Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hoping against hope

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle B
Gospel: Mark 10: 46 - 52

The very thing I admire about our religious conviction is that despite our sinfulness and fallenness, this God hopes against all hopes and puts his entire trust for us to take part in the work of salvation.

This is the very essence of this Sunday's readings. Jeremiah explains God as one who builds despite man's capacity to destroy; and Jesus being God's gift in the book of Hebrews.

In the case of the blind man Bartimaeus, Jesus didn't let his cries go to waste; he immediately went and brought back his sight. As God builds and heals, so we should also be the same in this world.

The only key is to recognize our own blindness. The affairs of this world has been run by people in conflicting ideas with one another and of a set of people swayed by one thought to another. Too much is placed on personal freedom that the greater good is sacrficed; in the end not only persons are in conflict with one another, but countries as well. Philosophies and ways of seeing things become too relative and hope becomes a long way off.

Let us hope that our Christian conviction would lead us to remove the blindness from our eyes. Pray too that this conviction would pour over to our children that they would be able to see what is fleeting and what lasts till eternity, not from this world but also from the heavens above, not what is for the self but would redound for the good of all and for the greater glory of God.

Let's hope as God hopes for all of us that one day, we will attain true freedom in Him.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Who is your idol?

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle B
Reading: MARK 10 : 35 - 45

Language of Media tells us that the usual conventions and icons we see on TV and film have some correlation with the historical cntext of the place. In other words, the characters become social symbols and the storyline influences the psyche of a particular community or country.

Whether a particular character is a worthy person or not, his media exposure causes an influence on the attitudes and values of a person.

If the main character is a drunkard or a criminal and further sensationalized by media, he becomes the icon of the people.

That is why we have to be careful in choosing our icons.

In the world of faith, our Icon, main character is waiting for us constnatly. He is Jesus.

We should emulate him in every way and not the false icons. Only Jesus influences us for good. Only Jesus can lead us to the Father. Only Jesus can make our commitment strong enough so we can withstand all difficulties.

If there is somebody whom we should emulate, it is Jesus.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Getting Back on the path to God

Dear Father,

I think you website is very nice. I'll be back often to read some of your writings.I finally woke up to find out that I have been living without God for so long.When I was younger I used to go to mass and enjoyed receiving God in my life and I want and need to teach this to my family. If you could give me some ideas or help in how I should approach it, please feel free to tell me. I know that I need to get on back on my path to the Lord and soon.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your letter. It inspires me to move on and continue this ministry of proclaiming the Good news through the internet. I hope it can help other families and individuals also.

To answer your request, I believe that there are lots of spiritual readings available and written by very credible people such as blessed Mother Teresa and even the late Pope John Paul II. I am glad that our bookstores are filled with materials to inspire us in our journey toward the good life and to God.

However, may you also find this helpful – that to realize that we’ve been without God for so long is already grace indeed and it already solves more than a half of the problem. To yearn for the Lord and to live in Him is the first step in the journey. The rest follows – the desire for personal growth and to involve others especially family members.

I would ask you to really be resolved once and for all to take this path in contrast with the other one, a life which may be filled with comforts and material things but nevertheless meaningless. Our life just can’t be summarized between living a life of sin and grace; it has to be the decision to something good and something even better. Then the exciting journey toward real life begins.

Being equipped for the journey is the second step. Like in the film “The Lord of the Rings” the Hobbits equipped themselves with that bread that could last throughout their perilous journey, so too realize that it is ONLY the Holy Eucharist that is sustaining us in the life. For the bread of life is the Lord Himself whom we commit to journey with in our entire life. But how can we love somebody whom we do not know? That’s why to compliment the Eucharist, we also have to enrich ourselves with knowledge of His word, empowered by His sacraments, and live out by His grace.

Third, we need to discern God’s presence in our daily lives. Discernment is a gift; it is a desire to please Him, love Him and serve Him. It is to see Him in the events of daily life. Discernment always ends in action born out of a wise decision to follow His most holy will.

Finally, share Him to others. Don’t be ashamed to talk about God to your friends, to you wife and children. Serve Him, especially in the poor and always tell them that you see God in them. Join your local church as well and make a portion of your time, talent, and treasure available for God’s work.

How long do these things take? The whole our lifetime. But it’s worth the effort. Don’t worry. You are not alone in these. Many Christians, including yours truly, are struggling to know, love, and serve the Lord. In due time, we will see him, and our happiness will be complete.

Fr. Lito

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Family is Under Attack

27th Sunday in ordinary time
Cycle B
Gospel: Mark 10, 2-16

Even without the aid of statistics, I believe that most will agree of a startling fact - that the family is under attack!

That's why a brother priest organized the so called "SAFE" program or "Subtle Attacks against the Family Explained", to empower people about the various aspects from without that threaten the sanctity and unity of the family within.

The gospel reveals Jesus' heart for the sacredness of marital and family life. I believe that the love that exists between husbands and wives and parents and children is the closest way to understand God's eternal love, for "God is love." Any means to belittle this relationship degrades the basic dignity of human persons to mere signatures and other legalities. But in an authentic relationship, love is sealed by God himself, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And his love is most powerful force that makes us created beings breathe life.

With this ever faithful love, we become united with one another and with God, the source of all love.

Pray for the sanctity of relationships. Pray to be rooted in God. Learn to discern how institutions like governments and mass media are contributing to the destruction of family through the passing of divorce laws, abortion, and excessive consumerism. Pray most specially for families that are struggling with all their might to keep the family together.

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Don't forget to share your experiences of family unity and threats to family life. Reply to this article. Thank you!