Friday, May 27, 2016

Corpus Christi

Offering

Luke 9:11-17

From the first reading, the Eucharist has been equated with offering.
What is offering?

The gospel talks about offering; from the boy who offered his food to Jesus; Jesus offering the gifts to the Father; and Jesus breaking them and giving them to others.

Offering is Jesus himself, a sacrifice that is offered for us.

Jesus instructs his apostles to "give them something to eat themselves."

The Eucharist is made possible because of giving and offering.  We cannot continue Christian life unless we consider ourselves as gifts or offerings to God just as Jesus does in every Eucharist.

How can we be gifts of God to others?  First, we need to consider that nothing exists in this world that is not a gift.  We receive gifts that we don't deserve.  But God gave them to us so we can take care of them.  Gifts cease to exist if we take it for ourselves.  That is sin.

We need to give them back to God for Him to sanctify our gifts.  But before we do that, realize that it is God who gave us the totality of Himself through his Son so that we may live.  Because Jesus offered himself totally, offer everything to God to make them holy.

Third, we need to break ourselves and be distributed to others.  This is the ultimate show of giving so that others may live.  We offer our time, talent, and treasure to serve others and practice compassion.

Imagine if the world world were filled with compassionate people.  It will be a gift for everyone and even for the next generation.  True, not only physical food would be in abundance, but spiritual food as well, with all faithful serving one another and loving God above all others.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity


The Trinity


John 16:12-15

Everything in our faith is leading us to a silent but sure communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What is communion? It is a direct picture of heaven.  As of now, there are things we don't understand, like why there is poverty in the world, or why we are committing sin, or why we hurt others and ourselves.  But we will come to understand eventually, starting from the desire to know Him as He reveals Himself to us.  Soon we shall be one with Him in a definitive way in an unbreakable bond of love.  Sin is no more.

The Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church teach us the ways to be one with Him.  From the book of Wisdom, it is said, "The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works." (Proverbs 8:22-31)  Know thyself!  We were already existing in God even before the creation of the world!  Know God and we will start knowing who we are, not as persons of this world, but persons of God.

God reveals to us as the loving Father, the Creator; the Son, the Savior; and the Spirit, the Paraclete.   From our knowledge of the Father from the first reading, we now turn to Jesus who judged us righteous and at peace with God. (Rom 5:1-5) How true is this about ourselves?  Jesus looks at us with loving eyes; it's about time we change from vengeful creatures to loving persons patterned after Jesus' loving heart.

Thirdly, God reveals to us as the Holy Spirit. "God's love is poured into us by the Holy Spirit." (Rom 5, 5)  We are persons in love.  All the things we do arise from God's mercy poured into our hearts.  He become healers of wounds caused by sin.

Apply these in everyday life, knowing who we are in God and this whole will change according to His likeness.  This world, once ruled by sin, will now be in total communion with God.




Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pentecost


Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

John 20:19-23


The Holy Spirit enables us to detect the Lord's presence in our lives and in the mysteries of faith particularly the Eucharist.

Every Eucharist, every sacrament, every action in the Church become the living presence of Jesus through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Even our unity in the Church becomes the surest image of God's presence because of the Holy Spirit.

Known as the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and the fear in their hearts changed to courage.  They spoke in a language that all people understand.  Immediately, 3000 were converted to the faith, all because of the Holy Spirit.

Let us appreciate Holy Spirit in our lives as we walk the way of the Lord.  Let us recall when we first received the Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.  We were initiated into God's world.  We need to learn more about the world we entered into, the world of God through catechesis.

Second, we let us be sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the concrete instances of life.  We need the spirit of discernment to differentiate right from wrong.  We need to form our consciences according to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Third, let us fill ourselves with the light and fire of the Holy Spirit.  Let the passion of the Holy Spirit be upon us as we proclaim the Good News to others and influence others to live the life of the Holy Spirit.  Then the whole world will know that it is not just journeying through material time and space; rather, we are journeying toward the Kingdom of truth, justice, peace, and love.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

6th Sunday of Easter

Communion

John 17:20-26

A Christian community would not be exempt from conflicts and differences of opinions, but problems would always be resolved because of love that binds every faithful.

This was the situation described in the first reading.  The apostles deliberated and their decision not to burden the Christian community of Antioch with laws of circumcision and the prohibition of eating meat of strangled animals was met with approval.  The community was united.

In the gospel, Jesus prayed, "May they all be one as You are in me and I am in You."  Another word of unity is communion and heaven is pictured as the "Communion of saints", being united in love with one another and with God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that the communion of saints connotes three other communions: Communion of faith, of sacrament, and of charity.

Communion of faith is unity in the faith that we have received from the apostles;

Communion of sacraments binds us in Jesus Christ.  The Eucharist brings about communion.

And communion of charity, which consists of acts of charity done for the good of all.

If we observe these things, then we become one family of God. "For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church."  (CCC 959)