Saturday, January 28, 2017

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Transformation

Matthew 5:1-12

What makes a transformed people?

In the Book of the prophet Zephaniah, transformation occurs when people become humble, obey the commandments of God, and live out his mercy.

Does it mean we are already transformed?  No.  But we are in the process of being transformed the moment we humble ourselves and learn from God.

Jesus went a step further in the process of transformation.  It's not only in following the commandments but in possessing the very heart of God.  The Beatitudes are the keys to God's heart as he plants them in ours.

Jesus may be poor; but his wealth is his Father.  We may learn by redefining our true wealth and proclaiming our poverty before the world.

Jesus' heart is gentle; God is patient for our transformation.

Jesus' heart is totally dependent on his Father.  Only God is his joy and consolation.

Jesus is merciful; his heart is pure; his heart is filled with love.  God is pure "hesed" or mercy; there is not a tinge of any evil intention for humankind.  His intention is to connect people with one another and with his Father.

Finally, Jesus shields those who are persecuted because of how they give witness to God's justice and mercy; they mirror God's salvation.

Are we already perfect and holy?  No. Not until our hearts are transformed into the very heart of Jesus, filled with mercy and compassion for others.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Epiphany of the Lord


Light


Matthew 2:1-12

In the Solemnity of the Epiphany, there are three things that we can reflect about the light:

First, light gives direction

It signifies clarity of sight; it also gives witness to the truth.

The opposite of light is darkness.  Sinners want to dwell in the dark so their actions would not be seen.  Darkness gives way to illusions and lies while light signifies truth and brightness.

Second, light gives witness to communion

In the light people gather.  This is the way of the Church.  From the book of Isaiah, the prophet invites the people to look around; there is a great gather of people coming back home.  This is the vision of heaven.  This is a state where love dwells and families are built.  The opposite of this is individualism and separation, when the rich are separated from the poor, powerful from the powerless, the privileged and the underprivileged.

Third, light gives way to offering

The disposition of people's hearts are joyfulness and thanksgiving.  People generously offer gifts.  God resides in the hearts of people.  Mercy abounds.

The opposite is selfishness and greed.  We are back to sin.  In the dark there is no conversion.  In the light, look again, many are witnessing to the glory of Jesus.

As Christmas ends, know that the light has shown upon us.  It's time we let the light of hearts guide others, especially the children.