Saturday, June 10, 2006

In the Name of ...

Gospel: Matthew 28, 16-20
Cycle B
Trinity Sunday

The quickest, the simplest, and the most intimate way to have access to God is through the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

In the name… to start the day "in the name ...", to eat with the family and receive food "in the name ...", to start work, study, and test " ... in the name..." It’s funny how those short words can have the strongest effects and that a day cannot pass by without God in our lives.

... "of the Father" ... as he continues to create the world, he is also creating us still, for he softens our hardened hearts; he molds us "according to His image and likeness". Creation continues as we cooperate with Him in building lives, giving hope to people, creating structures to assist all people, especially the poor, live better lives. With Him on our side, how else could poverty exist?

... "and of the Son"... each moment is a moment of salvation, the moment the Son was incarnated and the world continues to be saved. It is because each day, as the Eucharist is offered, we remember that salvation is possible only because Jesus gave his life for us. The key to life is not receiving it, but in giving it away. We are to die each day for the sake of others and for Him whom we serve.

... "and of the Holy Spirit"... that we know deep in our hearts that all our efforts have not been in vain; that it is not foolish to live simple lives and offer oneself for others; and that our lives will have fullest meaning in love and life, not only with our families, but especially for those whom we do not know; until we realize that all people, whether rich or poor, all of us are one family of God, united in the most Holy Trinity!

Live the life of the Trinity then!

Photo taken from: Monastery of the Holy Trinity

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

Friday, June 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Church!

Pentecost Sunday,
Jn. 20: 19-23

Theologians and faithful alike are saying that the birthday of the Church is on Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and consequently, the whole Church. Others say that the birth of the Church starts at the Institution of the Eucharist, others say that it is throughout the life of the Lord that the Church was born because the Lord called Simon "Rock" and on this rock, He will build his Church.

No matter when the birthday of the Church would be, it still means one thing: we came from the Lord, the Lord beget us. Our lives, our beating hearts, our whole being is an offshoot of the tremendous love of the Lord who wants to share this same love with us. This beautiful God who has no beginning started the whole cycle of sharing His love by creating us. But because of our selfishness we didn't give this same love back to him. Though He punishes, he doesn't condemn. Instead, he sent prophets in time to remind us, until He send His very own Son to redeem us and to take us back to Him. Now, he sends us His beloved Spirit so that we can still see Him and live Him, and breathe Him. Need we ask what life means, who God means for us? This very breath is His life to us, our very own strength that we use to please ourselves came from Him. Need we ask where God is?

Happy Birthday, Church. But I hope we realize the real implications of celebrating this wonderful birthday - that from now on it is not us who live, but it is Christ, God, and His Spirit who lives in us and in others.

Photo: Pentecost - Duccio di Buoninsegna (1308) Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

Copyright (c) 2006
Joselito Jopson
All rights reserved.

Dear Father ...

When the workplace is filled with intrigues, gossips, and backbiting …

I am a member of a Catholic movement of married couples. Attending meetings once a week with other couples, I feel truly inspired and motivated to do my best at home and at work. However, I find difficulty living my spirituality at work where the air is filled with intrigues, gossips and backbiting. Do you think I can live spirituality at work amidst this kind of environment? Can you suggest some techniques so I don’t go down from the spiritual heights I experience during meetings?

Dear friend,

Recalling Jesus’ words before he went up to heaven, he said, “Make disciples of all nations; teach them everything I have commanded you,” that is precisely our mission – to proclaim the good news and to make disciples even in the smallest circle we find ourselves in – in our homes, in school, in the workplace, in the community, in the country, etc.

Apparently this is easier said than done. As we try our best to evangelize people, still our acts of kindness are repaid by hurts, retaliation, and envy. The danger is that we fall into discouragement, worse, we end up doing the things we hate doing to others. How do we go about being Christians in an unchristian workplace? I suggest the following:

First, no matter what, do not forget who you are – a light shining in the darkness. Resolve to live in a Christian way, no more, no less. Remember the words “Do not counter evil with evil, but counter evil with good.” The depth of our Christian faith is tested only in times of trials and not when we feel good in prayer meetings.

Second, arm yourself with practical skills to counteract crises resulting from intrigues and backbiting. Learn psychology, sociology, human resources management, etc. Understand what kind of persons would do such things and the best way to deal with them. Learn from the Lord as he said, “be gentle as doves but cunning as snakes”; this simply means to use the resources available and use them. Act according to the level of wrongdoing enough to correct it and for it not to escalate into something big.

Third, focus on any proactive activity each day. Initiate social activities that harness teamwork and respect for fellow employees. Be an inspiring presence to others. Remember, every small deed we do each day account for something great tomorrow. We reap what we sow.

Fourth, if in case it is really hard to adjust in a negative environment and you sense that you not fulfilled with you job and it is not helping you grow mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually, you might opt to look for another job. But answer this question before you decide to leave the workplace: “What have I learned in this ordeal? How can I end up becoming a better person?” Because no matter how you move from one workplace to the other, you shall always be encountering bickering, envious, selfish people. Remember the parable of the weed and the wheat. But be sure you are a wheat that matures and bear fruit in due season.

Finally, pray. Only God can change people’s hearts in his own time. Also, pray to be a better person in the workplace. It is not because the environment is perfect as we dream it would be; rather, it is because of our very presence as Christian that transforms the environment into something better.

photo taken from:

Fr. Joselito Jopson