Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TRINITY SUNDAY (B)


Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Mt 28:16-20

Click to go to << Trinity Sunday 2009 >>

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PENTECOST (B)


Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:1-11

Click to go to << Pentecost (B) 2009 >>

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ASCENSION (B)



Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.

Mk 16:15-20


THE ASCENSION ACCORDING TO ACTS

The ascension took place 40 days after the Resurrection. During that time Jesus through his appearances proved that he was alive. He instructed his apostles about the Kingdom and told them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. When he comes, they will become his witnesses, first in Jerusalem, then in Palestine, and finally to the ends of the earth. Even after instructing them for 40 days, they still did not understand Jesus and his mission. For if they understood, they would not ask: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Until now they were still thinking of Jesus and the Kingdom in terms of earthly power.
The ascension is described as Jesus rising towards heaven and then being hidden by the clouds. Two men in white garments (angels) tell the disciples that the Parousia (return of Jesus) will happen in the same way.

In the Acts of the Apostles it seems that the ascension took place somewhere in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (B)




As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 
Jn 15:9-17 

Click to go to << 6th Sunday of Easter 2012 >>
Click to go to << 6th Sunday of Easter 2009 >>

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (B)



I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 
Jn 15:1-8

Click to go to << 5th Sunday of Easter 2012 >>
Click to go to << 5th Sunday of Easter 2009 >>

“Trabaho lang ito. Walang personalan.” We’ve probably heard this many times in the work place. It is meant to remind colleagues not to take criticism personally—something that we Filipinos are often guilty of.  This may be alright in professional relationships but not at home nor with friends. There our relationships must be personal.

With Jesus what is our relationship? Professional or personal? Close or distant? The Gospel uses the image of the vine and branches to describes the relationship between Jesus and his followers. This relationship is certainly a personal relationship. For what should bind us to Jesus is love and love cannot be anything but personal. That is why when friends or family go out together for some activity, they call it “bonding”, a strengthening of the love relationship among them.

This Sunday let us look at the love that binds us to Jesus and to people we care about.

First, we must love in deeds. As they say, love is not a noun but a verb. A verb, remember, is defined as an action word. Thus, love must be expressed in action, in deeds. When love is expressed in deeds, love is felt and therefore, love becomes real. I suggest two ways to express love in deeds: through presence and through presents.

Do you remember a Christmas advertisement of Coca-Cola? It was called “Coca-Cola Where Will Happiness Strike Next: The OFW Project.” It presented three OFWs who had not able to visit their families here in the Philippines for many years. One was an X-ray technologist who hasn’t been home for 5 years. Instead of buying a plane ticket to return home, he just sends the money for the hospital expenses of his father. A baby-sitter hasn’t been home for 11 years! When he left his youngest son was only 1 year old. Another had been away for 9 years. What Coke did was to make it possible for them to come home. In each and every case, you could feel the love that their presence evoked. I was especially touched by two scenes. The first was when the X-ray technologist hugged his old father whose vision was failing. He said that eventually his father would go blind but he wanted his father to see him before he loses his sight. The other scene was when the father met his now 12 year old son and hugged him for the first time. These OFWs left home and were absent for years for the sake of their families, because they loved them. But now they were present in their families even for a few weeks but their presence made it possible for them to feel each other’s love.

We express our love through our presence. But we also express it through our presents.

It was the wedding anniversary of Joey and Ana. Joey told Ana that they would celebrate their wedding anniversary at Spiral Buffet at Sofitel Hotel. It was quite an expensive restaurant. Ana enjoyed their evening together. Going home, she asked her husband why he chose to bring her to Spiral Buffet. He said that a month earlier, while reading the papers, she casually said that she would love to try that restaurant. He heard it and kept it in mind. In this particular case, Joey did not only express his love through the present of a dinner at Spiral but also through the present of an attentive ear to the desires of one’s spouse.

I must also add that by presents, I do not only mean gifts but things that are given for the good and happiness of those we love. Food, clothing, shelter, education are examples of such presents.

While giving importance to deeds in order to express love, we must not minimize the value of words. Have you ever told your parents “I love you”? I used to give my students this homework when we would take up the Fourth Commandment (Honor your Father and your Mother): Say “I love you” to your mom or you dad. Next meeting tell me how they reacted.” Inevitably there will be those who will report that their mom burst into tears upon hearing them say: “Mama, I love you.” Did you ever tell your son or daughter that you are so happy to have them as your son or your daughter? And if you want to double the impact of your words, hug them.

I am saving our relationship with Jesus and with God for last.

Loving God is not that simple. God may touch our hearts and find ourselves loving him spontaneously. But for some it might be a matter of learning to love him because we can't see him, hear him, nor touch him. How do we learn to love God? Or to put it another way, how do we let love for God develop? Because we are human beings, love develops and grows in the same way—by taking the time to be present to one another. The story of the Little Prince and the Fox exemplifies this process. The fox tells the Little Prince to tame him. Taming him means “making friends” or “establishing a relationship”. The Little Prince asks the fox how to do this. And fox replies, “First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ." Friendships and love relationships among human beings develop that way—by taking time to be present to one another. If we apply this to our relationship with God, it means taking time to be alone with God in prayer.

I think I should end by saying something about God’s love for us. God loves us not because we are good. God loves us whether we are good or bad, just as our parents love us whether we are good or bad. God loves us because we are his, just as our parents love us because we are theirs. A father would boast about his son who plays in the varsity and say: “That's my boy!” A mother would say: “Yang si Teresa ko palaging nasa top ten.” Through baptism God has made us his own. We belong to him. We are his sons and daughters. He has become our Father. But the question remains: “Are we close to him?”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (B)


I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me. 
Jn 10: 11-18

Click to go to << 4th Sunday of Easter 2012 >>
Click to go to << 4th Sunday of Easter 2009 >>

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

EASTER SUNDAY (B)



So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
Jn 20:1-9

Click to go to << Easter Sunday (B) 2012 >>