6th Sunday of Easter

Doing the works of Jesus John 14:15-21 We reflect on the development of the resurrection experience in the sixth Sunday of Easter.

In this Sunday, we hear Philip and the apostles doing exactly the works of Jesus like curing the sick and expelling demons.  Easter shifted from the resurrected body of Jesus to the Church where all its members are doing the exact works of Jesus.  The Church now becomes the body of Christ, doing his work everywhere.

This is possible because of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised, "I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever," giving the apostles and us that assurance that he will stay with us forever.

This is our challenge in the 21st century, to do the exact works of Jesus as in the time of the apostles, instead of limiting our Christian responsibility to simply attending 1 hour weekly masses.  In order to be converted to Christ, we need to use up time as long as the one given to us, talents that we have de…

Saturday of the 5th week of Eastertide

An authentic Church John 15:18-21 The Easter experience continues with the expansion of the Church as Timothy and the other disciples proclaim the Good News even to Macedonia and to the rest of the world.

In this experience, the resurrection of Jesus now resides in people being resurrected from the world to new life in God, including us in the present moment.  This privilege is not given only the Jews, but offered to the rest of the world.  And the institution carrying this is ecclesia, the Church.

Let us deepen the gift given to us when we were baptized and incorporated into the Church, which is universal in nature, "Catholic", reaching to the ends of the earth.

The qualities of this Church are:

First, it is born of the Spirit.  We may be in the world but not of this world, because our life's meaning is now founded on Jesus crucified and resurrected.  We then incorporate ourselves with others who were also drawn from the earth to be with God forever.

Second, because it…

Easter Friday

Recognize Jesus in daily life John 21:1-14  It would be nice if we connect the Resurrection experiences of the apostles with our daily life experiences.  These are the usual things that we do, like the usual things the apostles did like fishing.  We are also confronted with the daily challenges like the confrontation of the apostles with the reactive pharisees.  
In the midst of these daily experiences let us strive to do the following:

First, always give witness to Jesus - never lose sight of giving witness to Jesus in a world that tends to forget him;

Second, offer every action to Jesus - whether this be fishing or office work, or school work, never lose sight of Jesus in daily life;

Third, always recognize Jesus in the midst - the apostles recognized Jesus in the catch of fish; the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, defended the faith from those who wish its death.

Let's strive always to give witness to Jesus even in the ordinariness of life.

Easter Thursday

The Church, a sign of the resurrection of Jesus Luke 24:35-48 The resurrection stories are marked by a movement from disbelief to belief, confusion to clarity, and sorrow to joy.  This is the message of Jesus.  But there are profound teachings underneath the miracle of the resurrection:

First, that Jesus is the Christ foretold in the Old Testament We are called to challenge even the little faith we have in Jesus instead of the things of this world; nourish it and make it grow.

Second, that Jesus makes possible the forgiveness of sins Jesus would not allow men and women to die in their sins.  This is the central message of the resurrection.  Death and sin have no power over him.

Third, we are called to be witness to the resurrection of Jesus This marks the very mission of the Church; it is the very reason of its existence - to tell the story of the resurrection and cause the resurrection of people.

In a world geared to gloom and despair, the Church rises with the power of the risen Lo…

Easter Tuesday

Called to announce the Good News John 20:11-18 Fresh from the Easter experiences, like Mary Magdalene and Peter, we are called to be proclaimers of the resurrection of Jesus.  What particular aspect of the resurrection do we proclaim about?
First, always proclaim the forgiveness of sins.  Sin leads to death; forgiveness leads to life.  We who are condemned to punishment are made clean through the forgiveness of Jesus.  Let us focus on forgiveness rather than condemning people to death.  We just don't have the right mind to do it.
Second, always proclaim hope, life, and joy.  Proclaim the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus.  The Holy Father and the entire Church and all its members transmit no other news except this one; St. Paul said, "If Christ didn't rise from the dead, our faith is useless."  Our existence as Church does not depend on human efforts but simply on the grace of Jesus resurrected.  That's why we practice our faith with joy.
There is no other e…

Wednesday of Holy Week

Disciples or betrayers? Matthew 26:14-25 With a day away from the celebration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the sin of betrayal is planted in Judas' heart.  He now fulfills his role as a traitor.

In the first reading from Isaiah, "The Lord has given me a disciple's tongue."  We now are confronted with this question: Who are we - disciples or betrayers?

The disciple's identity springs from his relationship with God himself.  As God is Lord, he is a follower.  He is not the owner.  Judas started owning his own plan of salvation apart from Jesus.

Second, the disciple is molded to perfection by the master himself.  In Isaiah, we witnessed a meek disciple who let the violent hurt him.  But he stayed meek and humble.  On the other hand, Judas seeks more power; he just received thirty pieces of silver.

Finally, a disciple is fruitful because everything is God's work and he is witness of God's blessings.  the traitor on the other hand leads …

Tuesday of Holy Week

Restoration John 13:21-33,36-38 Let's reflect about restoring things.  God already has his plan of restoring things: in and through Jesus.

We have been torn by division and destruction caused by sin.  A restored world consists of the following:

God is glorified above all.  The moment Satan entered in Judas, he ceased glorifying God.  Our lives should be filled with God's presence and all our efforts be geared at glorifying him and no other.

Jesus glorifies the Father and is himself glorified.  He glorifies the Father through his obedience of his will as well as his actions of passion, death, and resurrection.  Let us travel through life's road through the salvific actions of Jesus.

God's children will be reunited with him.  A happy reunion, all God's children will be restored to life and their relationships become whole again.  This is what we should look forward to in God's world where everyone experiences life in God and are one with one another.