Saturday, March 31, 2012

Palm Sunday Mass

To take up the path of Christ
Cycle B:  Mark 14:1-15:47

After the utterance of Hosanna comes a more deepened experience of the Lord not only in prayer but in being.  The key word here is in the book of Isaiah, "So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech."  Even in the face of danger, "So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed."
Such is Jesus when he offered his body and blood to the apostles and now to us in the most Holy Eucharist, when he said, "Take it, this is my body."  He wishes us to be totally united with him in this journey to the Father so we can experience the Father providing for all our needs.
Could we now put this intimacy to reality?  Experiencing total unity with God should lead us to mold our hearts to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate, and more self-giving.  
 Could we push it a little further, to possess that heart that touches other hearts as well, to end violence and greed to change it with peace and forgiveness.  I would like to invite everyone to travel this path and cause the healing of us all.  Forgive and ask to be forgiven.  Aim for the wholeness of one another.  Long for love.

Palm Sunday homily

Hosanna!

On this day, we dare enter Jerusalem with a stout heart of praise to God.  We also enter Jerusalem with courageous hearts in total unity with Jesus.

We utter, "Hosanna!"  a cry of praise and adoration to the God who saves.  We cry out "Hosanna" because it is due to God who is everything in our lives and blessed are those who serve in His name.

"Hosanna!" also refers to the house of David; because justice and peace will once again reign because God wills it.

"Hosanna!" because heaven and earth meet through us in loving praise to God.

Enter into Jerusalem with a firm conviction that salvation is at hand only because of the God who loves!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

5th Sunday of lent, cycle B

The new covenant

As we come closer to the blessed days, the readings invite us to enter God's heart and renew within us the covenant we have made with Him.

It is this context that I recall the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI saying, "By now you know that to be a Christian is a minority."  By this he means that only a few would travel along the road of righteousness.  Choose God!

The new covenant now in Jesus would be more intense and lived out.  It would not simply be practiced externally, but people would know it in the level of the heart.  Check our hearts if it resonates with God's very own heart.

Secondly, this covenant is sealed in the self-offering and death of Jesus and he invites us to do the same.  I recall in the diocesan assembly of Pasig, Bishop Mylo Vergara reminds the audience, "In discernment, if you feel you don't want to do something because it would demand sacrifice on your part, most probably, it is God's will and is therefore authentic."  How true!  We want to take the comfortable route, but we end up losing our very own lives and that of our children.  That is why the real Christians are a minority unless we take the road Jesus took.

Thirdly, when Jesus is lifted up, "he shall draw all people to himself."  This is still an open-ended invitation for us to accept.  Follow Christ's path.  Seek not just to be good.  But aim to be who we really are - Christians.  John says, "By this everyone shall know you are my disciples - in your love for one another."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Erratum

I have already corrected the latest gospel reflection as the 4th Sunday of Lent.  God bless!

4th week of Lent, Laetare Sunday, cycle B

 The reason for rejoicing this Lent

As we go nearer to entering Jerusalem together with Jesus, let us realize that Christian life does not depend on our own efforts.  It is based solely on the action of God to save us.  All our penances, fastings and abstinences, prayers and almsgivings account for nothing had it not been for God who constantly looks after his people.  It is He who has the real compassion for us all and wants to bring us to life.

Realize also the whatever response we have also arises from the direct action of our God to save us.  The seed of faith planted into us, our consciences as we mature in life, and our direct actions in this world are all the fruits of His ever-abiding, constant, and redeeming love.  This is the essence of Jesus' words: "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life."

What we can do is to appreciate all the gifts the Lord has given to us - primarily His very self.  Secondly, that we form our consciences to be molded towards Him. Thirdly, our lives should reflect Jesus and only Jesus.  There should not even be a tinge of self hanging around the self.  For in possessing Jesus' heart we also give life to others.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Third week of Lent, cycle B

Jesus is the real temple

Prayer is an important component in our preparation for Lent.  Such is the spirit of our Lord when he entered the temple - to commune with His Father in heaven.  But alas, instead of finding people who have the same intention as his, he found money changers and people selling things.  He made a whip and drove them all out of the temple, shouting, "My Father's house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!"

How many times have we entered the Church only to corrupt it?  We carry within us all baggage not worthy of the Father's attention; we ourselves are the money changers.  Learn from the Lord, our very salvation resides in him and we are supposed to imitate him in our journey to salvation.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  He is referring to himself when he said, "Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up."  If we are to appreciate the core of our faith, we can only discover it by following Jesus on the road to the Father.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Transformation

Second Sunday of Lent, cycle B


We may not get the exact definition of transfiguration, because it refers to a Jesus-event, but we can get a most likely synonym that fits our nature - transformation.

I will go directly to what happened to us after we (or man) disobeyed God. We became disfigured.  We're supposed to be created in the image and likeness of God.  But till today, we are slowly witnessing the disfiguration of our own selves and no amount of facelifting can change us.

But God is a God of freedom.  He wants us to be free in all forms so we can be free to be children of God.

Jesus fulfilled all these and through his passion, death, and resurrection led us back to God.

But our transformation is still an elusive dream unless we ourselves enter into that world God wants for all of us.

Our mission is to reflect all things back to God, reflect God's love, and work for the salvation he wants us to have.

He wants us to have a heart just like him so we can connect all things to himself, and that through him, there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Journey with Jesus and be transformed!