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Showing posts from March, 2017

worship at the cathedral 3

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My take on abstinence... Abstinence is an act of doing without, a giving up of something good.  It is done in the spirit of sacrifice. As Catholics we are required to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.  First, this abstinence from meat works on the presumption that meat is good.  Precisely it is a sacrifice because it is good.  We don't sacrifice something we don't like in the first place.  Second, abstinence from meat works also on the presumption that meat is always associated with fiestas and celebrations.  Thus, even today, we often overhear people say in celebrations, "baw, grabe nga fiesta lima gid ka lechon," or "nag-ihaw gid sila duha ka baboy ka isa ka baka," which can only mean that the celebration is grander. Third, it also works on the presumption that meat is luxury.  Meat cost a bit more.  Thus, to abstain from meats means to eat only the less expensive and simple food.

psalm 34: remembering - tuesday 1st week lent

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Our psalm today has two parts.  First there is the exhortation to remember together the good that the Lord did for us.  Last week if you can still remember, I invited you to make and fulfill your panaad to the Lord as a reflection on Psalm 50 which exhorts us to fulfill our vows to the Lord. A panaad is a vow made to God when you were in trouble.  It is not to bribe God.  It is not to pay God his salary for doing his work on us.  Rather, a panaad is simply fulfilling your word to God.  It is going back to the time when God helped you when you were in deep trouble.  It is remembering. Today as we reflect on our responsorial psalm, psalm 34, the psalm also invites us to look into, to examine once more, to relive as it were the personal goodness of God to you, to each one of us.  Many times, we easily forget God's loving care for us when he answered our prayers.  So, in first stanza of today's responsorial psalm the psalmist tells the people of the time when, he sought the LORD, a…

psalm 51: shame and a broken spirit - 1st sunday lent

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I would like to continue where we left off in our reflection last Ash Wednesday as we reflected on psalm 51, our responsorial psalm.  Let me recall first that this psalm is David's prayer after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan when he committed the sin of adultery with a married woman by the name of Bathsheba, and this adultery led him to tell lies, and these lying led him to commit murder.  So it's a sinfulness that spiraled out of control.  And David wanted to hide it. Two things about sin. First, whenever we commit sin or make a mistake our tendency is always to hide or to deny, not to admit or at least to rationalize, to reason out in order to lessen the impact of our fault or to avoid full responsibility.  David would have wanted to put his sins behind him, to hide them thinking that nobody would know.  He thought it was a perfect crime.  But the prophet Nathan confronted him and once again put his sin before him – um ari ho ipanginwala pa da, tago-tago-on mo pa.And …

worship at the cathedral 2

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The first noticeable sign that lent is here, aside from the ashes on our foreheads, is the conspicuous absence of the "alleluia" in the mass and in the breviary (that is, if you are praying the breviary).  Alleluia is a Hebrew word which means "praise the Lord."  Aside from the trisagion or the sanctus of the mass (holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of host...), the alleluia, the bible says, is the song sung by the choir of angels praising God before His holy throne in the kingdom of heaven.  Singing this song is eschatological, that is, we are already looking forward to the day when we shall join our voices with the angels in heaven.  (That is why I always advise people in the mass that if they plan to go to heaven, they better sing these songs while they are still here on earth, so that when they reach heaven the songs are already familiar.  And by the way, those who do not sing have no plans going there!) So why suppress the alleluia?

psalm 51: a misplaced heart - ash wednesday

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Today we reflect on psalm 51, our responsorial psalm.  This is the psalm we pray every Friday morning.  This psalm is entitled "A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone in to Bathsheba."  That’s the title.  I believe you know the story – David had an affair with a married woman Bathsheba which produced a child.  To cover up the sin, he persuaded the husband Uriah to sleep with his wife.  But after several failed attempts to convince Uriah to do so David panicked and had him sent to battle where the fighting is fiercest so that he would surely get killed.  With the husband dead, he married Bathsheba.  This is the trademark of sin – it leads one deeper and deeper into the abyss.  Adultery led to lying and cover-up which eventually led to murder. David’s conscience however bothered and haunted him.  And because God loved David so much, God did not want him to be destroyed by this hidden sin.  And so one day the prophet Nathan confronted David of h…

psalm 50: attitudes for worship - tuesday 8th week

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We continue our reflection on our responsorial psalm, psalm 50.  In this psalm God gathers all the people of Israel to indict them.  In Psalm 50 God is the accuser, he is the judge and he is even the witness.  And what was Israel's fault?  What was God's accusation? This is Israel's fault – It is not for making and offering sacrifices but the mindset that accompany their sacrifices to God.  And what was the mindset – that God needs the sacrifices that I offer him.  Israel then was offering animal sacrifices and so they thought that God needs these sacrifices because he was hungry, because he needed to drink the blood of these animals and to eat their flesh.  The point is, to offer worship to God because they thought that God needed this worship.  This was the wrong mindset in their prayer, the wrong mindset in their worship.  Ang ginahimo naton amo nga daw ang Dios ang ginapa-utang naton agod to kon may kinahanglanon kita sa iya dapat niya sabton.  Amo ni kon kaisa ang dang…

worship at the cathedral 1

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With this issue I start this column on the prayer and worship activities of the parish.  I was told that this is part of my work as the Special Assistant for Liturgical Affairs.  I have still to clarify whether this column is something that I have to do weekly or every other week or whatever.  Suffice to say, to begin this column at the beginning of Lent means this will be an added penance on my part.  How opportune indeed! Filipinos are known for our many lenten practices, practices that are unique, colorful, and frankly, quite off-the-wall at times.  We don't put long faces on lent.  I suspect, we even enjoy it.  Our foreheads may be prominently marked with ashes but just the same we eat our burgers with gusto unmindful (or perhaps forgetful) that these activities don't mix.  Our visita iglesia can also become a question of who cooks the better bibingka as rows of makeshift ovens lineup the facade of every church we visit.  On Good Friday, our saints are dressed in glittering…

psalm 1: whom do you allow to influence you - thursday 7th week

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There is something curious in our responsorial psalm, psalm number 1.  Instead of simply saying do not be wicked it says instead, Blessed be the man who follows notthe counsel of the wicked.  Instead of simply saying do not sin, it says Blessed be the man who does not walk in the way of sinners.  Instead of simply saying do not act like the insolent, do not mock God, it says instead do not sit in the company of the insolent.  Why not just say it directly, why not say it plainly?  Well, it can't and this psalm chooses not to, because this psalm is not talking about committing sin, it is not about being a sinner.  Instead it asks the question whom do you allow to influence you?  Whom or what do you allow to shape your life?  To whom do you give your attention to?  If you notice the contrast in the psalm is not wicked versus righteous, sinner versus saint, ungodly versus godly.  Instead the contrast centers on listening to the counsel of the wicked, walking in the way of sinner, sitt…

sikomoro thesis defense

Once again we have (for many) completed this two-day thesis defense, a partial but crucial requirement for graduation.  For the class sikomoro, they can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that the tension filled weeks are over.  It is however my hope that it will not simply end as an academic exercise we are too happy and too eager to get over with.  It is my hope that discussions like this continue.  It is only through exercises like this that we can promote a new kind of politics, a new way of doing things.

psalm 37: greatness is service - tuesday 7th week

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I would like to continue reflecting on our responsorial psalm today - psalm 37.  This psalm addresses a problem that bothers us even to this day.  And what is this problem – why is it that those who do evil seem to prosper while those who do good suffer?  This is a question we encounter from time to time, isn’t it?  In this psalm this questioning is condemned because it is accompanied by resentment and envy -  how is it that the wicked seem to prosper, how is it that evil people seem to get the good things in life, while I who go to mass every day, while I who observe his commandments, suffer or at the very least have to do with less?  Isn’t God unjust? Psalm 37 is a prayer encouraging the good not to be envious in the face of such paradox.  Specifically it tells us to do three things:  First we need to trust in the Lord – God is in control and whatever God does, God has a purpose.  So trust him.  Second the psalm tells us to take delight in the Lord, to find fulfilment in God, to find…

buncag lalaw: nanay is

Today we are gathered in the Chapel of the retirement home of the clergy which for some reason has been called through the years as home sweet home.  Now it is given a more formal name of St John Marie Vianney Center or Vianney for short.  But some people still call this place Home Sweet Home.   Aptly but more clandestinely we call it our departure area for just like the upper floor of an airport this is where we wait before we fly out.  The archdiocese has enough lands more beautiful and conducive for a retirement home but this is the place they chose because it is just a stone's throw away from the place where our journey in the priesthood began.  It is always good to end where you started.  We all started there when we were 12 years old.  We come back here when the journey is about to end.

psalm 29: the voice of the lord - tuesday 6th week

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Today we reflect on psalm 29, our responsorial psalm today.  When something is repeated several times in succession it is because the author wants us to focus our attention on what he believes matters most.  And in this psalm our attention is directed to "the voice of the Lord."   In the responsorial psalm in this mass in which only part of the psalm is read, it is repeated thrice.  If we read the whole psalm, the word the voice of the Lord is repeated six times in a short eleven verses. What does the psalm say about the voice of the Lord?  What does the psalm say about the owner of the voice? This is not a still comforting voice.  This is not a soft and soothing voice.  It is a mighty voice, a majestic voice, a voice that rips the forest bare, it breaks even the mighty cedars of Lebanon, the biggest and hardest tree in Israel.  It is a voice that shakes the earth, even Mt. Hermon, the largest and tallest mountain in Palestine shudders at the voice of the Lord.

psalm 32: double joy - friday 5th week

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This is one psalm which begins with so many blessed - Blessedis he whosetransgressionisforgiven,Blessedis he whosesiniscovered.Blessedisthe man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt.In Hebrew the word Blessed is in plural form, which we cannot translate of course to English  unless we say blessednesses.  So the blessedness here is not just single but a double joy, a bundle of happiness, a very happy condition.  Why, because the Lord forgives.
How does one attain this very happy condition?  Only one thing but stated both in the negative and positive.  First it would be such a happy condition when you do not conceal or hide your sins from God.  Second, stated positively, one can experience double joy when we acknowledge our sins and confess these to God.  So how does one attain happiness says the psalm – when we do not hide our sins and when we confess and acknowledge these before God.  This is the joy of confession, the joy of the sacrament of reconciliation.

psalm 104: god will take care of us - wednesday 5th week

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Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita.  She was originally from Sudan in Africa and her uncle was a tribal chieftain, born around the year 1869.  She was from a relatively well-off and prosperous family.  However, when she was just a child she was kidnapped by slave traders and was sold off as a slave.  You know what a slave is, do you?  You are treated as a thing, something people buy and used according to their purpose, the very opposite of the dignity that we talked about yesterday in our responsorial psalm.  She was first sold to an Arab family who made her suffer.  Then to a Turkish family who further inflicted pain on her.  She had 114 scars in her body because of beatings and sometimes they just wanted to inflict pain on her.  Then she was sold to an Italian family who brought her to Italy.  They treated her well.  There in Italy she was given to another family who after some time went to Africa.  She was left with the Canossian Sisters in Venice.  There she …

psalm 8: the work of your fingers - tuesday 5th week

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Psalm 8, our responsorial psalm today continues the thought narrated by our first reading, that God made everything and man and woman as the peak of his creation.  However, in this psalm the manner in which God created us is emphasized.  And how is this? Creation according to psalm 8 was not just arbitrary or random or haphazard. Rather it was careful and meticulous and even painstaking.  In the psalm, instead of calling created things the work of your hands, the psalmist instead said, the work of your fingers.  God designed everything meticulously.  God deliberately created every detail there is, as if he was drawing something or as if God is doing some embroidery work, arranging, organizing, placing things where he wants them to be.  We were not mass produced in an assembly line.  We were not haphazardly and hurriedly done.  There was a very serious effort of going into the details, handcrafting, individually designing so as to fit God's purpose.  That is how valuable we are acc…

ted and chloe

I accepted this appointment many years ago thinking that this day would never come anyway.  But here it is, finally, after a very long wait.  I always tell the seminarians, you never look for a girlfriend.  Precisely they call it falling in love because it is never sought after like some lost thing.  In love you will find each other.  It will come if it was meant to be. Today this sermon does not have to be long.  Not that we are in a hurry nor are we making up for lost time.  The wait may have been long but remember patience is always rewarded.  But this should be short because there is nothing more that needs to be said in a lot of words.  Ted is not new to this, after all.  And Chloe may already have an earful after attending a great deal of weddings and after seeing a good deal of marriages succeeding and failing in her entire life before coming here today for her very own wedding day. Today I will just have one message from our gospel.

st blaise: being careful with what we say - friday 4th week

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Today also as we celebrate the feast of St. Blaise, we will bless your throat through the intercession of Blaise.  I don’t know if you know this person but he is is the patron of all those with ailments and diseases in the throat.  This is so because it was said that he healed a young boy who was dying because a fish bone got stuck up on his throat.  For this he was invoked whenever a person has some ailments in the throat.  Today, after the feast of the Candelaria, it has been a practice in the church to bless people who have ailments in the throat with a crossed candle, with two perdon blessed during the feast of the Candelaria.  We will do that after this homily.  So why do we give importance to the blessing of the throats?  Because our vocation is primarily a vocation that makes extensive use of the throat.  We talk, we teach, we proclaim God’s word, we admonish, we reprove, we compliment, we exhort.  Our throats are important in our vocation as future priests.

psalm 24: when god enters our space - candelaria fiesta

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Our responsorial psalm today is psalm 24 and it is often read in the liturgy of the church whenever we commemorate Jesus coming into or entering a place. "Lift up, O gates, your lintels;reach up, you ancient portals,that the king of glory may come in!" This is sung by the church on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode on an ass to enter Jerusalem not just to receive the acclamation of the people shouting Hosanna but also to eventually fulfill the Father's will by accepting death on the cross. In the Ascension into heaven 4o days after the resurrection, when Jesus, having finished the mission, ascended to heaven to be seated on the right side of God the Father and thus the church once more lifts its voice of praise "Lift up, O gates, your lintels;reach up, you ancient portals,that the king of glory may come in!" Today with Mary and Joseph the child Jesus entered the place of promise, the holy city, Jerusalem.  There he was presented to the Lord, and seen by the prophets Si…

psalm 22: learning from the passion - tuesday 4th week

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Today we get our reflection from our responsorial psalm, Psalm 22.  This psalm is a psalm that speaks of the passion of Jesus.  That is why this is read during Good Friday.  Two lines from the psalm has been quoted by Jesus himself when he was dying on the cross:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, which is from the first line of the psalm; and the words, It is finished, which is the last words of the psalm. And the gospels show so many similarities as they narrate the passion of Jesus and quote also directly from this psalm, two of which are, "they pierced my hands and my feet" and  "they divide my garments, and for my clothing they cast lots."  One author says that the details between psalm 22 and the passion of Jesus has astounding similarities and to think that the psalm was written by David a thousand years before Christ.  It is as if David, by composing this psalm, prefigures already a future event. Our responsorial psalm today reads the last part of th…

psalm 22: all shall worship god - tuesday 4th week

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Psalm 22 is a psalm that speaks of the passion of Jesus.  Two lines from the psalm has been quoted by Jesus himself when he was dying on the cross:  My God why have you forsaken me, (the first line of the psalm) and It is finished (the last words of the psalm). And the gospels show so many similarities as they narrate the passion of Jesus:  they pierced my hands and my feet; they divide my garments, and for my clothing they cast lots.  One author says that the details between psalm 22 and the passion of Jesus has astounding similarities and to think that the psalm was written by David a thousand years before Christ.  It is as if David, by composing this psalm, prefigures already a future event. Our responsorial psalm today reads the last part of the psalm when David prophesied that because of what God has done to his people, all the nations, not just Israel, but all the ends of the earth shall worship and bow down before him.  And this is what has happened today.  Jesus is worshipped a…

psalm 146: only god can be trusted - 4th sunday

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Psalm 146 as I have reflected this morning is a psalm which exhorts us to trust only God.  Man though powerful, wealthy and wise cannot be trusted.  Why?  Because man is transient.  He is here today, he is gone tomorrow.  Presidents come and go, priests formators come and go, parish priests come and go.  Only God can be trusted.  Why?  Because man is finite.  He can only do so much.  He makes a lot of mistakes.  He will always fall short of our expectations.  Only God can be trusted.  Why?  Man is limited in his knowledge, in his strength, and even in his virtues.  Only God can be trusted. When we were young we also had idol priests.  We would look up to them.  We would emulate whatever they do.  In fact we measured what we do against their standards.  We judge the goodness of our own programs and those of others against their benchmarks.  They were sought after as retreat masters, as lecturers and even consultants.  Then the first one went out.  Then the second one went out.

psalm 146: trusting god - 4th sunday

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Psalm 146 has been read to us in our responsorial psalm.  It sounds like a résumé of who God is and what God does.  "The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,gives food to the hungry.The LORD sets captives free.The LORD gives sight to the blind; the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.The LORD loves the just;the LORD protects strangers."   It is a list of God's care for his people, it is a litany of God's loving assistance to all of us. We cannot however fully understand this resume of God when we take it out of context or when we take it as it is.  This context is not included in today's reading. For the sake of clarity allow me to read it, "do not trust in princes, do not trust mortalman, in whom there isno salvation.Hisspirit departs, hereturns tothe earth;In that very day histhoughts perish."

don and carmen

There are so many things in our gospel today, the gospel which narrates to us the wedding in Cana, there are a lot of things in it that tell us what a wedding, what a marriage is all about.  Not as a wedding should be, but what a wedding is really.  I love this gospel, this is my favorite gospel for weddings.  I have been reflecting on it in so many weddings now but I would always discover something new.  Today I am not going to tell you what to do in your marital life.  As you very well know I don't have credentials to tell you what to do and what not to do.  I am obviously unmarried.  But I would like to use the gospel instead to process your experiences with one another, to process your relationship.  You learn from your own experiences.  I am just merely highlighting certain things so that you can go back to these experiences and learn from them.

luke 1: he fulfilled his word - satruday 3rd week

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Today our responsorial psalm is not strictly speaking a psalm but a gospel canticle.  It was supposedly sung by Zechariah when the child foretold to him by an angel in the temple was born.  Punished because he doubted the promise, Zechariah became mute until the day when the promise was fulfilled thus singing this song which we sing every morning.  The hymn celebrates the fulfillment of the promise, the realization of the oath uttered long ago.  God is true to his word. Most of our celebrations are celebrations of promises uttered long ago and now realized and fulfilled.  Christmas is a celebration of a promised fulfilled, the fulfillment of the promise to show mercy to our fathers.  Easter is a celebration of a word fulfilled –resurrexit sicut dixit, he has risen as he has said.  It was not enough that he was risen.  He has risen as he said so.  He fulfilled his word.  This is what Zechariah celebrates with a song – the Lord remembers his promise.

psalm 37: remedies for envy - friday 3rd week

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If you read the whole of psalm 37 it is a psalm against envy.  Envy is basically a resentment, a feeling of resentment because the other has something which I do not have.  Psalm 37 gives us three remedies for envy.  First remedy, delight in the Lord.  Be happy that you are serving the Lord.  One of the tribes of Israel, the Levites, in the old testament were not included in the division of the promised land.  Why?  Because their inheritance is the Lord.  Serving the Lord is a delight.  If you do not delight in serving the Lord, you will find delight in things instead. Second remedy, commit your way to the Lord and he will act.  Let us leave the judgement to God.  We should not resent others just because we feel that they are better rewarded than us.  In the end it is God who will act and so let us leave judgments, feelings of injustice, or impressions of unfairness to God. We don't go through life bitter and angry.  We just need to do what is right – to commit our way to the Lord.

psalm 96: the missionary psalm - thursday 3rd week

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Again, since we are celebrating today the feast of the disciples of Paul, our responsorial psalm, psalm 96 is another of the so called Missionary Hymn.  It is a missionary psalm because it expresses its desire to see all the earth, all the nations singing praises to God. "Tell his glory among the nations;among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.Give to the LORD, you families of nations,give to the LORD glory and praise." The good news must be preached to the nations, the gospel must be heard in order that all men and women all over the world will one day come to gather with us and sing the praises of the one true God.

psalm 117: the duty to pray - wednesday 3rd week

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Today we read psalm 117.  It is the shortest psalm with only two verses, its message is very concise, very brief but still it is most relevant.  Last Sunday I reflected on the one thing necessary to remind us of the essentials in our life and in our faith that we tend to forget.   Bombarded by so many concerns and by a thousand complexities in our life, in our education and in formation, we often forget the essentials.  Psalm 117 bids us not to forget something essential in our life of faith.  And what is that?  The duty to pray. Psalm 117 is exhorting us to pray.  And this experience of prayer must not remain merely personal but must be shared and radiated to others, and even to all nations.  In a sense also it is exhorting us to give witness to a life of prayer.

psalm 40: waited waited - tuesday 3rd week

Today we continue our reflection on our responsorial psalm.  Today we reflect on psalm 40.  The first line in this psalm is a prayer of David telling God:  "I have waited, waited for the LORD,and he stooped toward me."  The Hebrew word used here is quite unusual for its repeats it twice – I have waited-waited for the Lord.  To have waited-waited can be likened to our Hiligaynon way of repeating words to make it into a superlative – daku, daku-daku;  laba, laba-laba.  Here the word used is also repeated twice -  waited, waited-waited.  What does this mean?

psalm 98, news songs for new rescues,monday 3rd week

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Today we reflect on Psalm 98.  This psalm like 4 other psalms begin with an exhortation to sing a new song.  We prefer to sing old songs, songs that we already know by heart.  But this time psalm 98 wants us to sing new songs.  Why is this so? Because old songs were inspired by past graces.  Old songs came out from God's past interventions.  But we need to sing new songs because new songs are appropriate for new rescues, they are suitable for new manifestations of God's love and grace, they are proper for new interventions showing God's constant care and support. This is not to say that we compose new songs, though we can and we should from time to time.  But psalm 98 reminds us to sing new songs less our gatherings and commemorations of God's intervention are all situated in the long gone past, less our celebrations become celebrations of history.  Instead Psalm 98 wants us to be constantly aware that the good God has done in the past, God continues to do even now; that…

psalm 27, the light and the one thing that matters, 3rd sunday ordinary time

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We continue to reflect on our responsorial psalm.  Today we reflect on Psalm 27.  I would like to propose two things. First, psalm 27 says, the Lord is my light.  There are two sources of lights in the Old Testament.  First, the sun, God's first gift to us, let there be light.  Because of the sun we have life and everything that sustains life, there is warmth, and we can see.  God is light, there is no darkness in him. Many of us are afraid of the dark, but in our days, when we are afraid we have recourse to guns, security locks, guards and more guards.  But then in the Bible the antidote for fear is God because God is our light and our shield.

psalm 105,seeking God wednesday 1st week

Today we read psalm 105, our responsorial psalm today.  The second stanza of our psalm enjoins us to look for the Lord and to seek to serve him.  To look and to seek.  Do we need to look for God?  The answer is no and yes.  No, because God is omnipresent – God is everywhere and it means that he is always with us.  No, also because Jesus Christ said that he will be with us even till the end of time.  Jesus promised that he will never leave us alone, that he will never leave us orphans.  It is in this sense that we do not need to seek him. But we also need to seek him because there are times in our lives, and these times are many, when his presence is not manifested, that is, his power, his love, his care, his guidance and direction become unperceived by the eyes of our hearts.  Unperceived because probably they are not valuable to us, they are not beautiful, they are not loving.

psalm 8, who am I? tuesday 1st week

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Today we reflect on Psalm 8, our Responsorial Psalm today.  Psalm 8 speaks to us a very basic truth in our lives, a basic truth which we should always put into consideration in our relationship with God, with the world and with each other.  "What is man that you should be mindful of him,or the son of man that you should care for him?You have made him little less than the angels,and crowned him with glory and honor.You have given him rule over the works of your hands,putting all things under his feet." First, what is your relationship with God because of Psalm 8?  The psalmist asks what is man, ano gid ako, sin-o gid ako why should be mindful of me, why give me the 10 commandments in order that I can live a righteous life, why promise me life everlasting, why do you care about my well-being not just in this life but even in the next, why do you have to send your only begotten Son to die for me and save me from eternal damnation, why do you have to go through all these difficul…

prayer doesn't have to be dull... psalm 98 - tuesday before epiphany

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Psalm 98 keeps coming back and we have prayed it over and over again ever since even before we started the season of advent.  But it is always worth coming back to savor what the psalm has to offer. In our responsorial psalm, we were told to "sing joyfully, break into song."  In some bibles, this is translated as "shout joyfully."  Some even translate it as "make a joyful noise to the Lord," what with the trumpets and the horn joining the lyre, and what with the earth, the hills, the seas and the rivers making noises of their own to praise the Lord. Two points.  First sing.  Whenever God does something marvelous, Israel sings.  Israel did not just recite long prayers or contented themselves with long rituals and offerings.  No.  Israel sung.  When Israel crossed the Red Sea, Miriam sung, and not contented, she got a tambourine and even danced.  When Hannah was given a child, she sung.  When the ark of the covenant was brought for the first time to Jerusalem…