Saturday, January 15, 2011

An authentic Filipino Christian Culture

Feast of the Sto. Nino in the Philippines
Cycle A
Gospel: Matt. 18, 1 - 5, 10

What is the uniqueness of Filipino faith?
Quoting from the late John Paul II when he visited Cebu City, Philippines, "I want to express my deep joy and profound thanksgiving to the Lord of history. The thought that for 450 years the light of the Gospel has shown with undimmed brightness in this land and on its people is cause for great rejoicing. Four and a half centuries of fruitful interaction between the local culture and Christian message have resulted in this harmonious blending called "Filipino Christian culture." 

What exactly is the uniqueness of the Filipino Christian culture?
1. Entrustment of our country to the care of the Christ Child together with the Blessed Virgin Mary gives us a deep sense of security in the care of our loving God.  A child feels truly secured.  This gives us a firm grounding on our faith.

2. The late Holy Father mentioned the steady growth and maturity of the Filipino Catholic faith is truly inspiring.  Despite the many problems we have which stem from corruption, the Holy Father's words of affirmation gives us encouragement that we still can learn from our mistakes.  Again, like a little child, his power to learn infects us all for good.

3. Let me just end with a mission aspect that Pope Benedict mentioned in the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, "Become who you are."  This is also our mission; this is who we are. The result is a growing faith, fruitful in all its works.

May our devotion to the Sto. Nino increase our knowledge and love of God.  Viva kay Senor Sto. Nino!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Star of Bethlehem

Feast of the Epiphany, Reading: Mt. 2: 1 - 12

Contrary to popular sentiments that Christmas is over and we're back to our work and school, Christmas is just beginning.  All the excitement and hope for the New Year is now within us and in front of us.  We only need to carry the Child Jesus to where we are going.  We need to share Him with others.  We need His saving presence to change our lives forever.

We need the star to guide us in this path.  Clarify right now what our stars are, then compare it with the Star of Bethlehem.

The star of Bethlehem serves as the vision of our lives.  We know what we are looking for.  Do we really know what we are truly looking for in our lives?  Otherwise, we still remain blind and easy bait to the lures of this world.

The Star of  Bethlehem makes us "wise".  We can see the whole picture.  We see the things that lead people astray.  Other stars lead us to foolishness.  We waste our lives doing that.

The Star of Bethlehem gathers us to life, to love, and to God.  All people become friends, not enemies, and we commit to sharing lives with one another.  It is like our journey to heaven in communion with God and with others.

Focus on the Star and Christmas will stay with us forever.