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Our covenant with God

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Friday of week 19 in Ordinary Time
Matthew 19:3-12 It's evident how despite our sinfulness, God renews his covenant with us, his people.

This covenant is like the marriage vows of husbands and wives.  The only difference in a Catholic marriage is that this covenant is binding and what God has put together no man can separate.

For us personally, what does this covenant imply?

1. First, it implies total, unconditional, and undivided faithful commitment from God who is our partner in the covenant.  For his part, he will insure our well-being, forgiveness, and life.

2.  Second, it demands a definite response from the other party: us.  There may be various responses: marriage, priesthood, single or religious life.  But remember: even our response demands a special grace only God can supply. 

Thus, everything is God's action in us.  Even our response which is love is a gift from Him.  We only need to say "Yes" each day and each moment of our lives.

Faith and patience

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Saturday of week 18 in Ordinary Time  Matthew 17:14-20  There is something from Habbakuk that talks about the prophets seemingly in doubt as to the ways of the Lord.  Why does it seem that the Lord is fully in control, yet, the evil persons continue their wicked ways.

The good prophet stated that he would wait patiently on the Lord for the answer.  The Lord indeed answered, "See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness."

In today's gospel, it was Jesus who seemed impatient for the weakness of men, "How long must I keep up with you?"  in exorcising the sick son.  Then he gave a beautiful discourse on faith: "I tell you solemnly, if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you."

What we need are patience and faith.  These two go together.  Nothing is impossible with God.  But we have to wa…

Magis

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Saint Laurence, Deacon, Martyr
John 12:24-26  There's a saying in Filipino, "Kung ano'ng tinanim, siya ring aanihin."  Kung matipid ang pagtatanim, matipid din ang aanihin.  On the other hand, rich sowing means rich reaping.

Since we know we're entering into the same venture anyway, why not capitalize on opportunities instead of desiring only for small output?

In the Gospel, Jesus capitalizes on a rich harvest.  But it takes the offering of Jesus' own life to cause the salvation not only of a certain number of people, but of the entire human race in all generations.

In the Ignatian Spirituality, there's what we call "magis", meaning, more.  "Ad majorem Dei gloriam" (All for the greater glory of God) would be a call to desire for God all the more, to serve Him more, to follow Him more, and to love Him more.  In other words, we simply give to God what he deserves, adoration, love, and service.

By doing so, we shall be reaping a huge har…

Belittled? Don't worry!

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Friday of week 17 in Ordinary Time Matthew 13:54-58 Have we experienced being belittled by others, even oppressed?

Jeremiah and Jesus were not exempt from these trials.  Jeremiah, who spoke God's words, was not accepted by the people.

Jesus was nearly pushed to a cliff for giving witness to the Father.  He was also put to the cross because of this.

But did the oppression stop them from proclaiming the truth? No!  Why?  Because there are two graces that they have which we also need to ask from the Lord.

The first is truth.  The truth sets us free.  Who else knows us except God alone?  Other people will only get a glimpse of who we are.  Stay close to God then and learn from his ways.  Then we shall live in the light of truth.

Who else knows us except God alone?
The second is love.  St. John says, "Perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18)  Love is based on a sincere intention to build relationship and not destroy it.  With love all things are possible, including forgive…

Heaven

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Thursday of week 17 in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13:47-53 Heaven is our final home after our lives here on earth.  We have come to know this in our Catholic faith.  It is our ultimate destination.

Heaven is place of perfect goodness and love.  Heaven is where God dwells and he offers this same home to us.
No one lives comfortably on one's riches and power while the world suffers and still call it "heaven". But could heaven also exist here on earth?  Of course it could.  But heaven is beyond all politics and riches.  No one lives comfortably on one's riches and power while the world suffers and still call it "heaven".  If we could realize heaven on earth, how can we realize it in all eternity?

Let us allow ourselves to be molded by God like in the first reading.  Let us also be the catch of fish useful to the fisherman and not the useless ones whom Jesus calls "evil".  For God has no use of things if they remain useless and unformable.

If we make use o…

Common values of Sts. Peter and Paul

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Vigil Mass on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul John 21:15-19  With the celebration of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul and their invaluable contribution to the growth and development of the Church, what is common with these two great men?

First, a progressive, developing faith.  St. Peter's faith is just like any of us, it has its highs and lows, tos nd fros, forwards and backwards.  St. Paul started out killing Christians.  But all these changed to a livelier, sturdier faith, giving us the opportunity to accept our humanity but also have the willingness to make our faith perfect.

Second, the willingness to be formed.  St. Paul's conversion is tremendous; and so is Peter's when his betrayal was changed to repentance.  St. Paul underwent formation till he can explain the faith to others with passion.  Let's open our hearts to receive learnings from Lord in our everyday lives.

Third, perfect love.  In the Gospel, Peter was asked, "Simon, do you love me?" …

Pamumunga ni San Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

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Kapistahan ni San Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer Lucas 5: 1 - 11 Maraming bahagi sa buhay ni Padre Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer ang ukol sa pamumunga.  Ito ri'y maaari nating baunin at hangarin ang pamumunga ng buhay natin.

Nagsimula ang pamumunga ni San Josemaria noong inordenahan siyang pari noong 1923.  Ganoon na lamang ang kanyang pagkukusang mamunga sa kanyang bokasyon at gampanin ang kanyang papel na alagaan ang mga dukha't maysakit habang siya'y nag-aaral ng abogasya.  Sa kanya itinanim ang binhi ng Mabuting Balita.

Ikalawang pamumunga ay noong nilikha niya ang Opus Dei noong 1928 para sa mga nagnanais mamuhay sa kabanalan sa gitna ng ordinaryong pamumuhay.  Maraming naakit sa pamumuhay na ito simula 1928 para una sa mga kalalakihan, pagkatapos ay para sa mga kababaihan na aktibong naglilingkod sa lipunan at sa Simbahan.

Ikatlong pamumunga ay noong naging personal prelature ang Opus Dei noong 1943.  Ito'y lubos nang nakakabit sa Simbahan lalo na sa Santo Papa. …