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Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Lord says ... John 9:1-41


*SUNDAY GOSPEL


1As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. 4We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 


"5While I am in the world, 
I am the light of the world.” 

6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, 7and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back able to see. 8His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.” 10So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” 12And they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” 13They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. 14Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a Sabbath. 15So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” 16So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. 19They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” 20His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. 23For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.” 24So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” 26So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! 29We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” 30The man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. 32It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” 34They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out. 35When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” 38He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshipped him. Then Jesus said, 


39I came into this world for judgment, 
so that those who do not see might see, 
and those who do see might become blind.” 


40Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, 


“If you were blind, 
you would have no sin; 
but now you are saying, 
‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”




I WAS BLIND
In my previous ways, I used to be firm not to lower my pride or admit my sins or faults or shortcomings.  I was blind thinking that I was always right in everything I was doing.  I would stand firm with my conviction that if somebody in my family did something wrong to me, I would not be the first one to make a gesture of reconciliation. I would not even want to talk to her or him for weeks or even a month.  I held so much grudges in my heart that made me so emotionally unstable.  I was too proud then and not even thinking that I was not even perfect, too.  Then I realized I was wrong.   Now, I have changed and learned to set aside my pride.  I even have learned to admit the slightest mistake or shortcomings I have done by saying, “I’m sorry.”  Most important, for all the past mistakes or sins I did before,  it’s never too late to admit to whom I offended and say, “I’m very truly sorry.”     

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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, March 19, 2017

My Lord says ... John 4:5-42


*SUNDAY GOSPEL


5Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. 7A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans. — 10Jesus answered and said to her, 


“If you knew the gift of God 
and who is saying to you,
‘Give me a drink,’
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”



11The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” 13Jesus answered and said to her, 


“Everyone who drinks this water 
will be thirsty again; 
14but whoever drinks the water I shall give 
will never thirst; 
the water I shall give 
will become in him 
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 


15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.” 17The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ 18For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her,

“Believe me, woman, 
the hour is coming when you will worship the Father 
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 
22You people worship what you do not understand; 
we worship what we understand, 
because salvation is from the Jews. 
23But the hour is coming, and is now here, 
when true worshipers will worship 
the Father in Spirit and truth; 
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. 
24God is Spirit, and those who worship him 
must worship in Spirit and truth.” 


25The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26Jesus said to her, 


“I am He, the One speaking with you.” 


27At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “29Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” 30They went out of the town and came to him. 

31Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33So the disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, 


“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me 
and to finish his work. 
35Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here? 
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. 
36The reaper is already receiving his payment 
and gathering crops for eternal life, 
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. 
37For here the saying is verified that 
‘One sows and another reaps.’ 
38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; 
others have done the work, 
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.” 


39Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I have done.” 40When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41Many more began to believe in him because of his word, 42and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

*In deep thoughts …..


GAINED NOTHING, BUT LOSES MORE
I had a close friend  who had financial problems because she told me that she was running short of cash and she needed to pay a creditor, but her clients’ checks were not yet due for deposit.   She turned to me for financial help and promised me that she would pay me back as soon as she had her clients’checks encashed.   I didn’t have enough money to lend her the full amount she was asking for.  I didn’t have any business like her. But I gave an amount that I could only afford to give and help a friend.  I trusted her out of our many years of  being friends.  She gave me a check in exchange for the borrowed money.   When the due time came,  I went to the bank and deposited it.  After 3 days of bank clearing, her check bounced.  I called her to inform about it, but she wouldn’t answer.  I called her up several times, but still no answer.  Until I decided to call her husband and informed him about the problem.   He just promised me that he was going to let her know about it and he would let me know also her reply. Days passed no calls from either of them, until I decided to go to her house.  She wasn’t there even her whole family, but their things inside the house were still intact.  After a month, I heard rumors that she fled the country together with her whole family.   Though I was left with no money returned to me, I just felt sad for her.  

For me, money can be earned again, but trust can never be gained again.   On the spiritual side, she gained nothing from me, but loses her soul.  Besides these, I still felt lucky not to be in her shoes. 

May God redeem her and her family from all their troubles and lead them to the straight path that God intents them to walk in. Amen.

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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, March 12, 2017

My Lord says ... Matthew 17:1-9


*SUNDAY GOSPEL


1Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, 


“This is my beloved Son, 
with whom I am well pleased;
 listen to him.”


6When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” 8And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. 9As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”




NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE
I have a cousin who always goes to church and visit the Blessed Sacrament every night after the end of business day. Every time we see other, my ears are always open to what her heart is speaking out as a mother.  She always prays for her son’s conversion who is becoming abusive of himself. Her son is into smoking marijuana, gambling, womanizing, and going out to bar to have a drink every night.  He never worked after graduating from college.  He enjoys being with his friends only and never even helped her in their business.   Arguments have been the daily happenings in their household.  Whatever pleadings her mother ask him to  change his ways, always become futile.  The more he plays deaf and ignores her.  She never stopped praying for more than five years.

Until one day, she came to know that her son impregnated his girlfriend.  Her son doesn’t know what to do because his girlfriend’s family doesn’t approve of the relationship. The reasons -- he has no job to support a family and he has many vices. At the end, this didn’t stop her son from proving to his girlfriend’s family that he is capable of becoming a responsible man.  From then on and after the birth of his own son,  my cousin’s son who used to cause his mother’s heart so much pain, is now a changed man.  It’s really never too late to change for the better.  The challenge he accepted to prove that his girlfriend’s family was wrong, is worth taking the sacrifice he did and worthy of having my cousin’s prayer be answered at the end. 

Transfiguration deep within our hearts and how these changes emanate to others are more important than the physical changes we do to make  us appear more beautiful to others.  It can happen only if we ask for God's graces to allow it. Refusal to change is another problem.  


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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, March 5, 2017

My Lord says ... Matthew 4:1-11


*SUNDAY GOSPEL


At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, 


“It is written: 
‘One does not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that comes forth 
from the mouth of God.”


Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, 


“Again it is written, 
‘You shall not put the Lord, 
your God, to the test.”


Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! 


It is written: 
‘The Lord, your God, 
shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.” 


Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.



JUDGE ME NOT
There was an instance during one of my high school years that I was absent from class for one day.   When I came back to school,  our teacher in Geometry gave us a surprise quiz.  I felt uneasy during the quiz for I didn’t know the answer.  I wasn’t prepared for that quiz.  My classmate next to me felt my uneasiness,  so she whispered to me and told me that she can let me copy her answer.  I was hesitant to do it because I might be caught cheating, but my classmate was already showing her paper to me.  My pair of little telescopic eyes became bigger as I looked at her paper.  Afterwards our teacher said, “Time is up. Pass the papers.”  Many years ago had passed…


Teachers really like to give their students a surprise quiz.  During one of my college years also,  I was placed in a different situation. I had a classmate in College Algebra seated next to me.  She wasn’t good in this subject.  She asked me if I could let her copy my answers.  Do know what I did?  I didn’t let her copy my answers.  Why? Because I know it was wrong to cheat  and if I allow her to cheat,  I would be in the same situation as hers – committing a wrongful act.  I was a fool before and I realized my mistake. I don’t like to judge her for acting that way.  In the same way, I don’t like to be judged by anybody.  Mistakes happen, if we allow it to happen. Temptation really abounds in every corner. I repented and that's why I don’t like to be an instrument to others committing a wrongdoing. 


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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