[Translation: Radio Vaticana]
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
THE SIN OF PRESUMPTION
My Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent
Today's gospel reading highlighted, the three greatest temptation that is often the terrible cause of every human's downfall. The lust for food, the lust for power and earthly glory, and the sin of presumption. If we will come to think of this, most of these sins when committed stem from our lack of faith and trust in the Lord. I would like to specifically focus on the last temptation which is the sin of presumption. Often we test the Lord's love for us by bringing our selves to situations of which we are not suppose to be there, falsely consoling ourselves with the thoughts that perhaps the Lord will do something to save us. But Jesus in that gospel, categorically rebuked the devil by telling him "thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God."
How many times have we blamed the Lord for the miseries that we have found our selves? How may times we loose our faith in God when things around us, including our plans, did not work our just right? Why instead of throwing ourselves into the merciful hand of God, we blame him for our failures? Should we not plunge ourselves in the hands of God who can change our destiny and shape it according to His goodness? Our faith in God must come under test. Abraham showed his utmost love for God and his faith by willinglly offering his son as a sacrifice. He willingly followed God in a strange land in search for His promise.
We, too in this season of lent, we are called upon by the Lord to follow Him in faith. This spirit of unbelief cannot go out unless we fight it with prayer and fasting. Why not simply trust the Lord? When we find ourselves in difficult situation, instead of negativism, why don't we simply utter a short phrase of prayer, petitioning God to help our unbelief?
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus increase our faith, so that in this journey we call life, we can always see and experience your goodness in the land of the living. Grant us a contrite heart and a penitent heart, willing to love and obey. So that in this season of Lent we will see and experience your love and care. So that in difficult moments we would be reminded of our home in heaven, of which you have prepared for us. This we ask in your name, Amen.
Posted by The Island Gypsy at 3:04 PM
Saturday, February 9, 2013
As the Scripture said, God does not think they way men thinks. He judges not as men judge, for he looks into the heart of men. I wonder what would it be if today Christ were here, who would he call to be his disciples? Will He approached those with Ph.D.s, the Politicians, the business magnates, the police officers to be fishers ofmen? When Christ began His public ministry, he did not call the teachers of the law, the Scribes and the Pharisees to be his followers, but he called on those unassuming fishermen at the lake of Galilee to be his followers. And Christ with authoritative words told Peter and his companions, that from then on they will become no longer catchers of fish but catchers of men. The ways of the kingdom of this world is so different from the ways of the Kingdom of God. Their values are poles apart. While this world seeks honor and accolade, the kingdom of God teaches us that the greatest value is love and humility and manifested in loving service to humanity. Those of us who were called to be in this Kingdom must show by words and by deeds these values of loving service to humanity. We must shun the honors of this world which are fleeting. But rather we seek the honors that comes from God. But when the Son of Man will come, will He find faith on earth?
Posted by The Island Gypsy at 5:10 PM
Saturday, February 2, 2013
MY REFLECTION ON CANDLEMASS:
“Lumen ad revelationem servum tuum: et gloriam plebis tuae Israel…” says the antiphon.
“A light to the revelation of the Gentiles: for the glory of thy People of Israel…” Today we celebrate candlemass day. Forty days after giving birth, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph presented Jesus in the temple as commanded by the Law of Moses. Being poor they bought pigeons for the sacrifice instead of a Lamb. There they met Simeon the prophet who have been waiting for the coming of the Messiah. When he say the Virgin Mary with the Child, he proclaimed his prophecy that this child-Jesus. Shall be the cause of Salvation among many in Israel but also shall be the stumbling block among many, Mary did not understand all the words that Simeon had said but she kept it in her hearts – the truth of which was revealed in due time. A sword pierced the heart of Mary.
-There are two sacramentals that reminded me of the significance of this feast of the candlemass. First is the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual help, so popular among us Filipinos. To me this depicts the bond that existed between Mary and her Child Jesus. Mary presents to us Jesus-as the word of God made flesh and as the bread of life our spiritual food. Simeon said that he will be the cause of the rising and falling of many in Israel. Those who cannot accept his teachings will definitely fall but those who humbly accept his words shall find salvation.
The Second thing that reminds me of the significance of this feast is our practice of lighting votive candles during prayers and Mass. What is the meaning of this? It tells us that as we light the candles we are reminded that Christ is the light of the world, that he who listens to Jesus will not walk in darkness. So as we hold on to our light, we are commissioned by God to bring the light of Christ into the world. This can be done by living a life modeled after the teachings of the gospel. Christ said that we should be the light and salt of the earth.
Short Prayer: Jesus you are the light of World, and he who comes unto thee will not walk in darkeness but will have the light. Guide us in our way, and make us by your grace a shining example of who you are. Help us to fight the temptations of this world and the wiles of the devil. Like your mother make us more obedient and keep us ever by your side in this life and in the world to come. Let thy servant go in peace, thy word has been fulfilled. Amen.
Posted by The Island Gypsy at 5:39 PM
IS THIS NOT THE SON OF JOSEPH?
My Sunday Reflection from, Luke 4:21-30
"Is this not the son of Joseph?" blurted the Jews upon hearing the grace and wisdom coming from the mouth of our Lord as he spoke in the synagogue of the Jews. One laudable situation in the Pharisaic religion of Jesus' time was the democracy of the synagogue where men of wisdom and age are allowed to speak in front of the community. However it was sad to say that the Jews of Jesus' time could not believe that a carpenter's son without formal training could exude such wisdom and grace, as to touch the hearers and to speak with such authority. But unfortunately, their bias for him was evident in the way he was treated by them. Let me offer two points for reflection from today's gospel:
 Simeon the prophet at the Presentation of Our Lord said, that this child (Jesus) would be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel. Indeed as St. Paul reiterated in his letters to the Romans that the unbelief of the Jews was beneficial for the Gentiles. Because this unbelief paved the way for the gospel message to be preached among the gentiles until the end of the ages. God has chosen the Kingdom of Israel to be his nation, a chosen nation, a chosen race. The prototype of God's coming Kingdom. This was central to the belief of the Hebrews. If this kind of belief shall prevail, that they were the chosen race, it would be utterly impossible for the gospel to be preached to the whole world. Thus the Christian Church which started as a community of believers among the Jews began to be preached among the Gentiles. For this reason, St. Paul said, that with the unbelief of the Jews both in the Land of Israel and the diaspora, he was forced to go to the Gentiles which readily accepted the saving message of God, through His Son Jesus Christ. But St. Paul said, that this unbelief among the Jews is not forever, there will be a time when the Lord shall visit His chosen people and redeem his own. Thus we as Christians cannot brag about our faith, and we should never say that the Jews were abandoned by God. They are still the chosen ones, as St. Paul said, they are our elder brothers in the faith, for it was to them that the covenant was first given. And we are recipients of that benefit for as the Scriptures said, the blessings shall come from Israel that will guide and save the Gentiles. Jesus is that gift. The Son of David, from Bethlehem, a true Israelite, and a Son of God.
 The second point I would like to speak about is on the practical side. As individual persons we are also beset by the weakness as the Jews of Christ time. The judgmental attitude that we have at times hinders our relationship with God. How many times we fail to see the potentiality in our neighbors to be good. We only dwell on the mundane and we see only the faults of our neighbors. But we do not see the potentials to be good and above all we fail to realize and recognize the immense capability of God to work in the lives of our neighbors as well as ourselves. We want to be accepted, like anyone else, but we are not ready to accept others. Let us pray that we should have that grace to look positively on our neighbors. To recognize the "good" in them. For our maker the Lord Almighty is good and merciful so likewise we who bear his image are destined to be like him. Let us pray for that grace.
Short Prayer: Lord Almighty Father, make us more like you and help us to recognize the good in our neighbors. Love covers a multitude of sins, so fill our hearts with the same love that you have, so that we may love others as we love ourselves. Bless us Lord, our families, our communities and our nation. This we ask in the name of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. + In the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen
Posted by The Island Gypsy at 5:37 PM