Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Year 2006!

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Readings: Nm 6, 22-27 / Gal. 4, 4-7 / Lk. 2: 16 - 21

"So, they came hurriedly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby lying in the manger. On seeing this they related what they had been told about the child and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these messages and continually pondered over them."

What are we looking for at the dawn of the new year? How can we shift from desiring for prosperity and wealth to something more profound, much greater, for ourselves, our country, and for the rest of humanity?

Reflection:

The picture of the BELEN is always a sign of contradiction for those who are thinking in terms of more prosperity, power, and influence for the new year. Jesus chose this backdrop for Christmas so that we who are celebrating it annually may ground ourselves in its real essense.

The components are: the resting place for animals, the manger filled with straw, the presence of a lowly couple rejected by the innkeepers, and the visiting shepherds. And at the center is a small, defenseless Son of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes while the angels sing, "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"

Notice too that sense of wonder and praise among the shepherds, as happiness engulfs them upon seeing the child, and Mary pondering all these things in her heart, for the reality of salvation is present in this humble scene, and God is here to bless the whole world and lead everyone back to Himself.

Could it be that this same picture can guide us to face the new year and the next - if people would rid themselves of any selfishness and greed and just open their hearts to the Divine and to others in total generosity? Otherwise, we shall be experiencing a worsening poverty year after year and the future becoming bleaker each passing year.

Could this picture guide each of us to focus our efforts to multiplying what emanates from the Christ Child, with all His love being poured unto us? Imagine every family member, parents and children, oriented to helping everyone, especially the poor, so that no one would be found wanting. Imagine a world where generosity abounds and where selfless love is the true basis for being.

We have so much to do then. Let the new year not be a time for self-development, self-resolution, and even self-survival, but a time of self-giving.

Join Mary as she ponders all these things in her heart, that in this lowly scene, salvation for all can still be totally possible.

Feast of the Holy Family

Dec. 30, 2005

Readings:
Sir 3,2-6 / Col. 3, 12-31/Lk. 2, 22-40

"Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace,
for you have fulfilled your word
and my eyes have seen your salvation
which you display for all people to see,
Here is the light you will reveal to the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel."

Reflection:

Simeon's prayer is like a prayer of a fulfilled father proudly looking at his child, "for my eyes have seen your salvation..." As our parents are looking at us, may they also utter the same words, "you can now let your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation." Their sacrifices have not been in vain.

As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, let us thank God for our parents because they have given up everything only for us. And for them, there is no other gift worth giving except our own lives for them.

May we also align our families with the humble household of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and realize the true secret of life and happiness - a life lived in love and giving.

Finally, we also pray for God's greater family, the family outside our homes, together with the poor, the helpless, the homeless, the sick and the imprisoned ... we are the one family of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May we find the opportunity to commit ourselves to being present to one another and with God.

Fr. Lito Jopson

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2005

Readings: Is 9: 1-3, 5-6: 'The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light!"
Psalm 95: "Ngayon ay isinilang, si Kristong Mananakop, sa ati'y isinilang, si Kristong Panginoon!"
Titus 2, 11-14 " ... teaching us to reject an irreligious way of life and of worldly greed, and to live in this world as responsible persons, upright and serving God."
Lc 2, 10 - 11 "Let this be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger..."

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I pray to YOU today, I give thanks and praises for all the wonderful blessings that YOU have generously bestowed on us each day especially our human lives.

But most importantly, I give thanks for your Special gift of Eternal Life. YOU so loved the world that YOU gave your only begotten Son, JESUS to redeem us of our original sin so that YOU could show the world of YOUR DIVINE and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for mankind.

As we prepare for HIS arrival, I pray that YOU touch our hearts and enlighten our minds so that we could readily accept HIM in our lives and let HIM lead us the way to your kingdom. I wish and pray for love, peace and harmony in our hearts as we celebrate the coming of our Savior, JESUS CHRIST, Your GIFT OF LIFE. Thank you GOD for YOUR LOVE.

And for my final thoughts, this the essence of Christmas as I see it the way I see it:

Has anyone of you ever wondered why Jesus chose to be born on the "cold" season of the year?I've always wondered why but never got the answer until I opened up my heart to HIM and readily accepted HIM in my life. The reason as I see it is is because HE left to us the task of supplying the HEAT through the warmth of our LOVE and REMEMBRANCE. HE gave us the ULTIMATE GIFT OF LIFE which is our SALVATION so that we all could be reunited with our HEAVENLY FATHER.

But GOD'S love is FREE. It is only available to those who are ready to accept HIM into their lives and let HIM lead us the way to GOD's KINGDOM. And unless we open our eyes we cannot see the light, if we continue to close our ears we cannot hear the truth, and unless we open up our hearts and accept HIS LOVE, we cannot feel HIS presence in our lives.

And so is it going to be another "cold" Christmas for HIM? Would it be another season of confusion, when so many of us do not seem to know the answer to this question "CHRISTMAS, Whose 'mas'?"

Have a Truly meaningful Christmas to you all, GOD bless us all!

LOVE,

DEAH

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Day 9, Saturday, Dec 24, 2005

Gospel: Lk. 1; 67-79

"And you my child shall be called the Prophet of the most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins."

In this last day, make a special prayer for Christmas, a prayer to be sent ... to prepare, to teach to live out ... God's word. Whom will you announce this to? How shall you announce it? How do you make this Christmas different from the last ones that you have celebrated?

Note: Attend your mignight masses, and may our good Lord bless you all!

NEWS UPDATE: THE GOODNEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS NOW ON YOUR PDAs

NOW YOU CAN READ THE GOODNEWS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS ONYOUR PDAs

Yes, you can! We are using the RSS feed with this Address:http://goodnewsfingertips.blogspot.com/atom.xml

We shall try our best to supply you with the latest reflection guide before you go to Sunday mass. We will also publish your reflections on the main page. You can also discuss the readings with your family and friends and make God's word really alive!

God bless and have a Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!


FR. LITO JOPSON

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Day 8, Friday, Dec. 23, 2005

Gospel: Lk. 1:57 - 66

"What will this child turn out to be?" And indeed the hand of the Lord was upon him.

Reflection: We might not know it, but the first time our parents saw us and embraced us, they were saying, "You are beautiful! I love you." For me that also means, "I shall take care of you. You will be great."

The time the Lord created us, He knew we would be great. He knew our mission. Pray to be like John and let us fulfill the mission entrusted to us by the Lord!

Day 7, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005


Day 7, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005

Gospel: Lk. 1:46 - 56

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my Savior;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid."


Reflection: It's amazing how God uses seemingly insignificant people to realize his Will. The Magnificat not only reveals Mary's heart: it is exultant praise of God himself, using Mary, his wonderful creation.

Please rejoice now for the Lord calls us in the same way, making our lives most meaningful. Salvation is at hand!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Day 6, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005

Day 6, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005

COME, LET US WORSHIP THE LORD, FOR HE IS ALREADY CLOSE AT HAND.

Gospel: Lk. 1:39-45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."

Reflection: The coming of the Lord is not something sentimental, it is real; a true experience of freedom and triumph. This is because of the power of the Lord in our lives. From the first reading in the book of Zephaniah (3:14-18), it says, "Zion, have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp. The Lord God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his Love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival." And in the gospel, Mary fulfilled the power of God's word by bringing Jesus to us.

Have we experienced this freedom and victory in our lives? How? And have we helped others gain true freedom as well - from the pangs of poverty, corruption, slavery, and sin? Then, Christmas indeed is upon us!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Day 5, Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Day 5, Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Cycle B

Gospel: Lk. 1:26-38

"The Lord himself, therefore will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel." (Is 7:10-14)

Reflection: Now, everything is pointing to Christ. He is the light up ahead, to guide us and rule over us. More significantly, we are included in this great story. Like Mary, we find our own history rooted in Christ. Pray more for this grace of offering our lives to him and make this Christmas really special!

Day 4, Monday, Dec. 19, 2005

Day 4, Monday, Dec. 19, 2005
Cycle B

Gospel: Lk. 1: 5-25

" He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their, God."

Prayer: Lord, like John the Baptist, now I know you have created me and filled me with the holy Spirit, not to be preoccupied with my own affairs, but rather, that I may know my life's meaning in bringing Jesus to others, nothing more, nothing less."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Up Next ... Our Christmas 2005 Reflections ...

Readings:
Is 9: 1-3, 5-6: 'The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light!"
Psalm 95: "Ngayon ay isinilang, si Kristong Mananakop, sa ati'y isinilang, si Kristong Panginoon!"
Titus 2, 11-14 " ... teaching us to reject an irreligious way of life and of worldly greed, and to live in this world as responsible persons, upright and serving God."
Lc 2, 10 - 11 "Let this be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger..."

For our Christmas reflections, click on the comments below and include even just your first names to be acknowledged and prayed for. God bless!

Day 3, Sunday, December 18, 2005

Cycle B

Gospel: Lk. 1: 26-38
"You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High."

Reflection:
If we really know who is to come, someone higher than our worries and preoccupations this Christmas, someone who will change our lives forever, someone who can change the course of our country's history, the time that we spend in going to malls and buying gifts should change into something much more intense, more lasting, more for our children and the future. Christ is the gift!

Day 2, Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cycle B
Gospel: Matt 11-17

"Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ."

Reflection:
Jesus came from a history of men and women who struggled in life and emerged triumphant because of their fidelity to God.
How inspiring it is to realize that God use ordinary people to bring about His glory!
And now he is one with us, "Emmanuel", we are sanctified, and our human history, blessed!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Day 1, Friday, December 16, 2005

Gospel Reading: John 5:33 - 36

Jesus said, "John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light he gave. But my testimony is greate than John's: the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same workd of mine testify that the Father has sent me."

Reflection: Our faith is not only meant for us to savor every grace and blessing; the true sign of faith is when we can give ourselves, our lives if need be, so that others can live." How are we preparing for a life of generosity this Christmas?

Simbang Gabi


Celebrating Simbang gabi from another part of the world aside from the Philippines can be very interesting as well as inspiring. Imagine in the U.S., even though it's freezing cold, Filipinos would still flock to their churches wearing barong while the women would put on their elegant ternos. One could feel nostalgic while choir sings "Pasko na Naman" and "Himig Pasko." After the mass, the parishioners are treated to a Filipino breakfast with the traditional puto, kutsinta, and bibingka to remind them of how wonderful it is to experience Christmas, the Filipino way. The values of the Simbang Gabi continue to live in us wherever we are.

First of all, Simbang gabi underscores the value of sacrifice instead of wallowing in comfort. To wake up every 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. is no joke. But it can be a powerful opportunity to purify our senses, to embrace hard work, sacrifice, and trials with joy. And if we celebrate it with our loved ones and with other Filipinos, it is easier to carry each other's loads.

Secondly, it invites us to a life of perseverance and patience which we Filipinos are accustomed to practicing. This is in contrast with the impatience and escapist attitudes of some of our fellow Filipinos who are getting the taste of the "good life."

And the third value is really important, for it puts our sense of sacrifice and patience in its proper context: the value of our love for God, which is really the culmination of every Christmas preparation. If it is our lasting convesion in Christ that we have prepared for this Christmas, then every sacrifice is worth it.

We have encountered a lot of sad moments in our country's history, colonialism, power and greed. And though it seems that we haven't learn our lesson, every year we are invited to renew our commitment that one day, the dawn of real freedom will come to us, because we have lived a life of renewal, sacrifice and patience to bring our country to freedom. This is Christmas, made possible becuase of 1 simple practice - the Simbang Gabi.

As every Simbang gabi that is well celebrated always culminates with a joyful celebration of Christ's birth, so too our sacrifice, our unity and our perserserance as Filipinos will amount for something good - the true freedom of our country and a brighter future for our children. If we opt to struggle together, be united, work towards a common goal, never compromise our values and allow corruption to enslave us because of our passivity, then we can attain the real bounty our people deserve - true and lasting freedom and an end to corruption.This is what simbang gabi does to us.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

SUNDAY, 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Cycle B

"COME, LET US WORSHIP THE LORD, THE KING WHO IS TO COME."

1st Reading: "The Lord has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken, to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord ..." (Is. 61:1-11)

2nd reading: "Be happy at all times; pray constanly, and for all things, give thanks to God." (1 Thess 5:16-24)

Gospel: "I am, as Isaiah prophesied: a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord."

Prayer: As Christmas is fast approaching, grant, O Lord, that I may not be overwhelmed by the concerns of shopping, food, and gifts. Rather, dispose me and my family to receive the real gift: Christ Jesus in my life, in my home, in my ministry, among the poor, in my work, in my country."

Sharing: Post an insight, a prayer, an anecdote, by pressing comment. Also, please mention your name if possible. Thank you.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005

"Let us Celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and let us worship Christ the Lord, her son."

Gospel: Luke 1:26 - 38

"I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done what you have said be done to me."

On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, let us express our thoughts and experiences on Mama Mary's purest love for us.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Welcome to Goodnews at your Fingertips

Be enriched with the message of the Gospel! Fill this blog with reflections, insights, anecdotes and even humurous but inspiring stories based on the Sunday reading. And may God bless you always for sharing your wonderful experience of the Lord!