Friday, March 31, 2023

Reflection for Sunday April 2, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Matthew 26: 14 – 27:66

Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.” The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said,“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written:I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.

He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.” Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him. Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,  yet you did not arrest me. But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome. The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’” The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?” But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses?

You have now heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!” Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying, Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?” Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” 

Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.” Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.” After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, and they paid it out for the potter’s field  just as the Lord had commanded me.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over. While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.” The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha ¬—which means Place of the Skull —, they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink. After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And they placed over his head the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left. Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,  “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours; go, secure it as best you can.” So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

+ + + + + + + 

Imagine that you are present in the events of the gospel today. From Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem up to His condemnation courtesy of the same crowd who cheered Him going to Jerusalem. Would you have reacted in chorus with the crowd? Perhaps yes or no but there is a bigger chance that you would react as how the crowd reacted.

So, you would also be hollering hosanna to the son of David as Jesus makes His way to Jerusalem riding a donkey. So you would also be in chorus with the crowd yelling crucify him! Crucify him! 

This is who we normally are; we go where the crowd goes, we are afraid to contradict or to go against the crowd. But if we will not go against the crowd, if we will always go with the majority and if we would always say yes. We will not be able to uncover the many wrongdoings that are happening around us. 

Jesus dared to go against the crowd, he dared to do what others did not dare do. And what was it? Jesus exposed the Pharisees which was the ruling power during that time. Jesus exposed the Pharisees manipulative behavior and leadership. 

Jesus opened the eyes of the masses about the enslavement that they had been going thru under the Pharisees. Hence, Jesus paid dearly for going against the crowd, for voicing his opinion and for exposing the powerful Pharisees for who they really are.

As we open the door of Holy Week let us reflect on the action of Jesus of going against the majority. Of having the courage to speak the truth even if it is not popular or even if we will temporarily suffer for it. Because it is only by daring to go against the crowd that we would be able to enlighten minds and touch hearts. – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Ang Mabuting Balita para sa Linggo Abril 2, Linggo ng Palaspas sa Pagpapakasakit ng Panginoon: Mateo 26: 14 – 27:66


Mabuting Balita: Mateo 26: 14 – 27:66
Si Judas Iscariote, isa sa Labindalawa, ay nakipagkita sa punong saserdote, "Ano po ang ibibigay ninyo sa akin kung tulungan ko kayong madakip si Jesus?" tanong niya. Noon din ay binilangan siya ng tatlumpong salaping pilak. Mula noon, humanap na si Judas ng pagkakataon upang maipagkanulo si Jesus.

Dumating ang unang araw ng Kapistahan ng Tinapay na walang Lebadura. Lumapit kay Jesus ang mga alagad at nagtanong, "Saan po ninyo ibig na ipaghanda namin kayo ng Hapunang Pampaskuwa?" Sumagot siya, "Pumunta kayo sa lunsod at hanapin ninyo ang taong ito. Sabihin sa kanyang ganito ang ipinasasabi ng Guro: 'Malapit na ang aking oras. Ako at ang mga alagad ko'y sa bahay mo kakain ng Hapunang Pampaskuwa.'" Sinunod ng mga alagad ang utos ni Jesus, at inihanda nila ang Hapunang Pampaskuwa.

Nang gabing yaon, dumating sa hapag si Jesus, kasama ang labindalawang alagad. Samantalang sila'y kumakain, nangusap si Jesus. "Sinasabi ko: isa sa inyo ang magkakanulo sa akin." Nanlumo ang mga alagad, at isa't isa'y nagtanong sa kanya, "Ako po ba, Panginoon?" Sumagot siya, "Ang kasabay kong sumawsaw sa mangkok ang siyang magkakanulo sa akin. Papanaw ang Anak ng Tao, ayon sa nasusulat, ngunit sa aba ng magkakanulo sa kanya! Mabuti pang hindi na ipinanganak ang taong iyon." Si Judas, na magkakanulo sa kanya, ay nagtanong din, "Guro, ako po ba?" Sumagot si Jesus, "Ikaw na ang nagsabi."

Samantalang sila'y kumakain, dumampot ng tinapay si Jesus, at matapos magpasalamat sa Diyos, kanyang pinagpira-piraso at kanyang ibinigay sa mga alagad. "Kunin ninyo ito at kanin: ito ang aking katawan," wika niya. Hinawakan niya ang saro, nagpasalamat sa Diyos at ibinigay sa kanila. "Uminom kayong lahat nito," sabi niya. "Sapagkat ito ang dugo ng tipan, ang aking dugo na mabubuhos dahil sa marami, sa ikapagpapatawad ng mga kasalanan. Sinasabi ko sa inyo na hindi na ako iinom nitong alak na mula sa ubas hanggang sa bagong alak ay inumin kong kasalo kayo sa kaharian ng aking Ama." At pagkaawit ng isang imno, sila'y nagpunta sa Bundok ng mga Olibo.

Sinabi ni Jesus sa kanila, "Sa gabing ito, ako'y iiwan ninyong lahat, gaya nang nasasaad sa Kasulatan, 'Papatayin ko ang pastol, at mangangalat ang mga tupa. Ngunit pagkatapos na ako'y muling mabuhay, mauuna ako sa inyo sa Galilea." Sumagot si Pedro, "Kahit na po iwan kayo ng lahat, hindi ko kayo iiwan." "Tandaan mo," sabi ni Jesus, "Sa gabi ring ito, bago tumilaok ang manok, makaitlo mo akong itatatwa." Ngunit matigas na sinabi ni Pedro, "Kahit na ako pataying kasama ninyo, hindi ko kayo itatatwa." Gayon din ang sinabi ng lahat ng alagad.

At isinama sila ni Jesus sa isang lugar na tinatawag na Getsemani. Sinabi niya sa kanyang mga alagad, "Dito muna kayo; mananalangin ako sa dako roon." Ngunit isinama niya si Pedro at ang dalawang anak ni Zebedeo. At nagsimulang mabagabag at maghirap ang kanyang kalooban. Sinabi niya sa kanila, "Ang puso ko'y tigib ng hapis na halos ikamatay ko! Maghintay kayo rito at makipagpuyat sa akin!" Pagkalayo ng kaunti, nagpatirapa siya at nanalangin: "Ama ko, kung maaari'y ilayo mo sa akin ang saro ng paghihirap na ito. Gayunman huwag ang kalooban ko kundi ang kalooban mo ang mangyari."

Nagbalik siya at dinatnan niyang natutulog ang tatlong alagad. Sinabi niya kay Pedro, "Talaga bang hindi kayo makapagpuyat na kasama ko kahit isang oras man lamang? Magpuyat kayo at manalangin upang huwag kayong madaig ng tukso . Ang espiritu'y nakahanda ngunit mahina ang laman."

Muli siyang lumayo at nanalangin: "Ama ko, kung hindi maiaalis ang sarong ito nang hindi ko iinumin, mangyari ang iyong kalooban." Muli siyang nagbalik at dinatnan na naman niya silang natutulog, sapagkat sila'y antok na antok.

Iniwan niya uli ang tatlong alagad at muli siyang nanalangin, at iyon din ang sinabi. Nagbalik na naman siya sa mga alagad at sinabi sa kanila, "Natutulog pa ba kayo at nagpapahinga? Dumating na ang oras na ipagkakanulo ang Anak ng Tao sa mga makasalanan. Tayo na! Narito na ang magkakanulo sa akin."

Nagsasalita pa si Jesus nang dumating si Judas, isa sa Labindalawa. May kasama siyang maraming tao na may dalang mga tabak at mga pamalo; galing sila sa mga punong saserdote at matatanda ng bayan. Bago pa sila dumating doon, ibinigay na ng taksil ang ganitong hudyat: "Ang hagkan ko ang siya nating pakay. Dakpin ninyo agad!" Kaya't nilapitan ni Judas si Jesus at binati, "Magandang gabi po, Guro!" saka hinagkan. Sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus, "Kaibigan, gawin mo na ang sadya mo." At nilapitan siya ng mga tao at dinakip. Nagbunot ng tabak ang isa sa mga kasama ni Jesus. Tinaga niya ang alipin ng pinakapunong saserdote, at natigpas ang tainga niyon. Sinabi ni Jesus, "Isalong mo ang iyong tabak! Ang gumagamit ng tabak ay sa tabak mamamatay. Hindi mo ba alam na makahihingi ako sa aking Ama ng higit pa sa labindalawang batalyon ng mga anghel at padadalhan niya ako agad? Ngunit paanong matutupad ang Kasulatang nagsasabi na ito'y dapat mangyari?"

At binalingan niya ang mga tao at sinabi, "Ako ba'y tulisan at naparito kayong may mga tabak at mga pamalo para dakpin ako? Araw-araw, ako'y nagtuturo sa templo, at hindi ninyo ako dinakip. Ngunit nangyaring lahat ito upang matupad ang sinulat ng mga propeta."

Tumakas ang mga alagad at iniwan siyang mag-isa.

Dinala si Jesus ng mga dumakip sa kanya sa bahay ni Caifas, ang pinakapunong saserdote, dooy nagkakatipon ang mga eskriba at ang matatanda ng bayan. Sumunod sa kanya si Pedro, ngunit malayo ang agwat nila. Pagdating sa tahanan ng pinakapunong saserdote, pumasok siya sa patyo at naupong kasama ng mga bantay upang makita kung ano ang mangyayari. Naghahanap naman ang mga punong saserdote at ang buong Sanedren ng saksing magsisinungaling laban kay Jesus, upang maipapatay siya. Ngunit wala silang matagpuan, bagamat maraming humarap at nagsabi ng kabulaanan tungkol sa kanya. Sa wakas, may dalawang humarap at nagsabi, "Sinabi ng taong ito na gigibain niya ang templo at muling itatayo sa loob ng tatlong araw."

Tumindig ang pinakapunong saserdote at sinabi kay Jesus, "Wala ka bang maisasagot sa paratang na ito sa iyo?" Ngunit hindi umimik si Jesus. At sinabi sa kanya ng pinakapunong saserdote, "Iniuutos ko sa iyo: sabihin mo sa amin, sa ngalan ng Diyos na buhay, kung ikaw ang Mesias, ang Anak ng Diyos." Sumagot si Jesus, " "Kayo na ang nagsabi. Ngunit sinasabi ko sa inyo: Mula ngayon ay makikita ninyong ang Anak ng Taong nakaupo sa kanan ng Makapangyarihan, at dumarating na nasa alapaap ng langit!'" Nang marinig ito ng pinakapunong saserdote, winahak niya ang sariling kasuutan at sinabi, "Ito'y kalapastanganan sa Diyos! Hindi na natin kailangan ang mga saksi. Narinig ninyo ang kanyang paglapastangan sa Diyos! Ano sa palagay ninyo?" Sumagot sila, "Dapat siyang mamatay!"

Siya’y niluran nila sa mukha at pinagsusuntok. Sinampal naman siya ng iba at ang sabi, “Kristo, hulaan mo nga kung sino ang sumampal sa iyo!”

Samantala, si Pedro’y nakaupo sa patyo. Nilapitan siya ng isang alilang babae at ang sabi, “Kasama ka rin ni Hesus na taga-Galilea, hindi ba?” Ngunit itinanggi niya ito sa harapan ng lahat. “Wala akong nalalaman sa sinasabi mo,” sagot niya. Pumunta sa may pintuan si Pedro. Nakita siya ng isa pang alilang babae, at sinabi sa mga naroon, “Ang lalaking ito’y kasama ni Hesus na taga-Nazaret.” Muli siyang tumanggi: “Isinusumpa ko, hindi ko nakikilala ang taong iyan.” Mayamaya’y lumapit kay Pedro ang mga naroon. Sinabi nila, “Isa ka nga sa kanila. Nakikilala sa iyong pagsasalita.” “Mamatay man ako, talagang hindi ko nakikilala ang taong iyan,” sagot ni Pedro. Siya namang pagtilaok ng manok. At naalaala ni Pedro ang sabi ni Hesus, “Bago tumilaok ang manok, makaitlo mo akong itatatwa.” Lumabas siya at nanangis nang buong kapaitan.

Kinaumagahan, nagpulong ang mga punong saserdote at ang mga matatanda ng bayan kung paano maipapapatay si Hesus. Iginapos nila siya at dinala kay Gobernador Pilato.

Nang makita ni Judas na si Hesus ay hinatulang mamatay, nagsisi siya at isinauli sa mga punong saserdote at sa matatanda ng bayan ang tatlumpung salaping pilak. Sinabi niya, “Nagkasala ako! Ipinagkanulo ko ang taong walang sala.” “Ano ang pakialam namin? Bahala ka!” sagot nila. Inihagis ni Judas ang mga salaping pilak sa loob ng templo saka siya umalis at nagbigti.

Pinulot ng mga punong saserdote ang mga salaping pilak. Sinabi nila, “Labag sa Kautusan na ilagay ang salaping ito sa kabang-yaman ng templo. Ito’y kabayaran sa buhay ng isang tao.” Nagkaisa sila na ang salapi ay ibayad sa bukid ng magpapalayok upang gawing libingan ng mga dayuhan. Kaya ang bukid na iyon ay tinawag na “Bukid ng Dugo” hanggang sa panahong ito.

Sa ganitong paraan natupad ang sinabi ni Propeta Jeremias: “Kinuha nila ang tatlumpung salaping pilak, ang inihalaga sa kanya ng mga Israelita, at ibinayad sa bukid ng magpapalayok, ayon sa iniutos sa akin ng Panginoon.” Iniharap si Jesus sa gobernador, "Ikaw ba ang Hari ng mga Judio?" tanong sa kanya ng gobernador. Sumagot si Jesus, "Kayo na ang nagsasabi." Ngunit ng paratangan siya ng mga punong saserdote at ng matatanda ng bayan, hindi na siya sumagot. Kaya't sinabi sa kanya ni Pilato, "Hindi mo ba naririnig ang mga ipinararatang nila sa iyo?" Ngunit hindi sumagot si Jesus gaputok man, kaya't nagtaka ang gobernador.

Tuwing Pista ng Paskuwa, kinaugalian na ng gobernador ang magpalaya ng isang bilanggo -- sinumang mahiling ng taong-bayan. Noon ay may isang kilalang bilanggo na nagngangalang Barrabas. Kaya't ng magkatipon ang mga tao, tinanong sila ni Pilato, "Sino ang ibig ninyong palayain ko, si Barrabas o si Jesus na tinatawag na Cristo?" Alam ni Pilato na inggit ang nag-udyok sa kanila na dalhin sa kanya si Jesus.

Hindi lamang iyan. Samantalang siya'y nakaluklok sa hukuman, nagsabi sa kanya ang kanyang asawa, "Huwag kang makialam sa taong iyan na walang kasalanan, sapagkat kagabi'y pinahirapan ako ng aking panaginip tungkol sa kanya."

Ang mga tao nama'y sinulsulan ng pinakapunong saserdote at ng matatanda ng bayan na hilingin kay Pilato na si Barrabas ang palayain, at si Jesus ay ipapatay. Muli silang tinanong ng gobernador, "Sino sa dalawa ang ibig ninyong palayain ko?" "Si Barrabas po!" sagot nila. Sinabi sa kanila ni Pilato, "Kung gayon, ano ang gagawin ko kay Jesus na tinatawag na Cristo?" Sumagot ang lahat, "Ipako sa krus!" "Bakit, anong masama ang ginawa niya?" tanong ni Pilato. Ngunit lalo pa nilang isinigaw, "Ipako sa krus!" Nang makita ni Pilato na wala nang magagawa, at malamang pang magkagulo ang mga tao, nagpakuha siya ng tubig at naghugas ng kamay sa harap ng mga tao. "Wala akong pananagutan sa kamatayan ng taong ito. Bahala kayo!" sabi ni Pilato. Sumagot ang mga tao, "Pinananagutan namin at ng aming mga anak ang pagkamatay niya!" At pinalaya niya si Barrabas, ngunit ipinahagupit si Jesus at ibinigay sa kanila upang ipako sa krus.

Si Jesus ay dinala ng mga kawal ng gobernador sa pretoryo, at nagkatipon ang buong batalyon sa harap niya. Hinubaran nila siya at sinuutan ng isang balabal na pulang-pula. Naglikaw sila ng halamang matinik at ipinutong sa kanya, saka pinapaghawak ng isang tambo sa kanyang kanang kamay. At palibak siyang niluhud-luhuran at binati: "Mabuhay ang Hari ng mga Judio!" Siya'y pinaglulurhan; kinuha nila ang tambo at siya'y pinaghahampas sa ulo. At matapos kutyain, kanilang inalisan siya ng balabal, sinuutan ng sariling damit, at inilabas upang ipako sa krus.

Paglabas nila ng lunsod, kanilang nakita ang isang lalaking nagngangalang Simon, isang taga-Cirene. Plit nilang ipinapasan sa kanya ang krus ni Jesus. Pagdating sa lugar na tinatawag na Golgota na nangangahulugang Pook ng Bungo, binigyan nila si Jesus ng alak na hinaluan ng apdo. Ngunit ng matikman niya ay hindi niya ininom.

Nang maipako na siya sa krus, pinaghati-hatian nila ang kayang mga damit matapos magsapalaran. At naupo sila upang siya'y bantayan. Nakasulat sa kanyang ulunan ang sakdal laban sa kanya: "Ito'y si Jesus, ang Hari ng mga Judio." Dalawang tulisan ang kasabay niyang ipinako sa krus-- isa sa kanan at isa sa kaliwa.

Nilibak siya ng mga nagdaraan, at tatangu-tango pang sinabi, "Di ba ikaw ang gigiba sa templo at muling magtatayo nito sa loob ng tatlong araw?" Iligtas mo ngayon ang iyong sarili! Kung ikaw nga ang Anak ng Diyos, bumaba ka sa krus!" Kinutya rin siya ng mga punong saserdote, ng mga eskriba at ng matatanda ng bayan. Sabi nila, "Iniligtas ang iba, ngunit ang sarili'y di mailigtas! Di ba siya ang Hari ng Israel? Bumaba lang siya ngayon sa krus, maniniwala kami sa kanya! Nananalig siya sa Diyos, at sinasabi niyang siya ang Anak ng Diyos. Iligtas siya ng Diyos kung talagang iniibig siya!" At inalipusta rin siya ng mga tulisang ipinakong kasabay niya. Mula sa tanghaling tapat hanggang sa ikatlo ng hapon ay nagdilim sa buong lupain. Nang mag-iikatlo ng hapon, sumigaw si Jesus, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?" ibig sabihi'y, Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?" Narinig ito ng ilan sa mga nakatayo roon, at sinabi nila, "Tinatawagan niya si Elias!" Agad tumakbo ang isa sa kanila at kumuha ng espongha, tinigmak ng maasim na alak, inilagay sa dulo ng isang tambo at ipinasipsip kay Jesus. Ngunit sinabi naman ng iba, "Hintay muna, tingnan natin kung darating si Elias upang iligtas siya!" Muling sumigaw si Jesus at nalagutan ng hininga.

Biglang napunit sa gitna ang tabing ng templo, mula sa itaas hanggang sa ibaba. Nayanig nag lupa, nagbitak ang mga bato, nabuksan ang mga libingan, at nabuhay ang maraming banal na namatay na. Lumabas sila ng ng libingan, at nang muling mabuhay si Jesus, sila'y pumasok sa Banal na Lunsod at nakita roon ng marami.

Nasindak ang mga kapitan at ang mga kawal na nagbabantay kay Jesus nang maramdaman nila ang lindol at masaksihan ang lahat ng nangyari. "Tunay na ito'y Anak ng Diyos!" sabi nila.

Naroon din ang maraming babaing nakatanaw mula sa malayo. Mula pa sa Galilea'y sumusunod na sila kay Jesus at naglilingkod sa kanya. Kabilang sa kanya si Maria Magdalena, si Mariang ina ni Santiago at ni Jose, at ang asawa ni Zebedeo.

Bago magtakipsilim, dumating ang isang mayamang taga-Arimatea, na ang ngala'y Jose. Siya'y alagad din ni Jesus. Lumapit siya kay Jesus at hiningi ang bangkay ni Jesus. Iniutos naman ito ni Pilato na ibigay sa kanya. Kaya't kinuha ni Jose ang bangkay at binalot ng kayong lino. Inilagay niya ito sa sariling libingan na di pa nalalaunang ipinauka niya sa bato, saka umalis. Naroon si Maria Magdalena at ang isa pang Maria, na nakaupo sa tapat ng libingan. Kinabukasan, alalaong baga'y pagkatapos ng Araw ng Paghahanda, sama-samang nagpunta kay Pilato ang mga saserdote at mga Pariseo. Sinabi nila, "Naala-ala po namin ang sinabi ng mapagpanggap na iyon noong nabubuhay pa, na siya'y muling mabubuhay pagkaraan ng tatlong araw. Pabantayan nga po ninyong mabuti ang libingan hanggang sa ikatlong araw. Baka pumaroon ang mga alagad at nakawin ang bangkay, at sabihin sa mga tao na siya'y muling nabuhay. At ang pangdarayang ito ay magiging masahol pa kaysa nauna." "Kumuha kayo ng mga kawal at pabantayang mabuti ang libingan." Kaya't pumaroon sila at nilagyan ng tatak ang bato at pinabantayan ang libingan upang matiyak nilang di ito pakikialman ninuman.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Reflection for April 1, Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 11:45-56

Gospel: John 11:45-56
Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” 

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.  

So, Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”

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Why was Jesus so popular during His life in this world? 

Aside from performing miraculous healings Jesus was also a man of the masses, Jesus was approachable, humble and helpful. He made time for everyone including the poor and lowly. This is what made Jesus dear to the hearts of the people most especially the common people. 

Hence, it created a bandwagon effect with the people that whoever saw or even heard about Him was captivated to follow Him. Thus, Jesus became a threat to the powers that be or the ruling power at that time. 

We who profess to follow Jesus must learn from these exceptional qualities of Jesus. We may not have the gift to perform miraculous healings. But if we are humble, approachable and has time for those who need our time. We could also be the Lord’s representative to our fellowmen most especially to the poor and powerless. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Ang Mabuting Balita sa Abril 1, Sabado Ikalimang lingo ng Apatnapung Araw na Paghahanda: Juan 11:45-56

Mabuting Balita: Juan 11:45-56
Noong panahong iyon, marami sa mga Judiong dumalaw kay Maria ang nakakita sa ginawa ni Hesus, at nanalig sa kaniya. Ngunit ang ilan sa kanila’y pumunta sa mga Pariseo at ibinalita ang ginawa ni Hesus. Kaya’t tinipon ng mga punong saserdote at ng mga Pariseo ang mga kagawad ng Sanedrin. 

“Ano ang gagawin natin?” wika nila. “Gumagawa ng maraming kababalaghan ang taong ito. Kung siya’y pababayaan natin, mananampalataya sa kanya ang lahat. Paririto ang mga Romano at wawasakin ang Templo at ang ating bansa.”  Ngunit isa sa kanila, si Caifas, ang pinakapunong saserdote noon ay nagsabi ng ganito: “Ano ba kayo? Hindi ba ninyo naiisip na mas mabuti para sa atin na isang tao lamang ang mamatay alang-alang sa bayan, sa halip na mapahamak ang buong bansa?” 

Sinabi niya ito hindi sa ganang kanyang sarili lamang. Bilang pinakapunong saserdote ng panahong iyon, hinulaan niyang mamamatay si Hesus dahil sa bansa – at hindi dahil sa bansang iyon lamang, kundi upang tipunin ang nagkawatak-watak na mga anak ng Diyos. Mula noon, binalangkas na nila kung paano ipapapatay si Hesus, kaya’t hindi na siya hayagang naglakad sa Judea. Sa halip, siya’y nagpunta sa Efraim, isang bayang malapit sa ilang. At doon siya nanirahang kasama ng kanyang mga alagad.  

Nalalapit na ang Pista ng Paskuwa. Maraming taga-lalawigang pumunta sa Jerusalem bago mag-Paskuwa upang isagawa ang paglilinis ayon sa Kautusan. Hindi nila nakita si Hesus sa templo, kaya’t nagtanungan sila,”Ano sa akala ninyo? Paririto kaya sa pista o hindi?” Ipinag-utos ng mga punong saserdote at ng mga Pariseo na ituro ng sinumang nakaaalam kung nasaan si Hesus upang siya’y maipadakip nila.

Reflection for March 31, Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 10:31-42

Gospel: John 10:31-42
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?" The Jews answered him, "We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God." Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'? 

If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. 

He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, "John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true." And many there began to believe in him.

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Raffy was a popular figure in their parish church, he was being consulted every time there was problems and decisions to be made. Then a new figure in the parish came along a humble man whose wisdom was very profound. Suddenly the people in the parish gravitated to this humble and wisdom filled man. Therefore Raffy planned to bring down this humble man so that he could once again be the main man in their parish.  

The hatred of the Jews against Jesus was not only caused by His pronouncement that He and God are one and the same. Their hatred against Jesus was also caused by their envy with Jesus popularity with the people most especially with the ordinary people. The Jews were slowly losing grip of their authority because of Jesus. Therefore they must plot to kill Him at all cost. 

There would also be people who will come along our way who are much better than us. Who are more humble than us (If at all we are humble!). Let us not envy them, let us not plot any untoward against them let us instead be happy for them. To rejoice with somebody who is taking the limelight from us is hard to do. But this is not impossible to do if we really are true followers of Jesus.  

The mistake of the Pharisees and scribes during the time of Jesus is they allowed envy and pride to control them. By doing so, they in the process opened themselves up to the control of Satan. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Ang Mabuting Balita sa Marso 31, Biyernes Ikalimang lingo ng Apatnapung Araw na Paghahanda: Juan 10:31-42

Mabuting Balita: Juan 10:31-42
Noong panahong iyon, ang mga Judio'y muling kumuha ng bato upang batuhin si Hesus. Kaya't sinabi sa kanila ni Jesus,: "Maraming mabubuting gawa mula sa Ama ang ipinakita ko sa inyo; alin ba sa mga ito ang dahilan at ako'y inyong babatuhin?" Sinagot siya ng mga Judio, "Hindi dahil sa mabuting gawa kaya ka namin babatuhin, kundi dahil sa paglapastangan mo sa Diyos! 

Sapagkat nagpapanggap kang Diyos gayong tao ka lang." Tumugon si Jesus, "Hindi ba nasusulat sa inyong Kautusan, 'Sinabi ko, Mga diyos kayo'? Mga diyos ang tawag sa Kautusan sa mga pinagkatiwalaan ng salita ng Diyos, at hindi maaaring tanggihan ang sinasabi ng Kasulatan. 

Ako'y hinirang at sinugo ng Ama; paano ninyong masasabi ngayon na nilalapastangan ko ang Diyos sa sinabi kong ako ang Anak ng Diyos? Kung hindi ko ginawa ang ipinagagawa ng aking Ama, huwag ninyo akong paniwalaan. Ngunit kung ginagawa ko iyon, paniwalaan ninyo ang aking mga gawa, kung ayaw man ninyo akong paniwalaan. Sa gayon, matitiyak ninyong nasa akin ang Ama at ako'y nasa kanya." 

Tinangka na naman nilang dakpin siya, ngunit siya'y nakatalilis. Muling pumunta si Jesus sa ibayo ng Jordan, sa pook na noong una'y pinagbabautismuhan ni Juan. Nanatili siya roon, at maraming lumapit sa kanya. Sinabi nila, "Si Juan ay walang ginawang kababalaghan, ngunit totoong lahat ang sinabi niya tungkol sa taong ito." At doo'y maraming sumampalataya kay Jesus.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Reflection for March 30, Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:51-59

Gospel: John 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ 

Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. 

But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

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What does Jesus gives us? Jesus gives us eternal life, we believe that if we have faith in Jesus we will never die. Yes we literally die through our physical death but after that we believe that we will be with Jesus in heaven to live eternally. 

We primarily believe and love Jesus because we want to be with Him in heaven someday. But there are still many who do not believe in Jesus, yes they know Jesus but they don’t believe in Jesus.  Same as with the Jews in our gospel who did not believe Jesus when He told them that He already had seen Abraham and yet they didn’t believe Him they even had the temerity to throw stone at Him (John 8:57-59). 

So what should we do to those who know Jesus but do not believe or they believe in Jesus but their belief is in name only? We must therefore bring them closer to Jesus and to our faith. For example, this coming Holy Week, let us encourage them to attend the many liturgical celebrations in our respective parishes. For this surely will strengthen their union with Jesus and the church that He Himself founded thru Peter (Matthew 16:18). 

Liturgical celebration such as the Way of the Cross, the Chrism Mass, The institution of the Eucharist in the afternoon, the Veneration of the Holy Cross during good Friday and the Easter Vigil Mass during black Saturday. Let us not keep to ourselves our faith and love for Jesus let us share and live it as well. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Ang Mabuting Balita sa Marso 30, Huwebes Ikalimang lingo ng Apatnapung Araw na Paghahanda: Juan 8:51-59

Mabuting Balita: Juan 8:51-59
Noong panahong iyon, sinabi ni Jesus sa mga Judio: "Tandaan ninyo: ang namumuhay ayon sa aking aral, kailanma'y di makararanas ng kamatayan." Sinabi ng mga Judio, "Ngayo'y natitiyak naming inaalihan ka nga ng demonyo. Namatay si Abraham, at ang mga propeta, pero sinasabi mong hindi mamamatay kahit kailan ang sinumang namumuhay ayon sa iyong aral. Dakila ka pa ba kaysa aming amang si Abraham? Siya'y namatay, gayon din ang mga propeta. Ano ba ang akala mo sa sarili mo?" 

Sumagot si Jesus, "Kung ako ang nagpaparangal sa aking sarili, iya'y walang kabuluhan. Ang aking Ama ang nagpaparangal sa akin at sinasabi ninyong siya ang inyong Diyos. Hindi ninyo sila nakikilala, ngunit siya'y nakikilala ko. Kung sabihin kong hindi ko siya nakikilala, ako'y magigng sinungaling tulad ninyo. Subalit nakikilala ko siya at ginagawa ko ang kanyang sinasabi. 

Natuwa ang inyong amang si Abraham nang mabatid na makikita niya ang araw ng pagparito ko; nakita nga niya ito at siya'y nagalak." Dahil dito'y sinabi sa kanya ng mga Judio, "Wala ka pang limampung taon, at nakita mo na si Abraham?" Sumagot si Jesus, "Sinasabi ko sa inyo: bago ipanganak si Abraham 'Ako'y Ako Na'. Dumampot sila ng bato upang siya'y batuhin, ngunit nagtago si Jesus at lumabas ng templo.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Reflection for March 29, Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:31-42

Gospel: John 8:31-42
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, 'You will become free'?" 

Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence; then do what you have heard from the Father." 

They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!" 

So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication. We have one Father, God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me."

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How can we become true followers of Jesus? 

It is only through our adherence to Jesus teachings that we would become His true followers there is no other way. How about those who regularly give large sum of money to the church or those who serve in the church but they disobey Jesus’ teachings? Are they not true follower? They are not! No matter how big the amount that they regularly give to the church and no matter who they are in the organizational hierarchy of the church.  

It’s not impossible to become faithful to Jesus for everyone of us can aspire to become one. But we often times choose not to be faithful because we allow ourselves to be seduced by the devil. The devil who is disguised in many worldly forms whose only mission is to snatch us away from Jesus.   

Remember Judas Iscariot? He allowed himself to be seduced by the devil for he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).  What was the effect of that betrayal on Judas? Endless mental torture and guilt of conscience that eventually led him to end his life (Matthew 27:3-5). – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Ang Mabuting Balita sa Marso 29, Miyerkules Ikalimang lingo ng Apatnapung Araw na Paghahanda: Juan 8:31-42

Mabuting Balita: Juan 8:31-42
Noong panahong iyon, sinabi ni Hesus sa mga Judiong naniniwala sa kanya, “Kung patuloy kayong susunod sa aking aral, tunay ngang kayo’y mga alagad ko; makikilala ninyo ang katotohanan, at ang katotohanan ang magpapalaya sa inyo.” Lahi kami ni Abraham,” tugon nila, “at kailanma’y di kami naalipin ninuman. Paano mo masasabing palalayain kami?” 

Sumagot si Hesus, “Tandaan ninyo: alipin ng kasalanan ang lahat ng nagkakasala. Ang alipin ay hindi kabilang sa sambahayan sa habang panahon, subalit ang anak ay kabilang magpakailanman. Kapag kayo’y pinalaya ng Anak, tunay nga kayong malaya. 

Nalalaman kong lahi kayo ni Abraham; gayunma’y pinagsisikapan ninyo akong patayin, sapagkat walang pitak sa inyong puso ang aral ko. Sinasabi ko ang aking nakita sa aking Ama; ginagawa naman ninyo ang inyong narinig sa inyong ama.” Sumagot sila, “Si Abraham ang aming ama.” “Kung kayo’y mga anak ni Abraham, tutularan ninyo ang kanyang ginawa,” ani Hesus. “Ngunit pinagsisikapan ninyo akong patayin, gayong sinasabi ko lamang ang katotohanang narinig ko sa Diyos. 

Hindi ganyan ang ginawa ni Abraham. Ang ginagawa ninyo’y tulad ng ginawa ng inyong ama.” “Hindi kami mga anak sa labas,” tugon nila. “Ang Diyos ang aming Ama.” Sinabi ni Hesus, “Kung talagang ang Diyos ang inyong Ama, iibigin ninyo ako, sapagkat nagmula ako sa Diyos. Hindi ako naparito sa ganang sarili ko lamang, kundi sinugo niya ako.”

Inspirational Words from the Bible - 2


Mga salita mula sa Biblia na nagbibigay ng Lakas ng Loob - 2


Monday, March 27, 2023

Reflection for March 28, Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:21-30

Gospel: John 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come. So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’? He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above.  

You belong to this world but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. So they said to him, “Who are you? Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation.   

But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world. They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them,  When you lift up the Son of Man then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him. Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

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What prevents us to be close friends with Jesus? It’s our sinfulness and unfaithfulness to Him. Whenever we sin we put a barrier that divides us from Jesus the more we sin the more barriers that we create that separates us from Jesus.   

But we also know that this separation is not permanent because through our humble submission to the Sacrament of Reconciliation we allow Jesus to reach out to us as we reach out to Him also. This is what separates us from the many Pharisees of Jesus time: We humbly submit to the Lord.   

 By their arrogance and unbelief the Pharisees created a permanent barrier between them and Jesus. This is one of the reasons why Jesus told them (Pharisees), where I am going you cannot come. What then is the key element for us to be able to go eventually where Jesus is? It’s our humility and faith in Jesus.   

We read in the first part of the gospel that Jesus is somewhat distant and aloft. Yes, in His humanity Jesus was perhaps exasperated already with the Pharisees. Who would not be? They always contradict Him, they always find fault in Him and they were full of jealousy and unbelief.   

Nevertheless, Jesus loved them dearly also the same love  that He gave to His followers and to all of humanity. Jesus did not sacrifice His life on the cross for those who only believe Him. He died on the cross for all of us believers, unbelievers and sinners.   

If you think that because of your sinfulness and unbelief you’re already hopeless and out of the loop of the love of the Lord. Think again because you’re not! You still have hope, you’re still dearly loved by Jesus who died for you on the cross.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Ang Mabuting Balita sa Marso 28, Martes Ikalimang lingo ng Apatnapung Araw na Paghahanda: Juan 8:21-30

Mabuting Balita: Juan 8:21-30
Noong panahong iyon, sinabi ni Hesus sa mga Pariseo: "Ako'y yayaon; hahanapin ninyo ako, ngunit mamamatay kayo sa inyong mga kasalanan. Hindi kayo makapupunta sa paroroonan ko." Sinabi ng mga Judio, "Magpapakamatay kaya siya kaya niya sinasabing, 'Hindi kayo makapupunta sa paroroonan ko'?" 

Sumagot si Jesus, "Kayo'y taga ibaba ako'y taga itaas. Kayo'y taga sanlibutang ito, ako'y hindi. Kaya sinasabi ko sa inyo na mamamatay kayo sa inyong mga kasalanan. Mamamatay nga kayo sa inyong mga kasalanan kung hindi kayo maniniwalang 'Ako'y si Ako nga'." "Sino ka ba?" tanong nila. Sumagot si Jesus, "Ako'y yaong sinabi ko na sa inyo mula pa noong una. Marami akong masasabi at maihahatol laban sa inyo. Ngunit totoo ang sinasabi ng nagsugo sa akin, at ang narinig ko sa kanya ang ipinapahayag ko sa sanlibutan." 

Hindi nila nauunawaan na siya'y nagsasalita tungkol sa Ama. Kaya't sinabi ni Jesus, "Kapag naitaas na ninyo ang Anak ng Tao, malalaman ninyong 'Ako'y si Ako nga.' Wala akong ginagawa sa ganang sarili ko lamang; nagsasalita ako ayon sa itinuturo sa akin ng Ama. At kasama ko ang nagsugo sa akin; hindi niya ako iniwan, sapagkat lagi kong ginagawa ang nakalulugod sa kanya." Marami sa nakarinig nito ang nainiwala sa kanya.