The Solemnity of Christ the King reminds us that Jesus, and He alone, is our Lord and King. People who lord it over other people and who love to act like the mighty boss should remember that at the end of this life, on judgment day, we will be judged not by our success, power, wealth, or influence but by how much we extended mercy and compassion toward one another.READ MORE
In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds us that God gave talents to all of us. No one is without talent, but we need to discover, develop, and put to good use whatever talent we have received. In Scripture: Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. (Mt.5:15)Talents, like lighted lamps, are not to be hidden and put to waste but must be developed and shared. At the right time, we will be accountable for all our God-given talents.READ MORE
Jesus tells His disciples the story about the ten (10) virgins. Five were wise, bringing extra oil, while the others were unprepared. It is better to have more than less in life and in love. Be prepared when the storm comes: whatever comes, and the surprises in life. The Benedictine motto Ora et labora can also mean: To do our best and let God take care of the rest.
In the parable, Jesus warns us to be alert and awake, watchful and vigilant, for we neither know the day nor the hour when the Lord is coming. It may sound a little bit morbid, but it’s prudent to be always ready, for the Lord can call us at any time. When that happens, we have to pass our papers, finished or not yet finished.READ MORE
Jesus is a sign of LOVE. He is not concerned with His image, unlike the scribes and the Pharisees who have taken the seat of Moses. Jesus avoided titles and seats of honor. In many instances, He asked recipients of His healings and exorcisms to keep secret the miraculous deeds God granted them. Jesus was the sign of the LOVE of the FATHER to everyone. He worked in the ministry without any tag or brand, discriminating none by race, color, religious and political affiliation, status in life, and others. By His MERCY, LOVE, and COMPASSION, He became the sign of God, LOVE.READ MORE
A Scholar of the Law asked Jesus which commandment is the greatest. Jesus answered using two Old Testament texts: You shall love the Lord your God. (Dt. 6:5), You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Lev. 19:18) Yes! The two greatest commandments are the Love of God and love of neighbor.
Recently, I was on a Pilgrimage to Italy and had the chance to visit San Giovanni Rotondo. That place in South Italy is famous because of St. Padre Pio, an Italian Capuchin friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic. Call it a coincidence or a blessing, but we arrived there on the evening of the 22nd of September.READ MORE
Jesus rebuked the disciples sent by the Pharisees tasked to entrap him in speech. Behind the attempt to discredit Jesus in front of the people are the deeply envious Pharisees, learned in matters of the law but with Jesus were not only nasty but also full of malice. Jesus does not hold back strong words against this kind of people, calling them out as hypocrites; they are deceitful and prideful. They are good with words and preaching, but their deeds are completely opposite. They don’t walk their talk.READ MORE
As a priest, I receive invitations to birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, and many more. These invitations are opportunities to come together and celebrate something or someone's special occasion. Some celebrations are thanksgiving to God for the gift of life or other blessings. As I write the reflection for this coming Sunday, I remember that I have a Birthday invitation tonight from my former dentist (Dr. Pam, as we Filipino priests fondly call her). We all miss her care, but she retired two years ago. Every year, she invites all her priest friends on her birthday. A Birthday Celebration reminds me that every human life is worth living and that all life, for that matter, is a precious gift worth treasuring and celebrating.READ MORE
In ancient times, builders set the cornerstones (foundation or setting stone) as the principal stone, placed at the corner of the building, which serves as a guide for workers. All other stones refer to the cornerstone determining the orientation/position of the whole building. Often, it also serves as a reference for all other measurements. Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church He wants to build, and everything/everyone must start with Him as the foundation. Jesus Christ is the foundation and the most important part of building His Church. Everything starts from the Lord; He is the anchor and sets the direction and orientation of His Church. But also, Jesus is the stone rejected by the builder, who has become the cornerstone. So, consider it a privilege to share the experience of Jesus: rejected, persecuted, misjudged, or misunderstood many times. We take courage because although we may experience initial rejection like Jesus, we can also become the cornerstone. Jesus, the rejected one, is the Savior of the World.READ MORE
Growing up with three brothers, family chores were divided to make things easier and faster. My Mom runs the household like a well oiled machine. Sometimes, Mom would ask a brother to do a task before going to work. Usually, she would entrust it to the older brothers, but we were young, and at times, would not get any commitment from them, so she would then pass it on to me I would complain by saying if my older siblings would not do it, why would I? But before Mom leaves would remind us that she would tell Dad that nobody wanted to obey her. Seldom would Dad discipline us, only when we disrespect or disobey Mom or our elders. Afraid of being grounded, though I said no initially, I do it anyway for my elder brothers. Besides, our youngest is too young to do it.READ MORE