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News From Father

News From Father

 

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Sunday May 19th

 

Daily Reflection May 10, 2019

My Dear Friends in Christ:

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus continued His teaching about the Bread of Life. And in today’s gospel, the Jews disputed this teaching and became furious about it and in their anger they questioned and asked: “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” They were kind of scandalized and infuriated by this teaching of Jesus because it suggested making them eaters of raw flesh—cannibals which is forbidden in the Jewish Scriptures (Leviticus 17: 10-11). So they wanted explicit explanation from Jesus about this teaching and how eating His flesh could give them eternal life and salvation. It was a hard teaching for them to handle and to believe especially since Jesus emphasized on it as a necessary condition to have life in Him and to enter into eternal life: “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; He who eats my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” There is no better way to explain this passage or to rationalize on it except to believe it whole and entire. Jesus was not speaking in riddles, rhetoric or in metaphor. He meant every single letter and word in that teaching. Jesus stresses and very forcefully too that to eat His body and drink His blood are necessary prerequisites to gain eternal life in Him. Because we become what we eat and what we drink, to eat His Body and drink His Blood therefore makes us one with Him in mind, body and soul. We become Christ’s bearers and Christ’s conveyors. We also become one with one another as we gather together to share at Eucharistic table of the altar. The fathers of the 2nd Vatican Council emphasized this truth when they said: “Really sharing in the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 7).  

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us appreciate and understand the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist as a wonderful opportunity and banquet in which Jesus invites us and offers Himself to us. When we receive Holy Communion in a state of grace, we abide in Him forever and He abides in us as well. Jesus comes to dwell in our hearts and in our lives. He becomes part and parcel of us and we draw strength, energy and life through Him. When we truly receive Him in a state of grace, we become Christ’s bearers—we bear Him in our hearts and in our lives and because He lives in us we radiate His peace, love, joy, mercy, and forgiveness everywhere we go. When we bear Him in our lives we become His conveyors. We convey Him to everywhere we go—to our loved ones at home, to our places of work, to our friends and relatives. We convey Him to the sick and the needy, to the shut-inns and the poor. Thus, we share His joy, mercy, love, peace, and spirit of service with those around us.     

God loves you and so do I.

 

Daily Reflection: May 11, 2019

My Dear Friends in Christ:
In today’s gospel passage, we read from John's gospel, the last episode of Jesus’ teaching about being the Bread of Life—the Bread of Heaven. Jesus continued His teaching and insistence that unless we eat of His Body and drink His Blood we have no life in Him. It was a very hard saying for the Jews to understand or comprehend primarily because they knew who He was, His parents and origin, so how can He give them His Body and Blood as food. Jesus was the Son of Joseph the Carpenter whose mother was Mary—a humble Jewish girl. By all standards Jesus had no special advantage growing up. He was not born among the rich nor did He attend any of the prestigious schools in the vicinity. He grew up in their midst and so was one of them and nothing spectacular can be said of Him. But the folks didn’t realize that even though He was one of them, even though He grew up in their midst, He is a man like us in all things but sin. He is the only begotten Son of God. He is the long awaited Messiah that God sent to set us free from the shackles of sin and death. Jesus challenged them that if they find eating His body and drinking His Blood difficult to comprehend, how then can they comprehend the fact that He will someday ascend to the Father. What will be their reaction when they see Him ascending to the Father in the heavens? In order for them to understand His teaching and appreciate it, they must transcend from the realm of the flesh to the realm of the spirit. The flesh is weak, frail, and fragile and falls apart easily and as such, it cannot lead them to complete understanding of the truth in God. It is only through the power and influence of the spirit that they can have access to all revealed truths. As a result of His teaching and insistence, many of His disciples left and stopped following Him. The apostles through their leader St. Peter declared their solidarity, full support and belief in Him and in what He can do. Peter’s statement was not just a statement of human solidarity but an expression of genuine supernatural faith which is the result of the influence of Divine Grace on his soul.   
 
Dear Friends as we face God this day, may we take some time to reflect once again on the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist—the true bread from heaven. We believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament because Jesus Himself taught us about this truth. To us humans it could be difficult to comprehend but we know too well that “nothing is impossible for God." The entire universe and all therein belongs to Him and He does what He wills in the created order. Like the Jews who found it very difficult to believe or accept this truth, most of us are like them as well. Most Christians today are what we call “cafeteria Christians”—Christians who are very picky. Christians who choose what to believe in and what not to believe. They believe in what favors them and relegate what doesn’t favor them to the background. Like Peter in today's gospel, let us always be ready to stand up for what we believe in and hold unto it to the end. Peter was able to acknowledge this obvious truth because of his personal relationship with Christ. Do you have any personal relationship with Christ today--a relationship that will enable you acknowledge Him for who He is, THE MESSIAH, THE SAVIOR, THE SON OF GOD.
 
Lord, to whom shall we go to, you have the message of eternal life.
God loves you and so do I
 
 
Daily Reflection: May 12, 2019

JOKE: WHO IS YOUR SHEPHERD

The TV is my shepherd; I shall not want.
It makes me to lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the Faith.
It destroys my soul.
It leads me to the path of sex and violence for the advertiser’s sake.
Even though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption, for the TV is with me.
Its cable and remote control, they comfort me.
It prepares a commercial for me in the midst of my worldliness
and anoints my head with secular humanism and consumerism.
My covetousness runs over.
Surely ignorance and laziness shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of wretchedness watching TV forever.                                (Broadcast on EWTN on March 18, 2002)

My Dear Friends in Christ:

Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter and the 4th Sunday of Easter is called the Good Shepherd Sunday. It is also the “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” Here in the United States, we also celebrate Mother’s Day and so we wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Today’s Scripture readings are about the role of the Shepherds of God’s flock in the Church. In today’s gospel passage, Jesus introduced Himself as the Good Shepherd and thereafter made three important claims. He is the Good Shepherd who gently tends the sheep that God entrusted into His care. Jesus claims to know His sheep and that His sheep hears His voice. Just as the shepherds in the ancient Palestine know their sheep when they lead them to pasture and back to the sheep fold at night every day, Jesus knows each and every one of us. He knows our needs, our worries, our faults, and our concerns. He knows our progress in life, our prospects and our problems. He identifies with us in all our life circumstances and situations. He loves us as we are and expects us to return His love for us a hundred fold. Jesus makes the claim of giving eternal life to His sheep. When we are baptized we become adopted sons and daughters of God and coheirs with Christ to His Fathers kingdom. He strengthens our faith in confirmation and He nourishes us in the Blessed Sacrament—His Body and Blood, the food from heaven. In Him and through Him, we are saved. Jesus makes another claim of offering protection to His children. Jesus offers us protection by placing us in His embrace and into the loving hands of His Father. In Him we are protected, in Him we are nourished, and in Him we have life—life in this world and the world which is to come.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us be aware that Jesus Christ is our shepherd and let us be thankful to God for sending us a Savior to redeem us, a shepherd to lead us to our true home in heaven. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd par excellence and He wants us to be good shepherds in our various areas of life. As priests, parents, teachers, nurses, politicians, doctors, government officials, social workers etc. we are all shepherds as long as we are entrusted with the care of others. We are therefore called to become good shepherds to all entrusted into our care making sure we lead them in the right direction, guiding and guarding them from physical and spiritual dangers. Parents in particular must be careful about their children making sure they lead them well by showing them good example through their good Christian way of living. Children should also be good sheep who listen to the voice of their parents, hear them and obey them in the good things they are asked to do.

Once again, Happy Mother's Day to our mothers and may you all have a magnificent, splendid and awesome day.

God loves you and so do I.

 

Daily Reflection: May 13, 2019

My Dear Friends in Christ:
Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. It is the 102nd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to three children in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. One of them Lucia Santos later became a Carmelite nun and her cousin Francisco Marto. Francisco died at the age of 11 in 1919 and Jacinta who died at the age of 10 in 1920. Lucia Santos later became Sister Lucia and lived up to 97 years, she died in 2005. Our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to the three children on a small spreading holm oak tree six times in six months. She made the appearances on the 13th of each month from May through October 1917 at Fatima, a small village located about 110 miles North of Lisbon in Portugal. Mother Mary instructed the young children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War 1, for the repentance of sinners and for the conversion of Russia. During her appearance on October 13th, 1917 about 70 thousand people gathered to witness the miracle of the dancing sun. None of those who witnessed the miracle was hurt in the eyes. They witnessed the sun rotating, retreating, enlarging and shrinking. In one of her apparitions, our Blessed Mother asked the three children: “In the spirit of sacrifice to our Lord, are you willing to accept everything He may send you as a reparation for the sins by which His majesty is offended, as a means for converting all sinners, and as atonement for the blasphemies offered to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Then pray the Rosary often, devoutly for the peace of the world. Recite the Rosary every day and after the Gloria of each decade add: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, preserve us from the flames of hell, bring all souls to heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.” On her visit of July 13, around noon, our Lady entrusted three secrets to the children. Two of the secrets were revealed in 1941 while the third secret was revealed in the year 2000.  
 
Dear friends, as we face God this day, and as we celebrate this important feast of Our Lady of Fatima, let us remember the special request of our Blessed Mother Mary—that we should become holy children of a holy mother by leading humble and pure lives. We should avoid sin in all its ramifications and live holy and peaceful lives. Like Mary, we must surrender our lives with trusting faith to the power of God just like she surrendered when she answered the call to become the Mother of God. The Fatima message was a message for conversion and repentance and a call on Christians everywhere to pray. We have to get back to the culture of family and personal prayers. Remember years past when family members got together to pray and commit themselves and their lives into the hands of God. We need not be reminded that families, who pray together live together, stick together and love together. Prayer is a very important tool and key to success. We must therefore pray always without ceasing.
 
God loves you and so do I.  
 
 
Daily Reflection: May 16, 2019

My Dear Friends in Christ:

In today’s gospel passage taken from the gospel of St. John, we read some part of what Jesus did during His Last Supper with His disciples. It was part of the teaching He gave them after washing their feet. Jesus wants His disciples to be humble in the discharge of their duties and He wants them too to be of sacrificial service to others. Jesus challenged His disciples to be servant leaders just like Him. He Himself came into the world not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. The servant is expected to be at his duty post every day doing the will of his master. Today’s gospel passage stresses in a special way the sheer cruelty displayed in the disloyalty of Judas and those very familiar with the ancient Jewish customs and traditions understand this real well. Jesus used the quotation found in Psalm 41: 1 which in full reads thus: “Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” In the ancient times especially in the Middle Eastern culture, to eat bread with someone was a sure sign of friendship and an act of trust and loyalty. We read in 2 Samuel 9: 7, 13 how David granted Mephibosheth the opportunity to eat bread at his table even though he knew too well that Mephibosheth was from Saul’s descendants and could have harmed or even killed him. We also read in 1 Kings 18:19 how the prophets of Baal ate bread at the table of Queen Jezebel. And so, for someone to eat bread at another’s table and turn around to betray that person was a grave act of deceit. It was like stabbing another in the back. The Psalmist puts it clearly: “It is not enemies who taunt me—I could bear that; it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—I could hide from them. But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend, with whom I kept pleasant company; we walked in the house of God with the throng” (Psalm 55: 12-14).

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us do our very best to prove ourselves true and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are His true disciples when we do His will—when we render unto others humble and loving service. Jesus taught us what it means to be a true and good leader when He humbly washed the feet of His disciples and urged them to do so unto others. We become true disciples when we humble ourselves to wash each other’s feet; when we show love and mercy towards those who have wronged or hurt us and when we learn to be at peace with each other. Judas received the bread from the hands of his Master and ate it. He immediately left the rest of his friends to dine with the enemy and to plot the betrayal of his Master. How often have we eaten of the Bread of the Eucharist and still go out and continue in our old ways of living? How often have we betrayed Jesus by allowing sin to live in our hearts and take the better part of us? How often have we betrayed our friends and sold them out for cheap meal? “Anyone who is in Christ is a new creature, the old things have passed away, behold new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus invites us today to a true friendship with Him and if we embrace Him wholeheartedly, He will lead to eternal pastures here on earth and in the life which is to come.     

God loves you and so do I

 
Daily Reflection: May 17, 2018

My Dear Friends in Christ:

We often read some of the passages in the Sacred Scriptures that describe eternal life but in the few verses that we read in today’s gospel, we find one that is very rich with promises. Here Jesus assured His frightened disciples when He said to them: “I go to prepare a place for you” and “I will come again to take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be.” Looking at this statement of Jesus we can look forward with hope to eternal life because Jesus has promised it to all who believe in Him. Even though the details about this eternal life is not known to us, we can always look forward with hope knowing full well that Jesus Christ is preparing for us and will spend the whole of eternity with us. The way to eternal salvation is unseen to us but very much secure. He has prepared everything for us in the eternal life—the only thing left is for us to agree to follow Him in His footsteps and so enter and inherit this life with Him. Thomas came up with a very important question that led Jesus to explain more what He meant. “We don’t even know where you’re going, how then can we find our way?” Jesus responded with a very powerful statement that made Him equal to God, a response that placed Him on an equal pedestal with God: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”  The basic doctrine of the Jewish religion (Judaism) is that Yahweh Lord God of Hosts is the Way, the Truth and the Life. By making this statement, Jesus once again makes a bold claim about His equality and oneness with God. As the Way, Jesus is our path that leads to the Father. As the Truth, He is the reality of all the promises of God. And as the Life, Jesus joins His divine life to our own life, both now and eternally.

Dear Friends, as we face God this day, let us continue to rejoice in the promises of Jesus Christ. Just like we make promises of handsome rewards to our children if they excel in their chosen careers or if they do well in school—a promise that spurs them to work hard and attain enviable heights, so Jesus promises us eternal reward if we work hard on earth. Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 16:24; Matt. 10:38; Mk 8:34; Lk 9: 23; Lk 14:27). Let us work hard in order to establish a trusting relationship with Jesus so as to secure this eternal life He has so generously and so graciously promised. Do not allow sin to hold you spell bound or pride to keep you far away from this promise of everlasting life. Make no mistake about this and do not become complacent about it too—surrender your life to Him today and allow Him access into every area of your life and you will obviously find renewal of life and most importantly inner peace of soul for yourself. 

God loves you and so do I