Saturday, February 13, 2016

for lenten reflection, go to:   

http://spiritfireoflove.blogspot.com/





Friday, February 12, 2016

UNANG LINGGO SA KUWARESMA, K


SAMAHAN MO AKO, PANGINOON





Sa pagpasok ng Kuwaresma, maraming larawan sa ating isip – abo, ayuno, mga bawal gawin, mga dapat gawin, mga dasal, mga rituwal.



Subalit sa Salita ng Diyos, ang una nating matatagpuan ay mga karanasan! Sa Deuteronomio 6, inilalahad ng sumulat ang personal at kakaibang karanasan na nakakapagpalubag-loob. Inaalala niya kung paano ipinakita ng Diyos ang kanyang kabutihan sa kanyang bayan sa gitna ng disyerto ng buhay.



Tinawag ng Diyos ang kanyang bayan at pinaunlad sila. Inilabas sila sa pagka-alipin at ginawang tagumpay. Binigyan sila ng lupa na matitirahan at bubungkalin.



Ang unang larawan ng Diyos ay bilang isang tagapagligtas na nagbubuhos ng pag-ibig at habag niya sa mga taong umaasa lamang sa kanya.



Sa Mabuting Balita, Lukas 4, ibinabalik tayo sa isa pang karanasan – ni Hesus sa disyerto! At eto ulit, malaking inspirasyon sa atin!  Palibot ang tukso, subalit nagtagumpay si Hesus bilang tagalupig ng takot at alinlangan. Sinuportahan at hindi siya iniwan ng Ama at ng Espiritu Santo sa bawat pagsubok.



Parang napakagandang alalahanin ang ating mga karanasan ngayong Kuwaresma. Ang ating mga disyerto!  Yung iba, nagsisimula pa lamang. Yung iba, nasa gitna na siguro. Yung iba, nawala na sa lawak ng disyerto at naghahagilap sa gitna ng dilim, ginaw, gutom at uhaw.



Isang lalaking naglilibot sa Maynila para makahanap ng trabaho. Isang babaeng matagal nang nag-aasam na gumaling sa sakit. Isang pari na labas-pasok sa ospital sa karamdamang hindi pa malaman. Isang babae at mga anak na naghihintay sa paglabas ng asawang drug pusher na nakakulong ngayon. Para tayong mga Israelita. Para tayong si Jesus. Mayroon tayong kanya-kanyang disyerto!



Ang Kuwaresma daw ay ang pagpasok natin sa disyerto ni Hesus upang maka-ugnay niya. Palagay ko, ang disyerto ay ang paglapit sa atin ni Hesus upang akbayan tayo at yakapin tayo at kunin ang ating kamay upang ipaalala sa atin na tayo ay mahal niya. At alam ng Diyos ang ating pinagdadaanan.  At matatapos din ito dahil hindi niya tayo iiwan o pababayaan.



Ang ganda ng Salmo ngayon (Salmo 9): samahan mo ako, Panginoon, sa aking kaguluhan.  Nais kong manahimik upang dasalin ito…


FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, C


 
BE WITH ME, LORD



As we enter Lent, there are many images it brings to mind – ashes, fasting, do’s and don’t’s, long prayers, devotions.

But if we read through God’s Word, we find experiences!  In Deuteronomy 6, the author narrates an experience so personal and so powerful that it continues to inspire.  He remembers how God made his goodness felt to his chosen people in the midst of their desert experience.

God called his people and made them prosper. He brought them out of slavery and made them victorious. He gave them a land to inhabit and possess.

The very first image of God is that of a savior who pours out his love and mercy on the people who rely on him alone.

The Gospel (Lk 4) brings us back to another experience – that of Jesus in the desert!  Again, what an inspiring narration. Riddled with temptations, the Lord emerged as conqueror of every fear and doubt. The Father and the Holy Spirit kept Jesus company and supported him in his every trial.

It will be good to remember our own experiences too this Lenten season. We have also our deserts.  Others have just started the journey, while some are already in the middle. Maybe others are lost in the vastness of their desert and are groping through darkness, cold and thirst.

A young man roaming the city in search of a job.  A woman wondering when she will be disease-free again. A priest in and out of the hospital for an ailment unknown. A woman and her children waiting for word about the drug pusher husband’s condition in jail.  We are like the Israelites. We are like Jesus in the desert.

We say that Lent is entering the desert of Jesus and joining him in his experience. I believe that Lent is Jesus walking towards us in our own desert, wrapping his arms around us and taking our hands to tell us we are loved, we are in the presence of God amidst our pains. All these will end, because God will not abandon us in our misery.

How beautiful is the responsorial psalm (Ps 9): Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.  I want to reflect silently on this….

Friday, February 5, 2016

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C





NATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL?






The gospel today tells us of a life-changing incident for Peter and the other disciples. Fishing the whole night, their efforts met with frustrating results – no luck, no fish in the ocean. The waiting, the energy, the expectation – all proved futile in bringing home a bounty. Then their boat was borrowed by a preacher who wanted to use it for his pulpit.



Jesus, joining them in the boat and after preaching to the crowds, showed gratitude to the fishermen by wanting to help. He gave them a surprising instruction to return to the fruitless sea and start fishing again.



It was then that Peter, seeing things in the natural way, explained that they have just done that and there was nothing to be caught.  Jesus, seeing things in the supernatural, commanded him to just lower the nets. 



Peter must have been shocked to receive instructions from a carpenter turned preacher. He was the expert fisherman! But maybe shaking his head, he obeyed. That obedience was rewarded with the miraculous catch Peter has never seen before!

Again, Peter seeing things in the natural, approached Jesus and begged him to depart from him for he was a sinner. He was filled with fear, with shame, and with awe. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him who was so unworthy.



But Jesus seeing the supernatural, assured Peter that there was nothing to be afraid of. He told Peter to prepare to be catching more than fish. He would have a mission to fulfill – to catch men and women for the Kingdom of God.



Many times, when we are in situations of distress, we tend to focus only on the natural, the practical, the plain and simple facts. We fail to dream of the light at the end of the tunnel. We lose our sense of hope. We believe that we have failed.



If we listen to Jesus, we will hear him direct our attention to the supernatural! Look up and expect a blessing.  Open your heart and let the Spirit fill you with his power! Focus on the dream again because God has a better plan.  Jesus does not remove the natural but affirms that the supernatural can overcome the natural.


Are you deep in difficulties that you only see the natural? Do you only feel the limitations of your life today?  As we read the gospel again, focus on Jesus, the Master of the impossible, the one who can bring the supernatural real to us today!



ps. this coming wednesday is ash wednesday. and next sunday is the first sunday of lent. we have an early holy week this year.  God bless!



IKA-LIMANG LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON K

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KARANIWAN O HIGIT PA?






Ang Mabuting Balita ngayon ay tungkol sa isang insidenteng nagpabago ng buhay kay Pedro at mga kasama. Umuwi sila mula sa buong gabing pangingisda na walang tagumpay – walang suwerte, walang huli anuman. Sayang ang oras at lakas at paghihintay sa dagat. Kaya nang hiramin ni Hesus ang bangka upang maging upuan niya habang nangangaral, pumayag na lang sila.



Sinamahan sila ni Hesus pagkatapos at bilang pasasalamat, nag-alok ito ng tulong sa kanila. Nagulat sila nang sabihan silang bumalik sa dagat at  mangisdang muli kahit galing na sila doon at walang nangyari.



Si Pedro, na nakatuon ang mata sa pang-karaniwan na sitwasyon lamang, ay nagpaliwanag na kagagaling lang nila sa dagat at walang pag-asa ang pangingisda. Si Hesus, na nakatuon naman ang mata sa higit pa na magaganap pa lamang, ay patuloy na nag-utos na ihagis ang mga lambat.



Gulat siguro si Pedro sa nadinig niyang utos mula sa isang karpintero na naging mangangaral. Siya pa naman ang tunay na eksperto sa isda!  Marahil na iiling-iling itong sumunod.  Pero ang pagsunod niyang ito ang naging dahilang ng malaking himala ng huli ng isda na hindi pa naranasan ni Pedro kailanman.  Puno ang dalawang bangka at muntik nang lumubog sa dami ng isda.

Nang makita ito ni Pedro, nakatuon pa rin siya sa pang-karaniwan na sitwasyon, at buong kababaang-loob na humingi kay Hesus na layuan siya dahil siya ay makasalanan. Hindi siya karapat-dapat sa mata ng Diyos. Puno siya ng takot, kahihiyan at pagkamangha.



Si Hesus, na nakikita ang higit pa, ay patuloy na nagpalakas ng loob ni Pedro. Mas higit pa daw sa isda ang huhulihin niya.  May misyon para kay Pedro na higit pa sa pangingisda sa dagat – ito ang pangingisda para sa Kaharian ng Diyos.



Madalas, kapag nasa gitna tayo ng problema, nakatingin lang tayo sa pang-karaniwan na kalagayan, sa praktikal na sitwasyon, sa simpleng katotohanan na nararanasan natin, kung ano yung nandyan at kung ano ang nangyari – yun ang akala nating pang-karaniwan na dapat tanggapin at kasanayan. Nawawala ang pangarap. Nauubos ang pag-asa. Palagay natin ay taob na ang bangka natin.



Kung makikinig tayo sa Panginoon Hesus, sasabihin niyang ibaling ang mata mula sa pang-karaniwan tungo sa higit pa. Tumingala muli at umasa sa bendisyon ng Diyos. Buksan ang puso sa Espiritu na magbibigay ng kapangyarihan. Ituon ang puso sa pangarap at mas magandang plano ng Diyos. Hindi tatanggalin ni Hesus ang pang-karaniwan na sitwasyon natin, subalit magpapadala siya ng higit pa  na pangyayari na tatalunin ang pang-karaniwan na kalagayan ng mga bagay.  Manalig ka! Maniwala ka sa higit pa!

Baon ka ba sa mga problema? Nakikita mo lang ba ngayon ay ang natural mong paligid at sitwasyon sa buhay? Basahin muli ang Mabuting Balita, mag-focus kay Hesus, ang Panginoon ng imposible, ang siyang magdadala ng higit pa sa mundo ng pangkaraniwan lamang.

ps. sa miyerkules ay ash wednesday. sa linggong susunod ay kuwaresma na po. maaga ang holy week sa taong ito. God bless po!

Friday, January 29, 2016

IKA-APAT NA LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON K




ANG SIKRETO NG KAPAYAPAAN



Pag uwi sa Pilipinas ng kababayan nating si Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, marami ang naghanda na salubungin at parangalan siya. Mahigpit ang security, inayos ang traffic at pati ang schedule niyang susundan. Sino ba naman ang hindi sabik na makaharap o makita man lang ang kagandahang nag-uwi ng korona matapos ang 42 taong paghihintay?

Ang Mabuting Balita ngayon ay isang pagbabalik-bayan din ni Hesus na sinimulan nating basahin mula pa noong isang linggo. At grabe din ang karanasan niya. Nahalina kay Hesus ang mga tao, puno ng paghanga at pagkamangha sa isang anak ng kanilang nayon. Pero ang kuwentong ito ay isang summary ng ilang ulit na pagbisita ni Hesus sa kanyang bayan, gayundin ang nag-iibang pananaw ng mga tao tungkol sa kanya.

Kung noong una ay paghanga, ngayon naman ang mga tao ay nagagalit na sa kanyang presensya at sa kanyang mensahe. Nagdududa na ang mga tao sa kanyang tunay na pinanggalingan. Mas interesado silang makita ang mga himala kaysa marinig ang kanyang pagtawag sa pagbabalik-loob. Sa huli, si Hesus ay hindi na tanggap sa lugar. Tinangka pa nga ng mga tao na patayin si Hesus, na ihulog siya sa bangin mula sa burol.

Paano kinaya ni Hesus ang ganitong pagsalungat? At ang mga susunod pang kabanata tulad nito? Hindi na kumportable ang mga Hudyo sa kanya.

Sa Mabuting Balita, sabi lamang: lumakad si Hesus sa gitna nila at umalis na. nakakagulat ang ganitong diwa ng pagiging kalma, payapa at katatagan na taglay ni Hesus. Sarado ang puso at isip ng mga tao, subalit tahimik lamang siyang naglakad papalayo sa bagong lugar, kung saan mas sabik ang mga tao sa kanya.

Ipinakikita sa atin ng Panginoon ang susi ng kapayapaan sa gitna ng unos. Ipinamalas niya sa atin ang tiwala at pagsuko sa Ama. Hindi siya nalito o nagulo dahil alam niyang ang Ama ang siyang nangangalaga at gumagabay sa kanya. Hindi mababahala ang kanyang misyon. Sinabi ito ni propeta Jeremias sa unang pagbasa (Jer 1: 4-5. 17-19): huwag maligalig dahil sa kanila dahil hindi ko hahayaan na magupo ka nila… lalabanan ka nila subalit hindi sila magwawagi, dahil kasama mo ako upang iligtas ka, sabi ng Panginoon.

Naliligalig ka ba ng mga problema ngayon? Naguguluhan ka ba at pinanghihinaan ng loob kapag may sigalot sa buhay? Hilingin natin sa Panginoon ang lakas na harapin anuman ang suliranin natin. Hilingin natin sa kanya na maging mapagtiwala sa Ama. Kapag nagdadasala ka, ugaliin mo na “ilaglag” sa harap ng Diyos anuman ang bumabagabag sa iyo. Iwanan mo iyan sa kanyang kamay at payapa mong gawin ang iyong gampanin sa araw-araw na taglay ang tiwala sa pag-ibig ng Ama.


FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C




JESUS SECRET OF PEACE



When Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines, came for her homecoming and victory visit to Manila, it was expected that large crowds of people would welcome and follow here wherever she would go. Security was tight, the traffic was managed, and schedules were carefully planned. What Filipino would not feel blessed to meet or, at least see and hear the beauty titlist who finally brought home the coveted crown after 42 years of waiting?

The gospel is situated in the visit of Jesus to his hometown, the story of which was proclaimed last Sunday and continues on this day. And what a homecoming that was. Jesus captured the attention of people who were filled with awe and amazement at this native son who has grown so famous. But this gospel actually combines several visits of Jesus to his native place and the altering impressions people had of him.

Initially there was admiration, then later on, people felt threatened by his presence and by his message. Today, we hear people doubting Jesus in terms of his poor origin. They were also more interested in the miracles he was said to be performing than in his message of conversion. In the end Jesus did not feel welcome anymore. In fact, the people drove him out of the town, intending to kill him by throwing him down from the top of  a hill.

How did Jesus handle this rejection? And the many others waiting to happen? It was clear that most of the Jews were not comfortable with him.

The gospel simply said: Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away. What strikes me here is the spirit of serenity, peace and self-confidence Jesus possessed. His own life was threatened. His own people refused to acknowledge him. He felt people’s hearts and minds closing and repulsing his love. And yet, he calmly walked past the people and went his way, to another place, to another people waiting for his arrival.

Jesus showed us the key to peace in the midst of the storm. Jesus exhibited how it was to truly trust and surrender everything to the Father. He did not panic because he knew God was protecting him and guiding him and would not allow him to be disturbed from his mission. The prophet Jeremiah (Jer 1: 4-5. 17-19) describes this in his words of assurance: be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them… they will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with to deliver you, says the Lord.

Are you shaken when problems come? When troubles happen, do you panic and lose heart? Let us ask from Jesus the strength that he had in the face of difficulties. Let us ask the Lord to teach us to entrust everything to the Father. When you pray, “drop” before the altar the people, the concerns, and the fears that disturb your heart. And let God handle them while you go about your work in peace and trust.