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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Matthew 25:14-30 Described in first reading is the image of a pious, perfect wife, excelling in virtues and good works.  She truly becomes the joy of her husband.

Today's gospel, the parable of the talents, calls us to be the same for our Lord, who is our bridegroom.  He gives us ample time till his second coming for us to maximize the use of our gifts at his pleasure and for the good of others.

The useless one who buried the talent to the ground symbolizes a person who despite God's gifts is not interested in sharing and even investing it for the future.  Thinking that the talent is mainly to benefit himself, he will not do anything to benefit others, thus, hiding the talent on the ground.

As in the readings, what then constitutes a fruitful life?

First, a life that is focused on pleasing the beloved Remember the industrious wife and her relationship to her husband.  How true it is when a man and woman becomes one; when his visions and goals coinc…

Deeper and trusting faith

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Saturday of week 32, I Lk. 18: 1 - 18 The book of Wisdom talks about a a night of silence and the leaping of the Word.  This is likened to the Christmas night, when in its silence, the Savior is born into the world for all to see.  He will bring us salvation; his reign is one of justice and peace.  He is Jesus who already came to our world to heal us.

In today's gospel, Jesus told a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart.  He described a powerful judge whose image projects the overwhelming authority of God but who, at the same time, is also filled with mercy and generosity.

In these two accounts, the power of God is unquestionable; we just need to affirm his power in our lives as he provides for us each day.

This calls us to deeper and trusting faith.  He may not answer in the way we expect; but expect that his response would always be better.

May we also be instrumental in realizing the almost desperate prayers of our needy brothers and sisters and be in…

We are the living Church

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Dedication of the Lateran Basilica John 2:13-22 Undoubtedly, the picture of the prophecy in Ezekiel is one of fullness and abundance.  Things are fully restored and teeming with life.  It is the Lord's doing.
In the Gospel, Jesus expelled the money changers inside the temple, shouting, "Don't make my Father's house a marketplace."  In another gospel, Jesus said, "You have made it a den of thieves!"
I'm referring to the respect that is due to a church for being the house of God.  But this Gospel can also refer to the people entering the church.  There are those who simply enter and receive communion while being in a state of sin; others simply receive communion without committing themselves to adore, love, and follow Jesus nor serve the church.
When we reflect about fullness of life and blessings, it is imperative that we cling to God first of all and give what is due him - all respect, adoration, and service.  Only then can we think about our welfar…

Hope in the midst of death

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All Souls Matthew 11:25-30 The main difference between today and yesterday is not just because yesterday was the Feast of all Saints and this day, we are commemorating all the departed; rather, yesterday, we celebrate our triumph in heaven while today, we are celebrating our healing from the world of sin and our hope in the Risen Lord.

This day is not just for our departed brothers and sisters, although we are prepared to offer the whole month of November to pray for the eternal repose of their souls.  It is for all of us, both living and dead as we are confronted with a reality that we all have to face squarely at the appointed time - the reality of death.

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor 15: 55).  St. Paul challenged its power over people;  Christ, in his resurrection, emerged triumphant over death; he will surely save us from our own deaths.

How do we face the reality of death?

First, we are confronted with the reality that life on…

The fruits of justification

Friday of week 28 in Ordinary Time Luke 12:1-7 St. Paul expounded on justification in the case of Abraham, who was justified, that is, made clean, not by his own action, but by his faith in God.  Faith or "pananampalataya" is a fruit of justification.

Second, another fruit of justification is conversion or "pagbabalik-loob".  A person changes simply because of God's goodness.

Third fruit of justification is righteousness or "pagiging matuwid".  It is a state when a person lives out the righteousness of God.

All these run counter with hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy defies faith; it is to give merit to oneself as the source of goodness.

Hypocrisy runs counter with conversion.  A hypocrite sees no need of conversion because he / she treats himself or herself as self-righteous.

Finally, his concept of righteousness is self-righteousness, a form of spiritual pride which is one of the seven capital sins.

Let our every thought, word, and action result from the faith…

How we are justified

Thursday of week 28 in Ordinary Time Luke 11:47-54 St Paul dwells on the reality of justification: a way man is justified, not by his own actions or merits, but by the redeeming action of Jesus Christ.

There are three things I would like to reflect about justification:

First, it God is the one who justifies; not us.

Second, as we are justified, we separate from sin and enter into God's righteousness.

Third, our lives become pure grace in Jesus.

Let us nourish the gift given to us by Jesus, the gift of redemption brought about by His passion, death, and resurrection.

Faith in the level of "Kalooban"

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Tuesday of week 28 in Ordinary Time  Luke 11:37-41
There's one Tagalog reality that's truly amazing; it's called "kalooban".
Translated in English as "will", the definition of kalooban is not fully captured.
It has its root word in "loob" or "inside"; it refers to the innermost being of a person, what lies in his heart or center of his being.  God is in the center of his being.
Second, it also brings forth the word "kaloob" or "gift", a present or an offering.  But kaloob connotes a deeper meaning.  It's a gift coming from the innermost being, with the self as a present to the other.  And when the heart is a gift, it entails the offering of the whole self.  We become "kaloob" to God as God is to us in Jesus.
Third, we now reach the state "kalooban" which means"will"; connoting a strongly held desire or wish with a commitment to live out what one strongly desires.  "Kalooban&…