Saturday, April 28, 2018

What is the gauge of real fruitfulness?

5th Sunday of Easter 

John 15:1-8

28 days after Easter, the readings hint to us the fruitfulness of Easter experience.

How do we define fruitfulness of life?  Material prosperity? Fame and fortune?

St. Paul in the first reading started his fruitfulness journey.  From a killer to a missionary, he won many many converts to Christ.  In fact, we are fruits of his missionary zeal.

Fruitfulness can only be possible if we attach ourselves to Christ like the vine to the branches.  Note the inseparable relationship between the vine and the branches.  It defines who we are and what we should do.  For apart from him, we are nothing.

Secondly, fruitfulness is gauged by the intervention of the "vinedresser" who is God.  The vinedresser prunes the useless as well as optimizes the fruitful to bear more fruits.  Have we established our relationship with God?

Finally, fruitfulness can only be possible if we regard ourselves as disciples of the Lord.  We can be better Catholics if we place ourselves at the complete service of the Divine Master and serve others whom he loves.

Only then can we determine our fruitful our lives are.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The call to be a witness

3rd Sunday of Easter

Luke 24:35-48 

In the first reading, St. Peter explains the mystery of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection to give clarity to the minds of people.

In the Gospel, even though some of the disciples were still unbelieving and dumbfounded, Jesus explained to them that all of these have to happen.  They are witnesses of all these.

In the 15th day of Easter, the 3rd Sunday, we are called by the Lord to start becoming witnesses of his passion, death, and resurrection.  How can we be authentic witnesses of the Lord?

First, let's gather the moments God touched our lives.  It simply points out that we're not only ones in control of our lives.  Rather, he helps us, he sustains and he saves us; he is our Lord.

Second, we are to increase our knowledge of the love of God.  This doesn't mean simply we are to know who God is.  To know God in the level of the heart means we are moved to decide because of the love we experience which is so pure and so sublime enough to save us and pardon our offences.   Such love comes from God.

Finally, we are to move our entire being to respond also in love.  A parent who transmit God's love to his or her children becomes a witness of the powerful presence of God.  Every moment calls us to move people to conversion through actual experience of our presence to them.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Ways to concretize mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)

John 20:19-31

The second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.  We remember how Jesus revealed himself to Sis. Faustina in a time of conflict and violence and promoted the messages of peace and forgiveness. 

The rays flowing from the side of Jesus symbolize the outpouring of his mercy: the red rays symbolizing the life that flowed out from the offering of his life and the white ones symbolizing the healing and purifying power of his love through the sacraments.  Thus, we pray: "Jesus, we trust in you."

In the first reading we hear of how mercy is concretely manifested in the life of the early Christian communities. 

First, they were one heart and mind.  When mercy becomes the guiding force of the community, it is bound by deepest bonds of love.  We become one in love, heart and mind with one another.  Jesus, whom each Catholic receives in the Blessed Eucharist binds each member to each other, making them one body.

Second, mercy is manifested in their faithfulness to the teachings of the apostles which are deeply rooted in Jesus himself.  We all become faithful witnesses to the heart, mind, words, and actions of Jesus, the Divine Mercy.

Finally, mercy abounds when the community shares resources for the benefit of one another.  The irony of selling all possessions and sharing them to the needy of the community results in the vibrant existence of the Church starting from its inauguration in Pentecost till today.  Acts attest that "Nobody is found wanting."  This is because even ones helped share their blessings with others.

It is inevitable that mercy will always have a concrete face, mind, heart, spirit, and body.  It is manifested in every Catholic and Christian who wishes to live as a true disciple of the Lord.