Friday, October 23, 2020

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, 24-10-2020

Ephesians 4:7-16 / Luke 13:1-9      

It is a fact that everyone is unique and in that sense, everyone is also different.

But no matter how different one is from the other, and from the rest, there are also some similarities and common factors.

In the 1st reading, St. Paul says that each one of us has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it.

So, not only are each of us given a share of God's grace, each of us also has a unique grace for a unique role in the plan of God.

Our mission in life is to co-operate with God's grace that is given to us so as to fulfill His plan for us and for the bigger plan of salvation.

But whatever unique grace that is given to us by God, there is a common purpose.

It is by God's grace that we are called to be faithful to Him and to walk in His ways so that His plan can be fulfilled in us.

And God's grace also calls us to repentance should we stray away from Him and fall into sin.

In the gospel, Jesus reminds us of the need for repentance and salvation.

May the grace of God in each of us cleanse us and purify us so that we too can lead others to repentance and salvation.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Friday, 23-10-2020

Ephesians 4:1-6 / Luke 12:54-59     

Despite what we see and what we think, the world is still a good place.

Even though there is the bad, the sad and the ugly, the world still retains its goodness.

And that is because there are people who believe in the goodness in themselves and around them.

These people are like little candles that shines in the midst of the darkness and lights up the goodness of the world.

As Christians, we carry the light of Christ in our hearts, the light that we receive at Baptism.

It is with that light that we light up the goodness in ourselves, the goodness in others and the goodness of the world.

That is our fundamental vocation, and St. Paul, in the 1st reading, implores us to lead a life worth of our vocation.

We do that by bearing with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience.

By doing that, we preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds us together.

Let us continue to keep the light of Christ burning brightly in us.

It is the light that the world wants to see, because it is the light that lights up the goodness in the world, and it is the light that will lead others to see the goodness in themselves.

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 22-10-2020

Ephesians 3:14-21 / Luke 12:49-53       

When we mention about family, there would be a spectrum of thoughts and emotions about what family means to us.

Of course, we know that no family is perfect but we also cannot deny that our family members are the ones who are closest to us, at least in the physical proximity sense.

But whatever we may think about our family and our family members, we need to see that our family members are like branches on a tree, 

We grow in different directions but yet our roots remain as one.

And even though we have the same roots, family members also bear different fruits.

Though the fruits may be different, but they will complement and complete the family.

The family is important and necessary not just in society but also in the realm of creation, with Adam and Eve forming the first family.

St. Paul has this to say in the 1st reading: This is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name.

Truly, all families has their origin in God the Father.

Let us pray for our families and for all families under heaven, to be united and bear fruits of love.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 21-10-2020

Ephesians 3:2-12 / Luke 12:39-48    

When it comes to doing our duty, then it is quite certain that there are no options.

Doing our duty does not take into account how we feel about it or whether we like it.

In fact, when duty calls, that is when we take responsibility for what we are called to do.

There is responsibility because there is an accountability to our superiors and our bosses.

But when we are given something based on trust, that is when character counts.

It may be a large sum of money that we have to manage and invest and we are expected to take care of it.

Or it may be a service to others that we are to carry out because we are called to it.

In the 1st reading, St. Paul talks about the grace that has been entrusted to him and that grace is meant for the Ephesians so that they can come to the knowledge of the mystery of God.

St. Paul saw it that it was his duty and responsibility to do what God wants of him with the grace.

We too have a grace that is entrusted to us by God. 

It is our duty to find out what that grace is, because that is what is expected of us.

Monday, October 19, 2020

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 20-10-2020

Ephesians 2:12-22 / Luke 12:35-38      

If we have the choice to be the master or the servant, which would we really choose?

Of course, it would be obvious we want to be master and to be served by servants.

To be a servant is to be at the beck and call of the master and always having to carry out orders.

But in the spirit realm, it is also obvious that we cannot be the master, as we are not deities, nor are we divine.

In fact, if we truly believe in God, we would rather want to be servants of God.

We want God to be our Master because we know we can't protect ourselves nor can we depend on our own resources and abilities for every difficulty and problem.

Yes we want to be servants of God and to be counted as not just His servants but also His children since we call God our Father.

But just like servant and children, we have to be obedient and faithful to God our Father and Master.

Jesus, the Son of God said that He come to serve and not be served. 

May we also do likewise and be always alert and ready to do what God wants of us.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

29th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 19-10-2020

Ephesians 2:1-10 / Luke 12:13-21    

There is no doubt that people want to live a good life.

But that also depends what people think is good.

Some would think that a good life is one that is comfortable and secure with enough of money.

Some would think that  a good life is one without the worries of life and to do what they like in life.

In the gospel parable, the rich man thought that he was going to have a good life with the good harvest from his land.

With plenty of good things laid by for many years to come, he was thinking of taking life easy, and eat and drink and have a good time.

But God called him a "fool" for storing up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.

So what is a good life then? The 1st reading tells us God loved us with so much love that He was generous with His mercy.

When we were dead through our sins, He brought us to life with Christ and raised us up with Him and gave us a place with Him in heaven.

When we understand that, then we would want to live a good life,  a life of repentance, a life turned towards God, a life that God would want us to live.

Our treasure is in the grace that God has given to us. 

With that grace, let us live a good life, a life that is pleasing to God, so that in the end we will inherit the true treasure, and that is eternal life with God.


 


Mission Sunday, Year A, 18.10.2020

Isaiah 2:1-5 / Ephesians 3:2-12 / Mark 16:15-20

Having something that is multi-purpose seems like a good idea. 

Multi-purpose sounds more versatile than single-purpose, and also more economical too. 

For example, having a multi-purpose cooker would mean that the kitchen can be cleared of all those pots and pans that are used for various types of cooking. 

Because a typical multi-purpose cooker is able to boil, simmer, bake, fry, grill, roast, stew, steam and whatever we can think of.

That would be a chef’s dream kitchen appliance and every homemaker would desire for it. 

But before rushing off to get one, let us remember that multi-purpose may also mean that it may be a “jack-of-all-trades, but master-of-none”. 

We are more familiar with the old-fashioned pot and pan and we know what we could do with it and we can be quite certain of how the food will turn out. 

With a multi-purpose cooker, there are multiple settings for various types of cooking. 

But use the wrong setting for the cooking and the fire-engine might come over and the firemen looking at your cooking, or whatever remains of it. 

Anyway, as the Church celebrates Mission Sunday, the Church may also seem to be like a multi-purpose cooker, and like the settings, there are so many aspects of the Church’s mission in the world. 

There are missionaries sent out to foreign lands, the Church is involved in social work and charities, building schools and hospitals, and a variety of activities that are under the term “mission of the church”. 

Yes, these are expressions or signs of the Church’s presence and mission in the world. 

The Church is following the command of Jesus to go out to the whole world and to proclaim the Good News to all creation. 

Then Jesus talks about the signs that will be associated with believers. They will cast out devils, they will have the gift of tongues, they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison, they will lay their hands on the sick who will recover. 

These are certainly very spectacular and wonderful signs of the mission of the Church. 

But we may have to admit that it is like reading the description on the box of a multi-purpose cooker and we are impressed by what it can do. 

Being impressed is one thing. To be able to get the cooker to cook what we want is another matter. 

Just like how the pictures in the recipe book don’t look like anything we cook. 

So, what is the relevance in what Jesus said in the gospel? Are those signs still associated with the Church now? 

A man asked a priest, “How can we perform those miraculous signs that Jesus talked about in the gospel?” 

The priest replied, “If you teach a person to read the gospel, you have opened the eyes of the blind. If you teach a person to help the poor and needy, you have healed the paralyzed. If you help a person to go to Church, you’re healed the crippled. If you lead someone to repentance, you have raised the dead. Now go and perform these miracles.” 

The world needs to see these miracles, these signs, and Jesus has commissioned us to do it. 

And we can do it when we practice love and forgiveness. 

With the simplicity and humility of love, the Lord of love will work with us and show us these wonderful signs. 

With forgiveness, we will cleanse ourselves, and the world, of the poison of sin and bring about the joy of salvation. 

Our mission is to help others learn the ways of God and walk in His paths of love and forgiveness. a

That is the vision of Isaiah, son of Amos, in the 1st reading. Let that also be our vision.