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For Sunday Mass, September 17, 2017

Be kind and Merciful

Good morning to everyone! Happy Sunday, The Lord’s day! Happy weekend to everyone!
Our theme for this Sunday readings is: Be kind and Merciful.
Here is our first reading for today:
“Anger and a hot temper are horrible things, but sinners have both. The Lord is taking note of your sins, and if you take vengeance on someone, the Lord will take vengeance on you. But if you forgive someone who has wronged you, your sins will be forgiven when you pray. You cannot expect the Lord to pardon you while you are holding a grudge against someone else. You yourself are a sinner, and if you won’t forgive another person, you have no right to pray that the Lord will forgive your sins. If you cannot get rid of your anger, you have no hope of forgiveness—you are only a human being. Think about it! Some day you will die, and your body will decay. So give up hate and live by the Lord’s commands, the commands in the covenant of the Most High. Instead of getting upset over your neighbor’s faults, overlook them.” (Sirach 27:30–28:9).
There are two important message from The Lord in this reading:
1.) If you take vengeance on someone, The Lord will take vengeance on you.
2.) You cannot expect The Lord to pardon you while you are holding a grudge on someone else.
Here is our second reading for today:
“We do not live for ourselves only, and we do not die for ourselves only. If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For Christ died and rose to life in order to be the Lord of the living and of the dead. “(Rom. 14:7-9).
We do not live for ourselves only,….. If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. (Walang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang.Tayong lahat ay may pananagutan sa isat-isa). It’s a beautiful Christian outlook in life.
And here is our Gospel reading for today:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven,[a the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants’ accounts. He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before the king. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay you everything!’ The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.
“Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started choking him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he said. His fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.’ The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.”
And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
So it’s clear what The Lord wants from us:
1.) We should be kind and merciful to each other.
2.) We should avoid the use of violence and hatred to solve our social problems.

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For Sunday Mass, September 10, 2017

Fraternal Correction

Happy Sunday to everyone! Good Day !

Our theme for today’s reading is: Fraternal Correction.

Fraternal correction is brotherly correction.

Here is our first reading for today’s Mass:

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.” (Ezekiel 33:7-9).

We are often advised, either by our parents or friends, that we should not get involve. (Huwag ka ng makialam diyan, hayaan mo na sila). But as Christians, our first reading advices us to mind other people’s business. We have to tell them that what they are doing is wrong.

But we have to be careful and prayerful in helping our brothers and sisters in-Christ, not to be too in a hurry to correct. We should always ask The Holy Spirit for guidance. If we feel we should wait for tomorrow, we should do so. We have to plan for our approach so we will be more effective.

And here is our Gospel reading for today

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

 

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For Sunday Mass, September 03, 2017

Love Implies Sacrifice

Happy Sunday to everyone !

Every Sunday, our Lord’s day is always special because it reminds us of the supreme gift of Easter, the gift of Salvation, where life triumphs over death. It is the fruit of The Lord Jesus willingness to come to Earth, become a man, live the ordinary life of a carpenter’s son, and suffer and die in the hands of the Church authorities.

Which is in fact our theme for today: Love Implies Sacrifice.

Let’s see The Lord’s determination to carry the load of His missionary sacrifice in the Gospel reading today:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
MJesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
(Matthew 16:21-27)

Love to be true, effective and long lasting will always need a sacrifice:

a. Not allowing your pride to surface, instead accepting your mistake in humility really makes The Lord happy.
b. Parents doing many sacrifices for their children.
c. Priests obeying their vow of celibacy for the sake of the mission.
d. Foregoing to hold your birthday party and instead you give the budget to a calamity fund.
e. Accepting a government position of lower pay for the sake of serving your country.
f. Helping your brothers and sisters go to school because your father is a drunkcard.
g. The dedication of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to share love to the poor in the slums.
h. Sharing of your hardearned income to the less fortunate.
i. Paying for the jeepney fair of a fellow passenger who happen to forget to bring his wallet.
j. Giving a welcome smile to a new employee even if you don’t feel well that morning.
k. Closing your lips tight in gossiping even though you longed to tell it to someone, all for the sake of The Lord’s mission.
l. Ninoy Aquino’s determination to come home to the Philippines although he knew his life was in danger.
m. Jose Rizal’s determination to published his two books although he knew his life was at risk.
n. The many sacrifices of our OFW brothers and sisters for their families back home.
o. Holding your lips for what you want to say because it is not pleasing to The Lord and instead follow the leading of The Holy Spirit.
p. Mothers working as household helps to support their children back home.
q. Although you are really busy, you force yourself to allocate time for love of others.

But The Lord never forget those who made sacrifices for others. He has for them a special kind of joy that only the person concerned will understand. And later He has for them a reward of a hundredfoldy.

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For Sunday Mass, August 27, 2017

Support Your Bishop

Good day to everyone! Happy Sunday!

Our theme for today’s reading is: Support Your Bishop

Here is our Gospel for today:

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

‘When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of John, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d]loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.’ (Matthew 16:13-20).

This part of the Gospel was already on the latter part of The Lord’s three years ministry. Long before this passage of the Gospel, in the early part of The Lord’s ministry, during the recruitment period for the twelve Apostles, Simon, son of John and brother of Andrew was already given the name Peter, which means rock, by The Lord. Listen:

“Then he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus look at him and said, ‘Your name is Simon, son of John, but you will be called Cephas.’ (This is the same as Peter and means a rock).” (John 1:42).

In other words, at the very start of The Lord’s ministry, He already identified Peter as the Apostle who will take over the leadership of the ‘Rock’ Church, which signifies strength and stability for the long term.

So far there were already 266 Popes since the time of Saint Peter. Our first ten Popes are as follows:

1. Pope St. Peter (year 32-67)
2. Pope St. Linus (67-76)
3. Pope St. Anacletus (76-88)
4. Pope St. Clement 1 (88-97)
5. Pope St. Evaristus (97-105)
6. Pope St. Alexander 1 (105-115)
7. Pope St. Sixtus (115-125)
8. Pope St. Telesphorus (125-136)
9. Pope St. Hyginus (136-140)
10. Pope St. Plus 1 (140-155)

Our recent ten Popes are the following:

257. Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914)
258. Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922)
259. Pope Pius XI (1922-1929)
260. Pope Pius XII (1929-1958)
261. Pope St. John XXIII (1958-1963)
262. Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)
263. Pope John Paul I (1978)
264. Pope St. John Paul II (1978-2005)
265. Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013)
266. Pope Francis (2013- )

The organization of the Catholic Church is very simple. The Pope is the head. Under him are the 5133 Bishops all over the world now. Each Bishop is given a territorial jurisdiction. Under the Bishop are the Priests.

So we can see that if we want to help The Lord in His mission, we need to support our Bishops, as well as our Parish Priests.

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For Sunday Mass, June 18, 2017

Sharing Life with Christ

Today is the feast of:

“The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ”

(CORPUS CHRISTI)

Our theme for today’s reading is: Sharing Life with Christ.

One of the most memorable gift that The Lord Jesus left us with was during the last supper when He broke a bread, gave it to the Apostles to eat and poured wine to a cup, asked the Apostles to drink from it, representing His body and blood. He then said, “Do this in memory of me.”

Both the physical practice of receiving Holy Communion every Sunday and our wholehearted obedience to our Lord’s commandments are important for our total transformation into that “new person” which He so longed for us to have.

C.S. Lewis said the physical practice of receiving Holy Communion will have some kind of super biological effect in our growth as a person. Little by little, every Sunday, the receiving of the Bread and Wine, The Body and Blood of Christ, will have some impact into our life.

Father John C. Kersten suggested that every time we take part in the Eucharisric celebration, we should enter a more intimate relationship with Jesus.

We should slowly acquire a righteousness of character moving towards that of Christ. A sensitivity on the needs and hurts of others moving towards that of Christ. A love for others — neighbors, strangers, foreign nationals, criminals, terrorists, Hindu, Muslims, Budhists, and the environments — moving towards that of Christ.

Happy feast day of:

“The Most Holy Body and Blood Of Christ”

(CORPUS CHRISTI)

to everyone !

Happy Father’s Day !

Blessed are the fathers who choose to die every week with their pride and preferences for the love of family.

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For Sunday Mass, June 12, 2017

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY — The Ineffable Mystery of God


Good Day to Everyone, Greetings !!

Today we begin the second part of ordinary time in our Church calendar. It is also our first Sunday after our great Sunday of Pentecost.

Our theme for today’s reading is: THE MOST HOLY TRINITY — The Ineffable Mystery of God.

Ineffable means too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words. Indescribable, inexpressible.

I remember when during high school days, our cathechesis teacher was explaining the mystery of The Blessed Trinity. She said St. Thomas Aquinas in his mind was trying to understand the mystery of The Most Holy Trinity — God, The Father; God, The Son; and God, The Holy Spirit. Three person in one God. One day while walking by the shore, he saw a child transferring water from the sea by his bare hands into a hole he dug on the beach. He asked the child what was he doing. The child said, “I am transferring the sea to this hole.” St. Thomas explained to the child that the sea is too great to be transferred to a small hole. To which the child replied, “If it’s hard for the sea to be transferred to this hole, it’s much harder to understand the mystery of The Blessed Trinity.”

Fr. John Kersten of our Sunday Missal said having a person-to-person relationship with our Lord will give us a better idea of God that cannot be expressed in human terms. And ultimately, it is also this knowledge that will satisfy us.

More important than knowing about God, or the nature about God, because of the limited concept we are given as a human person, it is more important that we focus on our personal relationship with God, which is in the person of God, The Son, Jesus Christ.

Our personal relationship with our Lord will be enhanced if we always follow his commandments, most especially related to loving our neighbors. Also it will help much if we read about our Lord’s life in any of the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Happy Sunday to everyone! Let’s greet everyone with best wishes in our hearts!

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For Sunday Mass, June 5, 2017

The Holy Spirit, Gift of the Father

Today is Pentecost Sunday !

Our theme for today is: The Holy Spirit, Gift of the Father.

Pentecost is a great feast day of our Church !

Pentecost is the day The Holy Spirit is given to us by our Father in Heaven !

Greetings to Everyone !

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God The Father, and the fellowship of The Holy Spirit be with us all !

There are “Four Most Important Dates” in our Church calendar:

1. December 25 — The Birth of our Lord.

2. Good Friday — The day The Lord offered His life for us.

3. Easter Sunday — The Lord’s resurrection.

4. Pentecost — The Day The Holy Spirit is given to us.

Pentecost:

• The coming of The Holy Spirit Is the Spiritual Birthday of our Christian Church.

• Marks the conclusion of Easter’s “ Great Fifty Days” celebration.

The Holy Spirit is very important because:

• The Holy Spirit is a unifying force. Unity is what our world needs today.

• The Holy Spirit will play a big role in our Lord’s mission of changing this world.

• The Holy Spirit will lead us into all the truths.

• The Holy Spirit will remind us of all that The Lord has taught us.

• The Holy Spirit will help us to know and understand our religion not just in our mind but also with our heart and soul.

• The power of The a Holy Spirit was behind our Lord’s resurrection.

• The same power of The Holy Spirit will be used for our own resurrection for the next life in eternity.

The Seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit after our Spiritual Conversion:

1. Wisdom — the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.

Wisdom is knowledge and experience already filtered by the heart and guided by The Holy Spirit.

2. Understanding — The ability to comprehend God’s message. When to be tolerant and sympathetic of others. It help us sense when someone is hurting or in need of compassion.

3. Counsel or Right Judgement — is a gift of prudence. It will help us make the right choices in following The Lord. It will also help us be a good and gentle mentor to others.

4. Fortitude — The courage to do what one knows is right. It helps us to stand up for our faith in Christ. It is endurance and ability to confront fear, uncertainty and intimidation. It is also perseverance under pain.

5. Knowledge — Familiarity and understanding of someone or something. It will help us determine God’s purpose for our life.

6. Piety or Reverence — a respectful and dedicated commitment to God. A religious devotion. It will inspire us to joyfully want to serve God and others.

7. Fear of The Lord — Specific sense of respect, awe and submission to The Lord. Feeling of human insignificance derived from contemplation of God’s great and wonderful actions and creations.

Happy Pentecost Sunday to everyone !!!

May The Lord bless you and take care of you;

May The Lord be kind and gracious to you;

May The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.

And may the fellowship of The Holy Spirit be with you all !!

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For Sunday Mass, May 28, 2017

Heaven and Earth

Today we celebrate The Lord’s Ascension into Heaven !

Alleluia !!

Our theme: Heaven and Earth.

Here is from our Sunday missal:

“Not all members of our species have the same outlook on life. There are people for whom this life means everything and ‘Heaven’ nothing. Naturally good people, they may cherish love as a great value, but they believe that when death comes, that is the end.

“There are others for whom Heaven is all important and this life almost completely unimportant. Save your soul! Many Christians have cherish this outlook, especially concerning others and as long as the self was not involved.

“Finally we have those for whom ‘heaven’ is realized already on Earth in love !

“If we understand Jesus philosophy of life well, and try to understand the exaltation of His humanity as we celebrate it today, we could give it a try. We may live life, including marital sex and love, as an earthly reality. We may develop our potentials as earthlings to the fullest. We may make use of the result of science (sociology, etc) to achieve a better life on this planet. We may consult marriage counselors and psychiatrists and seek the best medical care available. Yet in our best moments (‘disclosure situations’), we know that there must be something more than all of this, a transcending reality.

“In faith, following Jesus of Nazareth, we see this ‘transcending reality’ as a loving Father who is waiting for us. He (Jesus) is the beginning: ‘He ascended . . . that we, His members, might be confident in following, where He our head and founder, has gone before.’ “

Life here on Earth can be improve and enjoyed better by pursuing the Seven Wealths for Complete Human Developments:

1. Spiritual Wealth

2. Emotional Maturity Wealth.

3. Relationship Wealth — family, relatives, co-employees, neighbors, etc.

4. Physical (Health) Wealth.

5. Wisdom and Knowledge Wealth.

6. In the Right Job Wealth — your job is related to your primary talent.

7. Financial Wealth.

These Seven Wealth will make our stay here on Earth meaningful and wholesome, and we can say that the gift of life from The a lord is good. But still “Heaven” comes naturally in faith. There must be a place, a Heaven, where evil is not present, where people do not misjudge you. Where all people are honest, well meaning and true. Where people really love and care for each other. Our hearts longed for such a place.

That is why Easter and our Lord ascension into Heaven is such an important event, to show us that we too can follow Him, to where our hearts wants to be.

Happy Feast Day for Our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven !!

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For Sunday Mass, May 21, 2017

Diversity and Unity

Greetings ! Happy 6th Sunday of The Easter Season !

The theme for our readings is : Diversity in Unity.

Here is the commentary from our Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“The founders of any endeavor cannot expect their work to be lasting and to continue unless their disciples accept their message wholeheartedly. Those disciples must be faithful to the traditions of the founder and have an open mind for the intuitive vision concerning the future of a particular work. Guided by the spirit of the founder, those who continue the work must operate creatively, constantly adopting themselves to new situations. This is what the early church has tried to do as we see in the readings from the Acts of the Apostles on the Sundays of this Easter Season.

“Jesus’ disciples knew their mission was to preach the Gospel to all the nations (Mt. 29:19). Today we will read that Philip took the “Good News” to Samaria. The apostles in Jerusalem heard about this and were rather surprised. Jews and Samaritans did not socialize (Jn 4:9). We notice the same surprise when the first Roman joined the church (Acts 10:45+). Indeed, this going the boundaries of traditional Judaism was a daring and creative step!

“From that moment on the Church has had the task to accept diversity in its bosom and guard unity in the Spirit. That is why the apostles went to Samaria to impose hands on the converted Samaritans as a seal of approval. ‘And they received the Holy Spirit’ (First Reading). We should accept the same situation in the church of our time and culture. ‘There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit’ (1 Cor 12:4). There are charismatics, floating parishes, conservatives and liberals. We have young and old emotionally involved and more cerebral members in one congregation. Let us bear with one another, as long as the same Spirit breathes upon all under the guidance of our bishops.”

Out theme: “Diversity in Unity.” We may have diverse (very different) point of view, opinion and beliefs., but guided by The Holy Spirit we maintained our unity and love for each other.

In the Gospel today, The Lord said: “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask The Father, and He will give you another Helper who will stay with you always. He is The Spirit of Truth.”

In the family, if it’s members are obedient to The Lord, they will have The Holy Spirit as the unifying force that will guide its member. Each may have very different political or religious belief, but they don’t quarrel. Lead by the “Spirit of Truth” they maintained their unity and love for each other. There is unity in recognizing each person’s inherent (inborn) rights to form his own opinion.

In our company, we have employees from the Catholic faith, Protestant of different denominations, Born Again, Iglesia ni Kristo, Dating Daan, and some others. We respect each other’s belief. In our weekly Sacred Truth Study (Bible), we focus on the moral and spiritual teachings of the readings.

Last year, several weeks before the national election, we allow each employee to express his own political opinion with his or her choice of candidates in one of our general assembly meeting.

However, we are one with The Lord about the two most unifying commandments , namely:

1. Love God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength.

2. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Pentecost — The Festival celebrating the coming down of The Holy Spirit is only two weeks away, June 4, and this is also the climax of the Easter Season Festival.

Happy 6th Sunday of the Easter Season Festival !

Rejoice !

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For Sunday Mass, May 14, 2017

Kaiors — Time of Favor

Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers ! Thanks for all the love and sacrifices that only come from Mothers ! How safe and secure are the children because of your love !

Today is the 5th Sunday of The Easter Season !

Our theme for today’s reading is: Kairos — Time of Favor.

Here is commentary from our Saint Joseph Sunday Missal:

“Educators know that children have their particular sensitivity moments, which should be exploited for learning. Adults follow the same law of nature. There are times when we are more than usually sensitive to God’s Word. Sometimes this maybe the result of a happy or sad event in life, such as a wedding, funeral, birth, success, failure or even a deeply moving book, motion picture or television program. At other times there is no apparent reason for them at all.

“We speak of ‘disclosure moments,’ I.e., times when we are more than usually open to some transcending reality. The New Testament word for one such moment or time is ‘Kairos.’ The Greek language has two words for time: ‘chronos,’ time measurable in years, and ‘Kairos,’ time of opportunity, time of grace.

“Jesus said: ‘This is the time of fulfillment (Kairos),…. Repent, and believe in the Gospel’ (Mark 1:14-15). God is present to you in Christ, the Bible, the breaking of bread, any good person. The ‘Kairos’ (time of favor) for you is when you experience this mysterious presence. This ‘Kairos’ (time of favor) is a gift of God, which we should exploit (make full use of).”

Kairos is the right or opportune time.

It is God’s appointed time.

It is God’s ordained time.

Kairos is the right or opportune moment.

We are in the Easter Season, when The Lord is usually generous in giving the gift of Kairos.

“The right time has come and the kingdom of God is near. ”

Your Kairos maybe this Easter Season, or this week or this very moment. When it comes don’t pass up the opportunity. Welcome The Lord into your heart. Follow Him.

“If today you hear The Lord’s voice harden not your heart”

Happy 5th Sunday of the Easter Season !

Mabuhay!!!

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For Sunday Mass, May 7, 2017

The Good Shepherd

Our theme for today’s reading is: The Good Shepherd.

Here is a beautiful commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the theme: The Good Shepherd.

“The larger part of Judea was a plateau with inhospitable and rocky soil, more adapted to livestock than to agriculture. Grass was scarce and the flock had to continually travel from one spot to another; there were no walls for protection and because of this the shepherd always had to be with the flock. A traveler of the last century has left us a portrait of the shepherd of Palestine: ‘When you see him in a high pasture, sleepless, a gaze that searches in the distance, weather-beaten, leaning on his staff, ever attentive to the movements of the flock, you understand why the shepherd acquired such importance in the history of Israel that they gave this title to their kings and Christ assumed it as an emblem (symbol) of self-sacrifice.’

In the Old Testament, God himself is represented as the shepherd of his people. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want’ (Psalm (23:1). ‘He is our God and we are his people whom he shepherds’ (Psalm 95:7). The future Messiah is also described with the image of the shepherd: ‘Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care’ (Isaiah 40:11). This ideal image of the shepherd finds its complete realization in Christ. He is the good shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep; he feels compassion for the people because he sees them ‘as sheep without a shepherd’ (Matthew 9:36); he calls his disciples ‘the little flock’ (Luke 12:32). Peter calls Jesus ‘the shepherd of our souls’ (1 Peter 2:25) and the Letter to the Hebrews speaks of him as ‘the great shepherd of the sheep’ (Hebrews 13:20).

“This Sunday’s Gospel passage highlights some of the characteristics of Jesus the good shepherd. The first has to do with the reciprocal knowledge that the sheep and shepherd have: ‘My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.’ In certain countries of Europe sheep are raised principally for their meat; in Israel they were raised above all for wool and milk. For this reason they remained for many years in the company of the shepherd who knew the character of each one and gave them affectionate names.

“What Jesus wants to say with these images is clear. He knows his disciples (and, as God, all men), he knows them ‘by name,’ which for the Bible means their innermost essence (being or soul). He loves them with a personal love that treats each as if they were the only one who existed for him. Christ only knows how to count to one, and that one is each of us.

“The Gospel passage tells us something else about the good shepherd. He gives his life to his sheep and for his sheep, and no one can take them out of his hand. Wild animals — wolves and hyenas — and bandits were a nightmare for the shepherds of Israel. In such isolated places they were a constant threat. This was the moment in which is revealed the difference between the true shepherd — the one who shepherds the family’s flock, who does this for his life’s work — and the hired hand, who works only for the pay he receives, who does not love, and indeed often hates, the sheep.

“Confronted with danger, the mercenary flees and leaves the sheep at the mercy of the wolf or bandits; the true shepherd courageously faces the danger to save the flock. This explains why the liturgy proposes the passage about the good shepherd to us during the time of Easter — the moment in which Christ showed that he is the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep.”

So in Israel, The Good Shepherd is a model of self-sacrifice. Let’s listen again to that observation of a good shepherd: ‘When you see him in a high pasture, sleepless, a gaze that searches in the distance, weather-beaten, leaning on his staff, ever attentive to the movements of the flock,…’

The Lord Jesus is a model of self-sacrifice.

The best type of leadership is leadership by example. Without willingness to sacrifice, there is no leadership by example.

Happy 4th Sunday of the Easter Season to everyone !

May you have the grace and peace of Christ !

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For Sunday Mass, April 23, 2017

Faith and Fellowship

Today we have a very important theme: Faith and Fellowship.

Fellowship is defined as friendly association, especially with people who share the same interests.

In our first and Gospel readings for today, we can see that the early Christians regularly met and prayed together and their faith were nourished. They have a regular fellowship among themselves with friends and relatives who shared the same beliefs.

Here is from our Sunday Missal:

“Birds of a feather flock together. With respect to certain instincts, we humans are no different from cows in a pasture flocking together when a thunderstorm is threatening. We need one another’s company and inspiration to keep going. Marital love can survive only if the partners daily foster togetherness with all the means nature and religion suggest. The survival of faith is subject to the same conditions. A Christianity live ‘alone,’ all by oneself, does not last.

“We need belonging! Participate in some activity of your parish. Do not be a loner! Without being exclusive, have friends who feels the same as you do in matters of faith. And at meetings, contribute to the value of ‘belonging’ for all. Listen, be open to others, exchange ideas and experiences, share time and talents.”

Yes, we need to belong to a group if we are to grow in our Faith. It helps a lot. Studying the Word of God, the Sacred Truth book, with the life experiences of each of the member of the group, nourishes our soul. We learn, we grow deeper in our faith when we belong to a group.

In our company, we have a Sacred Truth Study (Bible) every Monday morning, 8 am, first hour of our working time. We group ourselves, with each group having around ten members. We have been doing this since the early 1990’s. Sometime last year, I was surprised when one of our officer, who had been with us for fourteen years, said, ‘Sir, sa totoo lang kaya ako tumagal dito sa kompanya natin, hindi dahil sa profit sharing, kundi dahil dito sa Bible study natin tuwing Lunes.’ (Sir, the reason why I stayed this long in our company was not because of our profit sharing, it is because of our Bible study every Monday morning). And this was seconded by two other officers, ‘Sir, ako rin.’ (Sir, me also).

I now realized that a Spiritual program like a Sacred Truth study, done regularly for sometime, say, sustained for ten years, will have a much deeper impact on employees than any other material benefits the company is giving. I thought all along profit sharing is most important for our employees. I didn’t realized how deep Spirituality can penetrate the soul. I can see now what The Lord mean when He said in the Holy Book, ‘Like a sword, My Words are sharp on both edges.’

Suggest find a group in your local church community. Usually there are many different organizations where we can join. Choose the one that suits your values. In addition you can also organize your own prayer group at home with your family. This may include also your household help, if you have one, or your sister’s family. Last year, my sister Imee in Bicol started it with her family together with their household help. She was happy to observed that her children, age ten and thirteen were not hesitant to share their thoughts.

Better still is if you can organize a group in your place of work. Nowadays, there are many offices, including government offices that have groups like this.

Happy 2nd Easter Sunday of the Fifty Days Easter Season ! Celebrate for The Lord !

Do not be afraid to be different.

As the late Pope John Paul, now a Saint, used to remind us, ‘Be not afraid’

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For Sunday Mass, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter Sunday and Easter Season to Everyone ! 

Happy Easter Sunday and Easter Season to Everyone !

Easter is the celebration of Christ resurrection. Christ resurrection is the best proof that we too may be resurrected for the next life. Easter is the best proof that we can have life in eternity. Easter is the greatest day of all. Let us thank The Lord for His supreme sacrifice. Let us celebrate. Let us share the good news!

The seed needs to be buried to the ground and die in order for a new tree to sprout up and live a new life. The mortal body of Christ needs to die and be resurrected to a new life that is never to die again, the immortal body. Therefore His death was not a defeat but a victory for all of us! Let us celebrate. Mabuhay! Let us thank The Lord for the gift of eternity, the greatest gift of all.

Here is a commentary from our Saint Joseph Sunday Missal:

“A person who is privileged to visit the tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt or reads about them in pictorial books is struck by those people’s concern about a hereafter. The hieroglyphics for ‘life everlasting’ appear on the murals time and again. People want to live. Easter is the feast of life. ‘The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.’ It represents the joy of Christians.

“People want to know: What is the manner of my existence after death? ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?’ (1Cor 15:35). Paul calls this a nonsensical question. And he adds: ‘What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as He chooses, and to each of the seeds it’s own body’ (1Cor. 15:36-38).

“This seems to indicate that our lives now are the kernels from which ‘earthly human beings’ must grow into the persons they will be for all eternity….‘The words found in 1 Corinthians 15:35-38 offer some insight to the inquisitive reader, but ultimately we have to leave the details up to God who promised that our reward will be a hundredfold.”

Here is also a portion of Saint Paul discussion on our Lord’s resurrection: (1Cor 15:58)

‘So then, my dear friends, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.’

Wow! What great gifts awaits all of us who works for our Lord’s mission !

Because of this, ‘The Greatest Gift’, the Church celebrate Easter for 50 days, beginning from Easter Sunday (April 16,2017) to Pentecost—the coming down of The a Holy Spirit (June 4, 2017). The Church calls this the ‘Great Fifty Days.’ (Suggest Goggle search for history).

But unless we put a body to the Spirit of Easter, the period of Easter season from April 16 to June 4 will just pass with most people forgetting it after Easter Sunday’s event.

We thought that this should not be. People need to feel and be reminded of the significance of Easter. So in our company we decided to clothe Easter with a body of festive programs within the 50-day period. This is the second year we will be doing this.

Here are the programs for this second year of our Easter Season Festival:

1. Urge everyone to double their sacrifices and doing good for others (beginning with ourselves) during this period.

2. Festive décor on the factory premises and showrooms for the ‘Great Fifty Days’ period.

3. Eight Mondays of 1.5 hour general assembly program and reenactment of some significant events after The Lord’s resurrection, like what happen to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus , the Lord’s breakfast by the shore with his apostles, and the doubting Thomas incident.

4. Sports Fest.

5. Décor contest among departments.

6. Inter-departmental presentation contest.

7. Easter mug giveaways

8. Easter Season Newsletter

Happy Easter Sunday and Easter Season to Everyone !

Suggest celebrate Easter Season with your family, with your friends, with your organizations.

Let us revive the celebration of this ‘Great Fifty Days.’

Let us do it for The Lord and for His mission !

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For Sunday Mass, April 9, 2017

Death and Life

Our theme for today’s reading is: Death and Life

Our old self has to die in order for the new self to live !

Here is a portion of the the commentaries from our St. Joseph Sunday missal:

“Great people were often controversial figures during their lifetime. It is history which can look on from a distance and see things in proper perspective, that rectifies the often limited judgement of contemporaries. Something like this has happened to The Lord Jesus. His contemporaries, even His closest coworkers, did not understand Him, especially not His strange ideas on suffering and death as a necessary passage to a better life. Only later did all of these become clear to them.”

There is pain in dying our old self, but the reward of a new life is even better. It seemed that we cannot escape this process. Our old self has to die in order for the new in us to start growing and blossom. We can see this in many areas of life:

1. If we want to be debt free and have enough savings for our retirement, then we have to let our old habit of handling our finances die and be replace by planning and discipline. We need to spend time learning more about it.

2. If we want to be healthy for the long term, our old habit of no exercise, undisciplined eating habits, and without any weight or stress control, die. Yes, it has to die and be replaced by new habits. We need to spend more time studying about health.

3. If we want to have a wholesome life, less stressful and relatively tranquil, then we need to live a life of truth. Our private life of hiding something must die. Those old self has to die. In the end, people will respect us more. Relationship can only thrive for the long term on truth.

As The Lord said, the grain of a rice seed buried to the soil has to die in order to bear fruit of forty, sixty or a hundred.

Happy Palm Sunday to everyone ! Easter will soon be with us! And the ‘ Great Fifty Days.’

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For Sunday Mass, April 2, 2017

Newness of Life

“Newness of Life”

Here is the commentaries from our Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“Everyone wants to make the best of life. We love life, but we experience daily how brittle it is. There are people who try to live without restraints. They follow the epicurean philosophy of the pagan Romans: ‘Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.’

“But we could also look at life in the following way: In order to transcend life, I must die to my old, immature, egotistic self. If I want to become a mature and grown-up person, I must leave my youth behind me. Does this make sense? Is it meaningful to be generous and dedicated to ideals (perfection), to ‘mature in Christ’ as the Bible puts it, if everything collapses with death anyway?

“In the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, we Christians discover the love of God who calls you and me to an everlasting life-sharing with Him. The raising of Lazarus is a sign of Jesus’ victory over death, and a sign of hope for all of us. In faith, we can regard a life of dedication to ideals as budding (emerging, beginning) into the full blossoming of life everlasting.”

I personally experienced “Newness of Life,” (our theme), only when I decided to follow The Lord. It’s a major decision, that henceforth I will obey His will for my life. It happened in 1980, while I was reading a book by Charles Colson, a special council to Richard Nixon, during the watergate scandal, who later became a Christian and wrote the book, “Born Again.”

How would I characterize the experience in the next few years after conversion? First I think my consciousness for what is right and wrong were made more clear. On all aspects of life, my sensitivity seemed to have sharpened. I begin to appreciate the beauty of plants and flowers, and the small little things or ordinary things in life, like for example the taking of a bath. I wonder to myself that God can make you happy even if you are in a remote area. God can make you completely satisfied even if you are just at home reading The Bible. There seemed to be much hope now. My faith begin to grow. I begin to translate my faith into social action. Although I was already socially conscious as early as 1972, partly because of the students activism during those days and my father’s comments on the Vietnam war, those social concern just remain in my head.

I think the experience that The Lord will give to each one of us who will decide to follow Him will differ from each individual. I am sure they will all be beautiful, but since The Lord has an unlimited resources, chances are He will not repeat Himself.

Spiritual conversion or Spiritual Rebirth is the greatest gift that The Lord wants to give us. It is greater than the life He has already given us here on Earth.

Happy Sunday, The Lord’s day, to everyone ! May you have The Lord’s grace and peace !

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The Wedding of August and Emma

The Wedding of August and Erma

I believe the joy and happiness experienced by those who attended a wedding, including that of the bride and the groom, is dependent on The Lord’s blessing the occasion.

August Karunungan is in charge of our company’s customer service. His job is to service our kitchen cabinet’s customers with ten years warrantee within 48 hours after he received the request. He is 42 years old. His wife Erma is 40. She is a sewer in one of the factory in Taytay, Rizal. They are both single, without children, before the wedding. The wedding was last March 9, in the beautiful church of St. John the Baptist in Taytay. The church was located on a hill.

I asked Dado, our driver, what time are we to leave Paranaque if we are to be on time for the 11 o’clock wedding. He said 9 am. But then on the last minute we decided to buy my gift at the SM city Taytay, so he said, 8:45. It was a leisurely and pleasant trip at C-6, surprised to see also the new promenading place at lower Bicutan, Taguig with Laguna the Bay in the background. It is a long stretch of elevated pavement, around four meters wide, ideal for jogging. Dado deposited me at the entrance of SM Taytay at 10:06. I proceeded to the glassware section and have the gift wrapped, free of charge. The young salesman who attended to me said,”Ah, St John the Baptist church, malapit lang sir.” As we ascend the driveway towards the church, I looked at the car clock, it registered 10:59. Sometimes I am amazed at the wisdom of this good man.

At 11:15, the ceremony started. August was wearing a barong where you can see-through his white undershirt, and a khaki colored pant. There were five Ninongs and Ninangs, five of them from our company. Roel, our project quality inspector was the official photographer. The organist in the balcony at the back, is also at the same time the soloist and guitarist. It was I think in the middle of the mass that The Lord started to touch the hearts of those who attended. With my eyes moist, I thought to myself, how beautiful it is that The Lord has created the institution of marriage. How beautiful it is to have a family gathering like this, with children wearing happy faces.

The reception was just a stone’s throw away, down from the church. So the newlywed just walk together with all the rest. Food were delicious. No dessert. Someone said, it was Erma’s sister who cooked it. I ate a bit too much I thought. The tables were round tables of eight, so it was easy to converse with one another. Most of our staff were seated in just one table. The weather was particularly pleasant that noon time.

The Lord is the great equalizer or to be more accurate, The Lord has the control. Irregardless of whether it’s a best effort budget or multi million peso wedding budget, The Lord can choose to tilt the balance and determine whom he will favor with a joyful and happy occasion.

I suggest to always ask for the Lord’s blessing on any occasion, be it a birthday party or a visit to an old friend. His favor is our most important budget component. My, even the weather cooperates !

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For Sunday Mass, March 26, 2017

Faith and Unbelief

Take a Stand

As Christian, we must take a stand, if we are to help The Lord change our world.

Our theme for today’ readings is: Faith and Unbelief

From our Sunday Missal:

“We are often asked to take a stand, be it concerning politics, the education of the children, or the way work should be done. Taking a stand, especially one concerning a controversial issue, may involve opposition. Christians are asked to take a stand quite often.

“In today’s Gospel, the writer of John brings out a wealth of suggestions. Let us consider one. How do people react to our Lord’s message? Christianity offers beautiful and efficient outlines for a better society with promises of life to come. Christianity is not something one can sweep under the rug and ignore as nonexistent. It is there! One must take a stand.

“The Gospel shows us the parents of the blind man (who do not want to be involved), the neighbors (who are indifferent or unconcerned), the Pharisees (who do not believe), and the blind man himself (a believer). Where do you stand? You are a baptized Christian. Does The Lord Jesus and the philosophy of life He stands for have real impact on your lifestyle?

“Each of the four categories mentioned in the Gospel is found in today’s society. Each promotes its own outlook by work and life-style. You must take a stand.”

Yes, we need to take a stand because The Lord needs us to help His mission.

The Lord must have considered His mission very important, otherwise He would not have agreed to die on the cross. Here again are His two important missions:

1. To bring people back to God and live with Him in eternity.

2. To change our world for the better.

As an example, I believed I have to take a stand on these two social issues:

1. I personally does not favor our country, in particular, our city by the Bay Area converted into a gambling city… Casinos proliferating all over.

Our Lord said: “No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

What The Lord is saying is that if you love the casinos, your heart will be very far from God. If you love God, your heart will not have a liking for the casinos.

We need to tell our people the truth where true happiness for the long term may be found. After all this is what everyone is longing and looking for. The ultimate need and longing of our hearts will not be satisfied or found in the casinos. Casinos may even lead us to other vices, such as drugs, sex, alcoholism or greed for more money, or even money laundering, which are already associated with big crimes. It may also be the cause of broken families or even suicide.

Even if the casinos will contribute to our economy, it is not enough reason to justify its existence. As The Lord said: “What profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.”

This is similar to sex tourism. We should never sacrifice the sacredness of our women for the sake of economic development.

2. I also believed motorcycles are not good for our country. The statistics for motorcycles accidents are far too many. So many families lost their love ones.

Man is created in the likeness and image of God and has the potentials for life in eternity, which means The Lord considers human life far too precious. We as human beings should value this gift of life. As a way of thanking The Lord for that supreme gift of life, we should be extra careful in preserving that life. We can see this in parents on how they took good care of their children from the moment they were born to the time they are adults. Thus it is important that our national policies should reflect these values.

In our company, we don’t use motorcycles. We also explain to our people why we do not allow it and discourage them from using it. We must translate our Christian values to everyday life if we are to help The Lord in His mission to change our world.

The purpose of the church is to change the world. We as Baptized Christians is the church.

Whenever we take a stand, we should bear in mind that it should always be something that will contribute to our Lord’s mission. Also the possibility of opposition. But more important, let us be assured that we are not alone or left behind in this mission. As The Lord said: “All power in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go, therefore,…. I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). If we always follow His will, then we can expect that things will end up favorable to us.

The Spirit of The Lord (The Holy Spirit) is with us and will always be. Each one of us is but a small contributor (but equally important) in our Lord’s mission. The Holy Spirit working behind the scene coordinates the whole project (as Saint Paul reminded us, there is only but one Spirit). Daily, thousands or millions of God’s people all over the world, in their own way, take a stand and contributes to The Lord’s mission. Also let us not forget the communion of Saints.

Holy Week will start on April 9, Palm Sunday.

Happy Sunday, rest day to everyone !

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For Sunday Mass, March 19, 2017

Is the Lord in Our Midst or Not? 

In today’s Gospel reading, The Lord has a beautiful way of conveying the message of Spirituality.

Our theme for today is: “Is The Lord in Our Midst or not?”

Is The Lord in our hearts or not yet?

From our Sunday missal:

“People will always be hungry and thirsty again. Besides a continued need for food and drink, human beings have many more wishes and desires….They may yearn for truth, freedom, justice, love…. The great bishop, Saint Augustine stated: ‘My heart is restless till it rest in God.’ God-with-us in The Lord Jesus is ready to satisfy human desires. The Bible uses a wealth of symbols to bring this out, among which are bread, wine, oil, and light.

“Today’s Bible readings uses the symbolism of water…. The Theme of this Sunday is: ‘Is The Lord with us or not?’ He is.

“The point is that we should open up to this mysterious presence of God in our midst, which today’s Bible readings present through the symbolism of water…. ‘For anyone who drinks it, says The Lord, the water I shall give will become in him a spring welling up to eternal life’.”

The message of The Lord in our Gospel reading is: There is need in our being, in our hearts, or in our soul, that cannot be satisfied by the material or physical matters that we acquired. It can only be satisfied by our creator, who in the first place was responsible for implanting that need in our being. But because we are free to choose where to satisfy that need—our longing for happiness, we pursue it in so many areas:

  1. Some would pursue it on clothes, bags, or shoes or shopping.
  2. Some on food or drinks or hard liquor.
  3. Some on sports, like basketball, scuba diving, etc.
  4. Some on acquiring honors through medals from contests in sports or other events.
  5. Some on gambling, casino, or heavy betting.
  6. Some on different women or men as partners in life.
  7. Some on travels, going from place to place or from beach to beach.
  8. Some on pursuing wealth, or properties.
  9. Some on gadgets, like expensive cameras, cellphone, etc.
  10. Some on drugs.
  11. Some on power, political or otherwise.

Now it’s ok to travel (it’s educational and good to enjoy God ‘s nature), to enjoy basketball or scuba diving, or to drink wine, provided we have already found the central and ultimate need of our being. Those things, like clothes, food, sports, can be enjoyed in proper perspective.

The central need of our hearts or soul or being is Spirituality, which only God can give or provide. All the others will not. In Tagalog, ‘bitin iyan sa pangmatagalan.’

The Lord is telling us that the Water of Spirituality is the ultimate ‘water’ that our hearts is looking for. Once we found it, the inside of our being, ‘our inner thirst,’ will not be looking for anything else anymore. That is why Saint Augustine was able to say: ‘Lord, my heart was restless until it rest in you.’

Today, March 19, is the feast day of Saint Joseph. The man who is more of action than words. Happy St. Joseph day to everyone !

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For Sunday Mass, March 12, 2017

God’s call and our response

Our theme for today’s readings is : God’s call and our response.

2nd Sunday of lent

Here is from our Sunday missal:

“In the Catholic tradition, the idea of vocation (calling) was very much restricted to priesthood and religious life. We should not forget that this special call rests upon the general call, which is basic to all Christians, namely, the call to a new existence.

“Today’s Liturgy deals with the call of Abraham. Both Abraham’s call and your own implies three elements.

1. The first is God’s free choice. ‘Not according to our works but according to His own design’ (Second Reading); ‘it was love of you’ (Gn 7:7-8).

2. The second is a mission, which could entail leaving the safe, the familiar, the known, and accepting the new and untried. ‘Bear your share of the hardship for the Gospel’ (Second Reading). As a Christian you do have a mission to your family, your parish, your community, coworkers in your job, fellow students in school, friends.

3. The third is a promise, which in Abraham’s case consisted of a posterity—children: ‘I will make of you a great nation’ (First Reading). In the case of Christians it consist of life and immortality (Second Reading).

“An appreciative fidelity to your calling requires faith. The promises are real but cannot yet be verified as the Gospel of Transfiguration brings out: ‘When the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.’”

Today’s theme is “God’s Call and Our Response.”

Here are six examples of God’s calling in the Sacred Book:

1. God’s call to Abraham: “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless the nations.”

Abrahams response: “When Abraham was 75 years old, he started out from Haran, as The Lord had told him to do; and Lot went with him. Abraham took his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, and all the wealth and all the slaves they had acquired in Haran, and they started out for the land of Canaan.” (Genesis 12:1-5)

2. God’s call to Isaiah: “Whom shall I send. Who will be our messenger.”

Isaiah’s response: “I will go! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

3. God’s call to Joseph: When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, even though he was not responsible for it, he planned to break the engagement privately. But an Angel of The Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For it is by The Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son and you will name him Jesus — because He will save His people from their sins.”

Joseph’s response : “When Joseph woke up, he married Mary.” (Matthew 1:18-25)

4. God call to Mary: An Angel said to her,”Don’t be afraid Mary. God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make Him a king as His ancestor David was and He will be king of the descendants of Jacob forever; His Kingdom will never end. The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God. Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she herself is now six month’s pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

Mary’s response: “I am The Lord’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:30-38)

5. Jesus Calls Four Fishermen: As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw two brothers who were fishermen. Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. Jesus said to them, “Come with me and I will teach you to catch people.”

Peter and Andrew’s response: “At once they left their nets and went with him.”

Jesus went on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat with their father Zebedee, getting their nets ready. Jesus called them.

James and John’s response: “At once they left the boat and their father, and went with Him.” (Matthew 4:18-22)

6. Jesus chooses Saul (Paul) to serve Him: As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him: “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus whom you persecute,” the voice said. “But get up and go into the city,where you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

Take note that every one of us Christians has a calling and somehow that calling will always be connected to serve the Twin Mission of The Lord, namely:

1. To help bring people back to God and to live with Him in eternity.

2. To help change the world.

What is your calling? What is God’s will for you?

Bo Sanchez, quoting Fr. Manoling Francisco said, “God’s will is your deepest desire,” meaning God’s will for you is the same as your heart’s deepest desire. God has planted that desire in our hearts before we were born. We should not be searching for that will (our calling) from the outside, but from the inside of our being. In the end, God’s will for us is also where our happiness will be.

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For Sunday Mass, March 5, 2017

Teamptation and Sin

Our theme for today’s readings is: Temptation and Sin.

1st Sunday of Lent

Here is a portion from our Saint Joseph Sunday missal commentaries:

“Since human beings are both God’s masterpiece and fallen creatures, temptation and sin are daily realities which no psychology can talk away.

“Sin is willfully breaking that beautiful love-relationship with God that is called grace. We do not accomplish this easily, although we are tempted daily not to live up to the ideal of love of God and neighbor as we should. Whether or not our daily failures should be called ‘sin’ is not important. But we should not take them for granted.

“One of the great temptations that ruin beautiful relationships (marriage, friendships) is the routine of daily failures. It is a kind of indifference (lack of interest and concern) that renders a love-relationship stale and trite. Finally it gets boring and the next step is a breakup.

“Today’s Bible readings should make us take a realistic look at our relationship with our marriage partner, friends, children, and parents in whom God approaches us and our direct relationship with God in both private prayer and worship. Beware of the temptation of indifference. “

We have three common weaknesses: (from the Gospel reading)

1. Physical — Food, sex, shopping (if you are god’s son turn this stone into bread).

2. Praises from other people (throw yourself down and the angels will help you — something spectacular)

3. Power over others (worship me and I will give the world’s kingdom to you).

We are tempted on a regular basis on any of these three weaknesses. We need to imitate Christ and be successful in three areas of temptation.

With Spiritual Conversion, we have more strength to fight temptation. If we have experienced Spiritual Rebirth or Renewal and we regularly read the Sacred Book, go to confession and Holy Communion, we are more equip with God’s grace in fighting temptation.

One big mistake can lead to a miserable relationship problem, long term painful existence, negative effect on children’s psychological development, and many other consequences.

We should avoid places where temptation is a possibility. Hang out with people or friends that will lead you into a clean life or better still into a life of Spirituality. Join a group in your local church that suits your personality. It may be the choir, catechists group, Bible Study group, prayer group, pastoral council, charismatic group, or Sunday school group.

(When you join these groups, do not expect those people there to be perfect. They are on the same journey. Rather be a leader by example).

 

Happy Sunday to everyone. Grace and Peace from The Lord !

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For Sunday Mass, February 27, 2017

God’s Providence

Our theme for today’s readings is: God’s Providence.

Here are definitions of God’s Providence:

• God’s protective care.

• God’s intervention.

• God will provide.

God’s providence, from the word provide, means God will provide if we do our part of the job and obey His will.

Here are excerpts from our Saint Joseph Sunday Missal:

“We should be like birds in the sky and wild flowers in the field: carefree. But the grocery bill must be taken care of as well. The Bible speaks about human handiworks as often as it urges us to have trust in the providence (protective care) of God.

“The secret of the Christian life-style is to make the best of it without incurring the nervous breakdown and high blood pressure that afflicts so many. After Christians have done what they reasonably can and must do, they can kneel down and pray with the psalmist: ‘God only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be disturb at all.’

“Over-zealous pursuit of all the niceties of life is ultimately harmful. Too much work — moonlighting (second job) or urging one’s spouse to do so in order to keep up with one’s neighbors — is damaging to family life and inevitably leads to misery and trouble. Do we need all the gadgets possessed by the people next door in order to be happy? Where do you let your Heavenly Father step in.”

it is faith in God’s providence that will prevent us from using other people’s money in our hands in an emergency situation. It is in God’s providence that will prevent us from committing criminal acts.

We often read this: Do your best and leave the rest to God.

We should be like Saint Joseph, in that statue, popular now a days, sleeping. It is said that Saint Joseph, after doing his part, go to sleep, while God does the rest. After doing his job, he does not spend time worrying, instead he goes to sleep. He seemed to have discovered that results are better when he let God do His part and when he is asleep. What a nice way to live, this servant of God. Less stress. Relax.

It is also said that Pope Francis has this statue on his bedside table (with all the concerns on his shoulder) to remind him. Whether true or not I do not know. More important is the fact that God favors those who trust Him.

 

Cheers to your family this Sunday, The Lord’s Day !

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For Sunday Mass, February 19, 2017

Holiness

Our theme for today is: Holiness.

From our Sunday missal:

“It is the Hebrew genius, under divine guidance, that has related morality expressly to God and religion. Why should human beings be holy? Because God is holy (First Reading). ‘Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect’ (Gospel). ‘You are temple of God…. And the Spirit of God dwells in you …. The temple of God, which you are, is holy’ (Second Reading).

“Christians see their moral lives related to God. It is important to know what God thinks of morality (Morality: beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior). God’s ideas on morality are best reflected in Jesus Christ and what He stands for. ‘He is the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15). Imitation of Christ is the best guide for a morally good life!”

From the three Readings plus the usual definition of the word, we can get an idea of what Holiness is to God:

A. Reverence (deep respect) to The Lord, our God: (examples)

• We don’t mention The Lord’s name unnecessarily nor make fun of our or other people’s faith.

• We don’t read the Bible inside the toilet .

• We wear our best on Sunday when we go to Mass. We don’t wear the same clothes as for jogging and going to Mass.

• In passing by a Church, especially with the tabernacle inside, we vow our head facing the altar.

B. Full obedience to His commandments.

C. A prayerful life, characterize by constant communication with The Lord, seeking His will on our decisions.

D. Love of neighbors as ourselves:

• Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

• Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. (Leave that to The Lord, or if the case is big enough, for the sake of justice, file a case and leave that to the court of law. Avoid hatred in your heart).

• If someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well.

• If one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles (Go the extra mile as a matter of habit in serving people).

• When someone asks you for something, give it to him.

• When someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him (We may not be able to afford what one wants to borrow, but let no one leave us empty handed).

Happy Sunday to everyone ! Cheers !

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For Sunday Mass, February 12, 2017

Law and Freedom

Theme: Law and Freedom

Our theme for our Sunday readings is essentially about the conflict between God’s law or commandments and our desire to do things the way we wanted it. We don’t want to be told what to do.

Here is a portion of the commentary from Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“It seems to be ever more difficult for modern persons to accept rules and regulations, which are considered as handicaps (obstacles) for their full self-realization. Freedom is of paramount importance in the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’.

“God’s wisdom tells us that we must be careful with statements often made by contemporary psychologist who try to do away with human responsibility for evil committed. A breakdown of authority in the family, the church, and the state resulting in a high rate of juvenile delinquency, might have something to do with a certain kind of psychology, taught for several decades.

“Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to reinterpret it and raise it to a different level. Jesus stresses that we should pay attention not just to what is actually done, but also to the inner motive, which is known only to ourselves and to God.

“Laws may be beacons (a source of light or inspiration) in our often confused human condition.

“But as a whole, human freedom means people can choose good and avoid evil.”

Freedom per se is not good if it affects other people. An example which is very common in our country, especially in the rural areas and provinces, is playing loud music without considering whether our neighbors like it or not. It’s ok to enjoy music but if it affects the peace and tranquility of other people, then it’s not good, because it can happen to us in reverse. So the Golden Rule is good: Do not do to other what you do not want others do to you.

We need good laws to improve the quality of life in our community or city. We need good laws so we can live in harmony with our neighboring countries. We need good laws so our properties are secured. We need the protection of the law so that peace and order is maintained in our community.

God’s law or commandments are of similar purpose. It’s for our own good. Knowing our nature and limitation, God’s law will do us good. The reason behind God’s law is His love for us.

An example of God’s law in the Old Testament was from Leviticus 11:9-12. He commanded the Chosen People to eat only those fish with fins and scales from the sea and rivers. All the other creatures from the sea and rivers He forbids them from eating. They are unclean. It’s now scientifically proven that only fish with scales has the means of expelling the toxins they have in their bodies. The scales are their organs to expel the toxins and impurities. All the other creatures, such as crabs, shrimps, squids, etc, who thrive mostly at the bottom of the sea, does not have the means to expel the toxins they have. Instead their functions is that they contribute as cleaners of the sea. As it is they are able to maintain its relative cleanliness. (For us humans we expel our toxic waste through three areas: urine, sweat, and stool). We have to remember that there are so much toxic waste and impurities thrown into our rivers and sea: By the houses lining up the rivers, by the ships and boats, etc. For our long term good health, it is for our good that we obey this law.

 

Wish you and your family a happy Sunday ! God Bless

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For Sunday Mass, February 5, 2017

Who are we?

The theme for today’s reading is: Who are we ?

From our Sunday missal:

“In daily life, we must be concern about priorities. First things first ! Prayer in the family and worship even in an expensive and luxurious church building are wonderful but not enough. A congregation as such must be socially concerned; otherwise it is not like salt in the community, not a city seen by all, not a light to those in town who walk in darkness.”

“What are the priorities of your parish council? Is it’s first concern worship, some more expensive items for the sanctuary, and improvement of the parking lot? But are there poor and deprived in your community? What is done for the old and lonely?”

Our first reading set the tone for our theme. Here is the full text of the first reading:

“Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.

“Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you from every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.

“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt (scorn, disrespect), and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon.”

How can we ever missed this point. The Lord’s priority is very clear. Love for others, especially the least of our brothers, is really what The Lord wants us to prioritized.

We are the salt (lasa) of the Earth, the light of the world, the city on the hill, if we do the above priority of The Lord. We give taste to the community if many of us are concerned on what’s happening to other people.

Who are we? is our theme for today: we are what The Lord wants us to do. We are The Lord’s servant. We are socially concerned. We know our priorities.

Hope you are all in good cheers today ! God bless .

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Posted: January 29, 2017 on Spirituality

Humility

We have today an even greater theme for our Sunday readings: Humility.

Humility in Filipino (Tagalog) is kababaang loob.

Humility is a recognition of self in relation to God, The Almighty and Loving Father, and acceptance of ones limitation.

Humility is a modest opinion or estimate of ones own importance or rank.

Humility is a quality of not being arrogant.

According to Saint Augustine, humility is the mother of all virtues, which means it is easier to for us to develop or learn other virtues if we are to work and acquire the virtue of humility first.

Humility is a cheerful virtue.

A humble person is usually a happy person.

A humble person is teachable.

Humility is not an easy trait to develop because it’s opposite, pride is a trait we all have, by virtue of the original sin. Pride is a spiritual vice because it’s imbedded in our soul, through the original sin and therefore not easy to unlearn.

Here are the words of C.S. Lewis on pride:

“Pride is The Great Sin.”

“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison. It was through pride that the devil became the devil.

“Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.

“Pride is a sickness, which we are unconscious of in ourselves. If you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself ‘how much do I dislike it when other people snub me or refuse to take notice of me?.’

“Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began”

There are two important things we need to do to develop humility: ask The Lord to help us slowly develop humility and actual practice and regular exercises in humility. Examples: Saying sorry to your subordinate when you commit a mistake. Listening patiently and sincerely to everyone because everyone is important in the eyes of God. Going to a confession. The Lord’s washing the feet of the apostles. Saint Francis begging food to his neighbors. Pope Francis, when he was still a Cardinal, cooking his own food and riding a public bus transport to work. Riding a jeep or tricycle when your friends always see you riding your own car. Accepting a manual , lower paying job because you need to provide for your family.

It is important that our knowledge and consciousness about the importance of humility, and the evilness and the deadliness of pride should continue to grow. They are two of the most important things in life, because our spirituality, whichever way they go, will be affected.

And for our final word, here is a quote from The Sacred Truth Book:

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom”— (Proverbs 11:2).

May The Good Lord help us all acquire this beautiful trait called humility !

To all who are celebrating the lunar new year, the Chinese New Year, family, relatives, friends, classmates, Happy New Year !

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Posted: January 22, 2017 on Spirituality

Discipleship

Today we have a great theme: Discipleship !

From Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“All Christians are called to discipleship and service. The Lord continues his mission of service to humankind through the Church. And the Church is not just the ordained ministers! It is all of us.

“The very beginning of Jesus’ ministry is marked by the calling of co-workers. Jesus said to the Galilean fishermen, Simon and Andrew: ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.’

“If Christians leave it up to the ordained ministers to continue Christ’s mission, then Christian impact on society is negligible. If all would be dedicated to Christian discipleship and ministry, a tremendous untapped source of energy would be activated for the benefit of ‘the people who walk in darkness.’

“Jesus is the great light, envisaged by Isaiah in the first reading. Like the first disciples , all Christians share in Christ mission of service.”

If we as Christians have discovered the truth that Jesus is the great light (Nakatanaw ng liwanag ang mga taong matagal nang nababalot sa dilim — Isaiah 9:2), then we have an automatic obligation and assignment that we have to share this truth with others.

If we lived in the shadows all these past years and begin to see the light after knowing and sincerely following Our Lord Christ, yes we need to share it. That is what The Lord want us to do. The Lord wants us all to be saved. The Lord wants us to experienced the freedom that spring from this truth.

How beautiful it is to discover this truth !

Grace and peace from The Lord

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Posted: January 15, 2017 on Spirituality

Do We Know Jesus Christ?

“Do we know Jesus Christ?”, this is the theme for today’s readings.

From Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“We may be acquainted with persons for a long time, have social or business contacts, and yet not know them as they really are, for our contacts are superficial. Then at a certain moment there is a real encounter. Behind that casual smile, we discover entirely different persons. Meeting beautiful persons, having the privilege of being their friends, enriches our lives.”

Our labor law require us to decide whether to regularize an employee or not within a period of six months. The purpose is to give us enough time to know the person before we decide to make him a permanent member of our company. There are five process we do before we decide to regularize an applicant. First we conduct a short telephone interview to check if he or she has our basic requirements. Second, we ask them to fill up an application form together with tests on written communication, math, intelligence, general knowledge, and personality. Third, a face to face interview with at least three officers. Fourth, a thorough background check. And fifth, a six months probationary period of employment, with a monthly review system. In these process, we are blessed to have with us beautiful persons who not only shared our values, but also helped enrich our group.

In the same way with our Lord Jesus Christ, it will take some time to get to know Him, as a human person and as God. By regularly reading the Sacred Truth Book, we would have an idea of His being and His personality. In the Old Testament the prophets talked about His coming or the one who is about to come. In the New Testament four Evangelist talked about His being, His life, His values, what He did during those three years of public life, His miracles and commandments.

May we all have A good knowledge of This Beautiful Person and Friend and God !

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Posted: January 8, 2017 on Spirituality

Mission of Our Company

With today’s theme, “Jesus Royal Messiahship of Both Jews and Gentiles,” I thought of sharing with you the Twin Mission of our company, San Jose KCM. We have been practicing these two programs for the last 29 years. I think it is a powerful business formula. I believe it is good for the business owners, good for the employees, good for the country and good for the church. I believe the concept should be shared to other companies or business owners, especially Christian business owners. It is also good that many people should know about it.

Here are the two programs:

1. Spirituality in the workplace

It is a regular spiritual program of approximately one hour every week done every Monday morning, 8am, first hour of the first working day of the week. It is a study of the Word of God program or The Sacred Truth Book (Bible).

2. 50/50 Employer/Employee Profit Sharing

It is a profit sharing program of our company for our employees. Fifty percent of the company’s profit is distributed to employees. The basis of profit sharing are only two: Performance and level of responsibility.

I believe it is a powerful business formula. Here is why:

A) Good for the Business Owners.

It has the power to retain good employees with missionary zeal.

It has the power to generate good profit net for the company.

It has the power to give business owners a special kind of joy in managing the company.

B) Good for the Employees.

It has the power to impart huge spiritual wealth among employees.

It has the power to elevate the standard of living of employees.

It has the power in making the jobs of employees holding higher level positions, such as managers and supervisors, less hard in managing their departments.

C) Good for the Country.

It has the power to contribute much to long term peace.

It has the power to contribute in major proportion to poverty reduction.

It has the power to return many OFW and be united with their families.

D) Good for the Church.

It has the power to contribute significantly to The Lord’s mission of bringing people back to God.

It has the power to contribute to The Lord’s mission of changing our world.

It has the power to contribute positively in making the church closer to the people.

If these Twin Programs are practiced widely by many Christian business owners and executives, I believe it will contribute much to our Lord’s mission of establishing His kingdom here on earth. It can also contribute much to our social problems. It is contributory to solidarity and brotherhood.

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Posted: January 1, 2017 on Spirituality

Mary, Mother of God

Here is a portion of the commentaries from The Saint Joseph Sunday missal:

“Pregnancy, birth, choosing a name and baptism (in the Jewish faith, circumcision) are great events for a young mother who goes through this experience for the first time. Only mothers can witness this wonderful time in their lives. Outsiders can only marvel about the beautiful miracle God works in a woman, time and again….

Mary is the mother of Jesus as man, but since Jesus is both God and man, Mary deserves the title of ‘Mother of God,’ just as any woman deserves the title of ‘mother of a medical doctor’ if her son is one….

Notice that Mary did not understand the ramifications of her vocation right from the beginning. Yet in faith her whole life was a repeated ‘May it be done to me according to your word’ (Lk 1:38).”

How beautiful it is that our church dedicated the theme for our Sunday readings, the immediate week after Christmas, and New Year’s Day at that, to the mother.

During our general assembly meeting the other day, Jun Velez, our in-house architect, was relating their family’s gift opening last Christmas eve. The children thought of surprising their mother. One of the children observe that all of them have touch tone cellphone, except their mother (never complaining) who still uses the old type.. So during the gift giving, nobody was giving anything to the their mother. One of them was saying “nakalimotan ko yata (maybe I forgot).” When after all of them had already opened their gifts, one of them brought in a big box for their mother. Only to be surprise again because the box was empty. Inside the big box was a small shoe box, so maybe it’s a rubber shoes, but it was also empty or almost empty…..inside was even a smaller box …. cellphone box …. a gift of love.

Arnel, our admin officer, also shared an incident last Christmas of how they were able to switch a negative situation into positive. They were all set for celebrating Christmas Day together when his wife, who works in a hospital, received a call that she need to relieve someone who got sick. Naturally everybody was disappointed. They were all looking forward to a happy Christmas lunch together. So early on Christmas Day the children saw their mother going to work. One of them suggested, why not they bring the food to the hospital and celebrate there. Why not? So the whole family just before lunch arrived in the hospital. Arnel was saying, “You can just imagine what a happy face they saw in the mother.” They also brought in enough food so that they were also able to invite those who were around to celebrate Christmas with them.

With all these beautiful love story happening in many families how can it fail to make The Lord happy and smile. After all His sacrifice was not without merit.

Here is a part of a poem I wrote for my mother a few years ago:

How beautiful it is to have a mother

How beautiful is a memory of a mother

I noticed that Mama in her late years love white flowers

How beautiful are those flowers these last few days

Let us ask The Lord to put in our hearts an increased appreciation for the role of the mother.

May The Lord’s grace of truth and peace fill our hearts this new year!

 

-0-

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Posted: December 18, 2016 on Spirituality

Pitong Kayamanan sa Lubusan Pag Unlad ng Tao

Paalaala: Karamihan sa atin ang tuon ng pansin ay sa kayamanan pangpinansyal kung hindi sa atin ipaalala  ang kahalagahan ng iba pang anim na kayamanan sa kumpletong pag-unlad ng tao. Noong si Saint Pope John Paul ay Santo Papa binigyan  niya ng diin  ang kahalagahan ng kumpletong pag-unlad ng tao.

1. Kayamanan Pang Espiritual (Spiritual Wealth)

Ito iya pitong kayamanan ng tao dahil ito ang madadala natin sa langit, sa susunod na buhay. Dito rin tayo lubusang nasisiyahan dahil Ito ang tunay na hinahanap ng ating puso. Sabi  nga sa turo ng simbahan, “Tayo’y ginawa ng Diyos at para sa Diyos.” At hangga’t hindi tayo lumalapit sa Kanya habang  tayo’y nagkaka-idad, balisa ang  pakiramdam natin at hindi buo. Ito magbibigay ng matibay na pundasyon sa ating pag-unlad tungo sa susunod na anim na Kayamanan.

Ang paraan tungo sa pagka-espiritual ay ang pag sunod ng buong puso sa kagustuhan ng Diyos. Alam natin na Siya ay tunay na mapagmahal na Ama, na nagbigay na sa atin ng buhay. Parating kabutihan ang nasa isip niya sa atin.

2. Kayamanan sa Husay na Pagdadala ng Sarili (Emotional Maturity Wealth)

Ito’y tungkol  sa husay ng pagpipigil sa sustong makaganti pagnasaktan. Madali ba tayong magalit? Madali ba tayong maapektohan sa sinasabi ng iba? Malimit ba tayong napapaaway? Paano ba ang kilos natin kapag hindi nasunod ang kagustuhan natin? Paano ba ang kilos natin kapag may kaguluhan sa paligid? Madali ba tayong manghina?

Ang husay sa pagpipigil ng sarili ay kayamanan.

Hingng kababaan ng loob. Ito iyong katangiang kailangan natin sa mahusay na pagdadala sa sarili. Sabi ni San Agustin ang kababaang loob ang nanay ng mga magagandang  pag-uugali ng tao. Ito ay pundasyon sa isang matagumpay na buhay.

3. Kayamanan sa Pakikitungo (Relationship Wealth)

Maa kung  hiwalay naman  tayo sa pamilya, hindi maganda. Ang mga anak natin lalaking hindi kumpleto ang magulang. Maaring mayaman tayo pero kung hindi naman maganda ang relasyon natin sa ating asawa at mga anak, sa mga mahihirap, sa ating mga kapitbahay, sa kasamahan sa trabaho, sa mga kamag-anak at biyenan, hindi maganda. O kaya kung galit sa atin ang mga anak natin. Ang pagkakaroon ng magandang relasyon ay kayamanan at nakapagpapataba ng puso. Maaring marami tayong pera, ngunit  kung wala naman tayong kaibigan, wala iyon.

Sa isang pagpupulong na aking dinalgapagsalita na sa kanilang pamilya ang family reunion ay  sa husgado, Ibig sabihin nagkikita kita lang sila dahil sa may iniaayos na hindi nila pinagkakasunduan. Ang lungkot naman ng pamilyang iyon.

 

Kayamanan ang may magandang relasyon.

4. Kayamanan Pangkalusogan (Physical-Health Wealth)

Ang unang kayamanan ay kalusugan, sabi ni Emerson. Sa Bicol, mayroon kaming kasabihan, “Dai bali pobre dai lamang magherelang.” (Di bali mahirap, huwag lang magkasakit). Ang aking ama ay isang taong walang kalabisan. Parati niyang sinasabi, kung iinom ka ng wa lamang. Siya ay isa ring mala-albularyong doctor sa Chinese. Umabot siya ng 92 na taon. Iyong  araw na yun, gaya  ng dati pumasok siya ng maaga sa trabaho. Nang tanghali na kumain siya ng pananghalian at na-idlip ng konti. Mga bandang ala-una ng hapon naupo siya sa isa sa mga upuan sa opisina. Pagkalipas ng ilang sandali siya ay sumandal at namatay. Doon sa amana ganyan din ako pag namatay.” Kung tayo’y may malubhang sakit, hindi iyon mapapalitan ng kahit magkano. Apektado ang ating pag asa sa buhay. Baka madepres pa tayo. Malaking problema. Sigurado ayaw natin umabot tayo sa ganoong kalagayan.

Ang kalusugan ay tunay na Kayamanan.

Ang pinaka magandang paraan para sa pag-aalaga ng ating katawan  ay tayo ang mag-manage sa paglago  ng ating kalusogan. Huwag nating ipagkatiwala sa doctor o’ ibang tao. Maglaan tayo ng oras sa pag aaral para dito.

5. Kayamanan sa Karunungan at Kaalalaman (Wisdom and Knowledge Wealth)

Sabi ni Haring Solomon, “Para sa akin mas mahalaga ang Karunungan kaysa sa ginto.” Ang edukasyon, kaalaman, at higit sa lahat ang karunungan ay napaka halaga at tunay na Kayamanan. (Ang karunungan ay galing sa karanasan at kaalaman na nasala na ng puso na may patnubay ang Espíritu Santo). Dapat  ang mga magulang ay malimit pagusapan ang tungkol sa kahalagahan ng  edukasyon, kaalaman, at Karunungan sa loob ng bahay.

Si Edgar ay aming production foreman sa loob ng walong taon. Ang kanyang performance noon ay katamtaman, kung minsan maganda, pero kalimitan katamtaman lang. Napansin ko ang kanyang malasakit sa kapwa. Kapag may baha naghihingi siya ng donasyon. Napagpasyahan namin ilipat siya sa HR (Personnel Department kanyang performance ay mas maganda kaysa sa production. Tinanong ko siya kung ano ang antas ng kanyang kasiyahan sa trabaho dito sa HR kumpara sa production. Mabilis ang kanyang sagot, “Sir, sa production 80%, dito sa. HR 90 to 95%.” Kung alam ko lang noon pa na importante ang bagay na Ito, hindi ko na siya pinatagal sa production. Mahalaga na ang ating trabaho ag panggastos sa pamilya, kundi masaya at lumalago rin tayo sa trabaho. Dapat ang trabaho natin ay kung saan tugma ang ating galing at hilig na nagmula sa Panginoon.

7. Kayamanan Pangpinansyal (Financial Wealth)

Siyempre mahalaga rin ang pinansyal. Maganda rin na maayos at kumportable ang buhay natin. Nararapat lang naman lalo na’t pinaghirapan natin. Sa laki ng karangalan na binigay ng Panginoon sa tao — na tayo’y nilalang na kahawig ng Diyos — dapat lang na ang buhay natin ay nasa ayos. Kung tayo’y mabubuhay ng hanggang isang daang taon, ayaw natin umasa sa iba sa ating pinansyal na p pang mas mahalaga, maganda  rin na sa ating pagtanda, may kakayahan tayong makatulong sa iba. (Binigay na sa atin ng Panginoon ang sekreto ng kasiyahan, “Mas malaki ang kasiyahan ng nagbibigay kaysa sa binibigyan.”)

Mahalaga na tayong mga magulang maituro muna sa mga batang anim na kayamanan bago natin hikayatin silang mag pursigi sa pinansyal na kayamanan. Ito iyong tamang pamamaraan tungo sa  kayamanang pang pinansyal. Kapag hindi natin sila tinuruan ng ganitong sistema, baka kung anong mangyari. Mayroon akong kilala na talagang nagsikap tungo sa kayamanang pinansyal. Yumaman nga, pero nagkaroon ng malubhang karamdaman. Maraming pamilya ang nag-awera.

Sana’y mapa sa atin ang grasya ng Panginoon tungo sa Pitong Kayamanan para sa ating lubusang pag-unlad bilang tao.

Merry Christmas!

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Posted: December 18, 2016 on Spirituality

Faith

The theme for today’s readings is: Faith.

Here is a portion of the commentaries as gathered from our St. Joseph Sunday missal:

“King Ahaz has more faith in a treaty with the Assyrians than in God (represented by the prophet Isaiah) who approached him …. It is faith in God that saves us from a meaningless existence. God is willing to step into the darkness of our confusion. Loneliness is the greatest threat to happiness. A person alone has no answer. A loner is an unhappy person, depressed, …. “Emmanuel” (God with-us) in Jesus Christ saves us from ourselves. Time and again Christmas reminds Christians that God came to share our human situation on this planet.”

Faith is the complete trust and confidence in God, our Creator. It is borne out of the belief that the One God who has already given us the gift of life will surely be thinking more of what is good for us rather than harm. It is validated by the circumstances in our life. Faith is a relationship. With faith we are not alone.

Faith is a gift channelled through the sacraments, such as baptism, the sacrament of marriage, confession, and Holy communion. It grows as we follow the will of God and pay reverence to Him. It is nourished by our daily devotion to prayer and our acts of love towards neighbors.

Faith is one of the best gifts from God. It makes our life less stressful and the load in our shoulder lighter. At the end of the day, it makes sleeping easy and a welcome treat.

Christmas is near!

Let us ask The Lord to help us increase our faith.

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Posted: December  11, 2016  on Spirituality

Joyful in Hope

Today’s Theme is, “Joyful in Hope.” Here is a portion of today’s commentary from the Saint Joseph Sunday missal: “Christian hope opposes despair, which often results in suicide or just ‘copping out.’ It opposes escaping from reality through the use of drugs, abuse of alcohol, or excessive addiction to the pleasures of modern life. Christian hope knows how to handle depression: You get on your knees, knowing that ‘Over the world of the stars, a loving Father must reside.’ “
What is the greatest message of Christmas? — The greatest message of Christmas is “you don’t have to do it alone.” The Lord is coming. Emmanuel is “God- with-us” You don’t have to do it alone in facing all the problems of life. Isn’t that beautiful, that we don’t have to do it alone, that God decided to come to help us.

Hope is what Christmas brings ! That is why there is joy in our hearts every time Christmas is coming — Merry Christmas !! — Say Merry Christmas to everyone with a smile ! — Give something to the children — Share your cake, pour the wine — Celebrate ! — Do not forget your household helps. Take them in, include them! — Be careful with your sugar and meat.

Merry Christmas po ! Magandang araw po !

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Posted: December  4, 2016  on Spirituality

Christ’s Leadership

The Theme for this Sunday’s reading is: Christ’s Leadership. Here is a portion of the commentary from St. Joseph Sunday Missal: “Christ is the answer to the frightening questions of life. When the leaders of a nation are corrupt, it’s people usually suffers. The human family on this planet is afflicted with many maladies resulting from lack of leadership…. Jesus Christ is the God-given leader, who came to establish God’s kingdom here on Earth. A kingdom of truth….. A kingdom of justice, love and peace…. Society would be much better if all would heed the guiding principles of Jesus.”

Actually, as we all knew, The Lord Jesus did not become a king during His time here on earth. He just lay down the principles of Christian leadership. His plan was long term. The Lord said: “I am the tree, you are the branches.” This would mean Christian leaders should draw their inspirations, their principles from the teachings of the Sacred Truth Book (The Bible) in contributing to the mission of “The Tree” (The Lord). Individually, Christian leaders should be conscious of the fact that they are just one tiny branch (but important) to the overall mission of the huge “Tree.” After His death and resurrection, The Lord (The King), through The Holy Spirit, year after year, through the centuries, is working behind the scene through His many followers and missionaries to achieve His Twin Mission, namely: A) To win people back to God and B) To change this world. (Pope Francis has repeatedly remind us not to forget this second important mission).

Here are seven principles of Christian leadership:

  1. Be a leader with a humble heart.
  2. Full obedience to The Father’s will and extend to God the highest of reverence.
  3. Practice leadership by example.
  4. Go the extra mile: exceed the people’s expectations in what you do.
  5. Practice and promote the commandment, “Love one another” — accept one another. Since man is created in the image of God, human life is of great value. Everyone must be treated with dignity and love, especially the poor and the least of our brothers.
  6. A combination of love and justice should be the guiding principle in governance.
  7. Strong determination to contribute to the two important missions of The Lord, which are:

• To help The Lord bring people back to God, and eventually to live with Him in eternity.
• To help The Lord change this world. (The goal of The Lord is a world characterize by truth, justice, love and peace).
As Christians, we are expected to contribute to the Twin Mission of The Lord. Therefore we are all leaders ! Let us ask The Holy Spirit to help us practice the seven principles of Christian leadership.
It’s a joy to contribute to the mission of The Lord !!

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Posted: November 27, 2016 on Spirituality

The Coming of The Lord

Today, November 27, is the first Sunday of Advent (The coming of The Lord), the beginning of the Christmas season in the church calendar. For those who have not yet establish their personal relationship with The Lord, it’s the best time to take the opportunity to ask The Lord for the most valuable Christmas gift of all — the gift of spirituality or the gift to Spiritual Awakening. Let us now acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and a friend, and decide to obey Him.

For those who already have established their relationship with The Lord, it’s a time of preparation for an even closer relationship with The Lord. Let us be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Let us ask God to show us our sins more clearly. One example is our tendency to point the blame on others, our lack of repentance for failures in areas under our responsibilities.

In the story of our first parent at the garden of Eden, when God asked Adam, “Why did you eat the forbidden fruit,” Adam replied, “The woman gave it to me,” and when God asked Eve why she did it, she replied, “The serpent tricked me into eating it.” There was no repentance at all on our first parent, which to this days we reflect the same general attitude.

Let us ask The Holy Spirit to help us grow in the spirit of humility by having the courage to admit our mistakes, to assume responsibility for that mistake and to sincerely express our apology. And later on followed by actions that proves our sincerity.

Greetings to everyone with the Spirit of Christmas!
This time let us make The Lord smile more often!

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Posted: November 20, 2016 on Spiritual

Seven Wealths for Complete Human Development

Note: Most of us will focus on financial wealth if we are not reminded on the importance of the other six wealths for complete human developments. During his time in the papacy, St. Pope John Paul ll emphasized the importance of Integral Human Development.

1. Spiritual Wealth

This is the most important among all the 7-Wealth because this is what we will carry in the next life to eternity. This is also the most satisfying as this is the ultimate need of our soul. As the cathechesis teaches us, “We are made by God and for God.” And unless we are moving towards that direction as we grow older, somehow we would feel restless or incomplete.  This wealth will also set a strong foundation for the positive development of our other six Wealths.

The way to Spirituality is to surrender our will to God’s will. Knowing that He is a loving Father, who gifted us with the gift of life, He always has our best intention.

2. Emotional Maturity Wealth

This is about our self- control. Our self-mastery on our day to day life. We are always tempted to react or retaliate in the negative way. Are we easily hurt? Are we easily disturbed by what others say or do? Do we often get into quarrel with someone? How do we behave if we are disappointed or in a chaotic situation? Are we often stressed out?

Emotional maturity is wealth!

Let us ask The Lord to help us grow in the virtue of humility (kababaang loob). It is this virtue that will help us much in our pursuit for emotional maturity. Saint Agustin said that humility is the mother of all virtues. It is the foundation to a successful life.

3. Relationship Wealth

We may be very rich but if we are separated from our family, what is that? Knowing that our children are growing with incomplete parents? We maybe rich, but if we don’t have good relation with our children, with the poor, with our neighbors, co-employees, relatives, in-laws, what is that? Or if our children hates us. Relationship are assets and very enriching to the soul. We may have plenty of money, but if we don’t have friends, what is that?

In one meeting I attended, the speaker shared that their family reunions were in the courts of law, meaning they see each other only because of disputes being settled by the courts. What a sad story for a family.

Relationship is wealth!

4. Physical (Health) Wealth

Health is the first wealth, according to Emerson.  In Bicol, there is a   saying, “Dai bali pobre  dai lamang magherelang.” (It’s ok to be poor, so long as nobody get sick). My father was a man of moderation. He always said, if you drink hard liquor take a few table spoons only. He is also some kind of a Chinese herbal medicine practitioner. He died at the age of 92. That day, as usual he went to work early in the morning. At noon time he ate his lunch and took a short nap. At around one in the afternoon he sit in one of the chairs in the office. After a few minutes, he reclined and died. What a beautiful way to die at a ripe old age. If we are afflicted with a major illness, no amount of money can replace it.  Hope is affected. Depression may even follow. It’s a big problem. You can be sure you don’t want it.

Health is definitely wealth!

The best way to take care of our health is to take charge of our own health development. We should not rely to much on others. We should allocate time and effort to learn more about health.

5. Wisdom and Knowledge Wealth

Solomon said, “I consider wisdom more valuable than gold.” Education, knowledge and most of all wisdom are most valuable and real wealth. (Wisdom are experiences and knowledge already filtered by the heart guided by The Holy Spirit). Parents should often talk about the value of education, knowledge and wisdom in their homes.

6. In the Right Job Wealth

Edgar is our production foreman for eight years. His performance was average, sometimes good, but most of the time average. I notice his concern for people. During floods he would volunteer to solicit donations. We decided to transfer him to HR (personnel department). Soon enough his performance was much better than when he was at production. I asked him what was his level of happiness when he was at production compared to now at HR. His answer was spontaneous, “Sir, at production, around 80%, and now here at HR 90 to 95%.” Had I realized the importance of this phenomenon, I would not have him stay that long at production. It is important that our job or business should not only provide for our living but must also be where we are happy working.. We should be where our core gifts or primary talents are. It should be in the area where we are passionate about.

7. Financial wealth

Of course financial wealth is important. It is good to live a comfortable life. We deserve it if we have work for it. With the great honor that God has given to the human person —-which is that we are “created in the image of God”— we should live a descent life. If we are to live up to a hundred, we don’t want to depend on others for our financial needs. Even more important, we should also have the means to help others even during our later years. (The Lord has already given us the secret to happiness: “There is more joy in giving, than in receiving”).

It is important for parents to educate their children on the first six aspects of complete human development before they encourage them to pursue vigorously on their financial wealth. This is the right way to financial wealth. If we don’t teach them these ways we may end up sorry later. I know of a person who pursue vigorously for material wealth. True enough he became financially successful but got a serious illness in the process. Many families were broken, relationships destroyed in the pursuit of material wealth.

May The Lord’s grace bless us with the Seven Wealths for Integral Human Development!

May we all have a long, healthy and happy life!

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Posted: November 13, 2016 on Long Term Good Health

Reduce Intake of Sugar

(Note: Most of the materials in this posting came from Bo Sanchez article on sugar)

A)  Sugar is everywhere

  1. Processed foods are usually laden with sugar. Most people are not aware that we are on a sugar rich diet.
  2. Huge amount of sugar in soft drinks, fruit drinks and other drinks. Sugar is hidden in hotdogs, bacon, sausages, luncheon meat, catsup, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce. In salad dressing, peanut butter, crackers, pizza, bouillon cubes, smoked fish, a lot of fat –free products, jams and jellies, most chips, cough drops, breath mints and other over-the-counter drugs. Even infant milk formulas are laden with sugar.
  3. Eating process food with refined sugar is not the only problem. When we eat simple carbohydrates, like white bread, white rice, regular pasta or pansit, all these get converted to sugar.

B)  Refined sugar has been processed so much, it has lost its vitamins and minerals. Losing as much as 64 food elements. All the potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphate, and sulfate are removed. And all the vitamins A, B, and D are destroyed. Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no protein, no fats, and no enzymes. It does not contribute to your health because it has no nutritional value. And worst, it’s addictive.

C)  4 bad things that sugar does to your body

  1. Sugar can cause diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Refined sugar in food is absorbed quickly into the blood stream, causing the blood sugar to rise. It’s too quick, the body is forced to release a lot of insulin to lower the blood sugar. Eating processed food with refined sugar often will cause strain on the pancreas because it has to produce more insulin. Chronically high blood sugar can damage the kidneys, wreck the nervous system, weaken the cardiovascular system, and damage the retinas. All these are related to diabetes.
  2. Sugar affects the neurological processes. Kids today are fed by high sugar breakfasts, consisting of hot cakes with syrup, sugared orange juice, etc. No wonder kids are sleepy in school.
  3. Sugar slows down the immune system. Sugar affects how much Vit. C is absorbed and used by the body. Researchers in the 1970’s realized that Vit. C was needed by the body’s white blood cells, our immune system, in order to gobble up viruses and bacteria. The scientist Linus Pauling was the one who said that a high dose of Vit. C was needed by the white blood cells. When the blood sugar goes up because of the high amount of processed food in your diet, more glucose in the blood stream competes for entry into the cells. If you take in a lot of sugar in your food , your immune system falters and slows down.
  4. Sugar is addicting. Sugar is as habit forming as any narcotic.

D)  Minimize simple carbohydrates.

Simple carbs (rice, bread, pasta or pansit) turns into sugar too. Complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and fruits, is recommended. If you eat rice, always choose the unpolished (brown) rice. If you eat bread or pasta, always choose the real whole-wheat multi grain kind. It has milder effect on blood sugar and insulin. It’s more chewy, and it needs getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you will love it.

E) Do you really need a dessert ? As much as possible avoid or minimize your dessert. Once in a while you may take dark chocolate bar, organic sugarless peanut butter, or native tsokolate — the original Tablea from Batangas, it has no synthetic chemicals in it.

F)  Replace Refined Sugar. If you want to sweeten something, use these natural, healthy replacements: (But still in moderation)

  1. Real wild honey from the province (Note: real wild honey is delicious and does not attract ants and has a spirit on it).
  2. Cane juice squeezed from sugar cane placed in the refrigerator ready for use.
  3. Coconut sugar. This natural sugar comes from the sap of cut flower buds of coconut. It has lower Glycemic Index than cane sugar. Glycemic Index is a measure of how a food raises blood sugar. (But beware, it may be blended with regular sugar).
  4. Brown sugar— although this is much better than refined sugar, we should minimize the use of it.<

A word of advice: Always be careful on sweets and food with sugar, and many years from now you will be thankful you have made this decision.

May we all enjoy long term good health. God bless!

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Posted: November 06, 2016 on Spirituality

The Theme for this Sunday readings is, “Living On as Beautiful Persons.”

How do we become a beautiful person in the eyes of The Lord? From the Bible (I prefer to call it the Sacred Truth book) we can gather ideas of what makes The Lord happy or what makes a person beautiful in the eyes of the Lord:

  1. A humble person (The Lord hates the one with a proud spirit).
  2. Full obedience to the Lord.
  3. Being a man for others.
  4. Doing something good to the least of our brothers.
  5. Leadership by example.
  6. Never look down on other people.
  7. Be grateful for even a small blessing and make the full use for the gift of life.

May we all look beautiful in the eyes of The Lord!

May we all make The Lord smile!

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Posted: November 02, 2016 on Spirituality

The Theme for today’s mass readings, All Souls Day, Nov. 2 is, “For Faithful People Life is Change, not Ended.”

The kind of person that we need to be to live with God may not be what we are when we die. We need to undergo some changes. We need the process of purification before we are allowed to join the Lord’s kingdom. We need to pass through purgatory. So we hope and pray that our love ones who have died will soon join The Lord in His heavenly paradise.

Here is a part of a commentary from New St. Joseph Sunday missal book: “Nothing is more sure than that all of us are doomed to die. We have to face death quite often, first when it strikes our beloved ones, and finally when we ourselves are involved. We have to leave everything behind us. We may try not to think of it. Some consider death as an absurdity. Others learn to handle this reality as an integral part of our condition.”

All Souls Day is a special day of prayer for all our brothers and sisters who have gone ahead of us.

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Posted: October 30, 2016 on Spirituality

How do we obey the 8th Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor:

The letter of the law would mean we should not testify in court falsely or gossip about other people. But the Spirit of the Law

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Posted: October 30, 2016 on Spirituality

How do we obey the 8th Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor:

The letter of the law would mean we should not testify in court falsely or gossip about other people. But the Spirit of the Law would include every time we open our mouth to speak. Are we building up or tearing down a person or our society? If we have nothing good to say about a person, it’s better to keep quite. Every time we speak we should ask ourselves if what we are going to say contributes to the Lord’s mission of changing this world (Pope Francis repeatedly remind us that our Lord Christ’s mission is not only to bring us to a life in eternity, but also to change this world). We should ask the Holy Spirit to help us develop this habit.

Happy Sunday, The Lord’s Day, to Everyone ! Let’s go to our church and together with the community, thank The Lord for the life of the past week.

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Posted: October 23, 2016 on Spirituality

How do we obey the 7th Commandment: Thou shall not steal.:

The letter of the law would mean we should not take another persons property without permission. However the Spirit of the law would include:

1. When we don’t pay our debts.

2. When we don’t perform our job well.

3. If we are an employer and we don’t share our profits. (The world is for all people, His children)

4. When we don’t give to God what is due Him, our tithes.

Obeying the letter of the law is the minimum. But it is in obeying the Spirit of the law that will make The Lord happy. It is in the Spirit of the law that will make us spiritually matured. It is in the Spirit of the law that gives us inner peace and joy. It is in the Spirit of the law that we can see the beautiful smile of those people around us.

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Posted: October 16, 2016 on Spirituality

How do we obey the 2nd Commandment: Thou shall not take the name of The Lord thy God in vain.:

First of all what does “taking the name of The Lord in vain” mean. It means we should not use the name of The Lord without a purpose. It means we should not idly utter or misuse His name. It means we should not use the name of The Lord carelessly.

Two things we can do to follow this commandment:

A) We should never say or utter idly, “Jesus Christ” or susmaryosep (actually this word is from Jesus, Mary and Joseph) without a purpose (Huwag natin gawing bukang bibig ang pangalan ng Panginoon). If we love a person or have great respect for him or her, say our parents, we are never going to misuse his or her name without a purpose. More so with God who gave us the supreme gift of life. He deserves our highest respect and veneration.

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B) But more important and deeper than the above is that when we call ourselves Christian or allow ourselves to be called Christian but failed to obey His commandments or failed to live our life like Him, we are in fact taking the name of The Lord our God in vain. We misuse the word Christian.

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Posted: October 07, 2016 on Spirituality

How do we obey the 3rd Commandment: Remember to keep Holy The Lords Day. I believed we need to do four things:

1. To express our thanks for the past week. To show our gratefulness for the supreme gift of life…. So we go to Mass for that.

2. To worship and show our respect, to  recognize His Lordship and that  He is God….We go to Mass, we humble ourselves, we kneel down, we participate in the celebration.

3. Study His teaching and learn more about Him…. So we read and study The Sacred Truth Book (The Bible). If we can join a small group to study The  Word of God so much the better. Nowadays there are many such small groups.

4. Contribute to The Lord’s mission and do something for others. Help The Lord in His mission to change the world.

So one day in a week’s  time we focus our attention solely for The Lord. By doing this on a regular basis our relationship with The Lord will slowly grow and become fantastic. Similarly if we want to develop our relationship with someone,  say our family, we have to allocate time and focus our attention to that person on a regular basis. The key is focus.

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Posted: November 07, 2013 on Spirituality

Ang Pagiging Alagad

(Lukas 14:25-27)

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Sumama kay Jesus ang napakaraming tao; humarap siya sa kanila at kanyang sinabi, “Hindi maaaring maging alagad ko ang sinumang umiibig sa kanyang ama at ina, asawa at mga anak, mga kapatid, at maging sa sarili niyang buhay nang higit sa akin. Ang ayaw magpasan ng sarili niyang krus at sumunod sa akin ay hindi maaaring maging alagad ko.


Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, “Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples.


Mga halimbawa ng pagiging alagad na nagawa na ng aming mga empleyado

1.) Isang beses ng pumunta siya sa may palengke may nakita siyang binibentang pelikulang CD na sa isip niya masisiyahan nito ang pamilya ko. Ngunit dahil sa iyon ay pirated CD at alam niyang  mali at
alam din niyang hindi masisiyahan ang Panginoon doon hindi niya binili, bagamat mura sana iyon.

2.) Noong mamatay ang Nanay niya hindi siya nagpasugal, bagamat kailangan din nilang makaipon ng sapat na halaga. Batid niya na masisiyahan ang Panginoon doon.

3.) Noong maglagay siya ng sari-sari store sa kanilang lugar, minabuti niyang huwag magtinda ng alak at sigarilyo, bagamat alam niyang medyo malaki ang kita dito. Kasi alam niyang hindi ito maganda sa tao.

4.) Noong manganak ang Misis niya na nagtatrabaho sa isang malaking kompanya, napagpasyahan nilang mag-asawa na huwag samantalahin ang first class hospital na pwedeng panganakan ng Misis niya. Pinili nila iyong regular na hospital lamang.

5.) Bagamat gustong-gusto niyang ilagay iyong retrato sa kanilang sala, minabuti niyang huwag na dahil sa kutob niya mayroon masasaktan.

6.) Nag desisyon siya na magbayad ng  additional tax para duon sa pagkukulang niya noong mga nakaraang taon.

7.) Nang bumili siya ng computer, ang binili niya ay iyong software na may linsensya. Mga apat na libo rin ang karagdagan.

8.) Noong maging seryoso siya sa kanyang pananampalataya, napagisip-isip niya na ang kompanyang kanyang pinapasukan ay hindi tama ang ginagawa. Nag resign siya bagamat tutol ang kanyang pamilya.

9.) Noong ako ay nag-abroad, dumating sa pagkakataon ng akoy inalok ng aking employer na mas mataas na sahod kapalit ng pagbabago ng pangalan ko, subalit hindi ako pumayag. Naisip ko na malaking pagkakasala sa Diyos.

10.) Napansin ko na tadtad ng sugat yung braso ng karpintero na gumagawa ng bahay namin at halos buong katawan pala niya ay may sugat. Nabanggit niya na gusto nga niya na magkaroon ng long sleeve pero wala naman siya nito. Nagkataon naman na meron akong long sleve kaso isa lang ito at paborito ko pa at alam ko na hindi ako agad makakabili ulit nito. Pero dahil mas kailangan niya ito kaya masaya kong binigay nalang ito sa kanya.

11.) During a contractors meeting, a supplier was advised by the Developer to go direct to us as a supplier. The supplier then approach me and later by way of parting, said something like: “Mayroon ka na diyan, SOP naman iyan”. I decided not to consider that supplier anymore. This is a moral issue.

12.) During a marathon contest of which i have prepared myself much, the organizer run-out of slot for me on my age bracket. Someone approach me saying “ikaw ng gumamit nitong number ko, huwag mo na lang sabihin na hindi mo ito numero, hatian mo na lang ako sa premyo”. I know i could have won, but I politely declined the offer.

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Posted: October 03, 2013 on Spirituality

A study of God’s justice

David’s Sin (2 Samuel 11:1-27)

  • One day, while walking in the Palace roof, David saw a woman taking a bath in her house. She was very beautiful. He sends a messenger and found out she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Uriah is also one of the “Famous thirty” soldiers and presently fighting on the battle field. David sent a messenger to get Bathsheba, and he made love to her. Afterward she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to let him know.
  • David sent a message for Uriah to go home to Jerusalem. David was hoping Uriah will make love to his wife, but twice Uriah slept in the Palace ground, because he cannot do it, his group are all fighting in the battle field. He considered this a sacred duty.
  • David sends a message to his field commander Joab, and said: “Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed.”
  • When Uriah died, David took Bathsheba as wife and she became one of the King’s wives.

Prophesy for David (2 Samuel 12:1-14)

The Lord spoke thru the Prophet Nathan to inform King David what will happen to him.

  1. Your child with Bathsheba will die.
  2. In every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death.
  3. Someone from your own family will bring trouble on you.
  4. Your wives will be taken away from you and be given to another man.
  5. And he will have intercourse with them in broad daylight.
  6. You sinned in secret, but the Lord will make it happen in broad daylight for all Israel to see.
  • David said: “I have sinned against the Lord”.
  • Nathan said: The Lord forgives you, you will not die.

David’s Punishment (2 Samuel Chapters 12 to 18)

1. David son to Bathsheba become very sick. David prayed to God that the child would get well. King David refused to eat anything, and every night he went into his room and spent the night lying on the floor.  A week later the child died.

2. Amnon, one of David’s son raped Tamar, David’s daughter by another wife.

3. Absalom, another David son (Tamar’s brother) by way of revenge murdered Amnon.

4. Absalom, whose mother is the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur, plans rebellion to his father.

5. David left his Palace with all his officials except for ten concubines to take care of the Palace. David left Jerusalem.

6. When King David arrived at Bahurim, Shemei, one of Saul’s relatives, came out, started cursing him and throwing stone at his officials, even though David was surrounded by his bodyguards. “Get out! Get out! Murderer, Criminal. The Lord has given the Kingdom to your son Absalom, and you are ruined, you murderer.”

7. Absalom set-up a tent on the Palace roof (in Jerusalem) and in the sight of everyone, Absalom went in and have intercourse with his father’s wives.

8. Absalom with all the men he can gather all over the country pursues David. Absalom was riding a mule, and as it went under a large oak tree, Absalom’s head got caught in the branches. The mule ran on and Absalom was left hanging in midair. David has specific instruction to his officials:” For my sake, don’t harm the young man Absalom. Joab, David’s highest military commander, nevertheless took three spears and plunged them into Absalom’s chest while he was still alive, hanging in the oak tree. Then, ten of Joab’s soldiers finished killing Absalom.

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Posted: August 21, 2013 on Spirituality

Spreading the Word through Bible App

This info is from The New York Times International Weekly as published by Manila Bulletin,

Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013

1. Millions of people around the world are reading the free Bible App through “YouVersion” of the Internet. 2. It is created by LifeChurch.tv, a technologically advanced evangelical church in the US 3. It is what the church calls its “digital missions”. 4. It has more than 600 Bible version in more than 400 languages. 5. It is nondenominational including versions for Catholics, Russian Orthodox and Messianic Jews. 6. By July this year, the App reached 100 million downloads, placing it in the company of technology start-ups like Instagram.

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Posted: July 25, 2013 on Spirituality

From Pope Francis on Twitter:

  • Jesus didn’t save us with an idea. He humbled himself and become a man. The word became Flesh.
  • Lord, grant us the grace to weep over our indifference, over the cruelty that is in the world and in ourselves.
  • If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quite life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy.

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Posted: April 11, 2013 on Long Term Good Health

Exercise Before or After Breakfast?

(This is an article of Sheila Beckley borrowed from Front Range College in Colorado, US with permission from the author.)

This summer, I heard Dr. Oz say on TV that it’s better to exercise before eating breakfast because our bodies will be forced to use stored fats for energy. A few weeks later, a fitness expert advised on a morning TV show that we should eat breakfast first before exercising, because our metabolism increases every time we eat, and therefore, we’ll burn more calories. Who was right?

Looking around the Internet, both claims seem to be represented well. The New York TimesMen’s Fitness, and USA Today covered the same research in Belgium (article published in Journal of Physiology) where, from the group of healthy young men fed a high-fat and high-caloric diet, only those who exercised before breakfast did not gain weight. In addition, despite eating 30 percent more than they should, with a diet of 50 percent fat, these men did not develop insulin resistance. Meanwhile, those who ate breakfast before exercising gained weight, stored extra fat, and developed resistance to insulin. Both groups consumed the same amount of food with the same nutrient content and had the same exercise regimen.

So which is the right strategy? There is no easy answer, according to an article in San Diego Union Tribune, although you can burn slightly more calories on an empty stomach, you may not be able to do a higher intensity workout. You can probably do a comprehensive literature review and meta-analysis of available research and not come to any satisfactory conclusion. Perhaps, when the holidays come around and we will all inevitably overeat, we can try exercising before breakfast and neither gain weight nor develop insulin resistance. And then, we can all have a New Year’s resolution of losing weight by using high-intensity interval training.

(Note: A friend of mine who does his brisk walking almost daily has this formula: He takes coffee and a piece of small bread before exercise and full breakfast after exercise. Whether we eat breakfast before or after exercise. there is a consensus that we should eat healthy food. – Oscar P. Chan)

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Posted: December 02, 2012 on Spirituality

From Sambuhay Missalette of St. Paul Media Pastoral Ministry

Recently, I was invited to bless a call center. On the way to the blessing the owner expressed concern for his young employees. Many are living a gay lifestyle, others are promiscuous and are far from the Church. Many do not go to Mass – they work overnight, and sleep during Sunday. In the office blessing, about 10 of the 20 boys were dressed more like girls, confused about their sexuality. They seemed to me like sheep without a shepherd. The Church is already doing a lot. Around the world, 25 percent of education, prevention, treatment, and counseling for people living with HIV and AIDS is provided by the Catholic Church. But we can do more. Let us resolve to do our best as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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– Fr. James McTavish, FMVD

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Posted: August 30, 2012 on Spirituality

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Posted : August 16, 2012 on Spirituality

In the previous Sunday reading, Jesus said in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty”.

What does the Lord mean that we will never be hungry and thirsty if we come and believe in him. We get hungry and thirsty everyday, that is why we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. What he meant is our internal being. In the words of St. Augustine, he said: ” Lord, my heart was restless until it finds rest in you”. The church teaching says: We are made by God and for God”. As we grow older, unless we are moving closer to Christ, we will feel incomplete, we will always feel hungry and thirsty internally.

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. Posted on: July 20, 2012 on Spirituality

Sometime ago one of our employees has this to share during our regular prayer meeting: “Several years ago, because of what I am seeing inside our family – Ang Tatay hindi kami inaasikaso, parating lasing – I had a plan. Pag nagka-pakpak ako lalayasan ko itong pamilyang ito ( If and when I can already live on my own, I will desert this family). But one day I was invited to attend a seminar on Youth for Christ Movement. That seminar change my outlook. Since I have a job, I decided to help my brother and sisters go to school. That gesture probably has an effect on my father, because I noticed that he began to change”.

This is an example of when one member of a family does good, it has a lasting effect on the whole family.

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..Posted : July 20, 2012 on Good Management Practice

1) Product Mix

Sometimes years back McDonald was not selling breakfast. Then one day they decided to include breakfast in their menu. About a year or two later. It was reported in the papers that sales of breakfast at McDonald is 30% of total sales.

This is the power of product mix. The operational expenses may not have change much, but the increase in sales was significant.

Another example is Chow King’s halo-halo. Two years after launching, it was reported that sales of halo-halo reach Php 800 million.

2) Planning and doing by the same person

This observation is from Peter Drucker: ” If planning and doing is done by different person, the one doing gain habit and experience. If planning and doing is done by the same person, he gain knowledge and understanding”. As we can see, by allowing our employees to participate in the planning, they can gain much knowledge and understanding.

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“King Ahaz has more faith in a treaty with the Assyrians than in God (represented by the prophet Isaiah) who approached him …. It is faith in God that saves us from a meaningless existence. God is willing to step into the darkness of our confusion. Loneliness is the greatest threat to happiness. A person alone has no answer. A loner is an unhappy person, depressed, …. “Emmanuel” (God with-us) in Jesus Christ saves us from ourselves. Time and again Christmas reminds Christians that God came to share our human situation on this planet.”

Faith is the complete trust and confidence in God, our Creator. It is borne out of the belief that the One God who has already given us the gift of life will surely be thinking more of what is good for us rather than harm. It is validated by the circumstances in our life. Faith is a relationship. With faith we are not alone.

Faith is a gift channelled through the sacraments, such as baptism, the sacrament of marriage, confession, and Holy communion. It grows as we follow the will of God and pay reverence to Him. It is nourished by our daily devotion to prayer and our acts of love towards neighbors.

Faith is one of the best gifts from God. It makes our life less stressful and the load in our shoulder lighter. At the end of the day, it makes sleeping easy and a welcome treat.

Christmas is near!

Let us ask The Lord to help us increase our faith.

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