Friday, January 18, 2013

"who YOU?"

Mark 2:1-12
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven.’

I was reflecting in today’s Gospel on the persons of the paralytic man and the four men. The paralytic man reminds me that it is us being paralyzed because of our sins. When we know we have sinned, guilt consumes us and keeps us away from God. Sometimes people who commit sins find it hard to go back to God because of the feeling of unworthiness they feel and condemn themselves thinking that they are never going to get better. The worst thing is they don’t feel loved by other people and even forgets how much God loves them.
The four men remind me of our calling of bringing all people to God. No matter how sinful we are, God's love for us never changes. When people sin let us not condemn them, rather help them be united with God again.
The crowd in the Gospel are like walls that keep us distant from God. But no matter how far we are, if we help each other just like the four men, together we will get closer to God. And together we will rise, take up our mat and walk again with the Lord.


Gospel: Mark 1:40-45.
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, «If you wish, you can make me clean.» 
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." 
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. 
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 
Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." 
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

“Everyone avoids a sad person except Jesus himself who is much acquainted with sorrow.”

Anyone would avoid a leper but when one came to Jesus and offered to be cleaned, Jesus’ touch healed him. Take note, the leper did not ask but offered to be cleaned. He probably wasn’t expecting Jesus would. But, because of our Savior’s compassion, the leper was made clean.

One way or another, we have become lepers. We have become outcasts. We failed. We made mistakes. We sinned. But that didn’t stop God from loving us. That didn’t stop God from entering into our lives and totally change us. With one touch of Jesus, we are healed; we are clean; we can start anew. Jesus became an outcast too, that’s why he is compassionate to the lonely, the broken-hearted, the disheartened and the ones who experienced self-condemnation.

We were lepers once. Let us not become strangers to what we once were. Let us reach out to our brothers and sisters who do not know how much God loves them and be part of their healing. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Mk 1:29:39
On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.

I remembered when I was in elementary school I used to go to my mother's office after class. Every Wednesday, we go to church for the Mother of Perpetual Help. This is one of my childhood memories that mold me to who I am today. My mother is bearing an illness for years. Her devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help helped her in her day-to-day life.

I am not embarrassed to tell anyone of my devotion to our Mother Mary. I have been a witness of her blessedness not just through my mother but through my whole family. It is never been a big deal to put your devotion to our Mother whether you're a boy, a girl, young, old, a husband, or a wife.

Let us pray.
Hail Mary...
Holy Mary..
Pray for us.

As what is written in the gospel. Jesus calmly heals those who are sick. With faith in Him, nothing is really impossible.

Respect & Obey

Gospel: Mk 1:21-28

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another. “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Way back on my childhood years, there was a day when my two other siblings and I went outside to play in the garden. When we were at the garden, I then began chasing the chick which was roaming around.  I was really having fun at that time. Then suddenly, I began to observe that my two other siblings were at my back and they kept on following me wherever I go. I then began to ask my father, “Why is it that they keep on following me?” And my father answered, “They are following you because you are their elder sister. And as the eldest, you are a model to them. They will keep on following you because it is their way of showing respect and obedience to you. So you must respect and obey elders as well.”

This memory is still clear to me. When I was still a kid, my parents taught me to respect and obey elders since they were the ones who have authority over me. At that time, I considered my parents and relatives as my elders. In the gospel, Jesus played the role of an elder when the unclean spirits acknowledged him who is the Holy One of God and whom has great authority over them and obeyed him; thus showing respect and obedience.

With today’s gospel, we are all reminded to respect and obey those who have authority over us. Since we are all sons and daughters of God; it is clear that He has great authority over us. And this means, we have to respect and obey him.

Now come to think of it, if God really has great authority over you, how have you showed respect and obedience to him?

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Hey SIMPLE - Repent AND have FAITH"

Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea--for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Following God is probably the most difficult thing to do. It takes a lot of experience before a priest, nun and a missionary would say YES to the calling of the Lord to do mission of proclaiming His greatness. Perhaps, it is because our plan does not coincide with that of God's. Most of the time we rely less on Divine intervention and more on our own strength. We listen more to the world and less to God's word.

I wonder how easily these fishermen left their work and family when Jesus said "Follow me and I will make you fish for people". It only reminds us that in the simplicity of life we could always hear God's message and plan for everyone of us.

Jesus' invitation for us to follow Him is very clear that the only thing to do is to repent and believe in the Gospel. That is to put our trust in God. Obeying His will and recognizing His presence in our daily lives.

is to STAND OUT 
our Catholic FAITH

Perfect Love

Gospel: Luke 3:15-16.21-22. 

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. 
John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Last Friday, I became so inspired upon hearing an audio clip of Joseph Prince preaching. It was entitled Boast of the Lord’s Love for You, Not Your Love for the Lord. Just as God loved His son Jesus, he loves each one of us immensely. That’s the truth. Joseph Prince said that we must believe in this truth so that we may be able to practice God’s love for us.

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to know that we are loved? It is even more wonderful knowing we are loved by the one who created the world, our Almighty Father. God’s love for us is perfect. It never fails. God’s love isn’t affected with how successful we are in life or how we are doing in school. Even when we sin, ask for forgiveness and yet continue to sin, He still loves us. But if we just continue to sin, are we worthy of that love?

Joseph Prince pointed out that after Jesus came out of the water and God proclaimed “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, Jesus went into life, fought, conquered, and won. Jesus had the sense of being loved by the Father. If every day, we have that sense we are God’s beloved, our self-esteem will never be shaken, anger and despair will have no room in our hearts, and temptation would not cause us to sin.

After Jesus came out of the water, He went to the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. When the devil came to Jesus he said “If you are the son of God…” According to Joseph Prince the reason the devil dropped the word beloved was because temptation cannot be successful when we have that sense that we are God’s beloved. We are God’s beloved. Let us abide in His love.