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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 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 23: 35-43



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

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,  “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the chosen One, the Christ of God.”  Even the soldiers jeered at Him.  As they approached to offer Him wine they called out,  


“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”  

Above Him there was an inscription that read,  “This is the King of the Jews.” 
 
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,  “Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us.”  The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,  “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”  Then he said,  “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  He replied to him,  “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 




INSULT

Have you ever been insulted, even once in your life?  It is really very painful to be insulted by any person regardless of the cause or purpose it was done.  They say, any insulting words uttered by someone against you, remain to be remembered for a longer period of time than when you are physically harmed. 


Accidentally, I met a cousin of mine in a mall.  We haven’t heard from each other for a long time.  We were close during our childhood days till teenage years. During vacation, when our grandparents were still alive, I would go and visit her in their house which was near the compound area of our grandparents.  She used to live in a country, but when she got married, she and the whole family moved to the city.  I never heard of her since then.  I invited her to dine for a long chat in the fast food center of the mall.  While enjoying eating our food, she narrated to me that she left the house of her brother (my cousin also) already because he insulted her.  He told her that the reason why she came back to the house was --- that she was just after their mother’s inheritance.  She had a job before, but quit upon learning her mother’s health condition and decided to move in to take of her for several months.  She is a widow now. But one thing led to another, an argument between her and her brother came up resulting to the harsh words uttered by her brother.   She just cried without saying anymore to her brother to further contradict his claim and left without his knowledge.  But she received a text message from him that he was sorry for  insulting her.   She told me that she has been praying for his conversion and she has never talked to him again since then.   She has a job again and living peacefully by herself now in an apartment after leaving her brother’s house.  She visits her mother once every two weeks  in her house in the country. 

Being insulted is like a sword that can pierce anyone's heart, just as, when our Lord, Jesus Christ, was insulted at the time of His suffering during the crucifixion, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself."

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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 13, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 21:5-19



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

*SUNDAY GOSPEL
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said,  “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked Him,  “Teacher, when will this happen?  And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”  He answered,  “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am He,’  and ‘The time has come,’  Do not follow them!  When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified;  for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” 

Then He said to them,  “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place;  and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.  Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.  You will even be handed over by your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.  By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”





ONE AGAINST ANOTHER

The reality of life shows always that misunderstanding leading to arguments and disunity happens in our daily lives.  It is always an inevitable thing because of different issues and purposes concerning people themselves.  Family is the central unit of the society.  One against another over certain family issue is not impossible to happen in every family household.   Husband against wife, daughter against mother, son against father, sibling against sibling,  daughter-in-law against mother-in-law, son-in-law against father-in-law, nephew against aunt, niece against uncle, etc.  But even friends can part their ways also due to misunderstanding.   Generally speaking, misunderstanding happens because of differences in many issues, like  religion, beliefs, values, views, preferences, family, etc.  Never a day in a family household that arguments don’t happen even for a simple reason.   The effects on the hearts and minds of every person are devastating that can even trigger to cause someone to kill another person, if not controlled. 


I had a friend whose cousin was put to jail due to misunderstanding while having a drink with his friends.  They argued for a certain reason that even my friend didn’t know why his cousin shot his friend in front of other friends over a certain family matter.  His cousin even went home, which is just two blocks away from where they were having a drink, just to get the gun of his father.  His cousin’s friend didn’t die because his cousin aimed the gun at the victim’s thigh only.  When the police came, the victim had his cousin arrested.  The victim was brought to the hospital afterwards.   

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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 6, 2016

My Lord says ... Luke 20:27-38



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

*SUNDAY GOSPEL 
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,  “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, if someone’s brother dies leaving a wife, but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;  the first married a woman, but died childless.  Then the second and the third married her, and likewise al the seven died childless.  Finally the woman also died.  Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?  For all seven had been married to her.” 

Jesus said to them,  “The children of this age marry and remarry, but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.  They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.  That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;  and 


"He is not God of the dead, 
but of the living, 
for to Him all are alive.”



GOD OF THE LIVING

Many years ago  when my son was still small, I had an experience when God asked me this question,  “Are you going to give up already?”  I went to a church after having a terrible argument with my ex-husband.  I drove my car and went to the nearest church I could find.    I almost passed that church already when I suddenly thought of stepping the brake and turned my car around.  There was a mass that already ended and I just took a chance of praying for a while.  The environment in the church was noisy because the people were leaving the church, but I disregarded that.  I knelt down and prayed, desperately crying out to God for the first time about my ex-husband’s attitude and behavior.  For so many years of my life living with him, I never cried out to God about my inner hurts.  All those years of struggles I tried to have a good family and maintain the harmony.   In that moment of desperately crying out to God with my head down, crying like a child,  I was really surprised that I heard a clear voice of a man for the first time and asked me in my own native language, “Suko ka na ba?” (Translation - “Are you considering giving up already?”)  After hearing that clear voice of a man,  I raised my head and realized that I was kneeling in front of the image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I looked around to see if there was another person beside me praying, but there was none!!!  

I still believe that God spoke to me and He is the REAL GOD OF THE LIVING.  He spoke to one of my sons-in-law, too, when he was praying in the adoration chapel and He said to my son-in-law, “Talk to the mother.  She has been praying to me.”  My God was  referring to me because my son-in-law told me about it, even when I was still in the USA and he is in our native country. 

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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