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Listen to him!

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Friday of week 26 in Ordinary Time Luke 10:13-16 Job, who sought an answer from the Lord for the misery he experienced, got the response he deserved, and much more, God revealed his true power of being the Creator of the entire world.  How could we question his ways?

In the gospel, Jesus expressed his disappointment with Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for not listening to his words.

We are called to listen to God not only with our ears, but with our minds and hearts.  Our ears lead us to hear, but our minds lead us to understand, and much more, our hearts lead us to form our lives in accord with the ways of God.  What we learn become part of our values and attitudes, and they translate to behavior, the very action of our lives.

This is our prayer then: first, that we may learn God's ways; second, that we put them to heart; and third, that we may follow him in this journey through life.

To rely totally on God

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St. Francis of Assisi Thursday of week 26 in Ordinary Time  Luke 10:1-12  If there as saints as relevant and as well known in today's world, it would be St. Francis, a man who renounced all wealth, even his father, so he can freely call God his father and follows of ways of Jesus.

St. Francis, renounced everything, yet his wealth is the wealth of the creation of God.

He also lived out the gospels in the literal way, and showed us that it is really possible to live that way of life that God provides.

The first reading is about the total dependence on God; as he is also the one whom Job wants to talk to.  Yet his defender is God himself.  St. Francis denounced the world but made God his supreme defender and Father.

The gospel is precisely how St. Francis lived in this world, not depended on any material things, but totally immersed in the mission to proclaim the Good News.  His wealth is love incarnated in himself. He taught us how to live like a child; with utmost excitement only i…

Unworthiness

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Thursday of week 24 in Ordinary Time , Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, and Paul Chong Hasang, and their Companions, Martyrs
Luke 7:36-50 Who among us claim to be worthy to receive and and even demand to receive God's mercy?

St. Paul admitted that he persecuted Christians before he was converted to the faith.  He then reminded the people to hold on to their faith in Christ crucified.

In the Gospel, the unworthy woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears and dried them with her her may be more worthy to receive God's graces rather than the pharisee who invited Jesus to his home but in turn made more demands to him.

As unworthy servants of the Lord this is what we can do:

1.  We rely totally on God's graces rather than our own This is a expression of our total helplessness vis. a vis. that world's call for us to rely totally on our own. On the contrary, only God can supply us with the graces necessary for us to live each day.  What we can do is to show our gratitude to…

When sorrows become salvific

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Our Lady of Sorrows John 19:25-27 Whenever we think of Mary, it is inevitable that we always think of Jesus.  Mary is like the light of the moon that gets its light from the sun.

As we have celebrated the Exultation of cross yesterday, now we recall how Mary partook of the sufferings of Jesus, her son, and eventually, shared in our sufferings as well as our way to Jesus.

From the seven Sorrows of Mary, we could reflect on how the sorrows of Mary become salvific.  I shall mention three:

First, "A sword shall pierce your heart" (Luke 2:33-35) From the very start, Mary's vocation is not one of glamour or fame; it's the mark of a disciple and a servant out to please God.  But Mary chose that path for us.

Second, "Do you not know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2: 43-45) The pain of Mary losing her son is the pain of every mother and father to their children.  But isn't it that the vocation of every parent is to rear the children in the practice…

Be lifted up

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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross John 3:13-17 Being lifted could be one of the most consoling things we can ever experience.  After we've fallen or been thrown into the deep abyss, or simply felt sad and rejected, there would be someone who would lift us up, embrace us, cleanse us, and inspire us to go on through life. I've seen this in competitions, in the Olympic games, where the heated passion is in the winning, but there would be someone who would look back at the last line and go back to assist the fallen.

Such is Jesus to us.  He lifts us up as Moses lifts up the serpent in the desert and Jesus himself is lifted up on the cross.  He lifts us up from the following:

1. He lifts us up from our state of sin to grace No one else would forgive us than Jesus himself.  And just when others would judge us, there would be a loving God who would embrace us and erase all our sins!

2. He lifts us up from our depressions to hope When beset with anxieties and worldly concerns and we th…

Love your enemies

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Thursday of week 23 in Ordinary time Luke 6:27-38  Taking the message of the gospel head-on, I'm sure that we will find it hard to love and forgive our enemies in an instant.  Why on earth will Jesus command us love those who've done us wrong?

Perhaps the first reading will give us a clue.  It may be easy to judge wrongly eating food that are offered to the gods simply because as St. Paul explained, there are no such gods.  Only God exists.  And Jesus, the Son of God, incarnates the God's love for all of us by suffering and dying on the cross.  Thus, for God, all of humankind comprises his children who need to be saved rather than be condemned.

Why must we love and forgive our enemies?  Because like us, our enemies too are children of God.  Like our enemies, we too deserve God's just punishment.  But all of us, whether enemies and friends, are subject to God's forgiveness and salvation.  In every person, enemy or friend, is the very face of God who loves him/ her.

Mary's little way

The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary Matthew 1:18-23 For Mary's birthday, we reflect on the readings introduce a theme that most aptly describes not only Jesus but the Blessed Virgin Mary, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel ... "

Bethlehem may be the least of the clans of Judah, but that least has brought out greatest man who ever lived and the woman who made this possible, Jesus and Mary.

In the gospel, we add another "least" in the history of great men, Joseph.  A carpenter by trade, he might have planned to divorce Mary, but because of his deep love of God, he without question took Mary as his wife.

Littleness, simplicity, or being the least.  Even the saints like St. Therese exult "the little way".  Mary, the least among women because of her humble status, is truly most blessed.  It's time we opt for the little way.

Mary's little way is total…