Saturday, January 28, 2012

To be prophet

4th Sunday, cycle B

In the gospel, Jesus spoke with authority.  How did he get to be this way? And how can we develop our credibility as Christians?

In the first reading, Moses referred to another prophet who was to come.   Though we know that the prophecy was pointing to Jesus, we may also continue questioning our role as Christians anointed when we were baptized and confirmed and anointed with oil.  We may proclaim ourselves as Christians if we dare to be prophets in the modern times.

A prophet is human just like anybody else.  What makes him a prophet is his dedication to love and serve God.   If we are not dedicated to the Lord, I'm sure we are dedicated to his opposite.  Let us commit finally to the Lord.

A prophet is usually reluctant take the center stage.  It is always God who gives him the authority of a prophet.  Who is at the center of our lives?  If it is not God, then who is in there?

Finally, a prophet speaks not the language of the world but of God.  He is not afraid to tell the truth.  If we are afraid to side with the truth we are not with God.

Thus, a prophet can be anyone of us or all of us.  We just need to make things clear of the following:  all we want is to serve Jesus; we don't want to take center stage unless God wants us to be there; and we speak the truths of God.  Anything opposite to these, we don't want.  Simply put, we should all be prophets!

Are we Good News?

3rd Sunday, cycle B

This is a continuation of Christmas, when Jesus started his public ministry.  Now, he preaches the Good News and urges people to turn away from sin.  It may be odd, but people turn in to sin and turn away from the good news.  How did we get to be this way?

When we were children, we must have inculcated the wrong values and sins of the world.  Note this famous saying about a child:

·  If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
·  If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
·  If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
·  If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
·  If a child lives tolerance, he learns to be patient.
·  If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
·  If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
·  If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
·  If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
·  If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
·  If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

We should still proclaim the Good News and turn away from sin.  Let us start correcting wrong notions of life and its negativities.   Instead of just accepting our state of sinfulness, we can still convince ourselves that we can still turn away from sin and believe the Good News.

Neither should we repeat the words, "I cannot do it."  Of course we can!  Look at the apostles; they started as fishermen but they ended up fishers of men.

Let's not say, "I don't have anything."  Instead, let's say, "I still have something to give."  Note the principle of tithing?  There's always a tenth to be given for the service of God.

Finally, let's not say, "All is lost."  The only left that is keeping us alive is our faith, love and hope in God.  If we lost all hope, what is the essence of our existence?

The Good News is flowing to our world.  Let us not hinder the Good News.  Instead, let us welcome becoming its instrument to heal the wounded world and bringing it back to God.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Have we grown as Jesus did?

Cycle B, Feast of the Santo Niño

Today, as the whole country celebrates the feast of the Santo Niño, we reaffirm our childlike innocence before God, taking off from the Child Jesus who is our guide and our salvation.

First, he is the obedient Son of God who humbly took the task to save us by  becoming human.  Jesus' humility paves the way for humankind to be saved.  Let us reflect if God can continue to work in us or we have lost our sense of humility.

Second, he is the God who took a helpless stand of being a child.  Let us reflect on our humanity and see if we are still the reflections as God intended us to be.  We also take an active stand to defend the helpless life that is inside the womb of the mother instead of being its attacker.

Thirdly, he is the God that allowed himself to grow up and be our Messiah?  Ask: have we really grown? How much have we matured?  The test is if we can see ourselves doing God's will and not our own and we have found our vocation in this world.

Grow up as Jesus did and celebrate most beautifully the feast of the Santo Niño!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Opt for the light

Solemnity of the Epiphany

We know that in the Solemnity of Epiphany, the bright star gives witness to Jesus.  We should be able to confront ourselves once and for all to embrace the light rather than the darkness of sin however seemingly exciting its world is.

For one thing, light is a combination of different colors; darkness has none.  And if people say the world of sin is more exciting than grace, think of the many deaths they are producing each day.  There is no life in the world of darkness, while in the light, there are so many things to see and so many wonderful things to give witness to.  It starts from us who have no life because we are made of clay, but the good Lord breathed unto us and gave us life.  No, the color or excitement we give merit to when we sin comes from the life that God gave us and we are corrupting it.  Opt for the light which is God.

I would opt for the light because it illumines my path while darkness causes me to wallow in the dark.  The source of light is God Himself.  St. John says that either we are agents of Satan if we continue to sin and agents of Jesus if we serve him.  There are no in-betweens or combinations of good and bad.  The source of light is exclusively God.  Darkness marks His absence; hence, the world of sin.  Opt for the light.

Third, I would opt for the light because of its radiance; darkness fills us with shame.  In the first reading, it says, "You will grow radiant; your heart shall be full, since the riches of the sea flow to you, and the wealth of nations will come to you."  In the light we give witness to a fruitful life which is coming from God while in darkness, we live in shame and death.  Opt for the light.

In this solemnity, all light points for Christ.  Everything is Christ.  Follow the light!