Showing posts from 2015

5th day within the octave of Christmas

light Luke 2:22-35 Let's focus on the light.  According to a common dictionary, light either refers to that which makes things visible.  Materially speaking, we are referring to the light bulbs as examples of light sources.  Another definition is what is happening inside the human disposition: an understanding of a problem or mystery.

What John is referring to as light? Jesus himself is the light of life.  So, if anyone is not living according to the light of Christ, he is in darkness, especially when he hates his brother / sister.

In the gospel, Simeon also talks about the light whom he can now see and he can now rest.  But the second one is this: through Jesus, all actions would be laid bare.  He will always be a sign of contradiction for many.  And that all thoughts may be laid bare.

Thus, we are talking of two lights: one that refers to Jesus, and another that lays bare the secret longings of the heart whether we are for or against Christ.  And our actions would serve as eith…

Saint Stephen, the first Martyr

Remedies to violence Matthew 10:17-22 A day after Christmas and we are exposed to violence: the death of Stephen and the warning of Jesus.  It shows us that this is the world Jesus entered and saved from sin.  It would entail also the offering of his life.  This is our Christmas as well.

In the face of violence and in front of non-God-fearing people, the best remedies are trust in the Lord, commitment to serve him, and perseverance in faith.

Trust in the Lord because when the time comes, it is the Lord who will speak through us.

Be committed to serve him despite all odds, so that when we face our accusers, we can face them with clear consciences.

Last but not the least, persevere in faith; in time, we will reap the fruits of this perseverance: the conversion of our brothers and sisters.

Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe

Our home in Jesus LK 1:26-38 In the first reading from the book of Zechariah, "Rejoice o daughter Zion, for the Lord will make his dwelling upon you."
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus made his dwelling in Mary.  The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe reflects this.
Let's reflect on our dwelling place.  It can be a house where we live.  But the real essence is the home, where relationships and warmth exist.  Those who live in it is now called "a family".
God offers this kind of home.  Mary is the picture of this home as Jesus is in her.  But this home is really Jesus, the source of the warm love of God.
Let's also make our home in Jesus, with love and mercy enveloping us.  Salvation is found in this kind of real home and family.

Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent

Vocation Matthew 11:11-15
Vocation ... a call to greater things only God can do.

Vocation is ultimately the promise of the Lord entrusted to those who are open to follow his will.  Such is John the Baptist; he opened the fulfillment of prophets; the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence by his words and actions.

Vocation is ultimately total accountability to God.  Our actions should reflect the plan of God to save; not for us to simply exist in this world.

Vocation is the very core of our being, not an aside to the priorities of our lives.  It eventually marks our very being.  Let the joy of our lives be God alone.


Children's version:
May we learn from the life of St. John the Baptist.  He was faithful to God that he lived a simple life.  In his heart he wants to serve Him.  And so he prepared the way of Jesus although he hasn't seen him yet.  But the purity of heart led him to see Jesus.

When you grow up, some of you will be doctors, or engineers, or artists,…

Friday of week 34, 1

Jesus and us Luke 21:29-33  I would simply like to dwell on the Word as spoken in the Book of Daniel and the Gospel for today.  "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away," Jesus said.

Another reality that is congruent to the word that will never pass away or "eternal" is the Incarnate Word himself - the Son of Man who's sovereignty is eternal; his empire will never be destroyed.

Let us reflect on Jesus; but in knowing him let us reflect on who we are.

Who is Jesus?  Who are we then?

Jesus is eternal, we are temporary, fleeting.  We will pass from this earth.  Our lives are short but He will remain forever.  Yet he offers us everlasting life.

Jesus is powerful and we are powerless. But Jesus gives us power only to manage and build and not destroy.

Finally, Jesus is all in all, we are nothing, but by his love we become something. Love brought us to this world.

Pray that in the littleness our lives, in the temporariness of life, we may d…

Thursday of week 34, 1

God's power vs. man's power Luke 21:20-28 God showed his mighty power by saving Daniel in the den filled with lions while those who accused Daniel were pounced upon by the lion even before they could reach the floor.

In the Gospel, Jesus warned us of the imminent destruction of Jerusalem before the coming of the Son of Man, in a cloud with power and great glory.

Let us reflect on God's power vis-a-vis our own.

Power does not come from us; rather, it comes from the One who has the power to create and give order to the universe.  His power heals and unifies.  But our sense of power can sometimes be used to destroy, divide, and hurt people.

God's power is also his justice.  His power is just; he will reward the upright.  Man's power corrupts; consequently it is meant to proliferate sin, greed, and selfishness, and pride.

God's power in Jesus saves and liberates us from sin so we can all become sons and daughters of God.  Our power enslaves us further to sin and e…

Friday of week 32, 1

The end times Luke 17:26-37
The gospel refers to the end times when people would not recognize the coming of the Lord while they continue eating and drinking.

It also goes true with the first reading: foolish people will fail to recognize the presence of the Lord, exulting science and dynamics of the world but not attributing them to God.

But our God is a talking God in constant communication with us.  He is not a deity or a symbol.  He is alive and happy are the people who in the normal course of life can detect God's promptings.

The end times are marked by our capacity to be sensitive to the presence of Lord.  We need God's grace to detect this.  Our lives also should be oriented to God even when we were born.  We also need to commit ourselves to seeing the Lord in our daily lives and work towards our end goal of being with Him for all eternity.

Tuesday of week 32, 1

Active servanthood Luke 17:7-10 Active servanthood is not just being servants who do what the Master commands. These servants are actively working because they possess the mind and heart of the Master.

That is the heart of our readings today.  Others might misunderstand God's servants, but as long as they do their work faithfully and conscientiously, they shall be rewarded.  They shall be counted among the saints because of their perseverance.

Do we treat ourselves as servants, knowing the Master, loving the Master, and faithfully serving the Master?

Friday of week 31, 1

Wisdom  Luke 16:1-8
Let us reflect on being astute, clever or wise.

Paul's pride is Jesus and not himself, and the gift and opportunity of serving him and being close to him. He bases his work not on his glory but of the glory of his Master.

In the gospel the steward became wise when he was able to exhibit justice and correct his mistakes.  Thus, he received the adulation not only of the debtors but of the owner himself.  And the most beautiful saying for day is worth our reflection:  "For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light." (Lk. 16, 8)

What constitutes wisdom?  First, "humility is the mother of all virtues."  It definitely refers to wisdom when we humble ourselves and submit ourselves to the source of wisdom: God himself.

Second, we gain wisdom when in our every action, our brothers and sisters would be saved.  It is not only in giving them alms that would save them, but the entire process…

Thursday of week 31

Compassion Luke 15:1-10
The readings tell a lot about compassion and not having to pass judgment on another because God is a merciful judge who is not fond of condemning people to death;

Second, we too are called to practice compassion for one another.  Compassion may have two connotations: the first calls us to suffer with one another which is the element of passion; and the other definition of passion means "ignited by fire and zeal" that we bring life to one another.

In both of these definitions, we see the very face of the suffering Jesus as well as the passionate Jesus who intends the salvation and not the condemnation of the children of God.

Tuesday of week 31, 1

Cheerful disciples Luke 14:15-24 
Ever wonder why of all living things, God chose man to be the stewards of his creation?  Because God gifted them with a free will so that in his full freedom, man may decide to go to the Lord and serve him.

Who is a cheerful disciple?

First, he is one called by God who "loves a cheerful giver."  This is a mark of a disciple: someone who not only gives, but he gives freely, with joy, and without asking for anything in return.

Jesus wants us to be cheerful disciples because he himself is: salvation is done in fullest freedom, with joy, and unconditional that he decided to become man and do what his Father commands him to do.

In the gospel, the parable talks about guests who freely go to the banquet instead of those who were invited but do not want to attend.

In the epistle, cheerful disciples freely and lovingly share their gifts, sincere, one with others, and resolute even in times of persecution.  These are the real disciples of the Lord be…

Friday of week 30 in Ordinary Time, 1

Our moral disposition Luke 14:1-6
The readings for today are connected because they involve the Jews whom St. Paul described as "adopted sons".  But they were a hardheaded lot, especially the Pharisees who watched Jesus' every move with suspicion.

But Jesus focused not on the external action demanded by the law, but what is in the heart, whether  or not the observance of the law is based on the love of God and the willingness to serve him.

It all boils down to our moral disposition in these levels:

First, evaluate our fundamental orientation - are we really intent on going to heaven and become God's servants?

Second, let us evaluate all intentions of our every action.  At the end of the day, only God can judge us based on our true intentions whether these actions are meant to serve Him, or our service is half-hearted, or we want to serve ourselves exclusively.

If in our hearts, our true intention is to give glory to God and save our brothers and sisters, we are not …

Thursday of week 30 in Ordinary Time, 1

God's power of love Luke 13:31-35
The reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans speaks of a God who will connect with us no matter what.  Not even sin can penetrate that covenant of love.
It is reflected in the words of Jesus to stay in Jerusalem till his death even though the Pharisees want him out of the place.  God's will will be fulfilled and Jesus is there to fulfill it.
Our response to God's power is humble submission then.  Normally, we don't want to be tied to a particular person, power or ideology. The only thing that remains is our pride to stay put to where we are.  But know now that even this is useless against God's power of love.
God's love can turn night into day; it can cure diseases; brings hope to the hopeless; restores sight to the blind; it can even raise the dead back to life.  
If we are truly convinced of the power of God's love, then we should have changed our decision to fully committing ourselves to him and offer more of our t…

Friday of week 28 in Ordinary Time

Indebtedness to God Luke 12:1-7
Jesus warns the Jews against the yeast of hypocrisy of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees during that time were perceived to feel higher than anybody else because of their knowledge.

Jesus is teaching us to discover the mystery of our true selves: we are simply created by the Father and totally indebted to him.

Even the first reading reflects this. "Abraham put his faith in God, and this faith was considered as justifying him. If a man has work to show, his wages are not considered as a favour but as his due; but when a man has nothing to show except faith in the one who justifies sinners, then his faith is considered as justifying him." (Rom. 4, 1 - 8).

From the first moment we were born and even before that till today, let us serve God not because God owes us anything, but because we owe God our very own lives.  As God fills us with his blessings each day, let us look at every moment as opportunity to repay him for the immeasurable generosity he…

Saturday of week 27 in Ordinary Time

God's will Luke 11:27-28
Joel is known for describing the day of the Lord and his final judgment and retribution.  Egypt will suffer while Judah will be inhabited forever.

In the gospel, who is blessed?  Those who do God's will and keep it.  Eventually, they are the ones who really live in contrast with those who follow their own wills.

To be blessed means to constantly stay close to Jesus, his presence and his words and actions.

To be blessed means to act 'in persona Christi', in the person of Christ, especially in giving life to others.

To be blessed means to place oneself in the total service of Jesus.

Friday of week 27 in Ordinary Time

The day of the Lord Luke 11:15-26
The first reading speaks of the day of the Lord which may signify the last day, judgment day; it may also mean the end of our lives; but it may also mean that every day is a day of the Lord if we are conscious of his presence every minute and every second.

In the gospel, Jesus reprimands the pharisees for accusing him of being an instrument of Beelzebub.  "A house against itself will not stand."

Let us reflect on our lives in the presence of the Lord in contrast with a life that is absent from him.

Sin is defined as the absence of the Lord; it also means the destruction of all the things he created.

It also signifies the destroying the communion with God and others because of selfishness.

Let us always reflect whether we are instruments of unity or selfishness, building up God's kingdom or destroying it.  Let us vow to bring his kingdom here on earth.

Wednesday of week 27 in Ordinary Time

Live out mercy Luke 11:1-4
Jonah got angry at the Lord for not punishing Israel.  But God's mercy is far above any act of vindictiveness on his part.

In the gospel, Jesus taught his disciples to pray; he also taught them how to have a merciful heart.

First thing to living a life of mercy is to God himself - by keeping his name holy and his kingdom come.

Second life of mercy is to our ourselves - by giving us the daily bread and forgiving our sins.

Third life of mercy is to our neighbors - by forgiving our debtors.

By remembering Mary of the Most Holy Rosary, let us rekindle the many times she lived out mercy - by being the handmaid of the Lord and by interceding on our behalf.

Thursday of week 26 in Ordinary Time

Real joy Luke 10:1-12 What is basically the difference between worldly joy and the spiritual joy?  What is the joy of a love tandem promoted by mass media and the joy of serving God?

I am proposing five differences for those who are filled with spiritual joy vs. those with worldly joy:

1. Eternal vs. temporary
2. no money can buy vs. joy bought by money
3. we end up givers vs. joy only in receiving
4. nobody is found wanting vs. only a few are filled with many are hungry

The main difference is spiritual joy brings life while world joy bring death.

Applying this in today's gospel, normally we would not succumb to going to neighbors and knocking at their doors and preaching the good news.  We would opt to stay at home and mind our own business.

But count the days and the years of planting and not planting the seed of the Good News.

The ones who planted the seeds of the Good News would find their community fruitful while those who minded their own businesses will yield a degenerated…

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Be angelic Catholics John 1:47-51
As we celebrate the Feast of the Guardian angels, we notice that the focus of the readings is not on the angels, but on the Son of Man and what appears to be the Son of Man descending from the heavens.

"On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship,
and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants." (Daniel 7:9-10,13-14)

Here is the Son of Man, descending from the heavens and ascending from earth.  Heaven and earth unite for the Son of Man and the angels assisting him.

We know that heaven is our final abode, but our stay here on earth is a challenge to make it heaven only through the power of Jesus and the example of his servants, including the angels.

From the Greek word "angelos", which means "messenger", let us also make it our life's vision to be the Lord's messengers on earth.  Three things worth remembering about the angels, we can internalize:

1.  Their total unity with God. "E…

Thursday of week 25 in Ordinary Time, 1

Follow God's will Luke 9:7-9
The Lord was displeased with the plans to build the temple.  The Jews are not sacrificing enough; they want to be served rather than serve.  Get the wood and build the temple, says the Lord.

Herod was anxious about Jesus.  But he didn't quite come close to knowing who Jesus was except that he only felt attracted to his words.

There are two types of persons: those who follow their own wills and those who follow God's will.

In as much as people are inclined to be attracted to Jesus' words, they don't come close to actually doing His will.

Herod did not even come close to knowing about Jesus because he was filled with his own lies.

May we be humble enough to admit not following his will.  Then we can try harder to listen to and follow him.

Wednesday of week 23 in Ordinary Time, 1

Worldly or Godly? Luke 6:20-26 How do we determine what is worldly and what is Godly?  Eventually, who are we really serving, God or this world?

The material world is created by God for humankind, but if we opt to covet these world's goods for ourselves, it is not coming from God.  Opt for poverty and be detached from material possessions.

We are given authority to take care of creation, but if we use naked power for power's sake, everything that we do would be corrupted.  Be equipped with humility and be true stewards God wants us to be.

And if opt to receive accolades for fame, we are feeding ourselves. Prefer to suffer humiliation all for the sake of Christ.

Now we know that ways of evil and the ways of God.

Friday of week 22 in Ordinary Time, 1

Be renewed! Luke 5:33-39
Renewal of faith is an urgent necessity for every Christian vs. the tendency to be stagnant in faith.

Let's start with regular confession and communion.  Let us receive the sacrament of the Eucharist worthily.

Let's also strive to know more about the faith, the Church and its teachings.

But let us strive with all our might to be conformed to Jesus and be with him till we reach heaven.

We know already who is conformed and not conformed.  We immediately see their priorities in life.  It is all others except Jesus.  But he who stays with Jesus till the end becomes fruitful in this life till everlasting life.

Thursday of week 22 in Ordinary Time, 1

Grow in knowledge Luke 5:1-11 It is still possible for mankind to be saved, to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and holiness, and be counted among the saints in heaven.

All it takes is docility.  It means the willingness to be taught or directed.  Those not willing to be taught are not only proud; like the dead, they've stopped living and learning.

Knowledge begins with humility.  We need to admit that despite the things we know, we still don't know anything.  We need humility to open our world to knowledge.

Second, according to Proverbs 9, 10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  We need to totally submit ourselves to the Lord who is beginning and end.

Third, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are born from genuine knowledge: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity

It is to be able to receive the gift of life: God's presence in us.

Pasasalamat sa Mahal na Obispo Francisco San Diego

Modelo ng pananampalataya, pag-asa at pag-ibig Ni Padre Lito Jopson

Ang puso ko'y nagpupuri sa Panginoon sa maraming mga pagkakataon na naging biyaya si Obispo Francisco San Diego sa aking buhay.  Nagsilbi siyang haligi ng aking buhay sa tatlong pamamaraan:

Una, haligi siya sa pagkakatatag ng matibay na pananampalataya sa Diyosesis ng Pasig.   Kasama ako sa pagkakatatag ng Pasig noong Agosto 2003.  Nahiwalay man sa Maynila na may kasamang agam-agam, ngunit unti-unti itong naibsan sa pagpasok ng isang obispong nagsilbing unang ama ng bagong katatatag na simbahan.

Tila ang buong diwa ng Diyosesis ng Pasig ay diwa ni Bishop Francisco - sa structura, sa building, sa mga opisina.  Ngunit di man natin alam, sa istruktura rin ng pananampalataya sa puso ng bawat nakatira rito at sa paglago nito.  Para sa akin, sa Bishop Francisco ang haligi ng matibay na pananampalataya sa Pasig.

Pangalawa, haligi para sa akin si Bishop Francisco sa pag-asa ng isang maliwanag na kinabukasan.  Walang kadu…

Thursday of week 21 in Ordinary Time, 1

Memorial of St. Monica Matthew 24:42-51
St. Paul commended the Thessalonians for being "blameless" as they grow in Christian maturity.

Jesus, in the gospel, warns about "being prepared because you don't know when the thief is coming."

Conversion in Christian life doesn't happen overnight.  We need to be prepared.

Spiritual preparation marks us for our lifetime as well as every moment.

Spiritual preparation include a clear destination and as well as daily growth in grace, always mindful that God is always at work in us.

Such is the zeal of St. Monica that caused the conversion of two persons in her life - her husband and her son Augustine, who eventually became the great saint of Africa.

Let us rue calling off spiritual preparations.  Let our lives reflect preparation on a day-to-day basis.

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

Can you see? John 1:45-51 From the book of Revelations: "The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Apocalypse 21:9-14)

As we celebrate the feast of the Apostle St. Bartholomew or "Nathaniel", the theme for today's feast is about seeing.  Jesus saw the good in Nathaniel.  Nathaniel saw the Messiah in Jesus.  Jesus revealed the heavens open and the angels and the Son of Man descending to the earth.

Let us see things in a different light, through the eyes of faith.  Don't be entangled by what is physical, for as quoted from the book "The Little Prince," what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Listen also to the young.  In a poem created by young people, "Listen to what I'm not saying."

Third, Jesus declares, "Whenever you do this to the least of my brothers and sisters you do it to me."

Let's not lose sight of the kingdom of God.  It&#…

Saturday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, 1

The redeemer's heart Matthew 23:1-12
Boaz redeemed Ruth and Naomi who were widows.

The ultimate redeemer is Jesus Christ himself.  Through him we are made new creations.  He did it through his passion, death, and resurrection so that the forgiveness of sins might be proclaimed.

Let us pray that we may appreciation the redemption of Jesus to all of us.  We are made new creations. Let us also learn from his redeeming ways, that we may share in the responsibility of redeeming our brothers and sisters.

First, let us be concerned our with our interior transformation whether the qualities of redemption are integrated in our words and actions;

Secondly, do we rely totally on Jesus as our way, truth, and life for our ultimate redemption?

Third, are we willing to undergo servanthood?  To serve and not to be served?  To be an agent of salvation for many?

Let us take Mary, queen of heaven and earth, as our model for redemption.  Her words and actions are integrated; she relied totally on th…

Friday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, 1

Metanoia Matthew 22:34-40 
What is a life of conversion?  Also known as "metanoia", it entails a commitment to change our life's paradigm to another one. In the case of our faith, it is a movement from self to God.  This is the core of today's gospel when Jesus explained the greatest commandment: to love God above all things and to love neighbor as oneself.

A life of conversion is directly related to our faith in God because it is impossible to have a metanoia if we don't have God in our hearts.

A shift to a life of faith means that we develop more time, attention, and passion to knowing the faith, loving the faith and living the faith.

Secondly, it also entails "entrusting" our lives to Him whom we have faith.

Thirdly, it also connotes "being faithful" all our lives to Him.

We know that after our Lord, our lives will never be the same again.

Wednesday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, 1

Serve! Matthew 20:1-16
Jotham's parable speaks of the leader that the Israelites are asking for.    He has the capacity to burn the cedars of Lebanon for those who don't follow him.

Jesus is the true leader who invites people in different times and lives to serve him in his vineyard.

What time is it in our lives when we have made a firm decision to follow and serve the Lord?

When we serve, do we desire also to be served?  Is that the reason why we are serving the Lord?  Serve unconditionally and the Lord will reward us in His time.

Third, serve because God himself is a God who serves and not served.  This lesson in generous and unconditional service is the true key to Christian discipleship.

Tuesday of week 20 in Ordinary Time, 1

Trust God entirely Matthew 19:23-30
Gideon's story inspires us to trust in God and not ourselves.  Jesus too invites Peter and the apostles to trust him.

We need to trust the Lord unconditionally because His plan is far better than ours.

We need to entrust our whole lives to the care of the Lord.

We need to be trusted servants of the Lord.

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Working for transfiguration Mark 9:2-10
Today is the feast of the transfiguration.  There is a divine experience in the form of One who is as white as wool and also Jesus transfiguring into his divinity with Moses and Elijah.

Let us reflect on our transfiguration if we can see it.  First, we are not simply meant to live and die in this world.  We are not just meant to eat, grow old, and die.  There is the divine presence in us who are created in the image and likeness of God.  We should see God in ourselves and in others.

Second, we need to work for the transfiguration of the world through our sacrifices.  We are not meant to simply live and die in sin.  He wants us to be saved.  He wants the children of every generation to be saved.  Let us do so in this world.

Finally, let our every action be a transformed action.  Let us not act simply to eat and grow rich, Let our every action lead us to see Jesus face to face.  This is the condition of heaven, to be able to see Him in faith here…

Tuesday of week 18 in Ordinary Timem Feast of St. John Marie Vianney

Priests Day Matthew 14:22-36 It brings joy to my heart as a priest that in the Feast of St. John Marie Vianney, patron of parish priests, people would celebrate this day and call it "Parish Priests Day" and remember their priests through prayers and give tributes to them.
But let us also remember that we all in a way priests, sharing in the priestly function of Jesus Christ.
And this is the priestly spirituality of a laity, that through sacrifices, people might be consecrated to God and witness of the offerings of life.
The three things that give joy to my life as a priest are the following:
1. Conversion - We priests are witness to metanoia or radical change from sin to grace.  St. John Marie Vianney stayed in the confessional everyday for more than 12 hours to witness the conversion of people.
2. Consecration - the joy of the priests is the overflow of consecrated people. made holy by God himself.  St. John Vianney restores holiness to people in the every way, most especi…

Tuesday of week 17 in Ordinary Time, 1

Communion with God Matthew 13:36-43 God communicates with Moises in the giving of the 10 commandments.

In the gospel, Jesus explains the parable of the darnel in the field, stating that both the wheat and the weeds would be gathered accordingly, the wheat be placed in the barn while the weed gets burnt.

Simply put, the evil man is not in communion with God, while the good man is.

How do we live a life of communion with God?

We live a life of communion with God if we regularly receive the sacraments and be in the state of grace.

Second, if we live a life of prayer and our whole lives become prayer or a constant communication and communion with God.

Third, if we can meet prayer with action and be Alter Christus, then we are in constant communion with God.

Friday of week 15 in Ordinary Time, 1

God's actionsMatthew 12:1-8 
In the readings, we witnessed the saving action of God.  In the gospel, Jesus says, "The Son of the Man is the Lord of the Sabbath."  His action saves instead of man's actions.
We are all doing something, but how do we know that our actions save?
Every action saves if it heals and frees, like forgiveness that links us back with one another and with God.  We first need to be freed from sin and from its clutches.  Second, every action saves if it educates people in the ways of the Lord.  Third, every action saves if delivers eternal love and if that love is shared unconditionally, including all its pains and sacrifices.
Let our every action be God's action in the world.

Thursday of week 14 in Ordinary Time, 1

Instruments of salvationMatthew 10:7-15
In the readings, God fulfills his promise to save Israel from famine.  In the gospel, Jesus instructs his apostles how to save people through the path of presence and dialogue with life.

What is our response to God's action to save?  Let us follow God's action of salvation.  Remove all negative thoughts of judgment and condemnation that the world is hopeless and we can only save ourselves.  Our more important task is not to survive but to lead people to God.

Remove all hindrances when we are to work for the salvation of others.  Let us go out of our homes and start serving.  Let our worldview be God's worldview.  The view of the world is saving its own. There people don't have time to save others.

Third, fit all worlds to God's world.  God leads everyone in the world to serve others.  Whatever we can contribute, let's go for the greater good.  We would be able to see our role in the greater scheme of things.

Tuesday of week 14 in Ordinary Time, 1

SalvationMatthew 9:32-37
Our reflection for today is how to possess God's intention to save.  Our behavior in this world should not merely be about surviving in this life but of saving others.

There are two connotations of salvation I wish to share:

First, salvation means out rightly, "to be saved from harm" which we obtained through the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  We contribute to this cause by engaging in the forgiveness of Jesus.

But the second connotation of salvation is "to bring to life" or to a state of being eternally alive.  We contribute by bringing life to others through service and sacrifice.

In this way, we contribute to being workers of the Lord in the field of great harvest.

Saint Thomas, Apostle

Ever-trusting faithJohn 20:24-29 Our faith tells us, "We are standing in a firm foundation of the apostles with Jesus as the cornerstone."  This faith is also grounded on the faith of St. Thomas, commonly labeled as the "doubter."

Thomas' disbelief is more of a deep yearning to see Jesus who deepened his experience by saying, "Happy are those who haven't seen and yet believed."

What constitute this ever-trusting faith in the Almighty?

First, believe in God's presence in the world today, in us and around us.  We can actually "see" him in one another.

Second, respond also in faith.  For children, we can develop an early positive experience of faith through our own lives lived in love.  Show to them the love of God himself.  Only then can we know that God resides in our hearts.

Thursday of week 13 in Ordinary Time

Healthy lifestyleMatthew 9:1-8 For this day, Jesus challenges us to a healthy lifestyle.  What constitutes a healthy lifestyle?

Forgiveness constitutes a healthy lifestyle.  A person who has no forgiveness is always stressed out.

Second, faith in the Lord constitutes a healthy lifestyle.  A person who has no faith and trust in the Lord will always live life according to himself.  A parent who at the end of the day would entrust his or her children to the care of God is bound to live a healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday of week 13 in Ordinary Time, 1

Love the sinnerMatthew 8:28-34
"Hate the sin but love the sinner."

In the gospel, even though Jesus exorcised the demons out of the two men, still the people wanted him out of their village.  They were not able to distinguish between what is good and evil.

The intention of God himself is to save people and put an end to sin which He did through the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Let us share in this task by not judging or condemning people.  It is our duty to save others.  But let us also be resolved to put an end to the sin that lurks in people's hearts and find their way in communities and nations.

This is what it means to "hate the sin but love the sinner."  We condemn the sin, but let us do everything to lead the sinner back to God.

IEC pilgrim symbol visits ICC

Pasig City - The pilgrim symbol of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress slated to be held in Cebu on Jan. 24 - 31, 2016 arrived in the Diocese of the Pasig at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Pasig City as part of the nationwide awareness efforts and to pray for the successful holding of the momentous event.

There are three objectives of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress:

1. Promote awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church:
The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life.  The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church.

2. Help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy - Full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy

3. Draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist - We become the Body of Christ.

In 2021, as we celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, let this be an opportunity for us to to renew our nation's commitment to be patterned aft…

Tuesday of week 13 in Ordinary Time, 1

Life of creationMatthew 8:23-27
From Genesis, we witnessed how God put an end to Sodom and Gomorrah.  This reflects the bitter end of the sinfulness of man.

But in the Gospel, we witnessed the saving power of Jesus by calming the storm of the sea.  He also calmed the hearts of the apostles.

Let us resolve to live the life of creation. We live the creative life when we join our Lord in bringing order to a world slowly being destroyed by sin and death.

But let us also allow Jesus to re-create our hearts.

St. Paul says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Gal. 4,4-5)

Let us yearn that our hearts be like his "in the fullness of time."

Friday of week 12 in Ordinary Time, 1

God's willMatthew 8:1-4
Nothing is impossible with God.   But what is more important is whatever God's will is, it shall be done.

Abraham laid out the impossibility.  He was ninety nine years old and Sarah was barren.  But God blessed them nevertheless.

In the gospel, Jesus cured a leper.

Perhaps it could give us a hint to be convinced that nothing is impossible with God.  The leper said, "If you want to, you can cure me."  And Jesus said, "Of course I want to!"

This plea is a lot different from "Heal me!" or "I command you to heal me!"  The statement, "If you want to..." is a statement of utmost faith.  It implies submission to Jesus.

Let us submit our lives to Jesus.  God's will will happen anyway.  Happy are we who live out God's will.

Thursday of week 12 in Ordinary Time, 1

Firm foundation
Matthew 7:21-29 

The reading today is quite unique.  For as we know that our religion espouses monogamy, still Abraham who is the father of many nations bore a son through another woman.  The promise of the Lord is still there and that Ishmael's descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.  It is the Lord who speaks.

In the gospel, Jesus exhorts us to ground our faith on solid ground and not from the caprices of daily life.

We are offered to live a life of firm foundations.

Although Ishmael was a son outside of marriage, God's assurance is enough to ground Ishmael and the next descendants to Himself.

We need to ground our lives in God, and offer our families, our courses, our day-to-day experiences - to God.

Second, let us be conscious that simply calling God "Lord, Lord" will not get us into heaven unless we live out His will.

Tuesday of week 12 in Ordinary Time, I

The process of lifeMatthew 7:6,12-14 
"Enter through the narrow door," Jesus commanded his apostles.

This gospel might be hard to accept because it is the usual tendency for us to accept what is comfortable and to flee from what is uncomfortable.

But the gospel speaks more of the comfort that springs from God power to grant us life.

What is a worthy life?  That which is directly ruled by God.  Secondly, let us treat life more as a process rather a result.  Through hard work, it is worth all efforts and sacrifices upon seeing the fruitfulness of it all.

Friday of week 11 in Ordinary Time, year 1

What to boast aboutMatthew 6:19-23
St. Paul, even when he is away, continues to catechize the Christian Community at Corinth.  He exhorts them about boastfulness because of corruption creeping in among the Corinthians.

The gospel also enlightens us on what to boast about.  Most often, we boast about what we have - money, power, or even loved ones and their accomplishments.  But Jesus reminds us that moths will eat them up.

Do we treat our lives as matters for the moths to eat up?  Search for transcendence in this world.  A parent who foregoes becoming reach in order to teach his/ her child to give more attention to spiritual things is surely building up the Kingdom of Heaven in the very heart of the child.  We are teaching the child the real value of everlasting life and what we should really be doing on earth.

Secondly, Jesus is teaching us not to be blinded by these things on earth.  Open up to the real joys of heaven.

Finally, if there is anything to boast about, it is our nothing…

Saint Barnabas, Apostle

To be an apostle Matthew 10:7-13
God sent Barnabas to accompany Saul in his missionary journey to the Gentiles.

In the Gospel, Jesus orients his disciples to go to the towns and villages to proclaim the Good News.
How do we become apostles in the modern times?
First, there has to be a direct intention to serve God and please Him.
Second, there has to be an intention to proclaim his love to others.
Third, there has to be an intention to change the course of this world from sin to grace.
Want to be an apostle?  Follow Jesus.

Tuesday of week 10, 1

Yes!Matthew 5:13-16 
Jesus always said yes to the Father.  In the gospel, Jesus reminds us of becoming salt of the earth and light of the world.

I hope we can be fully convinced and finally give our unconditional "yes" to the Father.

Let us remove all doubts as regards following the Lord.  His will is definitely better than our own.  He promises fruitfulness of graces for us and others.  Thirdly, the things of this world will reflect the grandeur and greatness of God if all people follow Him.

Let us remember Jesus' words for those who say yes to God - they are the salt of the earth, filled with flavor.

They are the light of the world where everything has color and can be seen.

The Christian can give life to the lifeless, can give color, and of course, direction and meaning to life.

Saturday of week 9, 1

In the midst of angels
Mark 12:38-44

Would it be nice if we could detect the presence of angels in our midst.

But it would be nicer if our lives reflect the presence of angels or of the divine in our midst.

Such is Raphael in the story of Tobiah.  In the gospel, Jesus commended the widow more than the pharisee in offering.

our lives truly reflect this: God has not ceased to reach out to us; Jesus hasn't stopped offering to the Father and sending his Spirit.  What is our response?

Everything boils down to our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.  Discern whether the Holy Spirit approves our actions.

Secondly, have the courage to respond in faith.  Let our actions reflect God's direction in our lives.

Thursday of the ninth week, 1

God's love and order Mk. 12, 28 - 34 Tobiah stood up to marry Sarah.  But before they went to bed to consummate their marriage, Tobiah prayed to God to bless their married life.

In the gospel Jesus was confronted with the question, which is the greatest of all commandments.  He said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

People might hold a different opinion that relationships can exist without the grace and blessing of God.  But come to think of it:  God created man and woman so that they might be fruitful and producing more human beings and thus, the world should continue to exist. Such occurrence has the fullest blessing from God - the continuation of the whole humanity.

Jesus enunciated the most important law - loving God with all one's heart.  To love God is to bring order to the entire human existence.  It is also to continue the next generation. To love one's neighbor is…

Friday of week 8, I

legacy, anybody interested?Mark 11:11-26
In the gospel, Jesus cursed a fig tree.  But in the middle of the story, he also drove the money changers out of the temple.

Whether we like it or not, we are leaving memories behind - good memories, bad memories.  What memories would you like to leave behind?

Another word is "legacy".  Legacy is something that we will leave behind and will stay in the world for generations to come.

Parents, what legacy are you leaving to your children? Land? Money? Or God and his values that your children will teach their children and next generation of children?

Would we want to be remembered as saving our own family or we extended our arms to help a greater number of families, especially the poor?

Would we want to leave things that only stay in this world but cannot reach heaven?

We can either stay barren, or we can decide to use our lives to leave traces of God's presence in the world and leave a rich legacy of the Lord's presence in the …

Thursday of week 8, I

Mark 10:46-52

Qoheleth describes the grandeur of God and His power over all creation.

If things are in disarray, it's not because of God.  Rather, we allowed ourselves to go far away from him.

In the gospel, Jesus cured the blind man.  He established himself rightfully as the Son of God with the same power as the Father, with the power to restore all things, including sight.

And what is our response?  Faith.  This is what Jesus checks on all of us.

Faith is simply a product of our relationship with the Divine Master; our ability to detect his presence.

Faith involves entrusting of oneself to the Master as one does to a friend.  "I believe in you" means we have total faith in him before all else.  That is faith.

Finally, faith is the realization of the envisioned restoration.  "Amen" is our firm conviction that God is in control of all things and He will bring it to completion.  Our action then is our response in faith.  We will serve the Lord.

Friday of the 7th week of Eastertide

How deep is your love?John 21:15-19 
It all boils down to love.  If we truly love God, all things will spring out from it.

"Do you love me more than these?" Jesus is also asking us whether  our love for God would be higher than our families and our own lives.  If the answer is "yes", then all else will follow.

The life of loving, if defined only in human terms is not really love.  First, if a man loves a woman, it should be as faithful and as responsible as Jesus' love for us, his Church.

If we claim we have love, our love should transcend familiar and social ties; it should reach out to the poor.

If our love is truly authentic, then we would really end up following Jesus to the cross, all for the sake of mankind.  That's why Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."  Those who may have love in the family but do not love the poor may not have any true love at all.

How far would our love for Jesus go?  Do we really love him more than all these?  It starts with…

Tuesday of the 7th week of Eastertide

Glorify the FatherJohn 17:1-11
As we are being prepared to receive the Holy Spirit, let us know what it means to exactly receive it - it simply means to be able to "glorify".
Glorifying means bestowing honor ...  The main focus is glorifying the Father.  Jesus did just that.
Second, glorifying means finishing the work of the Father.  Reflect on St. Paul's life as he glorifies the Father by doing his will.
Third, glorifying means to mirror the Father just as Jesus offers everyone to be glorified in the Father.

St. Isidore the farmer (Labrador)

To be poorJohn 16:20-23 

I  would like to greet the Christian community of Kapasigan a happy Fiesta as they celebrate the feast of their patron, San Isidro Labrador.

"San Isidro", a Spanish laborer, maintained his poverty before God.  There are three things which makes San Isidro poor:

First, he was poor in God's eyes.  To be poor means to maintain our humility before God.

Second, he was poor in men's eyes.  He maintained the poor lifestyle together with his wife who is also a saint.

Third, he was rich in kindness and service to the poor.  He possessed Jesus' heart.  His employer allowed him to go to daily masses because he saw his kindness and his generosity.

How true then is the gospel message for today, "You sorrow will turn to joy."  Because our sacrifices on behalf of the poor will not go unrewarded.  Let us imitate the life of San Isidro Labrador.


Pasig - after much deliberations, St. James spoke "I rule, then, that instead of making things more difficult for pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has always had his preachers in every town, and is read aloud in the synagogues every sabbath."

In the gospel, Jesus stressed to remain in his love, keep his commandments, so that our joy would be complete.

Why would our joy be complete?  Because it is in total conformity to God's will; it is united with God.

What constitutes a life filled with joy?

What are the things that bring us sadness?  Probably some unmet needs.  But if we are filled are we happy then?

After much deliberations, St. James gave a judgment on the issue of circumcision - not to make it more difficult for pagans to turn to God, to abstain from anything offered to the idols, fornication, meat of strangled anima…

Monday of the 5th week of Eastertide

John 14:21-26

Mirrors are amazing equipment.  They have the capacity to reflect back images.

We are mirrors.  We mirror the very presence of Jesus or the lack of it.

We need to be mirrors and not be broken glasses.  At all times, let our lives reflect the living Lord through the following:

1. Obedience - follow Jesus' every move as his mirrors the Father's love
2. Communion - we work for unity with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and with one another.
3. Mission - let us produce other mirrors for Christ.

Tuesday of the 4th week of Eastertide

To be a real "Christian"John 10:22-30
We would suppose that in the community of Antioch, they were first called "Christians", they haven't seen Christ.  But they consider themselves followers of Jesus.

It has been almost 500 hundred years of Christianity in the Philippines; have we truly regarded ourselves a Christians?

I would want to imagine people going to work and still call themselves "Christians".  And when asked to be active in the Church, without doubt they would say, "Sure!"

How do we integrate Christianity in our lives?

First, know for a fact that as Christians, we seek to immediately identify ourselves with Christ.  Let us align who we are with Jesus.

Second, learn from the Master when he says, "The sheep hear my voice."  Why are there so much conflicts in the world?  "Because they don't hear my voice.  They don't belong to the sheepfold."

Third, "I and the Father are one."  The more we open …

Friday of the 2nd week of Eastertide

Multiplication of good works
John 6:1-15 

The multiplication of the loaves is a sign of the fruitfulness not only of Jesus, but of his disciples who do God's will.

Let's make an honest evaluation of the fruitlessness of things, and why we keep on saying, we have no money or time or talent when in fact we have them on this earth.

Second, let's learn how Jesus multiplied the loaves through:

1. through offering - the process cannot start if there are no gifts offered.
2. gifts have to be offered to God, not kept to self.
3. gifts have to be broken and be ready for distribution.;
4. gifts have to be given to others to complete their purpose.

These could also apply to our fruitfulness in this world if we know how to offer ourselve to God, sanctify all our work and being, break ourselves to serve God, and give ourselves to others so they may also be offerings to others.

Season of lent

God's law
Jesus clarified the law: love God above all things and love neighbors as self.

What does it mean to love God above all things?  It means two things: to stand by God at all times and to love our neighbors as God loves us.

To stand by God means to recognize that everything in this world belongs to him, even our lives.  Thus, the seed of being a steward is already there.

Tuesday of Holy Week

Be glorified
The Old Testament speaks of a prophet giving witness that God has a special plans for him even before he was born.

In the gospel, that person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

He says that he will be glorified. God will exult him.

Jesus prophesied the betrayal of Judas, then said the prayer of glorification.

To be glorified means to be exulted, recognized, lifted up - ikinagalak, ipinakilala, itinaas.

The old testament also speaks of someone who will be glorified by the Lord.

May all our actions give glory to God and be the cause of salvation for others.

ngayon isasama kita sa paraiso

Sinambit na ni Kristo ang ikalawang huling salita, "Ngayon isasama kita sa paraiso."

Sinabi niya ito sa rurok ng kanyang paghihirap, sa panahong pati ang salaring nasa kanyang kaliwa'y tinutuya siya, "iligtas mo ang iyong sarili pati na kami."

Sa krus, nakita pa rin ni Hesus ang dalisay na puso ng kanyang kapwa, "Hindi ka ba nahihiya sa iyong sinabi.  tayo ay nagkasala, ngunit wala siyang kasalanan."

Handa na yung isang salarin na siya maparusahan.  Ang tanging kanyang nasambit na lamang ay, "Panginoon, alalahanin mo na lamang ako sa iyong kaharian."

May dalawang uri ng pagtugon sa Panginoon.  Yung isa'y nanunuya, nang-iinsulto, sakim, makasarili, namimilit na siya'y iligtas at pagaanin ang buhay, Kahit ang iba'y naghihirap, siya'y hindi. Yaong isa nama'y humigingi ng tawad, mapagkumbaba.  Doon sasabihin ni Hesus, "Ngayon, isasama kita sa paraiso."

Yaong isa, naniniwala sa paraisong nilikha ng Diyos noong unang …


As we progress through Holy Week, we see more and more the signs of violence of evil men; but the good men become more godly.  It's really a matter of asking which side we are on.

The Holy Week is a definitive time to confront our state of humanity whether we are for or against God; whether we are instruments of heaven or the world.

It's not much of a question of what our orientation is but rather, it is more of how we can attain godliness.

As the word implies, is is a life that is directly related with God.  "Without God, I am nothing."  But I wish to push it a step further - God becomes the reason of my life.

Secondly, it is a life that pleases him.  I practiced discernment practically my whole life.

Thirdly, it is in the process of perfection; not of self, but of charity.

As I celebrate twenty two years of priesthood, I have been a witness to a growing relationship with God, a life that pleases him alone, and a life of perfection in charity.

St. Jesus, a model of fatherhood

St. Joseph is prefigured in the Old Testament as the descendant of David who through his lineage would come the Son of God ("I will be a father to him, and he, a son to me.").

In the gospel, St. Joseph, after dreaming, makes an unwavering decision to do God's will and take Mary as his wife.

In another gospel he became a good father to Jesus "who lived under his authority."

How do we emulate St. Joseph, graced by God to be the foster father of Jesus and from his lineage would come God's only begotten Son?

First, fatherhood is a divine gift only God the father can supply and delegate.

Second, fathers need to be discerning of God's will on what is best for the family and their children.

Finally, fathers produce sons and daughters in the likeness of Jesus who was reared under his authority.

May we live out the fatherhood in us, mirroring God's fatherhood, discerning of God's presence in the world, and deciding to produce the next generation of sons …

Tuesday of the 3rd week of Lent

Life of forgivenessMatthew 18:21-35
Azariah prays to the Lord to deliver them from the fiery furnace using the mercy of God.

In the gospel, Jesus gives an invaluable lesson on forgiveness - that as God forgives, so too must we forgive in the same measure.

What can we learn from forgiveness as a way of life?

1. Forgiveness gives importance to the salvation rather than the condemnation of the other.
2. Forgiveness establishes who we are before God. - that we are mere human beings who have no power except that which comes from God who forgives us almost endlessly.
3.  Forgiveness strengthens our mission to do what we need to do in this world - to reconcile others to one another and to Christ.

Thursday of the 2nd week of Lent

FaithLuke 16:19-31

There are two persons whom Jeremiah was referring to in the first reading: the one without faith and the other with faith.  The one without faith is barren and is likened to dead land, while one with faith is likened to a rich soil.

The two characters in the gospel also typify these two sets of persons: one being the rich man who in spite of his wealth, refused to share food to Lazarus, and the poor man Lazarus, who yearned even for the crust that fell from the rich man's table.

The effect of this attitude is immediate: hell or heaven.  Let us reflect if in our case, the motivation of all our action is really to give glory to God and to have a glimpse of heaven.  If not, the opposite effect is immediate.

Friday of the 1st week of Lent

On loving othersMatthew 5:20-26 Jesus deepened the knowledge of the disciples by going deeply not only through the external observance of the law, but to its spirit.

To those who are angry and they belittle others, they are liable to judgment.

If one is offering and remembers something against another, leave the gift behind and be reconciled with the other.  The law covers both our obligation to God and fellow human beings.

As a Christian, let us be committed to love one another as Christ love us.  Let us struggle to see the face of God in the other before we can lead them to sin or to grace.

Reflecting on the ten commandments, the reason for honoring one's parents is not in simply respecting them because of their age but it is precisely through the parents that we get to know about God.  Thus, we should honor them.

"Thou shall not steal."  It is not simply in respecting other's property that is the issue here; but rather, God has given us enough for us to take care…

Thursday of the 1st week of Lent

How to prayMatthew 7:7-12
In the readings, Jesus taught about prayer while Queen Esther prayed.

It seems that prayer is automatic for all of us.  But how is prayer like when it is a way of life?

St. Benedict has a very popular idiom for prayer: ora et labora, "pray and work."  For St. Benedict believed in the combination of contemplation and action.  For St. Ignatius, there is what we call "contemplatives in the world" for people who are actively participating in the transformation of the world.

Prayer is a life of active relationship with the Lord. It is not just about asking for intentions.  Rather, my own personhood is marked by a life of unconditional relationship to God and my every action proves it.

"Ask and you will receive" involves total faith in the providence of God while "the Father knows what to give to his children" implies that even before praying for something, we believe in the innate good intentions of the Father to give life t…

Tuesday of week 6

Trust only in GodMark 8:14-21
Jesus reminded the apostles to trust real food comes only from God not from yeast of the Pharisees or any other.  How do we put our trust on God each day?

Trust in its etymology means "strong", like a sturdy foundation, that's why we can depend on the structure.

Our skill is how to slowly build our trust in God.   As long as we continue to rely on other things, we haven't totally relied on God.

Can we rely on our food? Can we rely on our reputation? Wealth? Power?  Trust in God causes food on the table.  Trust in God brings forth trustworthy persons.  Trust in God brings wealth and power specially for those who can be trusted.

Friday of week 3 in Ordinary Time, I

On enduranceMark 4:26-34
The kingdom of God in today's gospel is attained by people who practice endurance in their Christian lives.

There is endurance among Christians when they struggle to be faithful to God.

Endurance is also felt in the consistency of the process of continued growth in the Lord.  Endurance is a process of perfection of Christian communities.

Tuesday of week 3 in Ordinary Time, I

Do God's willMark 3:31-35
The scriptures never emphasized it enough "Do God's will."

Do God's will instead of focusing on offerings or holocausts.  "Do God's will" for us to be rightfully be called the mother, brothers, and sisters of Jesus.  What does it mean exactly to do God's will?

Only one point - when we prioritize above all God's will and not our own.  The late Fr. Tom explained it with a parable.  Imagine a situation where the birthday celebrant was asked by a greeter, "Tell me what you want for your birthday and I will give it to you.  Do you want a land? Vacation? New car? Tell me."

The celebrant says, "I want blue cheese."

"But no one wants blue cheese for his birthday."

"But that is what I want," is the response.

Which one should we do? Work for God or doing God's work?  Grant that we may move away from ourselves so we can freely do God's work.