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Showing posts from February, 2017

Saturday of week 7 in Ordinary Time

An embracing God Mark 10:13-16 The basic architecture of the St. Peter's Basilica looks like a mother embracing all her children - not only Catholics but people of all races, creeds, and colors.  This is also the image of the Church that includes the whole of humanity, the very essence of the word "Catholic".

In God's world, no one is cast aside.  In man's world, people are fond of compartmentalizing people. There is no such reality in heaven.  We will see a God who truly cares for all his children.

We have witnessed the embracing image of God to all of us.  Though we are weak, small, insignificant human beings, he gave three huge things to us:
He gave us creation He admonishes us to take care of them;

He gave us free wills let us use them wisely to follow the Lord.

He gave us love  that we might love him back as well as love one another, especially the unlovable.

These are the effects of a God who embraces his children unconditionally.   Let us respond by offeri…

Friday of week 7 in Ordinary Time, 1

A true friend Mark 10:1-12 "Tell me your friends and I'll tell you who you are" is a common norm for evaluating our real selves.  People who take the worldly as their friends will reap worldly fruits, including the death of self.
If we consider God as our first, best, and ultimate friend, we shall be perfect in him.
Jesus reiterated the sanctity of marriage because it is a mirror of God's friendship with man - eternal, merciful, and all forgiving.  If we follow this path, we shall truly be like him, a true friend:
A loyal friend God's unending faithfulness can only be manifested by a true friend who will stay with us through thick and thin; 
A friend who leads us to the truth A true friend molds our consciences and leads us to truth and freedom;
A friend with a perfect love God's friendship makes us perfect in love and offering.
It is true, one who finds a friend finds a real treasure.  "For friendship is the elixir of life,"according to Ecclesiastes…

Thursday of week 7 in Ordinary Time, 1

Effects of God's presence Mark 9:41-50
We may contemplate on God's mercy and justice, but the gospel points out the effects of living in mercy - perfection.

Our experience of God's mercy leads us to a kind of perfection in holiness brought about by the living out of God's love.  God's presence in us causes us that deep change, among them are the following:

First, mercy God's mercy planted in our hearts causes us to live in mercy, to give water to the thirsty, to consider others' welfare before our own.

Second, perfection  God's mercy cannot be lackadaisical, tepid, or lacking in enthusiasm.  Things are non-negotiable as in the gospel, "If your eye causes you to sin, cut it off..."

Third, usefulness Ecclesiastes reminds us, "Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster." (Ecc. 5, 10)  God has no need of us.  We are to remind ourselves that God gives us the flavor of salt to share our…

Tuesday of week 6 in Ordinary Time

Hardness of mind and heart Mark 8:14-21 The readings point out not the God who punishes but the One who saves.  It's because of the people' hardness of mind and heart that caused their doom.  They could have joined Noah's ark or better yet, they could have averted the destruction of the world via the flood.

In the gospel, Jesus gave the stern warning against the "yeast" of the pharisees.  Again, the hardness of mind and heart is there in the apostles.  Thus, Jesus said, "Do Not imitate them."

Let us be wary against closing our minds and hearts to the Lord because of these things:

First, let us rid ourselves of pride Pride makes us closed-minded, only seeing things from our point of view.  Pride attributes everything to self, not to God.

Second, let us rid ourselves of greed We do not own this world; we do not own our lives.  God owns us; and through his love we experience true life.

Third, let us rid ourselves of corrupt power. Let us be servants of the…

Thursday of week 5 in Ordinary Time, 1

Restoring communion Mark 7:24-30 The first reading talks of the unity between man and woman, "You are the bone of my bone, the flesh of my flesh.

Remember that in this state man is still united with God in an unbreakable bond of love and being. Though sin destroyed all these, let us take time to enrich ourselves with this thought about being one with one another and with God.  Isn't this heaven?

This unity is brought to completion by Jesus who finally destroyed sin.  He brought us back to God.  Thus, our challenge is to bring back all things to unity with God.

Thus, communion entails that we desire for the ultimate good  Let us desire to be united with him, God, and live out the ultimate goodness.  We want to be guided, to breathe the ultimate good, and let him be a part of us; we also desire to be united with others and lead others to God..

Second, communion needs perseverance This is the seed of faith.  Real faith does not give in to sin even though we are sinners.  God wo…

Message to San Guillermo Parish

It seems to me that the urgent message you want to give to the parishioners of San Guillermo as you are to celebrate 25 years of being a parish is about faith: "masiglang nagkakaisa sa pananampalataya"

Our readings for today reflect a responsible steward.  A man of faith knows how to take care of his faith to make it fruitful.

In the gospel, Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for being too overzealous with rules that they forgot the roots of the law: it is in God.  Same is true with a man with a responsible faith should be deeply rooted in God.

As we celebrate the Year of the Parish and as you celebrate the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the parish, let us check the following:

First, as responsible stewards of faith Without God there is no faith.  God is the source of a lively faith.  Faith comes in our sincere efforts to get to know God and live out his ways.  Is there a deep commitment to root oneself in God as a parish?

Second, as instruments of communion It is hard to reco…

Saturday of week 4 in Ordinary Time, 1

CHOOSING WHAT IS BETTER Mark 6:30-34  The readings reflect choosing what is better.  Of course, we can always do what is good.  But Jesus did what is better - teaching the people, going a mile to be with the suffering, and helping them to be better persons.

The spirituality of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin followed this path to be better if not, the best in being parents and now, being saints.  The proof is St. Therese herself, their loving daughter.  In raising their children, they haven't lost sight of heaven.  Even St. Therese said, "I want to be a saint."  And so she proceeded to be one.

What can we emulate from the examples of these two holy couple?

First, desire to enter Heaven It started with them.  Both Louis and Zelie wanted to serve God by dedicating themselves totally to him to the point of becoming celibate.  But God had other plans for them.  He wanted them to be holy in the midst of marital and family life.  Remember the millions of parents that gave us exam…

Friday of week 4 in Ordinary Time, 1

Faces of unmercy Mark 6:14-29 I would not want to dwell with unmercy or ruthlessness.  But in reflecting about it, the more we turn to mercy.

First, mercy is related with a steadfastness of faith A shallow faith is totally unacceptable.  It just leads us to compromise our values.  Herod's weakness led him to the death of the innocent John the Baptist

Second, mercy affects our attitudes and behaviors The letter to the Hebrews challenges our views and attitudes on specific issues - our attitudes to the sick and those in prison, welcoming strangers and treating them as friends, weeding out greed, and leadership from the point of view of God, and many others.  The assembly was an assembly of leaders, but they all took part in killing John.  They all sacrificed their values.

Third, mercy is life In the end, it is John who lives forever in our minds and hearts while Herod, his mistress and daughter, and all cohorts pass through history with shameful identities.  Whatever we do in this …