Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pentecost, new pentecost, perpetual pentecost

Pentecost Sunday
Cycle B

The Holy Father Pope Benedict addressed the young people last 23rd World Youth Day two years ago with a compelling message about the gift of the Holy Spirit, something that applies not only to the youth but to all of us who want to take Christian life seriously.

Dubbed with the theme from Acts 1:8, the Holy Father inspired the young people to be the bringers of the Holy Spirit to their contemporaries. He didn't forget this call of the young people and instead strengthened it when during the 43rd World Communications Day, he called them the new evangelizers of the digital continent.

So how do the young people become bringers of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Father, reflecting on the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures and in the life of the Church, reminds them to adhere to Jesus as the only one who can fulfill the more intimate aspirations that are in the of each person. Only Christ can humanize humanity and lead to its "divinization".

Second, renewal in the Holy Spirit entails regular reception of the Eucharist and understanding the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Confirmation perfects the gift of the Holy Spirit received during Baptism while The Holy Eucharist becomes a "perpetual Pentecost" because we receive the Holy Spirit each time we participate in the mass.

Finally, the Holy Father is invoking a "New Pentecost" in which the young people must live a life of holiness and become missionaries not only to fellow youth but also to the world that is hungry for the true gifts of the Holy Spirit; to respond with love to hatred and disregard for life; and to proclaim the hope of the risen Christ in every corner of the earth.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our love and God's love

6th Sunday of Easter
Cycle B

Would this count as a typical conversation among couples, "Sweetheart, would your love take me to the heavens? Would we reach heaven itself?"

There is much more than human love; it should reach its fulfillment in heaven. For human love and divine love are one and the same. they both come from God who is love.

If our human love or the motives of all our actions do not reach heaven, better forget it; it is love corrupted; a big joke. May this be a challenge for men and women to stop looking at Catholic weddings as a big expense rather than an opportunity to get to heaven through a lifetime commitment of sacrifice and perfection of love.

Second, God's love knows no bounds. It reaches out to all people whom He loves. So do not limit our love to our families, friends, and close acquaintances. It is false love. We know it deep in our hearts that God calls us to expand our love to accomodate the poor, the sick, those in prison, and simply those who have nothing and start treating them as our own.

Third, God's love reaches within ourselves. We should know by now that there is no limit to giving. To those whom much is given, much is also required. It it from our Lord who totally emptied himself of his divinity to forgive his enemies. The result of the cross is life for us all and forgiveness.

There is no limit to giving. Give until there is nothing else to give. And something that resembles this reality is when we at the end of our lives, when we are totally naked before the Lord; when when would not bring all the things we have received; the key to life is to give everything while we are still alive. For when we have given everything - we will receive Him who loves us totally.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Universal call to holiness

5th Sunday of Easter
Cycle B

Pope Benedict's message on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations underscored the importance of holiness as a requisite for authentic Christian life. From this also springs forth the gift of vocations to the priestly and religious life among young people.

Unfortunately, people excuse themselves from the world of holiness. Some are so critical of the holiness of priests but not their own. All of us are called to a life of holiness. There are no higher or lesser degrees of holiness. To exempt ourselves from struggling to be holy is to open ourselves to the world of darkness and sin. "He who is not with me is against me," says the Lord.

The same explanation applies to the gospel for today. "I am the vine; you are the branches .... apart from me you are nothing." It is a dangerous thing to exempt oneself from the world of the Lord; we become automatic slaves to evil.

Let us struggle through the world of holiness by constantly clinging to Jesus to bring life to us. And let us also aim to be fruitful in our spiritual lives. Let our faith be manifest in our actions each day. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are concrete manifestations of a fruitful life of holiness - in that we give food to the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, instruct the ignorant, console the afflicted, and so forth. ample reminders to us on what type. May these actions flow from our desire to live a life of holiness.

Friday, May 01, 2009

This blogspot is almost complete

Dear friends,

I'm happy to tell you that this blog is almost complete in its Sunday Reflections for the three cycles. So, if you want get a homily guide, you may want to visit this site at http://goodnewsfingertips.blogspot.com, and use the search engine to get the reflection for the particular Sunday.

I thank the Lord for having you as companions in my journey toward the completion of this reflection guide through the years. God bless!