Saturday, January 26, 2013

3rd Sunday of the year, C

 Read, share, and live the Bible

by Fr. Lito Jopson

Gospel: Luke 1:1-4,4:14-21

From the first reading, from the book of the prophet Nehemiah, "He read from the book, and people listened to him all day long." (Nehemiah 8:2ff)

In the time of Mass Media, and now, the Social Networking, it is undeniable that the word has the power to inform, form, and transform.  The word changes people's lives.

How much more if we acknowledge that the Word came from God, and the word was God.  Through God's word everything came to be.

God is the author of the Word.  And His word is life.

This Sunday also coincides with the National Bible Week.  Here, the Church promotes the reading, reflecting, and sharing the Word, or the Holy Scriptures, more commonly known as "the Bible."

The Bible is divinely inspired.  The author is God himself through inspiration in time of different personages.  But there is harmony and unity in the Scriptures - because God is the author.  And he seeks to give us life.

Secondly, the Word became man and dwelt upon us.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Christ himself is the word made flesh, the church venerates the scriptures as she venerated his body."  May it also be enfleshed in each of us.

Third, the Holy Spirit is the interpreter of the book.  The Holy Spirit that causes us to live in unity and love, is the sole interpreter of the book.  The Him, we begin to understand God's will and live it out.  We are saved as we live out every page in the Book of life.

Read the Bible, Share the Bible.  Live the Bible.

Diocese of Pasig: 3rd Sunday of the year, C

Diocese of Pasig: 3rd Sunday of the year, C:  Read, share, and live the Bible by Fr. Lito Jopson Gospel: Luke 1:1-4,4:14-21 From the first reading, from the book of the prophet Ne...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feast of the Sto. Niño

Growing up in grace and in wisdom

 Gospel:  Luke 2, 41 - 52

This is an extension of Christmas; for us Filipinos, it is a celebration for the entire country dedicated to God through the Child Jesus.  

Last Jan. 9, we just celebrated the Poong Nazareno.  These two: the Sto. Niño and the Poong Nazareno are two facets of the same Jesus who grew in grace, in age, and in wisdom.

What does it take for us to grow in grace, in age, and in wisdom before God and man?

First, we should always focus on the light, not on darkness.  Darkness is what fills this world, but Jesus defeated the darkness of death with the light of his resurrection. Focus on what gives us that light which comes only from Jesus, not of this world.

The light also illumines our minds; educates our lives for good. The truth always sets us free.  The light leads us to the Father's house where God rules with peace and justice.

Finally, light illumines our hearts; our hearts light up together with God's own light.  Obedience is the key to that light.

Light illumines our consciences which is the harmony of our minds and hearts to God.  That is why we follow not only our consciences, but our rightly formed consciences that are attuned to God and obeys his every word.

That child in us should lead us to offer our lives in righteousness and grace like Jesus on the cross.  Then the Christ Child has reached his full cycle in our lives.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baptism of Jesus


 Homily in commemoration of the Baptism of Jesus and thanksgiving for the ordinations of Frs. Michael Israel Ortega and Edmond Reynaldo, here in the Diocese of Pasig

Luke 3:15-16,21-22

We in Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish are deeply consoled.  How could flowers bloom in our midst?
How could it be that in the midst of our frail humanity, the light of God has shown?

We are blessed indeed for having nursed two nurselings in the bossom of the care of this parish,  and molded them to be the faithful priests of Jesus Christ.

Palakpakan po natin ang mga naging anak ng Sto. Rosario - sina Fr. Edmond Reynaldo and Fr. Michael Israel Ortega.

I can only describe this reality of being able to serve the Lord and the Church of molding these two servants to the priesthood through the readings for today, which also marks the baptism of Jesus.

For like Jesus who was baptized, these servants are now totally immersed in the waters of God's redeeming love.

This day should also remind us of our own baptismal promises.  As Christmas has ended, so our new life begins. We are all in the process of becoming new in Christ.

Jesus doesn't need baptism, for He needs not any cleansing. But he does this to fulfill all righteousness, a mark of total obedience to God.  And this is what the new self means - that man becomes totally obedient to God in everything he does.

Our lives belong to God
First, our lives are not our anymore.  They totally belong to God.  How true are Bishop Mylo's words
we are made of dust but are instruments of the Lord, no more, no less.  Frs. Edmund and Michael, your priesthood made me renew my own priesthood; that I am nothing, but the Lord made me everything for him.

Our mission
Newness implies having a mission that is totally oriented to the mission of Christ.
And what is the mission? Console my people.  Remember, Jesus consoled us first so we can console others.  I read in your personal life stories that the journey of life is not easy nor it is a bed of roses.  But you are here today, you wounded healers.  You were healed.  Now heal others.

His favor rests on us
Third, newness implies God's favor upon us as his favor rests on Jesus because who he is and what he does.

Dear priests, I will ask you, seek and the receive the favor of God.  Be good priests.  Share this new life to others.  And these are our battlegear for newness in others:

Holy Spirit - to let the people know that every life is the breath of the Holy Spirit
Water - that we are to cleanse all souls through words and actions, especially through the administration of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation and restore life to bodies and souls subjected to sin and death.
And finally - the fire - to enliven into a passionate faith till the end of our lives; and to offer our lives if need be, to live a life of constant martyrdom for the sake of the salvation and sanctification of souls
and for the greater glory of God.

Frs. Michael and Edmond, always make an oblation to God each day to make us his humble instruments till the end of our days.  May all of our actions be for the greater glory of God
"Ad majorem Dei gloriam!".

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Feast of the Epiphany

God's manifestation in Jesus

Matthew 2:1-12

Do we have the sensitivity to God as he reveals himself to us?

God reveals himself first, through the Gentiles, giving all people equal opportunity to know him.

Second, God reveals Himself through Jesus the Child.  Everything in himself, words and actions, reveal the glory of God. 

Third, God reveals Himself through us, the recipients of His love.  Humanity is one big sign of God's presence.  It is up to us to detect God's presence or seemingly lack of it in our lives and change for the better.