Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Power to change the world

Ascension Sunday
Photo courtesy of: Fr. JC Maximillian

Speaking before the graduating class of '99 in Loyola Marymount University, Fr. Thomas O'Malley, SJ said something that gave tremendous consolation to the graduates. He said, "You are now empowered to make a change in the world through your chosen profession." Not that we are thinking about money and getting rich all the time, which is the main reason why we went to school, he gave us a new perspective, a new way of seeing education - as empowerment, to make a change, to bring healing, and to bring life to a wounded set of people living in darkness, in selfishness, and sin.

Today is the feast of the Ascension, a time when Jesus ascended to heaven, body and soul to the awe and wonderment of many. Jesus said these beautiful words, "All power in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." He is not only talking to the disciples, to the Twelve, and to the Blessed Mother. He is talking to us. "The disciple" is a generic term to any who has heard, seen, and believed in Jesus as the Son of God. It is directed to each of us to "make a change" to a wounded society by living out the gospel. Live out and preach the gospel. Share them to your children so that they can share them to the next generation. Let our lives ascend as Jesus did.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Gate and the Gatekeeper

4th Sunday of Easter
Jn. 10: 11 - 18
Photo courtesy of: fleurdelismedia.com

Back in 1991, in a resolution of the Plenary Council of the Philippines, the priest came to be known as the "servant-leader"; that he is to serve God's people by leading, and he is to lead the people by serving and offering his life.

Our gospel for today is about Jesus being the "gatekeeper" and the "gate" for the sheep - two realities of the world of "shepherding" the flock. The shepherd knows each of his sheep "by name"; secondly he is willing to risk his life for his sheep, against wolves and thieves.

Peter, after receiving the Holy Spirit was empowered to do God's work. by his preaching, he was able to add 3000 to the number of believers, all these through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' spirit was totally in him.

We in today's generation are called to heed the voice of the shepherd. What bothers us is that we heed too much of this world's voice that God's voice was drowned to the background. All we hear is the voice of materialism, consumerism, power, luxury and fame. God's voice is curtailed in the background. We have to be aware of this and do something before things get worse.

Secondly, we are called to become His servants, by taking upon ourselves to do his work maybe as "servant-leaders" in our own way, bringing our children and our friends towards the Lord, to bring authentic life to others, life that will last forever.

We will never be exempt from these two basic realities as we strive to make our faith dynamic