Thursday, February 19, 2015

IKALAWANG LINGGO NG KUWARESMA


ANG PAGSUBOK SA DAAN NG PAGBABAGO

Nakabasa ako ng isang mensahe tungkol sa Kuwaresma: naglalagay tayo ng abo sa noo hindi upang ipakita na tayo ay banal kundi upang ipahayag na tayo’y makasalanang nangangailangan ng habag ng Diyos.

Totoo nga na ang Kuwaresma ay taunang paalala na kailangan nating magbago.  Nakikita natin ang ating kamalian at tinatanggap natin na wala tayong lakas na maging tulad ng pinapangarap ng Diyos para sa ating buhay. Kaya sa Kuwaresma, hiling natin sa Panginoon na makilakbay sa atin, basbasan tayo, maging mahabagin sa atin, palayain tayo sa ating nakaraan at akayin tayo sa buhay na bago.

Ang pagbabagong-anyo ni Hesus sa bundok ay tila baga napakadali at walang kahirap-hirap. Nagdasal lang at tumayo sa tuktok at ayun na! – nagbagong anyo na siya. Naging maliwanag at nagniningning siya. Pero hindi natin nakikita sa tagpong ito ang bumabalot na mga karanasang naghihintay sa kanya – ang pagbatikos ng mga kaaway, ang pagtataksil ng kaibigan, ang pagtalikod ng mga disipulo, ang sakit na hindi maunawaan, ang pagkawala ng lahat ng bagay na mahalaga sa kanya.

Ang pagbabagong anyo ni Hesus ay may malaking halaga.  Nasa likuran niya ang krus sa bawat sandali.

Ganun din sa ating pagbabagong anyo, sa ating pakikibakang magbago. Kapag gusto mong magbago, hindi ba may mga taong hindi nakakaunawa?  May mga taong ayaw kang suportahan?  Sa halip nandiyan sila upang pahinain ang loob mo. Pag-uusapan at ichi-chismis ka pa. Pagtatawanan ka at tatawaging baliw.  Huhusgahan ka na hindi ka na puwedeng magbago. Kung mga diyos sila, tiyak na wala ka na ngang pag-asa.

Pero iba ang Diyos. Tingnan natin ang Roma 8:31-34. Sabi ni San Pablo: sino ba ang mag-aakusa sa atin? Sino ang huhusga sa atin? Ang Diyos ang nagpapatawad. Si Hesus mismo ay namatay at nabuhay para sa atin at laging nagdarasal para sa atin.

Naranasan siguro ni San Pablo na magkaroon ng mga taga-batikos noong magpasiya siyang sumunod sa Panginoon. Tiyak na sa Diyos lamang siya nakasumpong ng tunay na suporta at lakas.  Kaya nasabi niya: Kung kasama natin ang Diyos, sino ang makakalaban sa atin?

Panginoon, nais ko pong magbago. Nais ko po ng bagong buhay. Salamat po sa inyong pang-unawa. Salamat po sa inyong pagmamahal. Ikaw lamang ang aking pakikinggan.


SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT


THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE


I saw a caption about Lent that says: We put ashes on our forehead not to proclaim our holiness but to show that we are sinners in need of God’s mercy.

Indeed Lent is a annual reminder of our need for change.  We realize our faults and accept that by our own efforts we cannot become who God wants us to be.  So in Lent we ask the Lord to walk with us, to bless us, to be merciful to us and to liberate us from the past and usher us into the new.

The change Jesus experienced on Mt Tabor seems effortless and pretty easy. He just prayed and then stood there and voila! – he was totally transfigured before his disciples.  He became exceedingly shining and bright.  What we do not see here is that this change is a prelude to the experiences awaiting him – the attacks of his enemies, the betrayal of his friend, the abandonment of his disciples, the pain of being misunderstood, the loss of most things dear to him.

Jesus’ transfiguration came with a high price.  The cross was lurking behind him all the time.

So it is with our own transfiguration, our own struggle to change. When we want to change for the better, not everybody appreciates our decision; not everybody supports our plan.  In fact, there will always be people who will discourage us. They will speak against us and gossip about us.  They will laugh at us and call us crazy.  They will judge us and say that we cannot change anymore.  If they were gods, they would not allow us to change a single bit.

But God is different.  Look at the second reading today, Pauls letter to the Romans (chapter 8: 31-43).  “Who will accuse us? Who will condemn us? God is the one who justifies (forgives, makes holy). Jesus died and rose for us and intercedes for us.”  Surely God is the first one who supports our decision to change. 

St. Paul must have experienced a lot of detractors when he first chose to offer his life for Jesus, and surely he found great support in God alone.  That is why he could say: “If God is for us, who is against us?”

Lord I want to change. I want new life.  Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your love.  I listen only to your words.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT



THE DANGER OF TEMPTATION

On the first Sunday of Lent, Jesus takes us to a tour of the temptations he endured in the desert.  It feels good to know he too, was tempted. Because then the temptations of our lives makes some sense.  If Jesus was tempted, so it  must be normal for me to be tempted, not just three times but many times, so many times in my every day.

Temptations can make us but can also break us. A temptation can make us champions or make us defeated.  A temptation can be a source of strength but it can also make us very weak. A temptation can lead us to God but it can also draw us away from him.

The worst temptation is to start believing that God is no longer around. Because bad things happened to us, God does not care.  because we are sick, God is not powerful. Because people hurt and betray us, God is indifferent.

Jesus felt this temptation in his heart. the devil was trying to convince him that God the Father was a distant, uncaring God.  and because of this, Jesus could take things into his own hands. Jesus knew the secret to rebut temptations.  He knew that temptation has a weakness – it cannot harm you unless you believe it. 

Jesus drew from his own experiences of the Father’s love and loyalty and fidelity. He may not see or feel him but Jesus knew the Father was right there in his heart, giving him the assurance of victory over every temptation and every struggle in life.  if he believed the temptation, Jesus would be weak from that time on.  Since he resisted the temptation, God’s power flowed into his life like a flood.

Are you struggling with temptation that tells you God does not love you anymore?  That he doesn’t care?  that he has already abandoned you?

Hold on to the Father.  Listen to his voice.  follow him.  Be sensitive to his presence in your heart.  believe God more than the temptation.  You will emerge a champion!

UNANG LINGGO NG KUWARESMA



ANG PANGANIB NG TUKSO

Sa unang Linggo ng Kuwaresma, dinadala tayo ni Hesus sa isang paglilibot sa disyerto ng mga tukso. Masarap isipin na pati siya ay natukso din. Dahil dito may saysay ang mga tuksong hinaharap natin.  Kung natukso ang Panginoon, normal lang palang matukso din tayo ngayon sa ating buhay.

Dahil sa tukso, maaari tayong tumatag o humina.  Maaari tayong maging kampiyon o talunan. Maaari tayong lumakas o manlupaypay.  Maaari tayong mapalapit o mapalayo sa Diyos.

Ang pinakapangit na tukso ay iyong maniwalang wala na ang Diyos sa paligid natin. Dahil may naranasan kang masama, walang pakialam ang Diyos. dahil may sakit ka, walang kapangyarihan ang Diyos. dahil nasaktan ka at hinamak ng iba, walang Diyos na nagmamahal sa iyo.

Naranasan ito lahat ni Hesus. Sinikap ng demonyo na kumbinsihin siya na ang Diyos ay isang malayo at walang pakialam na Ama. At dahil dito, maaari nang sarilinin ni Hesus ang kanyang buhay at bawat pasya.  Pero alam ni Hesus kung paano harapin ang tukso.  May kahinaan ang tukso – hindi ka kayang saktan nito kung hindi mo ito paniniwalaan.

Humugot si Hesus mula sa kanyang karanasan ng pag-ibig at katapatan at kabutihan ng Ama. Maaaring hindi niya nakita o nadama, pero alam niya sa puso niya na naroroon ang Diyos at nagsasabing magtatagumpay siya sa bawat tukso at bawat pagpupunyagi.  Kung naniwala siya agad sa tukso, magiging mahina si Hesus doon pa lamang. Dahil nilabanan niya ang tukso, umagos na tila baha ang kapangyarihan ng Diyos Ama sa kanyang buhay.

Natutukso ka ba ngayon na tila wala nang Diyos o tila wala na siyang pakialam sa buhay mo? Na iniwanan ka na niyang nag-iisa?

Kumapit sa Ama. Makinig sa kanyang tinig.  Sumunod sa kanyang kalooban. Makiramdam sa kanyang presensya. Maniwala ka sa Diyos at hindi sa bulong ng tukso.  Magtatagumpay ka tulad ni Hesus!

Friday, February 6, 2015

ASH WEDNESDAY


THESE HUMBLE ASHES

Today the entire Christian world starts the season of Lent. How amazing though, that we start this very important season, that leads all the way to the passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord, with the symbol of ashes.  For what are ashes, but, the reminder of nothingness and uselessness. We need wood, we need charcoal, but its residue, ashes are thrown away, or if not, blown by the wind.

God is different.  As he reminds us that our lives are like humble ashes, he also reminds us that in the end, ashes will be turned into flame again.  nothingness will be transformed into something great.  Uselessness will be the instrument of salvation.  The humble ashes are our gateway to the empty tomb of the Risen One.

But that is, if we take to heart the meaning of the ashes.  We love our ashes for its traditional value, its sentimental sense, its symbolic power.  But do we love our ashes for its transformative meaning.

Today, let us focus on the ashes as the representative of who we are in Christ.  we are nothing but he stoops down and scoops us up in the palm of his hand because has a better plan for us.  we are good for nothing but he collects us and breathes new fire, new power into us, by the strength of his mercy.  As we go through the disciplines of Lent, let us allow Jesus to make something beautiful of the ashes of life. our experiences of pain, of rejection, of isolation, of tears, of sadness – all these are important to him whose love is proved on the Cross.  He will bring us with him when he rises from the dead. the ashes will soar above the clouds when his hand touches it and blesses it.

Jesus, bless my ashes today!

MIYERKULES NG ABO


ITONG MGA ABANG ABO

Ngayon ang buong Kristiyanismo ay nagsisimula ng isang bagong panahon, Kuwaresma.  Nakakapagtaka na sa simula nito, na nagdadala sa atin sa dulo ng pagpapakasakit, kamatayan at Muling Pagkabuhay ng Panginoong Hesukristo, ang simbolo ay simpleng abo lamang.  E ano ba naman ang abo kundi alaala ng pagiging walang kwenta at walang silbi. Kailangan natin ng kahoy, kailangan natin ng uling. Pero abo? Itinatapon lang yan at tinatangay ng hangin.

Iba ang Diyos. habang ipinaaalala niyang tayo ay tila mga abang abo lamang, sinasabi din niya sa sa huli, ang abo ay magliliyab, maglalagablab, magniningas!  Ang walang kwenta ay magiging dakila.  Ang walang silbi ay magiging kasangkapan ng kaligtasan. Ang abang abo ay magiging tulay sa pagtahak sa Muling Pagkabuhay.

Ito ay kung isasapuso natin ang kahulugan ng abo. Mahal natin ang abong ito dahil sa tradisyon, sa sentimiyento, sa sinasagisag nito. Pero mahal din ba natin ang abo dahil sa kapangyarihan nitong magpanibago?

Ngayon, ituon natin ang puso sa abo na kinatawan ng ating pagkatao sa harap ni Kristo. Tayo ay balewala subalit tingnan mo ang Diyos na yumuyuko upang dakutin ang abo sa kanyang palad, dahil may plano siya para sa abo.

Tayo ay walang kwenta pero heto ang Diyos at tinitipon ang abo upang hingahan ng bagong apoy, bagong kapangyarihan, sa diwa ng kanyang awa.  Habang dinadaanan natin ang mga disiplina ang Kuwaresma, hayaan natin si Hesus na gawing maganda ang mga abo ng ating buhay.  Ang mga karanasan ng sakit, pagtataksil, paghihiwalay, luha at kalungkutan – lahat ito ay mahalaga sa kanya na nakapako sa Krus.  Dadalhin niya ang abong ito sa pagkabuhay niya mula sa kamatayan. Ang mga abo natin ay lulutang mataas pa sa mga ulap kapag hinipo at binasbasan ng Panginoon.

Hesus, pagpalain mo po ang mga abo ng buhay ko ngayon!

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.