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Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 3: 1-12



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's Bulletin
  
*SUNDAY GOSPEL
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

A voice of one crying out in the desert, 
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist.  His food was locusts and wild honey.  At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them,  “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.  And do not presume to say to yourselves,  “We have Abraham as our father.”  For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.  Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.  Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.  I am not worthy to carry His sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fan is in His hand.  He will clear His wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”




BEING THE MESSENGER AMONG US

In our life, there is always a member of the family or other people who tells us what is right and what is wrong.  Each of us can act as messenger of God to each other in order to guide, enlighten, and help our brothers, sisters, parents, friends, relatives, and others who are in need or in trouble.   We need to live in righteousness in order for others to follow our good example and live the same way.   But there are people who refuse to live in righteousness probably because they lack knowledge or no one cares to tell them, or just plainly being stubborn to accept that what they are doing is wrong.  There are also other people who influence us  more to do something wrong or just condone the wrongdoings under certain circumstances.

Social influences affect our choices or preferences more than our family does, thereby causing more disagreements and disunity among the family members.  It primarily affects our attitudes towards our relationship with each other, thereby loosing respect, trust, and love for one another.  We also become helpless in certain situations when a family member doesn’t listen or respect us anymore.  In times of trouble, who is really to blame? In times of need, to whom do we go?

My close friend, who is a widow, once cried out to me about her son.  She said her eldest son told her that he likes her girlfriend to stay with him or live as husband and wife without getting married yet.  Her son informed her that his girlfriend is three months pregnant already.  She was really surprised and got mad.  At first,  she didn’t like to agree, but at the end, she agreed because she took pity of her son’s girlfriend.   She lost her job and can no longer work for the meantime because of her situation.  Besides,  her parents didn’t approve their relationship, so she was cast out by her own parents upon learning her situation.  In addition to the problem,  her son has no job yet to provide a living for his future family because he hasn’t finished his college studies yet.    “This is a terrible problem and I still have other responsibility to my other children to provide their needs. I’m the sole breadwinner in the family.  How can I handle this” my friend complained. 

As a friend, it was so hard to judge her decision regarding her eldest son.  Though her heart is full of compassion, she really doesn’t like to tolerate her son’s wrongdoings.  I just left her house with a heavy heart, too, but promised to pray for her and offer his son a job, if there is available in my other friend’s company.     


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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Lord says ... Matthew 24:37-44



Photo Courtesy of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church's Bulletin

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

Jesus said to His disciples:  “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.  They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.  So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be out in the field;  one will be taken and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill;  one will be taken, and one will be left. 


Therefore, stay awake!  
For you do not know 
on which day your Lord will come.  

Be sure of this:  if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.  So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

*In deep thoughts

ANYTHING IS INEVITABLE
There are things that we failed to realize that anything is inevitable.  Like, accidents can happen to anyone that can lead to damage and even death.  Its effects can cause us  emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually down to our knees.  But the big question we need to ask is this – How much are we prepared for anything?  My mother was not prepared when my father died early after more than 5 years of marriage.  We and his own family weren’t prepared when my eldest brother died.  I wasn’t prepared when my teacher gave us a surprise quiz in Geometry during my high school days. That’s why I got a failing grade for that.  My sister wasn’t prepared that day when her car was wrecked because someone hit her car at the back along the highway.  My brother wasn’t prepared when the Asian Economic Crisis happened that led him to almost bankruptcy during his real estate venture. My close friend wasn't prepared when her marriage collapsed and lost everything -- her house, job, and her children.    

In reality, no one can know what the future lies ahead of us.  Every day there is a risk and a blessing.  Both blessing and risk take many forms in our lives.  Whatever it is, the most important things to consider are to be thankful and appreciate what we have at the moment and take precautions on what we don’t have that will lead us to go astray.  


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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a