Monday, January 26, 2015

4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, B



DIVINE AUTHORITY


Days after Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, many people are still entranced by his person, his charisma and his authority.  This is not an authority that comes with the power to control or trample on others.  rather it is an authority that flows from the smile, the kindness, the concern and the genuine love that from a very simple man of God.

If the authority of the pope can touch millions of lives, how much more the real authority behind the pope, the Person he came to bring to us, the Person he wanted us to recognize as already in our midst.  The gospel today speaks of Jesus’ authority, one that both attracts and confuses people.

Jesus had authority in his words. here was a man speaking from a different plane, “not like the scribes”. He doesn’t refer to this or that tradition or interpretation. He speaks for himself and his testimony is enlightening and attractive.

Jesus has authority also over the evil spirits. In his presence, the evil spirits trembled. They felt they were in danger. They knew they were conquered. As he healed a man possessed by an evil spirit, the people were surprised and awed.  Who is this? they asked. Even evil spirits obey him.

We need the authority of Jesus today as we live the challenges of our daily life. we need the authority of his word because we our hearts must be opened to the light, to the truth, to the direction God wants us to take.  let us pray that we may be imbued with the true doctrines that we may find our way to the Lord.

We also need the authority of Jesus over evil today. our lives too are in the grip of evil, all sorts of evil. Let us ask Jesus to destroy what is wrong and harmful in us. let us beg Jesus to banish from our hearts the evil of anger and revenge, of sefishness and greed, of indifference and division.  May the Spirit of Jesus’ words reign in our hearts always.


Monday, January 19, 2015

IKA-ANIM NA LINGGO NG KARANIWANG PANAHON, B




HINDI NA SIYA PATAY!

Hindi pa ako nakakakita ng isang tunay na ketongin. Sa Bible ko lang ito nababasa. At noong Kapaskuhan, napanood ko ang pelikulang Molokai, ang buhay ni Blessed Damien de Veuster, ang paring naging ketongin dahil sa kanyang pagmamahal sa mga ketongin.

Sa Mabuting Balita (Mk 1:40-45), masasabi natin na mahirap maging ketongin dahil para kang isang nabubuhay na patay.  Ang ketongin ay unti-unting namamatay sa pisikal na anyo. Isipin na lang kung paano ang katawan ay naaagnas, ang laman ay kinakain ng virus habang buhay ka pa. malungkot tiyak dahil tingnan pa lang ang katawan mo ay tila wala nang pag-asa. Alam mong mamamatay ka na, malapit na. walang lusot sa nag-aabang na kamatayan.

Pero ang ketongin ay patay na din sa mata ng lipunan. Kinatatakutan ang ketongin dahil baka makahawa. Kaya itinatapon siya papalayo, inihihiwalay sa iba, kasi baka mapanganib ang sakit niya. Tila ito ikalawang kamatayan para sa ketongin. Nakalimutan na siya, tinalikuran na siya, isinantabi na lamang ng kapwa.

Nang pagalingin siya ng Panginoon, tinanggal hindi lamang ang kanyang karamdaman. Binigyan pa siya ng bagong pag-asa, bagong pagkakataon, bagong simula!  Hindi na siya patay dahil magaling na ang kanyang katawan. Hindi na siya patay dahil kaugnay na siya ng kanyang pamilya at mga kaibigan.

Minsan ba, pakiramdam mong para kang ketongin na iniiwasan ng iba dahil sa iyong kahirapan, sa iyong karamdaman, sa iyong pagkakamali at kasalanan? Tandaan mo, iba ang Panginoong Hesus natin! Narito siya upang alisin ang pagkapahiya natin sa ating sarili. Narito siya upang alisin ang ating pagkakahiwalay sa ibang tao. Kapag nasa puso natin si Hesus, laging may kagalakan at bagong buhay.

Gayahin mo ang ketonging ito. Tumawag sa Panginoong Hesus at tumanggap ng biyaya ng bagong buhay!

6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, B




DEAD NO MORE!

I have never really met a leper. I read about lepers in the Bible. And last Christmas season, I watched Molokai, the film about Blessed Damien de Veuster, the priest who became a leper when he served lepers.

From the gospel (Mk 1: 40-45), I think we can say that lepers are like the living dead.  The leper is physically slowly dying. Imagine your body wasting away; imagine your flesh being eaten by a vicious virus while you’re still alive. it must be very sad for the leper. Just looking at his body makes him feel hopeless. He knows he will die soon. He knows he has no way out but death.

But the leper is also dead in the eyes of society. The leper is feared because he might infect others. so the leper is thrown out of the community, away from others, so that he will not be a danger to others.  So a second death-while-still living is experienced by the leper. He is forgotten, abandoned, left behind by the people close to him.

When Jesus healed the leper, he did not only remove the sickness. He gave new life, new hope, new possibilities, new start to the leper!  He is no longer dead, because his body is cured.  He is no longer dead, because he can now rejoin his family and friends.

Even if people treat us like a leper because of our poverty, our sickness or our mistakes and sins in life, remember that Jesus is different. He comes to take away our shame about ourselves.  He comes to take away our isolation from other people. when Jesus is in our hearts, there is always joy and new life.

Be like this leper. Call on Jesus and receive the grace of life again! 

IKA-LIMANG LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON, B




DALAWANG ASPEKTO NG PUSO NI HESUS

Ipinapakita ng Mabuting Balita ngayon kung gaano ka-abala ang Panginoong Hesus (Mk. 1:29-39). Una, pinagaling niya ang biyenang babae ni San Pedro. Tila mabilis kumalat ang balita at lahat ng maysakit at pinahihirapan ng masasamang espiritu ay dumating sa bahay noong gabing iyon. Halos lahat ng tao ay nasa pintuan ng bahay ni San Pedro. At hindi nabigo ang mga tao dahil sa sobrang atensyon na ibinigay ng Panginoong Hesus sa kanila.  Pinagaling ang maysakit, pinalaya ang mga pinahihirapan ng masasamang espiritu.

Ito ang unang katangian ng puso ni Hesus – habag! Awa! Malasakit!  Ang kanyang habag ay napakatindi. Hinihipo niya tayo kung saan tayo nasasaktan, kung saan tayo naguguluhan, kung saan tayo pinahihirapan o inaalipin. Ang awa ng Panginoong Hesus ay nagpapahilom, nagpapatahimik, nagpapabalik sa normal sa mga tao. Ang puso niya ay puno ng malasakit sa nahihirapan sa puso, isip at katawan.

Subalit gaano man ka-abala ang Panginoong Hesus sa pagtatalaga ng sarili niya sa mga tao, napansin ni San Marcos na “maaga pa lamang bago ang bukang-liwayway” ang Panginoon ay bumangon na at naghanap ng tahimik na lugar upang magdasal sa kanyang Ama sa langit.

Ito ang ikalawang aspekto ng puso ni Hesus – pakikipagkaisa sa Diyos, panalangin at katahimikan!  Ang kanyang pagiging malapit sa mga tao ay dito talaga nanggagaling. Abala nga siya sa mga tao, pero hindi mawawaglit kailanman ang panalangin at pagninilay. Babad siya sa paghihirap ng mga tao, pero lalo siyang babad din sa panalangin.  Habang nagdarasal siya, lalo siyang lumalakas sa pagbabahagi ng buhay niya sa mga nangangailangan ng tulong at atensyon niya.

Malaking pag-asa ito para sa atin. Napakalapit sa atin ni Hesus kapag nakakaranas tayo ng pagdurusa. Alam niya ang ating nararamdaman at nararanasan kapag tayo ay nasa gitna ng paghihirap. Subalit ang ating pagkababad sa mga pagsubok natin ay isang paanyaya na lalong palalimin ang ating pananampalataya sa Diyos. Imbitasyon ito upang lalong lumapit sa Panginoon sa panalangin at pakikipag-uganayan na magbibigay kahulugan sa ating mga karanasan.  Sana ang dalawang katangian ng Panginoong Hesus ay maging pundasyon din ng ating mga buhay ngayon. Amen!

5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, B




TWO DIMENSIONS OF JESUS’ HEART

The gospel today shows us a very busy Jesus (Mk. 1:29-39). First he healed the sick mother-in-law of St. Peter. This must have spread quickly that after sunset, so many sick, possessed and afflicted people were brought to Jesus for healing. Imagine, the whole town “was gathered at the door.” Jesus did not disappoint anyone. He continued to heal the sick and to vanquish the evil spirits.

This is the first dimension of Jesus’ life – mercy!  His mercy is so great that he touches people where they are hurting, where they are confused, where they are oppressed and enslaved.  The mercy of Jesus heals, pacifies, returns people to normal.  His heart is filled with so much mercy.

But the busy Jesus does not only dedicate his life to people, however much they run after him and beg his help.  The gospel writer noticed that, “very early before dawn,” the Lord Jesus rose and sought a secluded place to pray to his Father. 

This is the second dimension of Jesus’ heart – union with God, prayer and silence!  His involvement with people actually flows from this special moments he spends with his Father. Too busy with needy people, he assigns quality time for prayer and reflection. His exposure to people’s sufferings drives him to pray more. While his prayer energizes him to share his life with people in an intense way.

This gives us so much hope. Jesus is close to us when we suffer pain.  He knows what we feel and he truly experiences our sorrows. But our exposure to our daily struggles invites us to deepen our faith in the Lord. It invites us to union with God in prayer and to value this relationship which will give meaning to all that we experience.  May the two dimensions of Jesus’ earthly life be also the hallmarks of our lives. Amen!