write about Jesus, post on your facebook anything about Jesus and your Christian faith. 

 If you can’t be a physical missionary be a cyber missionary. The avenues for effective evangelization in cyberspace is unlimited. Let us therefore take advantage of the technology that is available in the palms of our hands.

Be not afraid to respond to this call of Jesus, He will empower you and He will be there for you. …

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Reflection for October 27, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 18:9-14

Gospel: Luke 18:9:-14
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income. But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'  I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
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My Reflection:
We read in our gospel for this Sunday the humility of the tax collector. He humbly admitted to God his own sinfulness He was aware that before God he was nothing. This is the reason why he went home possessing the favor of God.

The secret therefore to gain the favor of God is humility and awareness of our own shortcomings and limitations. The tax collector who gained the favor of God was truly aware of his own sinfulness. He did not attempt to hide it from God, did he know that God knows everything about him? Perhaps he did not know, what he was sure of was his own sinfulness that’s why he humbly asked mercy from God.

The tax collector is like the man who was crucified with Jesus on mount Calvary. Before he died he humbly asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus goes to His kingdom (Luke 23:42). By humbling himself the thief was brought to paradise by Jesus (Luke 23:43).

However, to become humble before Jesus and our fellowmen is not easy. For the reason that this entails sacrifice, this entails awareness and admittance of our own sinfulness.  But if we truly desire intimacy with Jesus we would embrace humility no matter how difficult it is to embrace.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has said: “The gate of Heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.”

Are you like the humble tax collector?

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday October 26, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:1-9

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them— do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent you will all perish as they did!

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil? He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.
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My Reflection:
Repentance is something that we all need to do for we are all sinners. But why is it that many of us are not willing to obey this call of Jesus? The reason behind is we don’t have the virtue of humility, this is the sole reason why we refuse God’s call for us to repent. Otherwise we would have easily followed this call of Jesus.

The moment we repent a huge burden would immediately be removed from our hearts. We will feel light and peaceful and our seamless connection with Jesus will immediately be restored. But we refuse to repent we instead prefer to be burdened by sin. This is the paradox of our times we prefer to embrace the devil rather than God.  

Jesus in our gospel for today is calling for a wholesale repentance not selective repentance but wholesale repentance. This simply means that we would be willing to walk away from any sinful actions and thoughts. We completely walk away from any actions that would only make us sin.

But if we will not repent now, when will we repent? Should we wait for a critical point in our lives to happen before we humbly embrace Jesus call of repentance?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Reflection for Friday October 25, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:54-59

Gospel: Luke 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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My Reflection:
A philandering and irresponsible man was always being advised by his mother to change his ways and focus his sole attention to his family. But the lure of temptation was too attractive to let go for the man so he did not listen to his mother.  After some time the limits of his wife’s patience has finally reached its boiling point.  So she and her children left Him and it was only then that he realized how irresponsible he was.

This is how many of us are, we keep on sinning and hurting the feelings of those that we love. We are numb to the light of repentance and renewal because by its earthly nature sin is attractive. And the devil will keep pushing sin to us (disguised as pleasures) until it destroys us completely.

However, Jesus has a message for us in the gospel. It’s for us to completely walk away from our sinfulness before it destroys us. For the reason that once we allow sin to take hold of us it will destroy not only us but even those that we love dearly.

In our gospel Jesus denounced the crowd for their hypocrisy, they could predict the clouds and the weather. However they were purposely deaf to His call of repentance, aren’t many of us like them? We only listen to the dictates of this world but we shut our ears when it comes to Jesus!

 Let us listen to Jesus who always call upon us to repent because this is the right course of action to take. Jesus teachings may be unacceptable to us initially because it will entail painful purification and a change of lifestyle. But purification with Jesus always involves temporal difficulties that will eventually translate to a life of tranquility and contentment. …

My Reflection for Thursday October 24, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:49-53

Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
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My Reflection:
Every now and then the church speaks it mind. It makes a stand on vital issues and when it does the church will fight for it until the end even if it creates division in society and government. For example the issue against the Reproductive Health bill (RH bill). Even if the church was lacking in resources it fought the government against the passage of this immoral bill in congress.

The church voiced out its displeasure against this immoral bill which was vigorously pushed forward by the government. In the process there was disagreement and division with the government and those who were in favor of this bill. By making a stand against the forces of evil and immorality the church was able to defeat the passage of this bill.

What if the church did not oppose this immoral bill? It could have been a law now and we would now be seeing the prevalence of condoms and anti life pills. But thankfully the church stood its ground even to the point of creating divisions and enemies with the government and its supporters.

In the gospel we hear Jesus telling us to loudly speak out whenever we observe immorality and wrongdoings within families and the society at large. If by speaking-out we create walls that might temporarily divide us, so be it. For example if we see immorality within the family (The husband is playing around in the field with a younger woman) should the wife just ignore this and pretend to see and hear no evil with this blatant show of disrespect to her? Of course not! The wife must speak-out!

The problem with some of us is we sometimes have a passive or no concern attitude even if there’s already wrongdoing in the family. We have this attitude because we are afraid that it will create division and enmity. This is terribly wrong! For the reason that we become a party to the scheming of the evil one. What Jesus wants us to do whenever we see a wrongdoing is to denounce the evil inside that wrongdoing. Even if our denouncement will create temporary divisions and enmity.

Are you capable of denouncing a wrongdoing or perhaps an immorality?  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday October 23, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:39-48

Gospel: Luke 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. Then Peter said Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone? And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming, and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
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My Reflection:
Jesus is a master story teller; He makes every parable easy to understand for all of us to get hold of the moral of His story or parable.

Here in our gospel Jesus tells us to be prepared for we do not know the time of His coming. Then aside from being prepared Jesus gives us another responsibility none other than to share whatever we know about Him. It’s not enough for Jesus that we know Him.  He wants us to move on and do the next step and this is to share what we know about Him.

The Christian faith that God has given to us is not to be kept to ourselves. We must share and live it for it is in sharing and living our faith that we are able to completely follow Jesus. To whom we would share? Start with your children because they are your captured market. If you properly imposed discipline on your children they have no other choice but to listen to you.

But the dilemma of many of us is we are afraid to share with our children what we know about Christ. Not because we know nothing about Him, many of us actually don’t have a shortage of knowledge about Jesus. In fact we know abundantly about Jesus. But the problem is we don’t live and practice what we know about Christ and His teachings. This is one of the major reasons why we are not able to share Jesus with our children and with our friends. 

We must aspire to learn more about Christ Jesus and after learning more about Him. We must live what we’ve learned from Him, thus we become His effective servants in this temporary world. 

What if we don’t become effective servants of Christ?

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Reflection for Tuesday October 22, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:35-38

Gospel: Luke 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.
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My Reflection:
The thought of death is something that we always avoid; we never want to speak about it. But death is one reality of life that will come to each one of us. No one is exempted, rich or poor, educated or not educated, whoever we are it will eventually come to us.

Jesus in our gospel is calling us to prepare for the un announced coming of the Lord in our lives. It’s sad to say that the coming of the Lord comes to many of us through our death only. But do we need to be sad? For example if we are given by our doctor a month to live, should we be sad with this heart wrenching news? Of course we are entitled to be sad for this is part of our being human.

But after a while the sadness should be replaced by our confidence and faith in God. For the reason that we actually have nothing to fear about death. But mind you, for some death is even welcome news for them. How could this be? Ahh, the reason is very simple; they have long prepared for this by their obedience to the teachings of Jesus. As such they are not afraid to die and meet up close the Lord who by the way is the author of our lives.

Therefore it’s always imperative for us to take seriously the advice of Jesus to the disciples. To always be prepared for the coming of the Lord for we don’t know when it will be.

Are you prepared for the Lord’s coming into your life?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Reflection for Monday October 21, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:13-21

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator? Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest? And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry! But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong? Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
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My Reflection:
What's with material things that it is so hard for us to let go? What's with material things such as money and the like that we continuously accumulate with it without regard if we steal it just to have it? What is with material things that we don’t care to share it with those who are more in need than us?

There are people who are so greedy as if they could bring those stolen wealth to their grave. There are many who limits their generosity as if God has limited His generosity to them. We must give until it hurts our own pockets and give without string attached on it.

Wealth and other material things are temporary it could slip out of our hands anytime. Let us not allow it to posses us, let us rather use it so that other will be helped by it so that they may survive the harshness of life.

The Philippines is a third class nation because we have leaders/politicians that are so greedy. They think that their corrupted wealth would buy them eternal security, peace and happiness but it will not.

Wealth, influence, power are temporary things that God entrust us to put to good use. God entrusted us with it so that through us others may live and benefit from it.

In our gospel, there’s this rich greedy man who stored goods for himself thinking that it will stay with him for a lifetime. But he suddenly died and never benefited from his greed, the latter part of the gospel says it all.

“Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Reflection for October 20, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 18:1-8

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.

The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
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My Reflection:
Are you prayerful? Is prayer an essential part of your everyday life? What do you do after you pray? Do you just lie down and wait for the answers to your prayers to fall from heaven? 

The readings and gospel for this Sunday is replete with persistent prayers coupled with corresponding actions. For example in our first reading Moses prayed while his people led by Joshua battled the Amalekites.

Moses did not stop praying until they achieved victory. In our gospel there is a parable told by Jesus about a persistent widow who ask again and again from a judge for a just decision she never gave up until she got what she wanted from the judge.

When we pray we humble ourselves before God, we humbly open ourselves to the unlimited blessings that God could shower to us. When we pray we get to know Jesus more deeply. We become not only friends with Jesus but very close friends with Him, thus Jesus now becomes an essential part of our life.

But are we prayerful? Is prayer already part our of everyday lives? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday October 19, Twenty eight week in ordinary time, Luke 12:8-12

Gospel: Luke 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.
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My Reflection:
The Holy Spirit is the initiator of our faith, before we know God the father and Jesus the Son it was first the Holy Spirit that was first introduced to us through our Baptism and Confirmation. This is how important the Holy Spirit to all of us. Perhaps this is the reason why Jesus said, the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

But it’s also ironic that among the three persons in one God it’s the Holy Spirit that is least known. Then, how could we have that special awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives? And how could we develop that deeper intimacy with the Holy Spirit? How could we unleash its presence within us?

It’s through prayers that we could have intimacy and awareness of it’s presence in our lives. If we develop a very prayerful life it’s second nature for us to be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It would not introduce itself to us for the simple reason that it has been with us ever since our Baptism.

Be prayerful therefore and always invite God the Holy Spirit to be an active presence in your life. He will surely not fail you if you ask with faith. …  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Reflection for Friday October 18, Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist, Luke 10:1-9

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household. If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.

Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you cure the sick in it and say to them ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.
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My Reflection:
We may wonder, why Jesus sent the seventy-two disciples in pairs? Jesus could have sent them one by one so that they could cover more ground thus the spread of His gospel would be much faster. But Jesus chose them to go in pairs.

In pairs for the reason that He wanted them to help each other in doing their mission for Him.   Jesus had it already in His mind that to do His mission is realistically not that easy. So He deemed it right and wise to send them in pairs for them to help each other as they face the many challenges of their mission.

Why do you exist in this world? Do you exist for yourself only? Of course not! You and I exist in this world for a reason. And that reason is to help our fellowmen; we need to extend to them the good news about Jesus. We need to feed the hungry; we need to clothe those who do not have clothes. And we need to give hope to those who are losing hope.  

This is our vocation as followers and missioners for Christ Jesus. … 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday October 17, Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr, Luke 11:47-54

Gospel: Luke 11:47-54
The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building.

Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter. When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
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My Reflection:
Who are the modern day prophets that we encounter today? It’s anyone who meaningfully speaks about God and anyone who has so much concern for our welfare that they would always want us to have a strong faith in God.

But we normally don’t listen to them most of the time we instead listen to the fleeting dictates of this world. There are even times that we label them as people who are out of this world. Until we encounter problems and trials because we did not listen to the meaningful advice of these modern day prophet in our lives.

Next time when we are given meaningful advice about God and life let us listen. For they did not do it on their own accord, they were sent by God to us for a very meaningful reason. No other than to bring us closer to Him and to make us God loving people of God.

Do you usually listen to the voice of God coursed through other people?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

As we see now the devastation brought about by the 7.2 quake which hit Bohol, Cebu and nearby towns yesterday October 15, is beyond human comprehension. Let us continue to include them in our PRAYERS AND MASS INTENTIONS. Let us also extend whatever HELP we can give them.

As we see now the devastation brought about by the 7.2 quake which hit Bohol, Cebu and nearby towns yesterday October 15, is beyond human comprehension. Let us continue to include them in our PRAYERS AND MASS INTENTIONS. Let us also extend whatever HELP we can give them.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday October 16, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 11:42-46

Gospel: Luke 11:42-46
“Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too. And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.
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My Reflection:
Seldom do we see Jesus angry and this gospel episode is one of the rare ones. What made Jesus angry? He was angry with the Pharisees, (the learned ruling class during that time) for the reason that they imposed so much religious requirements to their people. But unfortunately they were only good at imposing these requirements. They were not actually willing to live what they wanted their people to do.

Some if not many of us are like the Pharisees. We love to give orders: do this and to that but it ends there. We don’t lift a finger to do it ourselves, we want others to do things for us while we watch and relax. How could we become good examples or good leaders if we are not willing to walk our talk? How could we make Jesus happy if we are not willing to live what we learn from Him?

Effective faith in Jesus is faith that is alive and kicking and faith that is leading and working. This is the most effective faith, let us therefore live our faith. Not because we want others to see us living it. We live our faith because this is our moral obligation as true followers of Jesus. …       

My Reflection for Tuesday October 15, Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, Luke 11:37-41

Gospel: Luke 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.
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My Reflection:
Sonia was very particular with external appearance she would always dress well. The exterior of her house was always refreshing to the eyes. Her neighbor was wondering how come she’s able to afford such luxuries considering that she had no job to speak of?

 One morning a rich woman was shouting in front of her house telling her to leave her husband alone otherwise she would be forced to bring her to court for having a relationship with a married man.

Many of us are very particular with what others will see from us. As much as possible we would always try to paint an attractive picture of ourselves. This is who many of us are, very much driven with the exterior, fleeting and those that do not last for a lifetime.

Jesus is not taken with this show of misleading exterior appearance. What counts for Jesus is our attitudes most especially when nobody sees us. For example, how do we react when we see a poor in front of our house, we and the poor alone. Would we do something to help the poor? Or we simply don’t care; anyway no one is looking at us so might as well not mind the poor.

Jesus knows everything about us, we cannot keep anything from Him. He knows our hidden secrets, our double talk and our fake fa├žade that we try so very hard to display. So that we create an impression  of wealth and extravagance.

All of these are nothing for Jesus, what matters to Him is your interior cleansing and renewal. …     

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Reflection for Monday October 14, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 11:29-32

Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.
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My Reflection:
We meet or we are acquainted with people for a good reason. They don’t just come into our lives it’s always for a good reason.

For example, if you become friends with a good and Godly person. God led you to her/him for you to become good and godly also. He/she did not go through your life for you to become bad, Jesus sent this person to you so that you’ll be converted this is always the reason.

Some of us listen to them thus we become good and godly also. But unfortunately this is not always the situation because there are many who don’t listen. No matter how many times God call them to renewal they will really not listen.

Jonah, in our gospel was sent by God to the people of Nineveh to call for their repentance.  And they listened to him that’s why God spared them from punishment. After Jonah there were many more prophets who was sent by God they called also for conversion. Until Jesus came, many listened to Jesus call for repentance. But sad to say many did not listened also. There was hardness in their hearts, they ignored Jesus they instead continued to embrace sin.

What is the implication of this to us now?  Through our Baptism we now represent Jesus, we are like Jonah who called for conversion to the people of Nineveh.  Therefore we must perpetuate this mission we must continue to live His teachings, call of conversion and lead sinners to Him. ...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Reflection for October 13, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 17:11-19

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us! And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests. As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."
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My Reflection:
After healing the ten leapers only one returned (a Samaritan). That’s why Jesus said, Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Indeed, what happened to the other nine who were members of Jesus faith? Jesus was looking for them perhaps being one in faith with Him Jesus was expecting them to also return back and signify also their gratitude to Him.  But the nine were missing in action, they were good only in soliciting favors from Jesus. After they got what they wanted they evaporated from His sight.

Such is the behavior of many of us, we earnestly pray when we need something from Jesus. Burt after getting what we want, Jesus is sometimes forgotten or Jesus is not given importance once again. Actually it’s not only through Jesus that we show our ingratitude. Even with our family members or friends we are sometimes full of ingratitude.

Think of your spouse, children, parents and friends, have you acknowledge their goodness to you?   Have you said a word of gratitude to them, for the little and big favors that they’ve done for you? Or you haven’t done anything to acknowledge their goodness. Such is our behavior sometimes very forgetful or even ungrateful.

Let us think of Jesus, have we thanked Him for the many blessings that He has been giving us? The blessing of life, the blessing of sunlight every morning, have we thanked Him through our morning prayers?

We have in our first reading and gospel two individuals who never forgot to be grateful for the favors that were done to them by God. In our first reading there’s Naaman a Syrian soldier sick with leprosy. He was cured by the prophet Elisha even if he was not an Israelite. He went back in gratitude and offered a gift to the prophet. In our gospel there were ten lepers who were cured by Jesus. But only the Samaritan remembered to went back to Jesus to signify His gratitude.         

In everything let us be grateful to Jesus, for our life, for our health for the numerous healings. That we often times fail to recognize for the reason that we are always fixated on our problems. Thus, we miss out the goodness of Jesus to us. Even in the midst of our trials let us also be thankful because it purifies us and it makes us better individuals.

Do you always acknowledge the goodness of Jesus to  you?