Sunday, May 28, 2006

Happy Commissioning

Happy Commissioning
Ascension Sunday
Mk. 16: 15 - 20

Speaking before the graduating class of '99 in Loyola Marymount University, Fr. Thomas O'Malley, SJ made one simple statement that gave tremendous consolation to the graduates. He said, "You are now empowered to make a change in the world through your chosen profession."

Not that we are thinking about money and getting rich all the time, which is sometimes the main reason why we went to school, the good university president gave us a new perspective, a new way of seeing education - asempowerment, to make a change, to bring healing, and to bring life to a set of people living in darkness, in selfishness, and sin.

Today is the feast of the Ascension, a great time when Jesus ascended to heaven, body and soul to the awe and wonderment of many. and Jesus said these beautiful words, "All power in heaven and earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Is he talking only to the disciples, to the Twelve, and to the Blessed Mother? Is he talking only to the present-day priests and bishops, and even the pope to teach and preach the gospel at masses and to ask for endless donations why the people of God sit and let the hour pass so they can do want they want after the mass? For whom are the words of empowerment addressed to?

"The disciple" is a generic term to any who has heard, seen, and believed in Jesus as the Son of God. It is directed to each of us to "make a change" to a wounded society by living out the gospel. Now, it is the Christian who is molded by the matierialistic society; he is molded for the worse. Be renewed by the message of the Ascension. Jesus is talking to all of us, to you and me. Live out and preach the gospel. Share them to your children so that they can share them to their children. Let ours be a generation coming closer to the Ascension, walking towards God!

Photo taken from: http://www.scborromeo.org/images/ascend.jpg

Copyright (c) 2006
Fr. Joselito Jopson

Saturday, May 20, 2006

CAN "DA VINCI CODE" DO ANOTHER "PASSION OF THE CHRIST?"

MediaTalk

by Fr. Lito Jopson

In globeandmail.com, Michael Valpy reported how Sony would setup a website for expert theologians to give their comments on the film “Da Vinci Code” and lure the faithful to watch the movie in the its first days.

“ Hollywood's growth industry these days involves rounding up Christians and herding them into movie theatres -- road-tested with The Passion of the Christ, born again with The Chronicles of Narnia and now squarely aimed at delivering big bucks for The Da Vinci Code.”

My commentary is this:

I think that we should stop comparing the Da Vinci Code with the Passion of the Christ. For one thing, Mel Gibson is a staunch Catholic who wanted to present the sufferings of Jesus Christ according to traditional stations of the Cross. Secondly, Mel Gibson wanted to show how gruesome and brutal Jesus' murder was because that is really what happened; there's nothing too elegant about the Cross, a sign abhorred by many but for the believer, a sign of salvation and hope for all.

On the other hand, there may be no other motive for the Da Vinci Code except pure opportunism. Dan Brown got an ancient apocryphal document rejected in the Canon of books not only because the 4 gospels are sufficient but also the book contained false teachings. It's like the times today when anybody is free to write news and ideas; but someone has to decide which is faithful to what actually happened.

Finally, all news items I've read point to only one thing - Sony pictures, Dan Brown and all others involved with the pictures are desperately trying to save their faces on a movie that’s a flop and elicits no new ideas except to play around with the nature of Jesus who is respected and adored by many through all ages. Even their releases show nothing else except create a media hype and lure the "curious" to the theater, nothing more, nothing less.

As Mel Gibson may have done the film to rekindle the Holy Week practices of Catholics for centuries, Dan Brown and Sony Pictures do not have any motive except to get their money back on something that is just a figment of the imagination at the expense of religion and faith.

Updating the Good News Website

Good News at your Fingertips

I am updating our main webpage "Good News at your Fingertips". Additions to the site are feature articles on "Filipinism" and "Photo Album". Coming soon are "MediaTalk", "Inspiring Stories", and "Dear Father".
This website has been on since 1996, so later on, we'll see a complete list of Gospel reflections for the entire 3 cycles and some other interesting articles compiled throughout the years.


God bless!

Fr. Lito

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

MY APOLOGIES ON JOSEPHDREAM

I am still testing this Feed "Good News at your Fingertips" as it gets into your email. I'm truly sorry if you received more than one message. I'm sure, it will not happen again!

Meanwhile, thank you for your kind understanding!

Fr. Lito Jopson


Feel free to call! Free PC-to-PC calls. Low rates on PC-to-Phone. Get Yahoo! Messenger with Voice

Love One Another


6th Sunday of Easter
Cycle B
Jn. 15:9-17

"Alter Christus" is not just for priests or religious; it is for all of us. We are "alter Christus" only when we have love our in our hearts that is concretely lived out.

As we tend to distinguish human from divine love, remember that human love can only be possible if founded on God who is love. And much of the sufferings and poverty in this world are brought about by a skewed image of love. In the Acts of the Apostles, in the Christian communities, "nobody is found wanting". Pope Benedict in his encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" mentions real love: "It is possible to give without loving; but it is impossible to love without giving." A natural consequence of real love is generosity. Other than this, it becomes purely selfish and self-seeking.

Heed Jesus' commandment to love, "Love one another as I have loved you." Then he says further on, "You are my friends if you do what I command you."

Photo by: Chiesa express online
Copyright (c) 2006
Joselito Jopson
All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Our Generous God


Cycle B
5th Sunday of Easter
Jn. 15: 1 - 8

Isn't God a loving Father? Through his Son, he assures us, "Do not let your hearts be troubled; have faith in God; have faith also in me." In the first reading, when the Christian church was expanding, there was a need to minister to widows, marking the institution of deacons which means "servants". Because God is a loving and merciful Father, caring for us and bringing us life. This is made manifest through the offering of Jesus on the cross for us. Because he loves us.

Then why are we selfish? Altough we do not intend that such would happen, we are becoming too preoccupied with our own survival. Our family comes first before others. Sometimes, we use our family to further enhance our selfishness. Corrupt politicians have their families also. To each his own.

As adopted sons and daughters of the Lord, if we have experienced the overwhelming mercy of God, we don't have any reason to live selfish lives. "The joy of God is man fully alive." Being alive is not reserved only for the few and the priviledged. Survival is not the theme of life. Life is given to all.

Instead of thinking about one's life, why not think about the others for a change. We all belong to one community. All of us have borrowed lives. Our children do not even belong to us. The ones we see begging on the streets are our friends. It may be a long journey but we have to think about how to help them live decent lives. Then we will be able to see how generous God is. But we have to start from ourselves.

Copyright (c) 2006
Fr. Joselito Jopson
All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Gate and the Gate Keeper



4th Sunday of Easter, cycle B

Jn. 10: 11 - 18
Cycle B

It's quite remarkable that in the Philippines, after the Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991, the priest came to be known as the "servant-leader"; that he is to serve God's people by leading, and he is to lead the people by serving and offering his life.

Our gospel for today is about Jesus being the "gatekeeper" and the "gate" for the sheep - two realities of the world of "shepherding" the flock. The shepherd knows each of his sheep "by name"; secondly he is willing to risk his life for his sheep, against wolves and thieves.

Peter, after receiving the Holy Spirit was empowered to do God's work. by his preaching, he was able to add 3000 to the number of believers, all these through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' spirit was totally in him.

We in today's generation are called to heed the voice of the shepherd. What bothers us is that we heed too much of this world's voice that God's voice was drowned to the background. All we hear is the voice of materialism, consumerism, power, luxury and fame. God's voice is curtailed in the background. We have to be aware of this and do something before things get worse.

Secondly, we are called to become His servants, by taking upon ourselves to do his work maybe as "servant-leaders" in our own way, bringing our children and our friends towards the Lord, to bring authentic life to others, life that will last forever.

We will never be exempt from these two basic realities as we strive to make our faith dynamic.

Copyright (c) 2006
Joselito Jopson
All rights reserved.