Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

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

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Reflection for Monday March 31, fourth Week of Lent, John 4:43-54

Gospel: John 4:43-54
43 After the two days he departed to Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast, for they too had gone to the feast. 46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Caper'na-um there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe." 49 The official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 50 Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was living. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to mend, and they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live"; and he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
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Reflection:
To have faith is to believe in something that you don’t see yet and the official in the gospel who beg Jesus to heal his sick son has this kind of faith. He wanted Jesus to go and personally heal his son who at that time was near death.

But Jesus did not gave in to his request, Jesus simply told the offcial, Go; your son will live. So he went home without Jesus but with faith in the words of Jesus in his heart. And when he arrived home his son was already recovering.

To believe in something that we don’t see yet is very difficult to do most especially for those who have feeble faith. But for those who have faith, they will believe no matter the odds against them. If the official in our gospel did not believe in Jesus his son would surely not been healed by Jesus. But he believed with faith!

We all have our own petitions before Jesus. He ask us nothing but to believe with faith, to believe with faith on something that we don’t see yet. And to believe even if others would not believe us. What are your petitions before Jesus? Simply believe, have faith and work for it also for He will never fail you. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday March 29, Third Week of Lent, Luke 18:9-14

Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
9 Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even  like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.' 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who  humbles himself will be exalted."
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Reflection:
Have you tried conversing with those who are humble? What do you notice about them? They very rarely talk about themselves, if they even talk about themselves they see to it that it’s done not for the purpose of raising their own self image. So, we naturally gravitate towards them and we love to be with them because they carry an aura of holiness. And we naturally want to be blessed by their holiness, holiness that they don’t even know that they have within them.

Have you tried conversing with those who are so full of themselves? Of course they always talk about themselves: their accomplishment, their riches, things that they do and it goes on and on. And we don’t normally want to hear these self-serving words that only feed their bloated egos.

God would prefer also that we at all times become humble. To talk less and less about ourselves and our accomplishments for the simple reason that He already knows everything about us.  He would very much prefer that we silently practice our faith, never worrying if other would notice about it or not. Simply content to do things for the greater glory of God and not to serve our own glorification.

We are more often than not like the Pharisee in our gospel, we love to talk about ourselves and we love to boast about the things that we do. An inner renewal is in order for all of us so that we would become like the humble tax collector who gained the favor of God.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday March 19 Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

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Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24                  
16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary  had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary  your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; 21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife into his home.
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Reflection:
We could just imagine what would have happened if Saint Joseph did not cooperate with the plan of God. For example, if he pursued his plan to quietly divorce the Blessed Mother. If he did not listen to the angel of the Lord who spoke to him in his dream.

But in his humility and docility Joseph listened to God, thus he discontinued his plan to quietly divorce Mary. He instead brought her home to shield her from any public scandal. Such is Joseph a Godly man, a man who valued the voice of God dearly.

Saint Joseph did not stop by assuming his responsibility, he also ensured that his family would be protected from any harm. When He was told by an angel to bring his family to Egypt because of the threat against Jesus he brought them to Egypt (Matthew 2:13).  When he was told once again by the angel that they could now safely return to Israel he did so without asking any question (Matthew 2:20).

Let us be inspired by the life of Saint Joseph: His humility, his willingness to listen to the voice of God. His unconditional love and protection for his wife and his child. His character of being a responsible spouse and parent.

Let us therefore reflect on how we carry out our roles as a child of God, as a parent and as a spouse. Do we listen to the voice of God? Are we loving and protective to our respective  families?     

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Reflection for Monday March 17 Second Week of Lent, Luke 6:36-38

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Gospel: Luke 6:36-38                                     
Jesus said to his disciples 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
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Reflection:
What is this mercy that Jesus speaks about in our gospel today? This is an encompassing mercy, mercy that has no limitations and mercy that we truly give even to our enemies. Often times our mercy is selective we give mercy to those whom we thought deserves our mercy. But to those who we think doesn’t deserve our mercy we don’t.

The mercy of Jesus is an encompassing mercy. It’s for all of us regardless of how grave our sins are. It doesn’t discriminate and it’s always there available for us. We find this mercy of Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. Through the priest who acts in the person of Jesus we are able to receive this healing and merciful sacrament through the priest absolution of our sins.   

Are we taking advantage of this mercy of Jesus? It may be yes or no, the season of lent is the most opportune time for us to humbly submit to this healing and merciful sacrament. The moment we submit to confession we would feel that a big burden that we have been carrying for so long has been lifted off our backs.

If we will not avail of this healing and merciful sacrament now, when will we submit? Humbly submit now and be free from the burden of sin.   

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday March 13 First Week of Lent, Matthew 7:7-12

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Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12                                
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes feel helpless, unwanted and burdened by so many problems? All of us go through these life episodes, some of us are able to survive and some are not.

In our gospel for today, Jesus gives us a recipe so that we would be able to survive whatever trials and problems that we will be going through in our lives. Jesus tells us:   “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. These are comforting and healing worlds for all of us if only we believe and take these words of Jesus into our hearts.

Let us therefore have a permanent daily time with Jesus. Since it’s only through this daily time for Him that we could automatically go to Him to ask for His healing and comfort. The moment we start to incorporate Jesus in our daily lives we then could be assured that we will now be able to defeat our problems and worries.

Let us endeavor to get closer to Jesus in everyday of our lives. Let us ask Him for help and for guidance. Let us detach ourselves from our many worldly attachments for the reason that this is what hinders us to get closer to Jesus. And last but certainly not the least, let us all exert an effort to leave behind our relationship with sin.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Reflection for Monday March 10 First Week of Lent, Matthew 25:31-46

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Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'

37 Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40 And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45 Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
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Reflection:
What do you feel when you sincerely help the needy, poor and in need? You will feel indescribable joy in your heart. Who give you this feeling of indescribable joyfulness? It’s Jesus none other than Jesus.

We have in our gospel two groups of people - the group on the right side and the one on the left side.  The group of people on the right side was those who helped the poor, in prison, needy and the like. Those on the left side were those who were insensitive to their needs.  Of course the Good Lord favored those at His right side, so the Lord gave them eternal life. And those who were on His left side, the Lord gave eternal punishment.

This gospel invites us to reflect on how we relate with the poor and less fortunate. Look around!  You may have relatives or neighbors who are not as affluent as you are. Many of us are carried away with the riches that we have that we tend to forget the less fortunate and the poor.

This lent is a wake up call for all of us. We must be concerned with their welfare, a concern that is real and not just for show. For there are times that we want our good deeds to be publicized, we want others to know about it. And we even want it  posted on facebook and other social media venues so that others may admire us for what we do.

However, this display of fake charity does not count with the Lord.          

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Reflection for March 9, First Sunday of Lent; Matthew 4:1-11

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Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." 4 But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,'  and  `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; 9 and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.
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Reflection:
Many of us if not all of us have gone through the process of temptations and many of us have already succumb to these temptations. How did you feel after succumbing to these temptations? For example the temptation of money and lust of the flesh, perhaps you felt good as if you are now the king of the world.

The devil always disguises temptations as attractive, salivating and full of power. The devil does this to entice his prospects to bite into these temptations. However, after biting into these temptations, here comes sin, here comes problem that will surely disturb our peaceful life.  

After fasting for forty days and nights Jesus was naturally hungry and the devil thought that Jesus was now vulnerable.  Therefore he dangled before Jesus three temptations: Make the stone bread, throw himself off from the parapet of the temple for angels would catch him and last was the temptation of material possession. Jesus refused all these three temptations and thereafter He rebuked the devil away from His sight.

The clear message for all of us is to avoid temptation or to stand up against temptation for it will not bear any good fruit. It will only destroy us little by little as we immerse ourselves into it. For example, if you’re already married don’t allow yourself to succumb to the temptation of having an extra marital affair. If you’re a politician or an employee, don’t allow yourself to be tempted by the glitters of dirty money and the like for there may be payback during the course of your life.

Have you already succumbed to temptations? Everything is not lost yet, this season of lent offers you a window of renewal. … 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Reflection for Friday after Ash Wednesday March 7, Matthew 9:14-15

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Gospel: Matthew 9:14-15
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
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Reflection:
The disciples of John interpreted the literal meaning of fasting when they asked Jesus this question: “Why are your disciples not fasting?  Then Jesus replied in a meaningful way when He said: “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course His disciples were not literally fasting or denying themselves food because He was with them.

We have here the question about literal fasting or fasting that is seen which the disciples of John and the Pharisees were doing. Jesus disciples were obviously not doing this kind of fasting they were in fact joyous because Jesus was with them.

Perhaps, Jesus disciples were also fasting albeit in a different way. And these are by means of doing corporal and spiritual acts of mercy (Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit those in prison, bury the dead, teach the ignorant, give counsel to the doubtful, reprimand sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offences willingly,  comfort the afflicted and to pray for the living and the dead).

In this gospel episode perhaps Jesus wants to open our eyes to the fact that true fasting is much more than just our willing abstention from food. True fasting is when we learn to give a part of ourselves so that others may live and know Jesus through us.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday after Ash Wednesday March 6, Luke 9:22-25

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Gospel: Luke 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples: “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.” Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”
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Reflection:
For example you were present during this gospel episode. What would you do after hearing Jesus say this: “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.” “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

What will register in your mind for sure is Jesus statement about His suffering and death. What will register in your mind is His statement that those who would want to follow Him must learn how to deny himself and carry his cross daily.       

This is for the reason that we are normally unenthusiastic with suffering, death and sacrifice. Who would want to suffer, who would want to die at a young age and who would want sacrifice in his life? We don’t want all of these because this entails hardship and more.

But this is real life with Jesus, if we really want to feel His abiding presence in our lives. Then, we must be prepared to suffer, for what reason would we suffer for? We will suffer in our discipleship with Jesus because Jesus Himself suffered. Even if He had the power He did not exempt Himself from brutal suffering and persecution.   

What would you gain after suffering for Jesus sake? You save your life for heaven and you gain eternal life in heaven with Jesus. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Reflection for March 2, Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:24-34

Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
Jesus said to his disciples: “No one 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 God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
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Reflection:
Longtime ago a man was able to read the same Sunday gospel from Matthew. He thought carefully about this and said to himself. “Why don’t I test Jesus? If He really means what he tells me in the gospel He will provide for me no matter what.”

So He went camping on a secluded mountain without bringing anything.  While already there he prayed to Jesus to give him food for he was going hungry already. As he turned his head he saw an edible fruit so he ate it. When he was full already he became thirsty and he prayed again to Jesus for water, soon after he heard a sound of flowing stream so he stood-up and walked a few steps and saw a very clean creek so he  went there and drank water there.      

Radical dependence in Him is what Jesus is offering us today. Jesus tells us not to worry about our life, what we will eat or drink, or about our body, what we will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).  

Then on the latter part of the gospel Jesus tells us: “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all (Matthew 6:30-32).

We often times worry about so many things in our lives that we forget that Jesus is there for us always offering Himself to us. Why is this so? Why are we lacking in faith and trust in Jesus?  This is for the reason that we are slowly allowing the devil to take us away from Jesus. We may not know this but the devil through this world is slowly but surely taking us away from the love of Jesus.

For example, in the observance of our Sunday Holy Mass obligation. Many of us are not anymore able to go to Holy Mass during Sunday because we have our many worldly preoccupations. Therefore instead of making ourselves present at Holy  Mass we do our many worldly activities. Which most of the time bring us away from Jesus and even influence us to commit sin.  And the end result is our faith is diminished then we gradually begin to trust not anymore in Jesus but on ourselves and in this world.     

What wouldl happen to you and me if we lose our faith and trust in Jesus? If we love this world than Jesus?