Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary. - St. Francis of Asisi

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Reflection for April 24 Thursday of the Easter Octave Luke 24:35-48

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish;he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
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Reflection:
What if the disciples were not recounting their experience with the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread? Perhaps Jesus wouldn’t have appeared in their midst. Perhaps Jesus would have just said, I will not show myself to them anymore, anyway they’ve easily forgotten me and they’re not talking about me anymore.

But Cleopas and his companion hearts were still aflame with desire in sharing their experience with Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Perhaps this was one of the reason why Jesus appeared in their midst and this gave Him enough reason to gave them His greeting of peace.

How often do we talk about Jesus with our friends and family members? Perhaps not very often, perhaps we just hear and talk about Jesus when we are at church for Holy Mass. But when we are at home or living our lives in the secular world with our friends we never talk about Jesus.

Why is it that we rarely talk about Jesus when we are out of church? Are we ashamed of Jesus? Are we afraid that we would be disliked by our friends and they would perceive us as someone who is disturbed?

Many of us rarely talk about Jesus outside of the walls of our church. Perhaps this is also the reason why we very rarely feel His abiding presence in our lives.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Reflection for April 23 Wednesday of the Easter Octave Luke 24:13-35

Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emma'us, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cle'opas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19 And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God  and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see." 25 And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, 29 but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, 34 who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
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Reflection:
The two followers who were going to Emmaus were obviously discouraged perhaps hungry also. They were in such situation because their expectation was not met by Jesus. They thought that Jesus was their powerful savior but they were disappointed. For Jesus died on the cross badly bruised and beaten. 

Their joyful expectations were suddenly replaced by a feeling of loneliness and disappointment.  Until Jesus walked with them, conversed with them and eventually went to their house to break bread with them.

After which Cleopas and his companion recognized that it was Jesus who walked, conversed and broke bread with them. And then their loneliness was replaced with happiness, their discouragement was overpowered by encouragement. Their lowly spirits were suddenly aflame and glowing.   

What do you do when you feel down, sad and discouraged? Do you just sulk in one corner as if you’re the most inferior person in the world? Or you always call on Jesus to lift you up and strengthen you?

When you are at your lowest remember that Jesus is eager to be with you. He wants to walk with you, talk to you and break bread with you.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Reflection for April 22 Tuesday of the Easter Octave John 20:11-18

Gospel: John 20:11-18
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they  have laid him." 14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rab-bo'ni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my  Father and your Father, to my God and your God." 18 Mary Mag'dalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
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Reflection:
Do we always recognize the manifestation of Jesus in our lives? It maybe yes or no but certainly in so many ways Jesus always manifest Himself to us in everyday of our lives we just need to carefully discern it to feel His presence.

For example in our desire to follow Him there are times that we get lost and do things as what we want to do it. But somehow Jesus would always find a way to redirect our lives to Him. He would straighten us and make us understand that He is there to remind us that we need not loss hope for He’s there for us we only need to trust Him.

Mary of Magdala was weeping outside the tomb for she did not found Jesus. Perhaps she thought that Jesus’ body was desecrated until Jesus manifested Himself to her. Instantly her feeling of hopelessness was immediately replaced by joyfulness. And then she joyfully went to the disciples and told them that she met and had spoken with Jesus.  

Jesus our Rab-bo'ni (which means Teacher) has already risen therefore He is just around watching over us. Let us always call on His name and let us always ask Him to watch over us and  be with us as we continue our pilgrimage in this world. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Reflection for April 21 Monday of the Easter Octave Matthew 28:8-15

Gospel Matthew 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
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Reflection:
We can never suppress the truth no matter what we do. We may be able to suppress it for a period of time but eventually the truth will come out.

The chief priest and the elders tried very hard to hide the truth about the resurrection of Jesus. But except for their supporters who refused to believe. The followers of Jesus believed that He had risen from the bondage of human death.

Just like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, we also believe that Jesus has defeated the curse of death by His resurrection. But our belief is not enough we must put into actual acts of faith our belief that Jesus has risen.

How are we going to do this? Let us do good all the time, let us help everyone who are in need, Let us be humble, let us be, forgiving, kindhearted, understanding and so forth. We need to do this so that the risen Jesus would become truly risen in our lives.    

Otherwise if we wouldn’t do these worthy acts then our belief is useless. And it would remain forever a figment of our imagination and in the minds of others who know us for we did not do something to live that belief.

Are you doing something to live your faith in the risen Lord Jesus?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Reflection for April 20, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection John 20:1-9

Gospel: John 20:1-9
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3 Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; 5 and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, 7 and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
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Reflection:
How does the gospel reading today about the resurrection of Christ speaks to us? Does it simply tell us the story about Jesus’ triumph over death and then it’s ok already and we move-on with our daily chores once again? Or it speaks to us with a deeper sense of renewal. That Jesus' resurrection must also be our own resurrection and triumph over our sinfulness.

From being sinful we now try our very best to live a holy and meaningful life. For this is our own way of saying that Jesus has also resurrected within us. We now live our lives according to what the resurrected Christ wants us to live it and not how we want to live it which often brings us closer to sin.

If from here-on our mindset is to live our lives according to what the resurrected Jesus wants us to live it. Therefore we must be immediately ready to leave behind us our own sinfulness, our arrogance and high sense of ourselves and so forth.

Then the resurrection of Christ Jesus is truly meaningful for everyone of us. For the simple reason that we allowed it to make a big difference in our lives. We allowed it to usher within us the defeat of anything that is evil and sinful.

Let us not therefore make the resurrection of Jesus a simple ritual that we simply remember today. Let us allow it to transform us. Let us allow it to carve a permanent dwelling in our hearts from here-on.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Reflection for April 19, Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Matthew 28:1-10

Gospel Matthew 28:1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.

He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
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Reflection:
How would we know that Jesus is alive in a person’s life? The answer is simple, if the person lives the teaching of Jesus then we could safely conclude that Jesus is alive within that person’s life. This is basically the yardstick on how we would know if Jesus is alive in one’s life.

In the gospel Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb of Jesus. But they were told by an angel that He was not there anymore for He has already risen. From thereon their hearts were already on fire and overjoyed telling everyone that they met that Jesus had risen.

This is how we must become also our hearts must always be on fire and overjoyed for the risen Jesus. We must therefore live the life and teachings of  Jesus for this is the best method on how to create awareness that Jesus is within us.

But the big question that needs to be answered is this: Is Jesus really alive in our hearts? If Jesus is alive and kicking in our hearts already, well and good. Then we now go to the next phase which is to live the life of Jesus.

This we could do best by our life of simplicity, humility, and gentleness.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Reflection for April 18, Good Friday (Fasting and Abstinence) John 18:1-19:42

Reflection:
Are you afraid to carry the cross of Jesus? You’re not alone, I too is afraid to carry the cross of Christ and perhaps all of us are afraid to carry it. Who would want to carry heavy burdens such as incurable sickness? Who would want to have difficult problems in life? Who would want to be persecuted, be unfairly judged, spit on and so forth? No one of us wants these many crosses in our life.

But if we are not willing to carry our cross, how will know that there’s salvation in that cross? How would we know that Jesus Himself will help us carry our own cross? 

As much as we are afraid to carry our cross, Jesus is inviting us to wholeheartedly embrace our cross and learn to carry it with acceptance  For there’s salvation in that cross and Jesus Himself is in that cross.

Now, if Jesus is in that cross and if there’s salvation in that same cross. Then, why be afraid to wholeheartedly embrace and carry our own cross?