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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reflection for Friday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor; Matthew 13:54-58

Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
(Jesus) came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
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Reflection:
What if Jesus was a doctor during His time; would they treat Him differently? Would they treat Him in high esteem instead of belittling Him? Of course His townmates would have treated Him with high respect for He was a doctor. But the reality was He was a carpenter and a carpenter’s son; so they belittled Him and as a result Jesus did not do many miracles in their place.

Sad to say but this is also happening to us, we have different measures for different people. Many of us treat the rich and educated with high esteem and we regard differently those who are poor and less educated.

Education and status in life is a deceiving standard to gauge the morality, sincerity and kindness of a person. In the heart of an ordinary person we often times find moral fitness, sincerity and kindness this we often fail to recognize for the reason that we already judge them based on their life's status. The town mates of Jesus failed to discover this in Jesus because they judge Him based on His life's status. If only they did not disparage Jesus they could have discovered the gentleness of Jesus but they belittled Him for He was just an ordinary carpenter’s son for them.

Perhaps one of the many lessons the gospel imparts to us is not to belittle anyone regardless who they may be. For we don't know the purity of their hearts.  Who knows the people that we belittle are the ones with pure hearts and the ones who will be there for us in our time of need. 

Are we quick to judge others because they are poor and less educated?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reflection for Thursday July 31, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest; Matthew 13:47-53

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Gospel: Matthew 13:47-53
(Jesus said to His disciples) “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
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Reflection:
When a net is thrown into the sea it catches every fish that it could. It doesn’t discriminate it gets everything that is within its reach. Our church is like a net thrown into a sea of humanity.

It doesn’t categorize, everyone is welcome; good or bad, black or white, sinner and non-sinner everyone is welcome to enter our church. For this is what Jesus wants us to do; invite everyone to enter and eventually join our church.

But don’t we somehow discriminate and judge others for the simple reason that we don’t like them or we don't like what they do? The moment we judge them it’s like saying that God only wants the righteous to be in HIS church. It’s like saying that the net which is thrown into the sea is a discriminating net, but it’s not. For the net is for every fish that it could catch.

This is perhaps an eye opener for all of us; we who are often times judgmental. Let us leave judgment to the Good Lord while we continue to live our faith and in the process we become fishers of men and women without any discrimination. 

Reflection for Wednesday July 30, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:44-46


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Gospel: Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
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Reflection:
Every now and then we hear news of rich and famous people committing suicide. We can’t help but ask, Why did they end their life? They almost have everything, this is what we think from outside looking in, that they almost have everything; but do they really have everything?

If they have everything why would they end their life? They may have everything that this temporal world could offer them but a very important component of their lives is missing and it is the Kingdom of heaven which is God.  

Many of us aspire to be materially rich and famous but when we get rich. And we almost have everything that this world could offer us we find out that something is still missing in our life. Who or what is this missing link in our life? HE is Jesus and to find HIM is to find our greatest treasure and most  precious pearl.

But how could we find Jesus if we are always busy with our many worldly undertakings? How could we find Jesus if we seldom listen to HIM in the silence of our hearts?   

Our lives will never be the same once we truly find the greatest treasure and the most precious pearl which is no other than Jesus.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Reflection for Monday July 28, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 13:31-35

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Gospel: Matthew 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.

He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
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Reflection:
Everything in life starts small. For example, when we were born in this world we were small. Then, due to the nourishment that we received from our parents we got bigger and bigger, this is how life starts.

What will make us grow in faith so others could benefit from us? It’s the spiritual nourishment that we give to our life. For example, we go to Holy Mass without fail and we enrich our minds by our habitual reading of the bible. As we do these acts of faith we would be surprised to discover that we slowly grow in faith. And we will be further astonished that as we grow in faith we also learn how to share our faith. 

Perhaps the two parables that Jesus gives us today in the gospel is a reminder for all of us. We, who all want to grow in faith, if we want to grow in faith and if we want others to benefit from our wisdom. We must therefore feed ourselves with our regular presence at Holy Mass, we must feed ourselves by way of regular reading of the bible and we must also do everything that could help us grow in faith.

Jesus will certainly want us all to grow in faith. But how can we grow in faith and how can others benefit from us through our faith? If we seldom attend Holy Mass and if we seldom read the bible? How can we grow in faith if we seldom pray the Rosary? And how can we grow in faith if we don’t help those who are in need most especially the poor?

Our faith is a gift from God but we must also nurture this gift of faith so that it could grow. 

Reflection for Sunday July 27, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:44-52

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Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52
(Jesus told his disciples) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
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Reflection:
A mother who has four children from four different men was on the verge of giving-up on her life. She had nowhere to go for she was disowned already by her family for her wayward lifestyle. "She said to herself, I feel alone and nobody trust me anymore, yet I don’t blame anyone but myself."

While aimlessly walking she saw a sign with these words: If you feel nobody wants you anymore, come to us. So she went and she found out that it was a shelter for unwanted mothers run by nuns. To make a long story short, the nuns cared for her unconditionally and through them she discovered the unconditional love of God.

Through God and the nuns she found restoration, hope and healing. With gratitude she said to the nuns; you took care of me when nobody else cared. You gave me the unconditional love of God when no one else bothered to give it to me. Through you I found the greatest treasure in this world which is the unconditional love of God.

Everyone of us has a purpose and mission in this world and this is none other than to introduce the greatest treasure and the most precious pearl in this world which is rarely found by others. This greatest treasure and rarest pearl is God. We must take time therefore to know Him and share Him so that others may discover Him through us.

How could others discover Jesus through us? We must give hope instead of judgment, we must encourage rather than discourage and we must always sow love rather than hatred.  

Repleksyon para sa July 27, Ika-17 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 13:44-46

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Mabuting Balita: Mateo 13:44-46
 "Ang kaharian ng langit ay katulad ng kayamanang nakabaon sa isang bukid. Nahukay ito ng isang tao ngunit agad itong tinabunan. Tuwang-tuwa siyang umalis at ibinenta ang lahat ng kanyang ari-arian upang bilhin ang bukid na iyon."  Ang kaharian ng langit ay katulad din ng isang negosyante na naghahanap ng mga mamahaling perlas. Nang makakita siya ng isang perlas na napakahalaga, umuwi siya't ipinagbili ang lahat ng kanyang ari-arian at binili ang perlas na iyon."
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Repleksyon:
May isang ina na nagkaroon ng apat na anak sa apat na lalaki. Dahil sa kanyang mabigat na pagsubok na ito ay parang ayaw na niyang mabuhay. Wala na siyang mapuntahan sa dahilang siya ay itinakwil narin ng kanyang pamilya. Kaya sabi niya sa sarili: Nag iisa na ako wala na akong mapuntahan wala ng nagtitiwala sa akin pero wala rin naman akong sinisisi kundi ang sarili ko.”  

Habang siya ay nag lalakad na walang dereksyon ay may nabasa siyang nakasulat na ganito ang sinasabi, “Kung sa tingin mo ikaw ay nag-iisa at wala nag mamahal sa iyo ay mag punta ka sa amin.” Kaya yun ang ginawa niya at nalaman niya na iyong lugar pala ay pansamantalang tuluyan ng mga ina na walang direksyon ang buhay at ito ay pinamamahalaan ng mga madre.  Sa madaling salita siya ay inalagaan ng mabuti ng mga madre at sa pamamagitan nila ay nakilala niya ang walang hangang pag-ibig ng Diyos.

Sa pamamagitan ng Diyos at ng mga madre ay muling nanumbalik ang kanyang sigla at nagkaroon uli siya ng pag-asa. Bilang pag papasalamat ay sinabi niya sa mga madre; “Tinulungan ninyo ako at ipinadama ninyo sa akin na may Diyos. At sa pamamagitan ninyo ay nadama ko ang pinakadakilang kayamanan at pinakamahalagang perlas sa mundong ito, walang iba kundi ang walang hangang pag-ibig ng Diyos.

Lahat po tayo ay may misyon sa mundong ito at ito ay walang iba kundi ang ipakilala ang pinakadakilang kayaman at pinakamahalagang perlas sa mundong ito na hindi pa nakikita ng karamihan. Ang pinakadakilang kayamanan at pinakamahalagang perlas ay walang iba kundi ang Diyos. Dapat po ay mag bigay tayo ng panahon para mas makilala siya at maibahagi siya sa ating kapwa para makilala rin nila and Diyos sa pamamagitan natin.

Paano nga po ba makikilala ng iba ang Diyos sa pamamagitan natin? Dapat po tayo ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa at hindi panghuhusga, dapat po tayo ay tumutulong at hindi nang-aapi at nag sasalita ng hindi maganda sa ating kapwa. Dapat tayo ay palaging nag tatanim ng pag-ibig at hindi galit o paghihiganti.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Reflection for Saturday July 26, Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Matthew 13:24-30

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”
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Reflection:
In the beginning of our lives the Good Lord sowed nothing but goodness into our being. Yet as we grow-up the many influence of this world tried to corrupt us and bring us away from the love of God. 

If for example, we are one of those who allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the devil and we allowed the devil to bring us away from the love of God. What are we going to do? Should we remain with the devil and allow him to permanently shield us from the infinite love of God? Of course not! We must do something to immediately be free from the shackles of the devil so that we could go back to the loving embrace of God.

If we decide to go back to the loving embrace of God, HE will never anymore ask us for the bad and evil things that we have done. What God will look for is our repentant heart/s that is very  much willing to ask for forgiveness.

If we are living in sin now, there’s still hope for us. For God will clean and heal us once again. No questions asked, God will simply wipe away all of our sins. The Good Lord  is patiently waiting for us to go back to HIS loving and forgiving embrace once again.   

Reflection for Friday July 25, Saint James, Apostle; Matthew 20:20-28

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
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Reflection:
Prominence or to be with someone influential is something that we all want. For example, we love to post pictures on facebook and other social media portals the places that we’ve been through.

We love to post our pictures with influential people, this is perhaps human nature, who wouldn’t want to be photographed with a famous personality?  We all want it, but the essence of life is not about the famous places that we’ve been through or the famous personalities that we’ve been seen with.     

The true essence of life is to serve anyone who is need of our help. It doesn’t matter anymore if the acts of compassion that we do are seen or not what is important is we’re able to help. As we follow Jesus let us always be reminded that HE never walked in this world to gain publicity and prominence.

Jesus walked on this world to serve and not be served, HE never aspired to become famous. All HE wanted was to simply follow the will of God for HIM no matter how difficult it was. This must also be our guiding principle as we continue to walk on this world.

What is your guiding principle in this world? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A PRIMER ON THE BELIEFS OF THE IGLESIA NI KRISTO By ORLANDO CARDINAL QUEVEDO, O.M.I. Archbishop of Cotabato Chairman, Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith, CBCP

Please click on this link:

http://knowthetruth.ph/a-primer-on-the-beliefs-of-the-iglesia-ni-kristo/

Reflection for Thursday July 24, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:10-17

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.

Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
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Reflection:
How do we measure success in life? Do we measure it by our wealth and power or we measure it with our closeness to Jesus? Many of us today measure it by our wealth and power this mindset is primarily influenced by this world.

But is this true success? No, a truly successful life is always measured by our closeness to Jesus for what will wealth and power mean to us when we grow old and become incapacitated by old age? During that time wealth and power will not matter anymore to us for someone will be in-charge of us and will take control of us.

What is the use of wealth and power if we are isolated and empty deep inside us? What is the use of wealth and power if we could hardly sleep at night? For the simple reason that we worry so much about our wealth which is sometimes dirty wealth?  

Jesus disciples were very blessed because awareness of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven had already been granted to them by Jesus. They understood that the true essence of life is to be with Jesus.

Blessed are those who know that life’s success today is achieved by our closeness to Jesus. And never with the ownership of the things of this world which is by the way temporary and transitory.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday July 23, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection:
Whenever Jesus speaks everyone listens this is because whatever Jesus talks about is wisdom filled. Who wouldn’t want to listen to someone who imparts wisdom? We all want to listen to a person whose words are truthful and wisdom filled. 

How could we listen to Jesus in this modern time? First, is we listen to HIM by reading HIS life and teachings in the bible. Many of us have no more time to open our bible even for a short time that’s why we do not know Jesus deeply. Yet we have time for other worldly things that often times bring no value to our lives.

Second is we listen to Jesus through our solemn presence at Holy Mass. There are times that it’s so hard to focus our attention to this Holy Celebration because of the presence of others who do not pay attention to what is going on during Holy Mass. Nevertheless, if we desire to pay attention no matter the distraction we could still concentrate on the celebration.

Third is we go to the Adoration Chapel to stay there to be with Jesus. If we could spend time daily to watch our favorite program on tv, why can’t we have time to visit the Adoration Chapel even for a short while? There’s an enormous blessings that awaits us there because we listen to the wisdom of Jesus through our heart/s.

Spend more time with Jesus, listen more to Him and be prepared for the spiritual blessings that HE will shower upon you.       

Reflection for Tuesday July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene; John 20:1-2, 11-18

Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
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Reflection:
Do we still thirst for Jesus? Perhaps yes and no, yes because many of us have this lifelong search for Jesus. We have this never ending thirst for HIM. If we have this kind of motivation we would always find Jesus in our hearts and we would always be close to Jesus.

No, for the reason that we are not anymore searching for HIM we just go through the motion of our faith life if we have time. We go to Holy Mass if we have time, we intensely pray if we are in distress and we read the bible if we are told to read it.

Mary Magdalene intensely searched for Jesus, she went to the tomb while it was still dark and was so distressed when she did not find the body of Jesus. However she did not stop looking for HIM she went on with her search until Jesus appeared to her.

The sole secret to develop closeness with Jesus is to continuously have this thirst for HIM like we thirst for water. As water quenches our thirst and invigorates our bodies Jesus will also do this to us and more. HE will quench our thirst; HE will invigorate our weary bodies and HE will do many more incredible  things for us provided we continuously search and thirst for HIM.

Do we still thirst and hunger for Jesus?   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reflection for Sunday July 20, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-30

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
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Reflection:
God’s judgment is something that we all fear to come to us the reason perhaps is we are not yet prepared for it. There are times however that God’s judgment day will come to us when we least expect it. And when it comes to us we can’t do anything about it anymore we have to accept it whether we like it or not. For example if God will bar us from entering heaven we have to accept it and we can’t do anything about it no matter how hard we resist it.

If God will judge us to be in hell it simply means that the time that we spent in this world during our lifetime was not worthy in HIS eyes.  This means that we led sinful lives most of the time. Perhaps there were also instances wherein somebody called our attention to embrace God and leave behind everything that makes us sin. Yet we chose to ignore that call towards repentance.

Our gospel for this Sunday offers us hope. It tells us that before God’s judgment comes to us. God will offer us first many chances for renewal or repentance. Let us therefore take advantage of this offering of God, by walking away from all our sins and by humbly asking forgiveness from HIM.

The Good LOrd will not immediately judge us for what we do now. This is for the reason that HE knows that deep within us lies goodness and our willingness to walk away from all of our sins. . Truth be told, God is a patient God a God of forgiveness, hope and love. A God of second chances HE will wait for us until we heed HIS call of repentance.

But what if we choose to ignore HIS call of repentance no matter the many chances that HE gave us? What will happen to us?

Repleksyon para sa Hulyo 20, Ika-16 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 13:24-30

Mabuting Balita: Mateo 13:24-30
Nagsalaysay muli si Jesus sa kanila ng isa pang talinhaga. Sinabi niya, "Ang kaharian ng langit ay katulad ng isang taong naghasik ng mabuting binhi sa kanyang bukid. Isang gabi, habang natutulog ang mga tao, dumating ang kanyang kaaway, naghasik ng mapanirang damo sa triguhan at saka umalis. Nang tumubo at magbunga ang trigo, lumitaw din ang mapanirang damo. Kaya't pumunta ang mga utusan sa may-ari ng bukid at nagtanong, 'Hindi po ba mabuting binhi lamang ang inihasik ninyo sa inyong bukid? Bakit po may damo ngayon?' Sumagot siya, 'Isang kaaway ang may kagagawan nito.' Tinanong siya ng mga utusan, 'Bubunutin po ba namin ang mga damo?'  'Huwag, baka mabunot pati ang mga trigo,' sagot niya. 'Hayaan na lamang ninyong lumago kapwa ang damo at ang trigo hanggang sa anihan. Pag-aani'y sasabihin ko sa mga tagapag-ani, ipunin muna ninyo ang mga damo at inyong pagbigkis-bigkisin at saka sunugin. Pagkatapos, ipunin naman ninyo ang trigo sa aking kamalig.' "
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Repleksyon:
Ang pag huhusga ng Panginoong Diyos ay isang bagay na ayaw muna natin na dumating sa atin marahil ang dahilan ay hindi pa tayo handa para dito. Pero may nga pagkakataon na ang pag huhusga sa atin ng Diyos ay darating sa atin sa mga pagkakataon na hindi natin ito inaasahan. At pag ito ay dumating sa atin ay wala na tayong magagawa kailagan nating tangapin ito sa ayaw man natin at gusto.

Halimbawa po kung gugustuhin ng Diyos na hindi tayo patuluyin sa langit ay kailagan na tangapin natin ito kasi wala na tayong magagawa.  Kung huhusgahan po tayo ng Diyos para mapunta sa impiyerno ang ibig lamang pong sabihin nito ay hindi naging kalugod lugod sa kanyang mga panigin ang ating mga ginawa dito sa mundo. Marahil ay mayroon din namang mga pagkakataon na may nag advice sa atin na mag bago na tayo pero ito ay hindi po natin pinakinggan. 

Ang ating pong mabuting balita sa linggong ito  ay nag bibigay sa atin ng pag-asa. Sinasabi po nito sa atin na bago ang pag huhusga ng ating panginoong Diyos ay magbibigay muna siya sa atin ng mga pagkakataon para tayo po ay mag bago at mag sisi sa ating mga pagkukulang sa kanya  at sa ating kapwa.

Hindi naman po tayo agad huhusgahan ng ating panginoong Diyos sa ating mga ginagawang hindi magaganda sa ngayon. Sa dahilang alam niya na sa kaibuturan ng ating mga puso ay mayroon paring likas na kabutihan. At ang ating kahandaan  na tumalikod ng tuluyan sa ating mga pagkakasala.

Sa totoo lang po ang panginoong ay mapangunawa, mapagpatawad at puno ng pag-ibig para sa atin maging sino pa man tayo. Siya ay nakahandang mag hintay sa atin kaya habang may pagkakataon pa tayo ay mag bagong buhay na.

Pero paano po kung mas pipiliin nating hindi pakinggan ang kanyang panawagan na tayo ay mag bagong buhay na? Ano po kaya ang mangyayari sa atin?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reflection for Saturday 19, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 12:14-21

Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
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Reflection:
What are we going to do if we know that powerful people are after our life? Of course we will do what Jesus did; we will also withdraw to a place where we will be safe. But unlike Jesus who continued to do HIS acts of mercy even if HIS life was already in danger. We may not do anything except to hide and protect our life, this is what separate Jesus from us.

For Jesus the greater good is not to protect HIS life but to continue to serve the people that HE dearly loved so much. This love for HIS people eventually culminated in HIS death on the cross.

But not all of us are afraid to give our very life for the sake of our fellowmen. There are others who selflessly gave their lives so that others may live and be free. This is best exemplified by our heroes who selflessly gave their lives for our sake.

In hindsight, what is the reason why we want to protect our life to the detriment of our fellowmen? The simple reason perhaps is we love our life more that we love Jesus and our fellowmen. We perhaps are simply unconcerned with the greater need of our fellowmen otherwise we would not think twice to give our treasured time and life for others.

Self-preservation is never an option for those who truly follow Jesus.

My Reflection for Friday July 18, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 12:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
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Reflection:
When Pope Francis was asked about homosexuals he said this: "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency to homosexuality is not the problem they're our brothers." This comment by the Pope evoked countless positive comments all over the world. Why? Because it broke barriers, it erased the usual stigma that homosexuals are sinful.

When the disciples eat during the Sabbath the Pharisees told Jesus, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:2).” But Jesus justly defended HIS disciples.

Like the Pharisees, it’s so easy for us to judge based only on what we see but what we see is often a false representation a person’s identity. However, unlike us who easily judge, Jesus doesn't what is important for Jesus is mercy, what is important for Jesus is the goodness of a person’s heart.

How are we going to spread the kindness of Jesus if we are overly strict and judgmental? If we are not going to bend in humility? The Pharisees in our gospel were  judgmental they want their laws to be strictly followed. But they were also the main violators of the law that they have self-servingly created.

Let us reflect on the many times that we have become self-righteous and judgmental and let us ask for forgiveness to those whom we have offended.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday July 15, Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor; Matthew 11:20-24

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the nether world. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
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Reflection:
A man was being bothered by his many sins he would think of his sins every now and then and it always gave him guilt of conscience. He had no peace of mind, a friend noticed his uneasy behavior so he was asked what was bothering him. After telling his friend what was bothering him, he was advised to repent from all of his sins through the Sacrament of Confession. So he did and he finally had peace of mind.

The people of Chorazin and Bethsaida were reprimanded by Jesus for they refused to repent from their evil ways. Why do we refuse to repent and why do we love to sin? The reason perhaps is we love the devil one more than Jesus, we love this world more than we love to be eventually in heaven with Jesus. Otherwise if we love Jesus we will repent and this repentance will reach its apex once we submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession.

This is who we are, we love to sin yet we don’t want to be in hell but what we don’t know is as we continue to sin we also slowly give our lives to be with the evil one in hell. Are Satan and  hell real? Of course they are! Observe those who continue to sin or who continue to live sinful lives. They may be rich and powerful but the reality is they have no peace of mind often times their family also is in turmoil and the reason of this is their refusal to walk away from sin. Therefore we will be with the evil one and we will feel hell here and now if we will not walk away from sin.

Jesus will surely want us all to repent and to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. This is for the reason that Jesus wants us to be cleansed from all of our sins that has been enslaving us for so long. Nevertheless, Jesus also gave us the freedom of choice to do what we want to do in this world.  

The choice is ours to make, should we continue to live in the darkness of sin that has been making life so miserable for us? Or we embrace the guiding light of Jesus through HIS offer of repentance.

What is your choice?  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Reflection for Monday July 14 Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 10:34-11:1

Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
(Jesus said to the Apostles) Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple–amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
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Reflection:
A rich young man was pondering on how he could bring peace to his fractured family. One night he had a dream and on that dream Jesus said to him, You need to become a priest for you to have healing in your family. But the young man was very worldly he loved the treasures of this world. Yet he also loved dearly his family.

So, he headed the voice of Jesus, he studied for the priesthood and whenever he had a vacation he would always gather his family for a retreat inside their house. To make a long story short, the once factional and fractured family slowly became unified. After a few years he eventually became a priest and true enough his becoming a priest ushered healing in his family.

Jesus tells us in the gospel that HE is a cause of division and disunity inside a family. On the other hand Jesus is also a healing instrument inside a family. How would this happen? If you fight for the teachings of Jesus inside your family naturally there would be initial resistance and division.

Members of the family would initially resist it but for as long as you will not give-up. And for as long as you offer to Jesus whatever you do inside your family even if it causes initial division sooner or later there will be healing and reconciliation. Many of us already discount the healing power of Jesus but it has already been proven time and again that Jesus heals families.

Have you tried introducing Jesus to your family through HIS life story in the bible?  Perhaps not yet, now is the most opportune time, do it slowly and patiently. Amen.

My Reflection for Sunday July 13, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.

Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection:
Where do we take refuge when life’s troubles hit us? We don’t take refuge in this world we instead take refuge in Jesus and we find solace in HIM. After which we are strengthened and we are again ready to sail into the turbulent waters of this world.

When we take refuge in Jesus we do one of these or we even do all of these:  we pray we go to Holy Mass, we visit HIM in the Adoration Chapel and we read the bible. We must not be satisfied with simply doing these acts of worship and devotion. We must also allow it to transform us so that others may see not our transformed selves but Jesus in ourselves thus we bring them closer to Jesus.

How would they see Jesus in us and how could we bring them closer to Jesus? We must allow ourselves to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. And we can only do this if we will allow Jesus to transform us for this is HIS desire for all of us: To become the seeds that went to the rich soil.

At the end of the day it’s still in our hands if we would allow Jesus to transform us to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. We have nothing to lose and everything is ours to gain if we become docile to the desire of Jesus.

Do you always listen to the desire of Jesus or you only listen to your own selfish desire?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday July 12, Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 10:24-33

Gospel: Matthew 10:24-33
(Jesus said to the twelve Apostles) “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!

“Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
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Reflection:
Fear is something that we always associate with death, we are always afraid to die. Why are we afraid to die? Perhaps the reason why we are afraid to die is we have not found Jesus yet, Jesus is not yet part of our way of life. This is perhaps the primary reason why we are afraid to die. However, once Jesus  is already part of our way of life we will not anymore be afraid to die.

There is a story of a dying man who rarely attends Holy Mass and who was very much afraid to die. When his relatives told him that they will call a priest for him to be conferred with the Sacrament of the Anointment of the Sick. He asked them, Am I going to die already (For this was his usual notion)?

To make a long story short, the priest arrived and he was conferred the sacrament. After the priest left, the dying man told his relatives, now I am prepared to die. From being afraid to not being afraid to die and the reason of it all is the courage that Jesus gave him through the anointment of the sick.

When we have Jesus in our lives we already have the courage to face anything that may befall us.   We are not anymore afraid to stare at earthly death because we now know that soon after we will be with Jesus in heaven.

How are we going to face our fears? We face our fears with Jesus in our hearts.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Reflection for Friday July 11, Saint Benedict, Abbot Matthew 10:16-23

Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23
(Jesus said to the twelve Apostles) “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say.

You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
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Reflection:
How far would you go for your love of Jesus? Are you willing to give your life so that HIS teachings will continue to live and spread in the hearts of your fellowmen?

Jesus needs us today more than any other time because today we see the world being slowly enveloped by the culture of secularization. What are we going to do about this tilting paradigm shift toward secularization? Are we just going to stand idly, do nothing and be indifferent with the mission of Christ Jesus?

If we do nothing because we are afraid to embrace sacrifice and persecution, what will happen to this world? This world will eventually be ruled and populated by people who are not anymore afraid of God. Just look and observe, abortion is prevalent even legal in many countries same as with divorce. Why are these incidents happening now? Because many are afraid to give their life in the service of Jesus many of us now have the mindset of apathy (I am only concerned with my family and my own welfare) .

Our indifference towards the mission of Jesus contributes to the degeneration of the value formation of this world. Many of us are even already afraid to take up the cudgels for Jesus, we only confine Jesus inside the walls of the church.

We must wake-up and do our part (No matter how small) to continue to spread the values and teachings of Jesus in this world. We do this not for our own sake anymore we do this for the sake of the future generation which now belongs to our children. Just imagine them growing-up with a scant idea of who Jesus is, what will happen to them when they grow-up and have their own family?

Have you done something to stand for the teachings of Christ?

My Reflection for Thursday July 10, Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 10:7-15

 Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15
(Jesus said to the twelve Apostles) “As you go,. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.

As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words --go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town.”
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Reflection:
A righteous man was wondering about the kingdom of God, he was asking himself, when will I feel the kingdom of God? Then, suddenly he had a heart attack and he died after which his soul was ushered by an angel into heaven to be with Jesus.

The kingdom of God comes to us through many avenues of life and one of these avenues is though our death. Are we already prepared for death? Many if not all of us would say, not yet for we still have our many preoccupations in life. We are so busy with many things but have we been busy with the heavenly things, with the things for God? The things which will bring us to a close intimacy with Jesus; such as acts of Piety toward our fellowmen.

The instruction of Jesus for the apostles is HIS marching order for us also; Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. In other words Jesus is telling us to make a deeply humanitarian difference in the lives of others most especially the poor. Let us not be selfish, let us rather be sensitive to their needs for in doing so we bring ourselves closer to Jesus.

Would we gain financial windfall for doing Jesus mission in this world? No we will not but let us not be afraid to do the instruction of Jesus for it’s already a prelude for us for HIS eternal kingdom in heaven which will certainly come to us someday.

What will you gain if you have all the material wealth in this world yet you don't have the peace of Jesus in your heart?