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what makes you unhappy? - 4th sunday lent C laetare sunday 2019

What makes you happy?What makes you unhappy?The 4thSunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday.Laetare means be happy.We are allowed today to put some flowers on the altar and to use the color rose instead of violet.Rose is still violet but it is mixed with gold, the color of supreme joy.Thus, it is only proper to ask ourselves these very important questions which motivates all our actions - what makes me happy, what makes me unhappy?

not far but not there yet - 3rd week lent friday 2019

You are not far from the kingdom of God.  You are not far.  You are not there yet, but you are not far. Here Jesus reminds us the difference and therefore the relationship of what we know, and doing or acting upon what we know. We must acknowledge that many of us need to be catechized, we need to know more, we need something substantial in the education in the faith.  As affirmed by Jesus in the attitude of this pious scribe everything starts with knowing, and believing and being convinced with what we know.  It is an acknowledgement that as a parish community catechesis is very much needed from its littlest members to us adults.  We need to be educated in the faith.

on our own we can never be good enough - 3rd week lent thursday 2019

Our gospel today is a reminder which will be repeated time and again by St. Paul in his letters.  That on our own we can never be good enough.  Paul would often say that we should pray for the strength that comes from God and that we should not rely solely on our own strength.  Why?  Because on our own we can never be good enough.   This is why Jesus is depicted many times as driving away the evil spirits not by human power, not by the power of another evil spirit, but by the all-powerful finger of God.

fulfilling the law - 3rd week lent wednesday 2019

What does it mean to fulfill the law?  Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law.  We know for example that Jesus in the eyes of pious Jews during his time violated the law of the sabbath by doing something prohibited on a Sabbath.  For one he healed on the sabbath.  In another he told the person he healed to carry his mat on a sabbath.  So, what does it mean to fulfill the law?

never stop doing good - 3rd week lent tuesday 2019

The number seventy times seven in Hebrew means always, whenever, at all times. Thus forgiveness in the mind of Christ should be always, whenever and at all times.  But the most important thought of the gospel is the reason why we should forgiven at all times.  Why? Because God forgives me at all times. This is the Christian way. Why should I forgive?  Because God forgives me.  Why should I forgive at all times.  Because God forgives me always.  Why should I be generous?  Because God is generous to me. Why should I have compassion on people who are in need? Because in my need God has compassion with me.  We never stop doing good to each other because God never stops doing good to us.

obedience, a sacrifice of will and reason - annunciation 2019

The feast of the annunciation is a feast celebrating the virtue of obedience, both the obedience of Christ and the obedience of Mary. Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve.  Salvation entered the world through the obedience of Jesus and Mary.  In the letter to the Hebrews in our second reading we find a quotation alluding to the obedience of Jesus.  Here Jesus is made to say:  "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,but a body you prepared for me.”  This is a quotation of Psalm 40 except for the last part which should have read, “but my ears you have opened.”  Probably wanting to emphasize the complete obedience of Jesus he used “but a body you have prepared for me.”  So now it is not just simply ears listening and obeying, it is now the whole body being offered in humble submission to God will.

the god who gave his name - 3rd sunday lent C 2019

Even when I was still in the seminary I was already struggling to understand who God is.  I am not referring to our children’s catechesis which says: Pila ang Dios -  isa.  Pila ang persona sang Dios - tatlo.  Sin-o sila - Amay, Anak kag Espiritu Santo.  Instead I was asking, who is this God that I am praying to, who is this God who created me, who cared for me, and who saved me?  Moses in our first reading asked God, who are you, if they ask what is your name what will I tell them? In our gospel Jesus was told about Galileans who were cruelly massacred by Pilate.  Was it because of their sins that God allowed them to die?  Is this who God is?

mothers...pray for us - 2nd week wednesday 2019

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The mother of James and John is Salome.  It is said that when Zebedee her husband died, when she became a widow, Salome followed Christ together with her sons. St. John Chrysostom said that though she was very old she followed the Lord because faith never grows old and the desire to serve the Lord does not fade and does not falter.  Thus Salome is one of the women who followed the Lord caring for his needs and that of the disciples.
But in this passage St. John Chrysostom asks, why is it that Salome was just corrected by Jesus but Peter was openly and even angrily rebuked by the Lord?  Salome was just told, you do not know what you are asking, but Peter was told get behind me Satan.  Why?

a wonderful experience with his father - st joseph 2019

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Today we celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph, one of the two solemn feasts in the middle of Lent.  St. Joseph is referred to as Pepe, for in Spanish the double P stands for Padre Putativo, or the reputed father, not the real father but the reputed father.  That is why in the Philippines all Jose’s are nicknamed Pepe, not Joe I suppose.   St. Joseph is father because primarily he was the guardian of the Holy Family and thus, traditionally, he is also considered the guardian of the church. He is also considered the patron of a happy death because when he died he was graced with the physical presence of Jesus and Mary.  As a priest I have seen a lot of difficult deaths, damo hawid kag makangilidlis. Since all of us will die, we better have a devotion to St. Joseph so that our deaths will be peaceful, well-prepared and dignified.  To speak of St. Joseph however, only in this way is to belittle his role in the life of Jesus.  It is true that he did not speak a single word in the whole of …

merciful - 2nd week of lent monday 2019

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Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. There is one virtue, one characteristic which makes us like God – merciful, maluloy-on.  If Jesus is asking us to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect, then this characteristic must be present in us – maluloy-on. How can we be merciful?  The church provides us with some guidelines.  For example we have the corporal works of mercy – feed the hungry, drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, shelter the homeless, visit the prisoners, bury the dead, giving alms to the poor. Our parish has a feeding program every Saturday, providing food for at least 60 people – sponsored by two people.  I believe this is a good start.  Passing by Molo one gets the impression that it’s all beautiful houses and rich people.