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

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday July 2, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:28-34

Gospel: Matthew 8:28-34
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
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Reflection:
What can demons do to us if we have Jesus in our lives? Nothing absolutely nothing! We are untouchable by any demonic power if we have Jesus in our lives. But do we still have Jesus in our lives today?

This is the big question now, do we still have Jesus in our lives today? Or it might be that we are very preoccupied with our worries for this world that we hardly have time for Jesus anymore. And when we hardly have time for Jesus that is when the devil comes to swiftly possess us.

As evidenced by our gospel today, the demons were no match for Jesus they capitulate in surrender to Jesus. This is the power of Jesus; it can subject anyone including the devil to HIS will. But it’s sad that many of us today don’t realize this anymore for the simple reason that we have no more time for Jesus yet we create time for this world.

 Where are we leading if we go with this world? It will lead us closer to  the devil hiding beneath the many pleasures of this world. We must realize this urgency before it’s too late. Let us disengage ourselves from our worldliness and let us engage Jesus for we will never go wrong with HIM.  

The closer we get to Jesus the farther we go away from the devil. The closer we go to Jesus the more that we have peace and serenity in our lives.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Reflection for Monday June 30, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:18-22

Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
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Reflection:
What will it cost us if we decide to follow Jesus? It will cost us everything that we love from this world. For example, if we decide to follow Jesus it simply means that we have to leave behind all of our vices. But are we willing to give-up our vices for Jesus?

It’s actually hard to follow or serve Jesus we have to do many sacrifices from this world. But nothing to worry about because what we lose from this world for following Jesus is nothing compared to the blessings that Jesus will give us.

For example, if we decide to follow Jesus the first blessing that we would receive from HIM is peace of mind. For the reason that we now trust in Jesus and not on this world anymore. What we have in this world such as power and riches will not give us peace of mind.  It will only disturb our peace and create multitude of worries for us.

We are always winners if we decide to faithfully follow Jesus and if we put aside others for Jesus. Let us observe the many beautiful things that he will do to our life. Be not afraid therefore of following Jesus for HE will make your life’s burden easy and light. We have everything if we have Jesus in our life. 

Will you follow Jesus or you will just continue to follow this world? 

My Reflection for June 29, Sunday; Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles; Matthew 16:13-19

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
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Reflection:
Can we know Jesus deeply by our own effort? No, because everything that we know about Jesus and our faith is a gift from God. Through God’s own doing we know something about HIM and our faith, everything is a grace and we are mere facilitators of this grace.

When Simon Peter was able to point-out the true identity of Jesus he was subsequently told by Jesus that he know HIM because of the grace of God. Why did Jesus told Peter that what he knows about HIM is a gift from God? Perhaps it was Jesus way of telling Simon Peter that he must humbly use his knowledge about God to bring others to God and not to bring unto himself the glory that is due to God alone.

Today is also the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul two pillars of the church. Why were they successful in their mission to spread the faith? This is for the reason that both of them remained humble in doing their ministry. They did not raise themselves to the altar of significance and prominence. Both of them remained humble missioners for Jesus.  

This is also a very good reminder for all of us who share the words of God. When we share, preach or write about God let us always see to it that we don’t highlight anyone else except God alone.  As Saint John the Baptist said, I must decrease and HE must increase (John 3:30). 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday June 28, Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 2:41-51

Gospel: Luke 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
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Reflection:
Everyone of us perhaps has already experienced the feeling of fear and uncertainty. For example when a love one is brought to the hospital for an emergency; we feel fear and uncertainty of what may happen next. Amidst the anxiety and fear who gives us the confidence to calm down it’s none other than God for we go to HIM in deep prayer.

When Saint Joseph and the Blessed Mother discovered that the young Jesus was not with them they must have felt fear and anxiety also. But in the middle of their feeling of fear and anxiety they remained peaceful for both of them were faithful worshippers of God. They knew perhaps that somehow they will soon find Jesus safe and sound. And so they went back to look for Jesus and they’d found HIM in the temple interacting with the Judaic teachers.      

Today is the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We remember her heart that is overflowing with love for her child and her spouse. Her Immaculate Heart that is overflowing with Humility and surrender to the will of God.

Let us pray that our hearts may be like the heart of the Blessed Mother. A heart that is overflowing with humility and trust in God. A heart that is ever willing to embrace suffering a heart that is deeply rooted in faith and love for God. And a heart that is immaculately clean for it doesn't keep a record of wrongs and hatred.  

My Reflection for Friday June 27, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; Matthew 11:25-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30  
At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
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Reflection:
Do we want to grow in faith? God requires us only one thing; none other than to have the virtue of humility. Humility means that we trust God like a little child trust his parents. Humility means that we don’t dare question the ways of God in our lives even if HIS ways are sometimes full of trials and hardship.

 We simply bow in submission and follow HIS own will for our lives. However, how would we know the will of God? We must at all times be humble for it’s though a person’s humility that he discerns God’s will for him. A person who is not humble will never know God’s will for him; he will only know his own will for himself.

Who are those who go to Jesus to be relieve of the burdens of this world? Who are those who sincerely ask Jesus to help them carry their heavy loads in this world? Who are those who find their rest in Jesus alone? They all are the humble ones; they go to Jesus in humility and by doing so they find true rest they find someone who will help them find relief from the burdens of this world.

During this Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus let us reflect on Jesus' humble heart. Let us pray that the good Lord will also transform our hearts to become like the humble Sacred Heart of Jesus. For Humility is the gateway to know Jesus deeply and humility is the only means for Jesus to come into our lives. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday June 26, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 7:15-20

Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
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Reflection:
Where is your life anchored today? Is it anchored on this world or anchored on no one else but God? It’s very tempting to anchor our life to this world. For who would not want riches, influence, power and the like? We would be hypocrite if we say that we don’t want these all.

Yes we do want these all, however what will happen to us if we become worldly? If God simply becomes just an option for us where we go when we are in need of HIM and when we are not anymore in need of HIM we don’t go to HIM anymore.

the reality of our life is we were not created to become permanent citizens of this world. We are mere temporal passersby in this world, sooner or later we will leave this world and all the worldly possessions that we have accumulated. Where would we end-up in the afterlife if we only live for this world?

It’s always better if we accumulate our life with God, this means that we worship God and we do what HE wants us to do. But this is not always the case we often times worship HIM only and we don’t do what Jesus wants us to do. 

Therefore we continue to become slaves of this world.

My Reflection for Wednesday June 25, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 7:15-20

Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.”
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Reflection:
What is the culture of our world today? It’s the culture of materialism; we tend to have a bias for those who have material wealth. For example, if we are made to choose between a rich and a poor person. We would surely choose the rich because their wealth is their advantage. The poor one will not be chosen even if he is virtues because of his appearance.

Jesus warns us in the gospel that we must not allow ourselves to be swayed by mere appearance for its often fake and it doesn’t truly represent a person’s true color. Whether we admit it or not, many of us fall into this trap of judging or favoring by mere impression by what is outside and by what we see.

Let us be discernful and let us not judge by mere appearance for appearance is always deceiving. Let us rather try to be observant even to those who are poor for they are like diamonds in the rough. Their glowing wisdom is not immediately obvious in fact it’s always hidden unless we take time to personally know them.  

Lest we forget that the true worth or character of a person is not measured by his/her material wealth. It’s rather measured by his/her little acts of kindness and love which is always done with the purest of intention. And anybody could do this including the poor ones; they who are always close to the heart of Jesus. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Reflection for June 22, Sunday; Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) John 6:51-58

Gospel: John 6:51-58
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
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Reflection:
How can we live forever? We have to eat what Jesus offers us today no other than HIS Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Where do we receive this selfless offering of Jesus? We receive HIM at Holy Mass during Holy Communion. Hard to believe that we would be sustained by the Body of Jesus yet this is true. If we always receive HIM with utmost reverence we will notice something different and life changing.

Our faith will increase, we will be lead by Jesus to people who will help us grow in faith and our eyes of faith will be opened to the rich resource available for us to grow in faith. However, before all of these life changing moments change us. We must receive HIM first at Holy Mass with deep reverence.   

We become what we eat and we are transformed by what we eat, for example if we regularly eat food that makes us fat we will surely be fat.  And the side effect of fatty foods is it will eventually bring us sickness.

In the same manner if we will regularly partake of the Body of Jesus it will not only transform and sustain us it will also cleanse us of anything that makes us sinful. This is the miracle of the Body of Christ that we reverently receive during Holy Communion.

However, do we receive the Body of Christ with reverence and do we pray to Jesus to heal and change us as we fall in line for Holy Communion?   

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday June 21, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious 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:
Is it possible not to worry about our life? Very possible if we have a rock solid faith in Jesus for when we have Jesus we already have everything. But many of us still worry about life, we still worry about how we could once again put food on the table for the next day. All of these are normal things that we worry about.

However, there are many who do not worry about life.  They let life worry about them and not them worrying about life and they miraculously are able to get through and survive.  Where do they get their rock solid confidence?

They get their confidence and trust on nobody else but Jesus. It’s true indeed that when we choose to be with Jesus we already have everything. We have peace of mind and contentment; therefore we are always ready for whatever life may bring us.

The secret to a fulfilling life in this world is only a life with Jesus over whatever worldly enjoyment and things.  A life with Jesus is a well lived life and it is a life that prepares us for heaven the moment our earthly journey in this world is over and done with already. Let us therefore not make a mockery of our lives by choosing this world over Jesus.  

Surrender your life to Jesus, embrace HIM and open your heart to HIM alone. 

My Reflection for Friday June 20, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:19-23

Gospel: Matthew  6:19-23
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
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Reflection:
Will it be OK with us if we remain materially poor but spiritually rich? Yes, without any second thought, what are we to do with all the material things of this world if we have no God and if we are empty spiritually? Everything that we have is worthless no matter how expensive it is if we don’t have God in our lives.

Material possessions can fly away from our hands anytime; we have no hold on it. Material possessions also drives us away from God it slowly but surely sucks us away from our firm belief of God and we must be wary of this.

Material possession per see is not bad for the simple reason that it could really help us alleviate our wellbeing. But on the same vein we must not also allow it to take control of us. We must take control of material possessions and not material possessions controlling us.

Let us take a closer look at ourselves and reflect for there may be signs of enslavement of material wealth in favor of God. For example, if we sacrifice our time for God in favor of our work, if we allow material wealth to corrupt us in favor of our love for God. Then these are sure signs that we allow material wealth to get hold on us rather than God.

Whether we like it or not all of us will be at the threshold of mortal death someday. Where shall we go then if all we do is to embrace the hedonist lifestyle of this world?  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday June 17, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:43-48

Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48      
(Jesus said to his disciples) 43 "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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Reflection:
One of the most difficult actions to do is to love our enemies or to love those who’ve hurt us or those who continue to hurt us. For example how could you love your unfaithful spouse? How could you love someone whose been making life so difficult for you? Indeed, these kinds of people are very hard to love. But on the other hand, who are we not to love them and who are we to focus on hatred instead of love?

Why don’t we try loving those who are hurting us, why don’t we try to eliminate whatever hatred in our hearts? The moment we love those who hurt us and the moment we eliminate hatred in our hearts we become free from the bondage of the evil one. We free ourselves from any form of negative and hurtful emotions that slowly eats away our good health.

Loving our enemies doesn’t mean that we eliminate fairness and justice. Loving our enemies simply means that we don’t keep whatever form of hatred in our hearts yet we pursue justice and fairness.

Jesus loves us all whoever we are and whatever sins we have committed. However we are also aware that there is hell, there is the kingdom of the devil wherein those who do no good are destined to dwell. This is justice and this is fairness.     

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Reflection for Monday June 16, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
(Jesus said to his disciples) 38 "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
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Reflection:
What would we gain if we exact revenge to those who’ve aggrieved and injured us? Nothing except further enmity and injury then at the end there will be no winners only losers.

Take for example disagreements and quarrels, if a person will exact revenge for the injury that was caused her/him.  It would only become a vicious cycle of disagreements and quarrels that has no ending. This is the result of our unforgiveness but what if we take the high road of forgiveness and humility? Then things will be OK, there’s no hatred or any kind of bad feeling in our hearts.

It’s hard to be humble, it’s hard to forgive and it’s hard not to retaliate for the injury that was done to us. But let us look at Jesus on the cross and reflect on the wounds that we have carved on HIS body by our sinfulness. What if HE has not forgiven us, what if HE did not humble himself for us?

What Jesus gives us today are valuable lessons on humility and forgiveness that will help us build bridges instead of walls. The gospel reading for today is very easy to look at and read. But can we live it? If we abhor hostility, if we are humble and if we are truly passionately in love with Jesus we would be able to live these teachings.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Reflection for June 15, Sunday; Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity; John 3:16-18

Gospel: John 3:16-18
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
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Reflection:
How do we give our love to our spouse or to our friend perhaps? There are times that this love is with condition, we love when we receive love in return. But when the love that we give is unrequited this love wanes until it finally evaporates from our hearts and this is how we normally love.

In our readings for this Sunday most especially the gospel, God opens our hearts to a much deeper kind of love. A love that cannot be measured by anything,  love that has no limits and a  love that is coupled with humility and sacrifice.

God’s love is not like how we express our love. For we are always conscious about what we could get back in return for the love that we give. This is the complete opposite of God’s love. Love in the eyes of God is when we are willing to sacrifice even at the cost of our very own life.  

Today is the solemnity also of the Holy Trinity, the three persons in one God. How are they able to exist without any conflict? How could they be one yet three? They harmoniously co-exist because they have the love of God.

The Holy Trinity for many of us is a mystery but not anymore for some of us. Why? Because they already have in their hearts the love of God, let us therefore ask the Holy Trinity covert our hearts according to His love.

If God lovingly gave HIS very own son so that we may live and have life, what can we give God in return? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday June 10, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 5:13-16

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
(Jesus said to his disciples) 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything  except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
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Reflection:
How could we become salt and light in this world? We must become the extension of Jesus in this world. As Jesus became salt and light to this world for everyone of us so we too must become salt and light for our fellowmen.

But this is easier said than done, perhaps we would say; before I become salt and light for others I must become salt and light for myself first. The me first mentality and this is what this world dictates us, to be a person for ourselves first before being a person for others.

The teachings of Jesus are always in contrast to the teachings of this world and these teachings about salt and light is no exception. We know that salt preserves and it defines the taste of food. We know that light illumines a dark environment, light gives hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.

As Jesus challenged HIS disciples to become living salt and light to their world then. So we too are challenged by Jesus to become living salt and light to our own world today. How would we proceed from this challenge of Jesus?

Let us forget ourselves and let us start to live and teach Jesus’ teachings. For this is the only way that we could become living salt and light of this world. Are we up to this challenge of Jesus? 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Reflection for Monday June 9, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 5:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
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. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
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Reflection:
A mentally challenged boy was always made fun of by his friends and relatives. He finds it hard to follow simple instructions and he finds it hard to read and write. His relatives told him not to study anymore because it was just a waste of time and money. Thus, he forced to stop and he wasn’t able to finish his elementary studies.

At that tender age he knew that he was being looked down by those around him; he simply keep calm and meekly took their insults. What they didn’t know was the boy had enormous faith in Jesus. Every night he would always humbly pray and ask the Lord to guide and strengthen him for he had nothing except his faith.

After a few years this boy perseveringly continued his studies and was able to finish high school and he lived a modest life.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives us the Beatitudes and one of the Beatitude is: Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land. That blessing is for this mentally Challenged boy who grew-up doing his humble share in serving God and His people. That meekness blessing is also for those who meekly take insults and verbal abuse.  

There are times that we are so quick at hurling insulting words. Words that cuts like a sharp knife, words that carve a permanent stigma in the heart of the recipient.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Reflection for June 8, Sunday; Solemnity of Pentecost John 20:19-23

Gospel: John 20:19-23
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came  and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
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Reflection:
Who impels us to do good? Who impels us to forgive those who’ve done us wrong? It’s the Holy Spirit! However, do we feel the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our life? Many of us will say yes and no also. For those who will say no; the gospel gives us a hint on how we would be able to feel the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

After the death of Jesus HIS disciples were on the run fearing for their lives. They meet secretly and they also pray, it was meeting with intense prayer. They were longing for the presence of Jesus and they passionately want Jesus to come back to them to lead and guide them once again.  

Therefore, while the disciples of Jesus were in a room fearing for their life and at the same time praying also. Lo and behold from nowhere Jesus appeared to them and HE said to them, “Peace be with you” and after a while Jesus gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What if they were just in that room fearing for their lives and talking nonsense, would Jesus appear to them? They were in that room in fear of the Jews nonetheless they were also intensely praying and longing for HIM.  

Start to have a strong desire for Jesus, endlessly thirst for HIM make HIM an active player in your life.

My Reflection for Saturday June 7, Seventh Week of Easter John 21:20-25

Gospel: John 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.
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Reflection:
 John is the disciple whom Jesus loved; there is that closeness between them and we saw it when John reclined upon His chest (John 13:23-25). John was also the only disciple who was with Jesus until His last gasp of breath on the cross.

In our present time it may be very odd to see a man recline upon the chest of another man. Our vicious imaginations will conclude something else that is forbidden by the church but is somewhat accepted already by our society now.

But during Jesus’ time; it suggest pure intimacy between the Master/Teacher (Jesus) and His disciple (John). John has Jesus’ ears that he could ask HIM questions whenever he wants too. The strength of their friendship was clearly evident when John stayed with Jesus until the very end.

This is also the intimacy that Jesus wants from us, Jesus wants us also to  stay with HIM regardless of our life’s predicament. We stay intimate with Jesus in our happy moments and the more that we become intimate with Jesus in our moments of sadness and trials.    

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Reflection for Friday June 6, Seventh Week of Easter John 21:15-19

Gospel: John 21:15-19
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." 16 A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." 19 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me."
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Reflection:
A young man told the young woman: I love you. The woman said to the man: Marry me to prove your declaration of love. So he married her and they lived as husband and wife only to separate after a few years. For the simple reason that they were not able to withstand the turbulence and trials of married life. 

Perhaps, I love you; is the most abused phrase today; we often say it without thinking how profound and meaningful this phrase is. This is the reason why when married life is tested by turbulence, the phrase I love you now becomes I don’t love you anymore. Then after a period of time it deteriorates to become I want to separate from you.

In our gospel for today, Jesus wants us to know that the phrase I love you is always loaded with accountability. This is the reason why when Jesus asked Peter, Do you love me (three times!)? HE attached it with threefold responsibilities (Feed my lambs, Tend my sheep, Feed my sheep).

Let us pause and think for we may have loosely said the phase I love you to lure our prospect to love us. Let us pause and think for we may have loosely said the phase I love you to simply satisfy our sexual desires.