Sunday, February 21, 2010

The real score of temptations

First Sunday of Lent, cycle C
Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Photo courtesy of Cris Cook

Temptations may be blessings in disguise. They eventually test the quality of our faith and lead us to perfection. There are three levels of temptation and how we can rise above them.

First: the temptation to wealth - the goal is to subdue our cravings to satisfy our senses and put order into material things. "Not only on bread does man live but on every word the comes from the mouth of God." Poverty should help us realize that despite the things that give us comfort, it is only God who gives us true life.

Second: the temptation to power - the mountain is a symbol of the meeting place between God and man. But when man plays around with power, then he starts to corrupt himself, making him insensitive to the powerless and oppressed. "God alone shall you adore" was Jesus' response to the lure of power. God alone must we serve. A way to counteract our insatiable desire for power is to place ourselves at the service of everyone else, most specially the poor.

Finally, the temptation to serve oneself - Pride. The last test is man challenging the very power of God as if he were at par with Him. "You shall not test the Lord your God." Utmost humility and oblation are effective weapons to the temptation to put oneself at the center of things.

The result should be a life that denounces itself of the things of this world and commits itself unreservedly to the service and adoration of the Divine Majesty. Life for many is obtained, not death.

Monday, February 15, 2010

To be truly blessed

6th Sunday in Ordinary time, Cycle C
Gospel:LUKE 6 : 17, 20 - 26

"How do we really help the poor?" But I think the better question is "How did poverty come in the first place?"

I'm sure when God created the world, He did not intend it to be so. Thus, poverty is an offshoot of sin in the world, a deviation from God's plan. Man has a lot to do in building a world where people abuse and kill each other, accumulate wealth for himself, leaving others in the dark to suffer and die.

Jesus came into the world to change all that. He did it through his own poverty, passion, and death to be with us through and through. But as he resurrected, so too we shall be resurrected with him.

Thus, the beatitudes make sense; there is hope for the poor, for those who are hungry, or suffering, or persecuted simply because they all have Jesus as their source of hope and consolation. This is sharply in contrast to those who are already wallowing in wealth, food, comforts, and laughter. If they have all this without totally depending on God, everything they have or worked for come to naught.

Rely totally on God then; learn to live the simple lifestyle and whenever possible, offer everything you have to let others specially the poor live. Be counted among the saints in heaven who are totally selfless, self-giving, and are now interceding for us. Then we shall be truly blessed.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

God's word vs. man's word

5th Sunday in ordinary time
Cycle C
Gospel: Luke 5: 1-11
Photo courtesy of the

Perhaps we can infer that there is a tension going on between God's word and man's.

In the age of relativism, there is no absolute truth anymore; rather, truth is relative and that people's thoughts are relegated to opinions.

But God's word is still supreme, even before time started till the Covenant. Its offers life to us and serves as guidepost to giving life to others and giving Glory to God.

This word is brought to fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ, "The Word made flesh" who dwelt among us. We in conscience cannot admit that what Jesus said and did in this world is a product of mere opinion, and that his truth is as good as anybody else.

Let us admit that fact that if people are left on his or her ways, this world will eventually collapse. But God's word will live forever. Much more, it is found in the hearts of dedicated Christians who stand by Jesus and do His will on earth.

Let us always keep God's word alive!