It's our time to serve

Monday of week 3 in Ordinary Time Mark 3:22-30 In the Old Testament reading, David peacefully took dominion over the land of Israel, one by one, till he captured Jerusalem.  He started reigning when he was 30 and he ruled for 40 years.

In the gospel, Jesus wasn't accepted by pharisees of Israel.  They even blasphemed against him, accusing him of being with "Beelzebul" or the prince of demons.  Jesus could take any sin, but not the one that blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, "I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin."

Our non-acceptance of our responsibilities before God might also fall in the category.  We may not know it, but if we belittle God's rule over our lives, we might also be guilty of committing it.

Be aware that like David and Jesus, we too have a role to perform and a vocation to live out. …

How to adore God

Saturday of week 2 in Ordinary Time Mark 3:20-21 David grieved over the untimely death of Saul and his son, Jonathan, who was also his best friend.  It shows his respect to the anointed king.

In the Gospel, Jesus was so busy doing the Father's will that they weren't able to eat.  Worse, Jesus' was labeled "Beelzebub", the prince of demons.

Christian life demands that we render to God and neighbor what is due them: to God, adoration; to neighbors, justice and compassion.   This is what David grieved for Saul and Jonathan.  And to God?  Not putting his name in vain.

What is demanded of us as we adore God?

First, whole and undivided attention.  We need to see the world and life as God sees.

Second, the purest of heart to serve others.  We cannot go on through life exempting ourselves from the world of holiness.  It's simply God's world.

Third, to love as God loves.  The most concrete way to adore God is to love whom he loves - our neighbor including our enem…

The true measure of power

Wednesday of week 2 in Ordinary Time, year II  Mark 3:1-6 Puny David could not be compared with giant Goliath.  But with a slingshot, he slew him.

In the Gospel, Jesus was able to conquer the Pharisees with the question, "Is it lawful to do good or evil on a Sabbath?"

It is not strength that is the measure of power.  Power is gauged by the following:

First, grace.  The Holy Spirit who dwells upon us teaches us the ways of righteousness and God.  Grace enlightens our path that leads to God.

Second, intellect.  Knowledge is a also a gift from the Holy Spirit. We dare use these gifts to discern which are coming from God or the evil one.  The goodness of God is the primary motive of a person of intellect.

Third, free will.  Free will is gauged by the freedom of a person to place himself / herself at the total service of the Lord.

The formation of a free conscience guided by the grace of the Lord is the true measure of true power.

Priotize God's will above our own

Tuesday of week 2 in Ordinary Time Mark 2:23-28 The readings reflect two wills: man's and God's.  In the first reading, man does not see as God sees.  For God looks in the heart.  Thus, he chose David to be king.

In the Gospel, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, saying, "Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath."

Let us pray for the grace to do God's will instead of our own.  God's will saves all people; our wills save ourselves.  God's will is for his greater glory and honor.  Our wills serve ourselves.

Let us also analyze the way we become open to God's will.  The first is when we were children; we were taught by our parents and catechists to adhere to God's laws and the laws of the Church - going to Mass every Sunday, receiving communion, knowing the prayers, going to confession, and others.

The second level opens us to the possibility of serving the parish as readers, acolytes, and being involved in ministries.

But we can't end in that …

Source of true kingship

Friday of week 1 in Ordinary Time, II Mark 2:1-12  In the First Reading, the people demanded Samuel to give them a king.  Samuel warned them of the abuses of a king.  Nevertheless they held on to their demand.

In the Gospel, Jesus saw how strong the faith of those who brought the paralytic; thus, he cured him by forgiving his sins.

Let's reflect about kingship.  God doesn't subscribe to giving Israel a king.  He only succumbed to their pressures but he warned them about the abuses of the earthly king.  But in the Gospel, Jesus reiterated what true authority is:  "But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...", Jesus is setting himself as the model of authentic kingship based on three aspects:

First, he is doing his Father's will and not his own.  The people's king is king by himself.  His power overwhelms him.  Jesus' power stems from doing his Father's will.  God commissioned him to be king.

Second, Jesus teaches u…

Deepen that faith!

Thursday of week 1 in Ordinary Time, II
Mark 1:40-45 In spite of carrying the Ark of the Covenant as they used to do it in times of war, the Israelites lost to the Philistines heavily.

In the Gospel, after curing the leper, Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone; the man nevertheless told everyone.

The readings orient us to the proper way of serving the Lord.  First, let us respect the holy things of the Lord.  They are not for superstitious display; they are meant for us to be open to God's presence.

Second, Jesus wasn't prohibiting the leper just because he didn't want to announce the miracle; he invites the man to enter into a deeper reality of his healing - not just the curing of the disease but open to God's saving grace.

Third,  offering. What Jesus wants is offering as a fruit of healing.  Offering is the manifestation of a concrete faith by which we can declare that we are true Christians.

Changing the world through Hesus Nazareno

Hesus Nazareno Tuesday of week 1 in Ordinary Time Mark 1:21-28 As we observe the Feast of Hesus Nazareno in the Philippines, we acknowledge wholeheartedly how Jesus has a profound effect not only on a few, but a vast majority of Filipinos flocking to Quiapo Church every year, numbering to more than 12 million men, women, and children who experienced healing and blessing.

On the other hand, this vast number could start a revolution in the Church, if only there would be opportunities to get to know Jesus on a deeper level.  Surely, the state of the Philippines would remarkably change congruent to the increasing number of devotees.

It is this adherence to Jesus of Nazareth that would make the difference.  We need to make a leap of faith from miracles to the true miracle, the conversion of mind, heart, and life to adore, love, and serve Jesus and experience social transformation.  We pray that profound knowledge of the Lord would turn us into a Church of disciples, living followers of Jes…