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Friday, December 23, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 23, 2011

GIVING JESUS

Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown His great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. – Luke 1:58

Just before I wrote this reflection, I called my family back in Manila. They were busy buying gifts to give this Christmas.
Maybe by the time you read this, you may have completed your shopping. Maybe you are now busy wrapping or even ready to give away the gifts.
Giving and receiving gifts makes Christmas fun but we sometimes forget the real reason for the celebration. As I read the Gospel today, the Spirit spoke to my heart . “Why don’t you give Jesus this Christmas? Share Him, speak of Him.”
As you give that beautifully wrapped gift, share your experiences too with the Lord. Tell them how the Lord healed you or how He protected you. Tell them how the Lord provided for your needs. Tell them how the Lord transformed you. I know that as they hear how the Lord has shown you His love, they will rejoice with you, in the same manner as the neighbors and relatives of Elizabeth did in today’s Gospel.
Who knows? Their Christmas may become more meaningful this year because of your sharing. Danny Tariman (danny@dtariman.com)
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REFLECTION:
Have you shared Jesus to your neighbors and relatives?

Lord, forgive me for being hesitant in sharing Your name and Your love. I pray that I may make a difference this Christmas by sharing You with others.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 22, 2011

BERRY

“His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.” – Luke 1: 50

An office mate emailed us a picture of four cute shitzu puppies for sale. My wife, Ambec, wanted to get one right away. But I was hesitant. I knew what it took to take care of a pet — time, effort and money. It was like having a baby.
I gave in under the condition that my wife and our helper would take care of it and it would cause no trouble to us. I can still remember claiming Berry from the van that delivered her. She was so tiny and helpless but she captured our hearts from day one.
Guess what? Almost everything that I was worried about came true. Were there any tangible benefits from having Berry? None. In my financial books, she came out as an expense. But we love her and she brings us joy. This is not logical.
I guess this is the best way I can explain God’s mercy and love for us. He loves me many, many more times compared to my love for Berry. Jesus died for me and took away all my sins. He continues to heal me and provide for me. When I felt like giving up on life, He raises me up. I can never repay Him. His mercy is illogical but this is His desire. Praise God! Ariel Driz (adriz77@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
It’s three days before Christmas. Have you thanked the Lord lately for His mercy and love?

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your everlasting mercy and love. Amen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 21, 2011

THE DAILY CELEBRATION

“The Lord your God is in your midst, victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” – Zephaniah 3:17

Do you know what doesn’t make any sense to me at all? It’s when parents tell their children, “Come and sit down, kids, let’s have a nice, quiet dinner.”
I’ve never had an actual quiet dinner with my family. The five of us are an incredibly noisy group of people, from my dad and mom all the way down to my two brothers. We tell jokes and deliver our punch lines with thundering emphasis complete with hand gestures and boisterous laughter. We hoot, whistle and applaud when we like the story that someone is saying about what happened to them that particular day. At times, we all have an opinion on a certain topic and we wind up yelling for our ideas to be heard over one another. Yes, we’re extremely loud. And I love it that way. Since I was a child, our family meals have been like an exciting party with good friends. That’s why I look forward to coming home.
Similarly, when God calls us to pray, He is inviting us to celebrate with Him. So let’s freely express our love and thanksgiving for the Lord without reservation. Let’s rejoice in His presence! Eleanore Lee (elyo.lee@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
What form of expression will you use to glorify the Lord today?

Lord, I will sing Your praises in the greatest of volumes for I am unashamed that others may hear of my love for You.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 20, 2011

READY TO RECEIVE?

Mary said... “Let it be done to me as you say.” – Luke 1:38

For over 400 years, God made no contact with his people. All they knew about God were stories from the old prophets. There was nothing ever mentioned about a holy spirit. Suddenly, an awesome being appears before Mary telling her about preposterous things! If that happened to me, I would have probably fainted or maybe run away!
But not Mary. Her willing response could only mean that her spirit was prepared for such a thing. The Jews had been waiting for the promised Messiah as prophesied, but centuries had passed. Still, there were a handful who believed that God would fulfill His promise. They waited with anticipation and hope. Mary was one of them. Because she trusted God, she was ready to receive. Had she not been ready, she would have probably reacted as Ahaz did in the first reading when he was told to ask for an outrageous sign from God and he refused.
God is ready to fulfill all His promises in the Bible. He wants to bless us more than we can ever ask or imagine. The question is, are we prepared to receive everything that God wants to bless us with? Or, are we going to say that we do not deserve such a blessing and miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime? Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)
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REFLECTION:
If God already sacrificed His only Son just to save us, why are we still struggling to believe that He can give us all things besides?

Lord, may my heart genuinely yearn for You, and not for what I can get from You.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 19, 2011

special

An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son.” – Judges 13:3

Samson’s mother was a special woman. At a time when OB-GYNs were non-existent, God sent an angel to give pre-natal care to the woman who would bear a child consecrated to God from the womb.
Reading through the angel’s commands to her reminded me of my obstetrician’s instructions and what I read in pregnancy books when I was infanticipating.
Every woman who has carried a child in her womb will tell you what a special experience it is to have another human being growing inside you. But even more special is the knowledge that the child you carry will someday be used mightily by God for His purposes.
Our children don’t have to be prophets or conceived miraculously for them to be set apart for God. A godly upbringing and our own examples as good Christians will surely put them on the road to being servants of God. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“Indeed, parents should act as role models to their children for they are a mirror through which their children depend for their vision.” (Gabriel Idoko)

Lord, do not let us be stumbling blocks to the little ones.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections - December 18, 2011

WHEN GOD SAYS NO

“Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?” – 2 Samuel 7:5

After I resigned from an auditing firm, I applied in one company where the starting salary was high and the benefits were good. Weeks passed but I didn’t get a call from them. So, I decided to apply in a bank.
The salary offer didn’t impress me so I tried to negotiate. Although I didn’t get the starting salary I wanted, I accepted the offer and got a job as an audit supervisor. During my first year, I was promoted to officer level and received three salary increases. I was promoted several times more in my 10-year stay there. My friend who worked in the other company for several years told me that she still hadn’t received a salary increase nor a promotion.
David wanted to build a “house” for the Lord because the ark of God dwelt in a tent. But God said no. Although He turned down David’s request, He promised to continue the “house” of David forever, which He fulfilled through the coming of Jesus Christ.
God said no to my desire to work in the other company because He had something better in store for me.
When God says no to our plans, let us trust that He knows what’s best for us. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
When God says no, do we use the other opportunities He gives us or do we insist on having it our way?

Lord, grant me the grace to be sensitive to Your leading, and then to follow You.

Daily Bible Reflections - December 17, 2011

THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father.” – Genesis 49:2

In my experience, I’ve observed that students who get low grades in my classes are those who do not listen to my lectures and instructions. They are the ones who do other things like text on their cell phones or gossip with seat mates during discussion. And when things go wrong or if they fail in their grades, they complain without seeing their faults.
It is like also our approach to God’s Word. Sometimes, we do not truthfully listen to the teachings given by our priests, catechists and lay ministers. We’re sleepy during homilies at Mass or even resist the teachings of certain preachers because of our “religious pride,” claiming that we know already everything written in the Bible. Because of this, we do not understand the connection of Scriptures to the things happening around us. When trials or tragedies occur in our lives, we become angry with our Lord and put the blame on Him without seeing our faults.
Listening to God requires us to cast out all distractions and passionately focus on the message He’s teaching us. It also needs humility as we submit ourselves to accept what God is saying to us both in our heart and mind.Dho Rimando (dougsterrimando@yahoo.com.ph)
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REFLECTION:
Listening is not only hearing. Do you truthfully listen to God’s Word?

Lord, teach us to listen to You as You listen to our prayers.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 16, 2011

ANSWERED!

The Lord says to his people, “Do what is just and right, for soon I will save you.” – Isaiah 56:1

Ronald was first introduced to the Kerygma Family when he got an email from a friend in June 2006. Two years after, he was able to attend the Feast in Pasig where he got his own Novena to God’s Love booklet. He wrote his seven dreams in the booklet and would regularly pray that they be granted.
Since he was living in Laguna, it was a challenge to go to Pasig every week. But he persevered and tried to attend every week.
Five months after attending his first Feast, he was offered a job by a multinational company. This job allowed him to use his talents and skills to help out his co-employees. Because of his exemplary performance he was promoted to the position after a couple of months. The promotion also came with his desired compensation and benefits. His job also gave him the opportunity to be more active in the Feast and also invite some officemates to attend the Kerygma Conference.
He realized that in less than two years God had granted him most of the dreams he had listed down!
Let us always put our complete trust that the Lord will save us. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo. com)
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REFLECTION:
God wants to bless us always. Continue to do what is right and good so that God may be glorified!

Lord, I look to You for help in time of need. Blessed Raynald de Bar, pray for us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 15, 2011

RECYCLED SERVANT

The Lord calls you back... – Isaiah 54:6

I felt like a has-been Christian leader. To add insult to injury, one of my former spiritual leaders called people like me a “recycled servant” of the Lord. Ouch.
After a crisis with my commitment in a community I served in for most of my life, I didn’t know where to go next. I was a blank slate, which was good because I could reinvent myself to be anything. My big problem was I didn’t know who I wanted to be. Or more crucially, who God wanted me to be.
But while I had run out of plans, God’s purpose for me was spot-on. Instead of being cast away like a useless piece of rag as I had feared, the Lord turned my crisis into an opportunity for greater growth and reach in my life and ministry.
Nope, He wasn’t finished with me yet. In fact, He had only begun another chapter — grander and more exciting than the previous ones in my life.
Friend, when you think you’re down to nothing, God is up to something. His plan for you is grander than your wildest dreams. He’s not just the God of “recycled servants”; He’s the God who makes all things new!Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
The God I believe in is a god of second chances.” (Pres. Bill Clinton)

Dear Lord, when I make a mess of my life, come and set me on the right path.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 14, 2011

Ever Present

And sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another.” – Luke 7:19

It amazes me how one man who walked the face of the earth more than 2,000 years ago is gloriously remembered to this day. His name has lived through the ages!
Thank God that I did not live in Jesus’ time, because if I did, I would probably be among the unbelievers. I rejoice that I am alive in this time and age of spiritual renewal because I get to experience Jesus in all His glory. He may have walked among men in the past but He still is ever present among us, living in people’s hearts.
I experience Jesus in my cousin. As my priest-confessor, he knows the ugly cobwebs I had woven in the past yet he treats me as if I were the most beautiful person on earth.
I experience Jesus in a dear friend who once wrote me a five-figure check upon learning that I needed financial assistance. I experience Jesus in the stranger who came to my rescue when my car broke down in the middle of a busy street.
My list goes on.
Let us open our eyes to the goodness that surrounds us, and see that Jesus still walks among us.Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
In whom do you see Jesus? Make a list of the people who bless your life.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for living in our hearts. You have kept Your promise to remain with us until the end of time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 13, 2011

THE WINNERS’ TWINS

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.’” – Matthew 21:29

Life is not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you. Rain pours down on the good and the bad. It’s what you do with the rain that matters.
Jesus “happened” to the so-called good and bad people of His time. But it was only those who acted on His message who attained life. In today’s parable, what made the first son different is that he took action.
When competing runners trip and fall, they can stay on the ground and meditate on the hurt and think of the pain. Or they can take action and run again. If they can’t run, they can walk. If they can’t walk, they can limp. If they can’t limp, they can crawl. Both winners and losers fall. But winners win because they never stop taking action.
It’s OK to mourn and get stunned for a while until you gather back your senses. But this has to have an expiry date. Are you overwhelmed with your problems? Is your marriage tearing apart? Are you buried in a mountain of debt? Have you lost your job? Has the news of your sickness paralyzed you? Seek God’s wisdom and find out what needs to be done. Then take action!
Hope and Action are the winners’ twins. Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
Have you been wallowing in the mud of self-pity and playing the “blame (others) game”? Friend, it’s time to take action today.

Father, I’ve been swept under by huge problems. There’s so much to do. Today is the day to begin. Give me the strength.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 12, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
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Spirit –filled

The spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle. – Numbers 24: 2-3

Years ago, we conducted a weekend Life in the Spirit Seminar for school personnel. I was assigned to give a sharing on Day 2. As it was my first time, I prepared by praying intensely and writing down my talk.
My care group head, Myrna, gave her sharing on the first day. Her delivery was flawless and touching. She didn’t even have notes to look at! After her talk, I asked her to coach me.
That night, I practiced. But all my preparations seemed useless: my delivery was awful, my tongue tripped over words and I forgot some points.
The next day, I was a bunch of nerves. I told my co-facilitator to just read my notes if I faint. At my pre-talk pray over, I surrendered completely to the Holy Spirit. When the mic was handed to me, I felt a strange calm — as if my body with all its jitters went to sleep and a divine power took over. I delivered my sharing smoothly, glanced at my notes briefly and felt the words flowing out of my mouth. It was an exceptional experience — like being slain in the Spirit and speaking in tongues rolled into one. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Let go, let God, let good rule your life.

Spirit of God, take control of me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections - December 11, 2011

I AM THIRD

“He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” – John 1:27

There was a young man who was popular in school. He was intelligent and a leader in school organizations. A friend visited him at home and saw the plaque hanging on his room door with the words “I am Third.” When his friend asked what it meant, the young man explained, “It’s the motto I try to live by. It means God is first, others are second and I am third.”
Just like this boy, John the Baptist knew his place. He knew from the start that his mission was to “prepare the way” for the Messiah. When people asked him why he baptized others if he was not the Christ, he said in humility, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Because he had his own followers, John could have set himself up as the anointed one from God and built a church separate from Jesus’. There could have been a rivalry between Baptizers and Christians.
Only when we put the will of God and the needs of others ahead of our own do we become true humble servants of the Lord. Let us take our rightful place as “third” and do our part in building God’s kingdom on earth. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

Jesus, grant me the grace to be humble as I serve You so that others may see no longer me but You, the Messiah, who is powerfully at work in me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections - December 10, 2011

BURN

Till like a fire there appeared the prophet whose words were as a flaming furnace. – Sirach 48:1

Gerry is the most quiet person in the world. He doesn’t say much. But one time, when we were hanging out and the topic of music came up, he lit up like a flame and started talking about composition, piano playing, great musicians and the like. We couldn’t shut him up. He kept on going and going. It was obvious that this was his passion.
They say the second greatest fear — next to fear of death — is fear of public speaking. While my standards for eloquence are high, I also believe that when a person speaks about something he’s passionate about, even if he’s not a good speaker, he can be captivating. When he’s an authority on what he talks about, he can be interesting. And for that moment, he is the best speaker in the world on that topic.
I believe the passion God put in us is the unique gift we were meant to share. It’s the message we were meant to proclaim. And when we do, we are like a burning fire. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
What is your passion? Have you shared it to others?

Lord, let me always burn for Your glory.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 9, 2011

friend of sinners

“Then the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and people said: ‘Look at this man! A glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” – Matthew 11:19

“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” This is an oft-repeated quote I heard from my parents, teachers and elders when I was young to drive home the point that I should dissociate myself from classmates and neighbors who have a bad record in school or the community lest I also be branded as such. As I matured, however, I realized that a person can be a catalyst for change. But how can we expect “bad” people to change if the good ones avoid them like a plague?
This was exactly what Jesus did. He did not avoid tax collectors and sinners; instead, He befriended them and dined with them. Jesus had His reasons for doing so — He changed their ways, as we saw in Zaccheus, the tax collector who made amends for his wrongdoings (Luke 19:1-10).
Let us, therefore, not judge a person on the basis of who his friends or companions are. Instead, let us look at the intention of that person. Bay Cabrera (baycabrera@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
Jesus, by His example, taught us not to judge other people by the company they keep. Have we been judgmental of others?

Lord, teach us not to be harsh in our judgment of others.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections - December 8, 2011

Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

FORGIVEN AT THE FEAST

“For nothing will be impossible for God.” – Luke 1:37

We had a dispute over some property, so her family and mine were not on speaking terms. I did not see her for about a year. I wondered if it was ever possible that our families would be reconciled.
Then, at The Feast, the prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus, Bro. Bo Sanchez spoke about forgiveness. He told us to lift to the Lord people we need to forgive or ask forgiveness from. I prayed for our families. Then, during the love offering time, as everyone approached the stage to put their envelopes into the collection basket, I saw her! She saw me, and without saying a word, we just hugged and cried on each other’s shoulder. I had been attending The Feast regularly but that day was the first time she attended. What were the chances that she should come on the day that the talk would be on forgiveness?
In today’s Gospel, as impossible as it may seem, the Immaculate Conception happened. We celebrate today this crucial event, which eventually leads to Christmas, the birth of Jesus — God’s loving reconciliation with man. Yes, Christmas is all about forgiveness — God becoming man to save us from our sins and assure us of everlasting life with Him. Rejoice, nothing is impossible to God! Cynthia Santiago (boses2go@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
Christmas is all about reconciliation. Forgive and be forgiven.

Lord, let me give unconditional love this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Listening

By: Francis Kong

John Maxwell says “Most people overvalue talking and undervalue listening, even those in people-related jobs such as sales. But the truth is effective communication is not persuasion. It's listening ... listen twice as much as you speak.” Too many people love the sound of their own voice with no one interested at all. God has given us two ears and one mouth so we could listen more and speak less.

Daily Bible Readings - December 7, 2011

GOD’S YOKE

“Come to me, all of you who are tired... and I will give you rest.... Take my yoke...” – Matthew 11: 28-29

“My heart is restless until it rests in thee,” St. Augustine writes. How true! And the rest that we find in the Lord is the real one.
How do you picture rest? Sitting lazily in a sofa or lying flat in bed? A one-hour Swedish body massage or a VIP spa treatment? Checking in at a five-star hotel or going for a grand vacation in Boracay?
Truth is, you can do these things and still end up bothered and troubled. Somehow, after the long sleep, the special treatment, the grand vacation — you’re still restless! Why? Because you’re still carrying your yoke.
On the contrary, I’ve seen really busy people yet they don’t get tired. Because their hearts are at rest! They’re not exempted from problems. They, too, have their yokes to carry. But they’re not burdened with its weight because they’ve come before the Lord, and have replaced their yoke with the one God gives them.
God never promised that you won’t be without problems. But He said if it is His yoke that you carry, you will have rest.
Come to Him. Trade your yoke for His. And find that real kind of rest you need.Alvin Barcelona (kpreacheralvin@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
Do you feel heavily burdened by the yoke you’re carrying? Whose yoke is it? Do you want to trade it with God’s yoke today?

Dear Lord, I take Your yoke — of love, of service, of righteousness, of holiness — today. And I receive the rest that You give me. Amen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections- December 6, 2011

POMPEII

The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. – Isaiah 40:4

Pompeii, one of the places my parents and I visited during our European tour many years ago, stands out in my memory.
Pompeii is a city near Naples in Italy that was completely destroyed and buried when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 76 A.D. It’s much like the towns of Pampanga that were buried in lahar when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, but in the case of Pompeii, it gave us a glimpse of the life of a city during the Roman Empire. The forum, the Roman baths, the houses and villas, even the crude paintings on the walls, were preserved. The hoof marks of chariots on the pavements were still visible.
Excavations revealed that the people were caught unaware by the eruption. Many were eating or sleeping. Every little detail of their lives was frozen in time for future generations to see.
The sight brought home to me two big truths: that nature runs its own course and that death comes to us in the most unexpected ways and time. But there’s a bigger truth that we should always remember: The Son of Man will come to judge the good from the bad.
Are you ready for His coming?Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you preparing for the inevitable in life?

Lord, grant me a heart that is always ready to embrace the unexpected.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Your Attitude Amulet

Your Attitude Amulet
by Anthony Fernando

Every morning you wake up, climb out of bed and get ready for the day ahead. After having a shower, getting dressed and doing your hair, you most probably stand in front of the mirror and do a quick final check before you walk out the door to face the world.

It is in that moment when you are looking at yourself in the mirror each morning that you can add a simple two-minute process that can change your life.

How To Improve Your Attitude

Imagine for a moment, that next to your mirror hangs a heart shaped amulet.

This amulet is an Attitude Amulet.

Your Attitude Amulet has two faces. It has a golden face, which represents a positive attitude, and a dark face, which represents a negative attitude.

Each morning you place your Attitude Amulet around your neck and decide which face of the amulet you are going to show to the world.

When you display the positive face of your Attitude Amulet to the world, you focus on what you really want from life. You have positive expectations of the day ahead, and you are open to connecting and interacting with others.

On the other hand, when you display the negative face of your Attitude Amulet to the world, you tend to focus on the problems in your life. You have negative expectations of the day ahead, and you close yourself off from connecting and interacting with others.

Although your Attitude Amulet is invisible to the naked eye, everyone you come into contact with during the day instantly knows which side of the amulet you have on display.

Another important aspect of your Attitude Amulet is that it is strongly magnetic.

When you display the positive face of your amulet to the world, it attracts people who have a positive attitude and repels people who have a negative attitude.

Conversely, when you have the negative face of your Attitude Amulet on display, it attracts people who have a negative attitude and repels people who have a positive attitude.

Let’s take a look at an example to see how this works in the real world.

Cathy’s Day – Take 1

Cathy opened her eyes with a groan and reached out and turned off her alarm clock with a slap. She dragged herself out of bed and was still half asleep as she had a shower.

The warm water helped her wake up properly and she proceeded to get ready for the day. Once she had dressed, tied up her hair and applied her make up, she paused and did a final check in the mirror.

Without thinking, she reached over, picked up her Attitude Amulet and placed it over her head, not noticing that the dark face of the amulet was facing the world.

In the car on the way to work, Cathy thought about all the problems she was currently dealing with. There were the issues at work with her manager, her brother’s financial mess, and the fact that her last date had been a complete disaster.

As she reviewed this litany of problems, she worked herself into a negative frame of mind and was not looking forward to the day ahead.

At work, Cathy caught the elevator to the 12th floor, and avoided making eye contact with anyone as she made her way to her cubicle.

She dumped her bag under her desk, switched on her computer and stared glumly at the pile of claim forms that she needed to process by the end of the day.

After checking her emails, Cathy decided she needed a coffee to kick start her day. On the way to the coffee machine she bumped into her friend Rachel, who said, “Hey Cath, the girls and I are just going to the cafeteria, do you want to come?”

Cathy just didn’t feel like company so she replied, “No, I better get stuck into my work. I’ll catch up with you later.”

At the coffee machine, Cathy met another of her workmates named Wendy.

“Another fun-filled day of claims forms ahead?” asked Wendy.

“Yep, can’t wait” replied Cathy sarcastically.

They picked up their coffee and talked about the latest ridiculous decision their manager had made as they made their way back to their desks.

Cathy then faced a long, tiresome day of processing claim forms before going home and zoning out in front of the television.

Cathy’s Day – Take 2

Cathy opened her eyes and reached out and turned off her alarm clock. She pulled herself out of bed and was still half asleep as she had a shower.

The warm water helped her wake up properly and she proceeded to get ready for the day. Once she had dressed, tied up her hair and applied her make up, she paused and did a final check in the mirror.

She reached over, picked up her Attitude Amulet and placed it over her head making sure that the positive face of the amulet was facing the world. She smiled at her reflection and headed out the door.

In the car on the way to work, Cathy focused on what she was going to do with the day ahead, and set herself a goal of completing all her claim forms by lunchtime so she could chat to her manager. She also wanted to organise to catch up with her brother, and investigate the ‘Meet at Dinner’ dating website her friend had told her about.

At work, Cathy caught the elevator up to the 12th floor, and smiled at several people as she made her way to her cubicle.

She slid her bag under her desk, flicked on her computer, looked down at her pile of claim forms waiting to be processed and said under her breath, “OK – You guys are going down!”

On the way to get a coffee, Cathy bumped into her friend Rachel, who said, “Hey Cath, the girls and I are just going to the cafeteria, do you want to come?”

“Sure thing” replied Cathy. She walked past her workmate Wendy with a nod, and joined Rachel and the others.

In the cafeteria, Rachel announced that she was pregnant and Cathy and the other girls were incredibly excited and happy for her.

After an exciting morning coffee, Cathy was in a great mood and ploughed through her work in record time.

She felt good about having been so productive and ended up having a fantastic day.


As this example illustrates, each morning we each have the option to decide which face of our Attitude Amulet we are going to show to the world. This single decision has a huge impact on how our day unfolds and ultimately the kind of life we lead.

So today I want to encourage you to add a simple two-minute process to your morning routine. When you complete your final visual check in the mirror, imagine picking up your Attitude Amulet and placing it over your head.

Make the conscious decision to have the positive face of your amulet on show, and use this as a reminder to focus on what you really want from life, have positive expectations of the day ahead and be open to connecting and interacting with others.

Until Next Time,
Dr. Anthony
Dare To Dream

Daily Bible Reflections

December 5, 2011
Remarkable Moments

“We have seen incredible things today.” – Luke 5:26

I have big dreams for my children.
My son has been diagnosed with autism and I am still waiting for the day when he can spontaneously and sincerely say, “I love you, Mommy!” When that day comes, it will be a wonderful day.
My little girl is just a toddler but I can’t wait for the day when she comes home from school and shows me her first star as an award. When that day comes, it will be an amazing day.
For now, I content myself with anecdotes from my son’s teachers of his progress in school and in therapy. Once, when his teacher reported that my son had spontaneously identified the picture of a boy and said “boy,” it was a wonderful day for me.
A few days ago, when I came home from work, my little girl came running to me, shouted my name and gave me a tight hug. It instantly made my day.
Remarkable moments are not limited to the times when extraordinary things happen. Simple moments I spend with family and loved ones are just as remarkable. Each and every minute spent with my family is a moment to remember and be thankful for. Mae Ignacio (maemi04@aim.com)
5
REFLECTION:
What made you smile today? Thank God for that incredible moment.

Dear Father, thank You for every amazing moment You have given me. Thank You for today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

December 4, 2011
GOD’S PERFECT TIMING

The Lord does not delay in fulfilling His promise, though some speak of delay; rather He gives you time because He does not want anyone to perish, but that all may come to conversion. – 2 Peter 3:9

I was almost 25 when I had my first boyfriend.
God knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship so He gave me a sign not to pursue it after I asked for one. But my obstinacy got the upper hand. As a result, I inflicted unnecessary pain and suffering upon myself.
I should’ve spent those times growing and serving God wholeheartedly and celebrating the gift of singleness. But I was impatient. I chose to experience the most coveted feeling of being in love. It took me three long years to recover from two consecutive heartaches as I had another failed relationship after the first one.
I was not proud of myself. In fact, I blamed myself for not waiting for God’s perfect time. If only I listened to Him.
Now, I’m so grateful that I’m doing things right and waiting for God’s more than- perfect time. I found my ideal man in the community, and he met most of my non-negotiables. I don’t need to compromise my faith anymore. Leeanne Sy (havenofleeanne@yahoo.com)
4
REFLECTION:
Think you’re too old to be single? Remember that the most miserable women (and men) are those who married the wrong person.

God, help me wait for Your perfect timing so that I can spare myself from unnecessary pain and suffering.

Daily Bible Reflections

December 3, 2011
MOST WONDERFUL TIME

He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. – Isaiah 30:19

Thirteenth month pay. Bonus. Christmas gifts. Opportunities to give. Simbang Gabi. Cool weather. Shopping. Parties. I find December a gracious month in so many ways. Perhaps that’s why it’s my favorite month.
Not everyone, of course, agrees with me. Some feel pressured by the unspoken need to give. There is loneliness if you’re single or your loved ones are away from you. Being a part of all the activities is also strenuous.
As we face the coming days, let us remind ourselves that Christmas is not any of those things. The things that I mentioned earlier that I love are just really icing on the cake, so to speak. Because essentially and fundamentally, Christmas is about Jesus. It is the presence of Emmanuel, God with us, that makes Christmas a beautiful month.
It is the remembrance of His great sacrifice and the joy that we have because of Him that makes this time special. And it is recalling all the many blessings, graces and mercies that He has shown and continues to show to us throughout the year that makes Christmas “the most wonderful time of the year.”
So, to quote Tiny Tim of A Christmas Carol, “God bless us every one!”Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)
3
REFLECTION:
How can I remember and act daily on God’s graciousness this Christmas?

Lord Jesus, show me the way to spend this time wisely.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

December 2, 2011
CAN YOU SEE?

And their eyes were opened. – Matthew 9:30

Have you ever met someone with a victim mentality? Here’s a sample of his script:
I am not good enough because I don’t have a job.
The most important person in my life left me and I feel so empty.
I can’t fulfill my dreams because I don’t have business skills.
Familiar lines? I should know. I used to say them a lot. It was like groping through a dark room looking for a match without realizing that there was a wall switch.
Too many times I failed to recognize that I am much more capable of landing a job that will make use my core competencies, more deserving of a relationship that is based on healthy self-love, forgiveness and respect and more intelligent to learn new skills to make my dreams a reality.
Too many times I have been blind to the truth that my reality is a product of my beliefs, and that I am responsible for creating the world that I put myself into, and that I can create the life that God originally intended for me. For His glory. For His kingdom.
Today’s Gospel tells us how Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men into a new reality — a world of abundance, healing and love. Reden Cerrer (redcer@yahoo.com)
2
REFLECTION:
What areas of your life need to be freed from blindness? Let Jesus touch your eyes so you can see the reality that the Father has created for you.

Open the eyes of my heart, O Lord, so that I may also bring to You those who need Your healing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

December 1, 2011
FIGHT TINY AND LOVE BIG

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rocks.” – Matthew 7:24

One day, my wife and I had a really big fight. We were getting dressed for a prayer meeting when the argument began. What it was about, I hardly remember. In the car, our heated debate became more intense. When we reached the parking lot of the prayer meeting, my wife’s eyes were so puffy from crying, she didn’t want anyone to see her.
So we drove home with seething rage in our chest, feeling hurt and very silly. Imagine, we got dressed and drove for an hour, only to turn back and go home! When we returned, we continued talking passionately. But finally, after two more hours of arguing, we embraced each other.
That, my friends, was our last big fight — and it happened many years ago. No, we’ve not been all lovey-dovey since then. Because my wife and I have little fights very often. But we have improved. We trained ourselves not to bottle little hurts or irritations. I tell her how she irks me, and she tells me how I offend her. So, my wife pouts her angry pout, and I frown my angry frown. After a minute or two, we’re hugging each other again. And that’s how we keep our relationship strong in the face of conflicts. Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
1
REFLECTION:
How do you handle conflicts with the people you love? Is it with love or with hatred?

Lord of Mercy, grant me the grace to always handle minor and major conflicts with love.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 30, 2011
bounce back!

“The clever you have revealed to the merest children.” – Luke 10:21

One of my earliest childhood memories happened when I was only three years old. My family was watching television one night when my dad noticed that something smelled odd. He turned to my mom and asked if she noticed it, too. They traced the odd smell to an infected ear lobe — mine! And it hurt like crazy because my earring was stuck underneath skin and pustule.
With a first aid kit ready, my parents held me down, yanked out the earring and drained the infected ear lobe. Of course, I cried, kicked and screamed my lungs out through the process. But can you guess what I did immediately after my parents got the earring out?
I asked, “When can I wear earrings again?”
It’s amazing how quickly I recovered. But I believe God created us all this way — resilient to pain and able to bounce back from any trial. We just tend to forget as we get older. Pepper Bruce (pepper.bruce@gmail.com)
29
REFLECTION:
“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” (Bernard Williams)

Lord, let me not forget that You have given me everything I need to overcome any trial that has or will come my way. You created me strong and nothing can keep me down.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 29, 2011
bounce back!

“The clever you have revealed to the merest children.” – Luke 10:21

One of my earliest childhood memories happened when I was only three years old. My family was watching television one night when my dad noticed that something smelled odd. He turned to my mom and asked if she noticed it, too. They traced the odd smell to an infected ear lobe — mine! And it hurt like crazy because my earring was stuck underneath skin and pustule.
With a first aid kit ready, my parents held me down, yanked out the earring and drained the infected ear lobe. Of course, I cried, kicked and screamed my lungs out through the process. But can you guess what I did immediately after my parents got the earring out?
I asked, “When can I wear earrings again?”
It’s amazing how quickly I recovered. But I believe God created us all this way — resilient to pain and able to bounce back from any trial. We just tend to forget as we get older. Pepper Bruce (pepper.bruce@gmail.com)
29
REFLECTION:
“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” (Bernard Williams)

Lord, let me not forget that You have given me everything I need to overcome any trial that has or will come my way. You created me strong and nothing can keep me down.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 28, 2011
SAY THE WORD

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But say the word and my servant will be healed…” – Matthew 8:5-8

Lord, only say the word, and our baby will be healed.
As I write this, I’m watching my 11- month-old baby sleeping in her hospital bed. What we thought was a harmless cold turned into a stubborn fever and eventually into mild pneumonia. As a first-time parent and this being our daughter’s first sickness, you can imagine how extremely anxious and sad I am. Seeing her listless and uninterested in play — the sparkle in her eyes gone and replaced by distant gazes, hearing her inconsolable cries for help, and feeling the unusual heat from her tight embraces, all make me wish I could take her place and go through the sickness for her. I hate seeing her suffer.
I believe God doesn’t like seeing any of His children suffer either.
So why all the sickness and pain in the world? Well, because it’s an imperfect world. I’ve learned that these instances are part of life and are not what God desires, but they are opportunities for us to pray and stand in the gap for others — to come before God in faith, knowing that when we ask and believe, we will receive the healing He wants to give us in the first place. Geraldine G. Catral (teachergeegee@yahoo.com)
28
REFLECTION:
With boldness and faith, we can stand in the gap for others. Who will you pray for today?

Lord, only say the word, and Your servant will be healed.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 27, 2011
Waiting

So that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 1: 7

Gina and I got married in 1997. We still had no baby in 1998. The following year came and went. In 2000 she finally tested positive. We were going to have a baby! Arrangements and provisions were made: bedding, clothes, room and paraphernalia. We researched about pregnancy and babies. We made sure that Gina and our coming child were healthy.
But these preparations were nothing compared to our anticipation of holding her, seeing her face, watching her sleep, kissing her, hearing her laugh and cry and play and do all sorts of baby stuff. We couldn’t wait for her to be born!
Advent is a time of waiting, too. We celebrate God’s redeeming love but we also look forward to God’s blessings for the coming year. What will God reveal to you this Christmas? Can you picture how the Lord will manifest His love for you next year, how He will bless you?
Think of the best things that God will do for you. You will be surprised that He will exceed your expectations. You will surely not wait in vain.Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)
27
REFLECTION:
Advent is waiting with joy in our hearts, anticipating the wonders the Lord has in store for us.

Lord, I can barely contain my excitement for Your coming. You bring good tidings and true happiness to my life. Come, Lord Jesus!

Daily Bible Reflections

November 26, 2011
ABIDE IN HIM

“Stay awake...” – Luke 21:36

One starry night, inside a manger in the town of Bethlehem, God stepped down from His throne and became human. It was an event that had been foretold and expected by thousands of Jews. Yet no one was there, and very few recognized our Lord.
Years after, in the city of Jerusalem, an innocent man was sentenced to die. He was mocked, tortured and put to a shameful death. As His chosen ones gazed at Him while He hung on the cross, hardly anyone recognized the Messiah who came to save the world.
Now I wonder, if Jesus is still among us, would we recognize Him and be ready to welcome Him?
I think that the only way we can identify Jesus is if we know Him in an intimate way. We have to abide in His presence every single day. We need to stay committed to the tasks assigned to us and strive to be loving, forgiving and humble, and always praise God with hearts full of gratitude.
By being constantly aware of God in this way, I hope that I will recognize Him when we finally come face to face.Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)
26
REFLECTION:
“Can You see that as soon as the day breaks I think of You? As evening comes, I am near You. I am near You at every moment. I love You, Jesus!” (St. Gemma Galgani)

Lord, grant me the fortitude to be faithful until the day that I can behold Your face.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 25, 2011
GOD’S WORD IS AT WORK!

“Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.” – Luke 21:33

I was giving a talk in a Catholic Community in Greenhills where the attendees were still beautiful in their golden years. An author said that a beautiful woman is a work of art but a beautiful elderly woman is a masterpiece.
From the “masterpieces,” one stood out. She resembled a famous actress known for her beauty and acting prowess, Perla Bautista. (Your familiarity of her will reveal your age, he, he.) Her way of listening encouraged me so I planned to honor her after the talk. But she approached me first and said, “Great talk, brother. I’m Perla Bautista.”
I was star-struck! We chatted and I noticed that she was holding an album of papers. So I asked, “What’s that?” She answered, “A script.” I inquired, “Do you memorize everything?” She laughed and said, “Well, memorization is not that important, what’s important is that you internalize it!”
That hit me. Because the Lord is like the director in the big movie called life. He shouts, “Lights... camera... action!” The Light is His love. The camera is His omniscience. The last item is all up to us: ACTION!
Internalize your Script-ure friend, and He will crown your efforts with success. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
25
REFLECTION:
Are we just avid fans of the Word or living witnesses to it?

Let Your Word, oh God, come alive in my life. Amen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 24, 2011
sure proof

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.” – Luke 21:20

Want proof that God’s Word is true and it will come to pass? Just look to the nation Israel.
In 587 BC, the Babylonian army captured Jerusalem, destroyed its Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylon (modern-day Iraq). From then on, Jews lived as exiles around the world for over two and a half millenia. Throughout that time, they managed to preserve their language, culture and religion, but even more amazingly, their desire to return to their ancient homeland.
Just that alone is a wonder to me. Because I know Filipinos who’ve lived abroad for a few decades and their kids no longer speak Filipino, much less imbibe our values and culture, and have the longing to return to our islands.
Add the incredible fact that in 1948, Israel was reestablished as a sovereign state in its original homeland by the United Nations. Some scholars see this as fulfillment of Bible prophecy where God promised to gather the Jews again.
While exegetes argue whether this event was actually referred to by a specific prophecy in the Bible, there’s one thing I’m sure of. God’s Word can be trusted. Even if it takes millenia for His promises to be fulfilled. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
24
REFLECTION:
“The carrying out of God’s promise is as certain as if it’s already in the past tense.” (Unknown)

Lord, I put my trust in Your Holy Word today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 23, 2011
HOLD ON!

“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” – Luke 21:19

The pressure is getting heavier. Projects are not turning out as they should. Deadlines pass by unmet. The boss calls you to check the status. Operations people call to follow up. Team performance leaves much to be desired.
These are the situations when I just want to say, “Enough is enough!” When I feel like packing up and going home.
As a worker in a foreign land, I face many challenges. So I’d call my wife back in Manila to intercede. And she’d pray and give me bible promises that strengthen me to go on
“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you” (Isaiah 41:10).
“I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me” (Philippians 4:13).
And because of these powerful messages from the Lord, I am able to patiently endure and carry on. I remind myself, “Quitting is not an option!”
I persevere in my work, constantly asking the Lord for help and guidance. And yes, each day the Lord unfolds a blessing, a victory in my workplace! Danny Tariman (danny@dtariman.com)
23
REFLECTION:
Are you on the brink of quitting? Don’t. Hang on. The Lord will give you a breakthrough!

Lord, I am sorry for the times that I have weakened in my faith. Please strengthen me to keep on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 22, 2011
HIS SECOND COMING

“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! “– Luke 21:8

One time, during one of my out-of-town trips, I chanced upon a preacher on TV who claimed that he is God’s Chosen Son. He said he is Jesus’ second coming and that the world is undergoing the tribulation days.
My reaction? Of course, I sort of freaked out! How can anyone claim that he is Jesus? Last time I checked, the Second Coming was supposed to be Jesus Himself.
However, looking at this from another angle, I asked myself: “Am I a reflection of Christ’s coming into the world? Does my life provide evidence that He has come?”
One priest friend told me that in this day and age Jesus is truly here among us — through the Eucharist — and here to provide grace for us to truly be sons of God.
I pray that we may all become the reflection of the Lord’s coming in our world. Ariel Driz (adriz77@yahoo.com)
22
REFLECTION:
Am I a reflection of Christ’s coming?

Lord Jesus, I pray for the grace to reflect You in all areas of my life. Amen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 21, 2011
AN EMPTY POCKET FULL OF GOOD

“For those others have all made out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” – Luke 21:4

A few years ago while stuck in traffic, I saw a street child selling candy from a wooden box that she offered to people who passed her by on the sidewalk. When a man paid her money for gum, the child counted the coins in her hand, placed them in her pocket and began packing up her things to go home.
Suddenly, a small boy walked up to her, tugged on her sleeve and put both palms out with a pleading look on his face. I was amazed to see the older child put her hand back inside her pocket with little hesitation and watched as she selflessly gave what she had just earned to the little boy. As he skipped away in joy, she slowly picked up her wooden box and once again began calling out for people to buy her candy.
That child taught me that true giving meant more than just random acts of kindness. Generosity should be an inner habit, one we must form by constantly sharing our blessings with a full heart and with the deepest faith that God will continue to provide. Eleanore Lee (elyo.lee@gmail.com)
21
REFLECTION:
When you give wholeheartedly, God rewards you with the smiles of those who have benefited from your goodness.

Lord, constantly remind me that You brought me into this world with Your love as my sole possession. Any blessing in excess of that belongs not just to me but all of Your children.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 20, 2011
Solemnity of Christ the King
RECALCULATING

“ The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back…” – Ezekiel 34:15-16

It was our first time to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to help us navigate as we drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. My husband didn’t know how to use the handheld GPS but it was supposed to tell us where to go given the destination we typed in. For one hour we followed its voice commands until we realized that it was directing us through in-roads instead of the freeway. When we decided to ignore its instructions, it kept saying, “Recalculating,” as it plotted a new route to lead us to our destination. It was annoying!
Days later, we learned that our GPS was set to pass only pedestrian lanes. (Pedestrian lanes from LA to LasVegas?!) When we finally used the right settings, it gave us directions with pinpoint accuracy and it became an indispensable tool!
God gave us a GPS to guide us to our final destination: heaven. But often we don’t take the time to read the manual (the Bible) to make sure we’re on the right track. We listen to too many voices in the world telling us where to go instead of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly said He is the Way; no one goes to the Father except through Him.
If you are lost, reset and listen to the right voice. God always allows U-turns! Ronna Ledesma(ronnaledesma@email.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you lost? Just follow Jesus. He knows the way.

Thank You, Jesus, for seeking me out when I was lost and for bringing me back to the right path.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 19, 2011
ORDINARY DAYS

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living...” – Luke 20:38

Yesterday I was struck by an article on the Sunday Missalette entitled “Finding Grace in Ordinary Days.”
After Pentecost and before Advent are ordinary days in the Catholic liturgical calendar.
We always aim for and reward the extraordinary. We pray for miracles, expect great things to happen and rejoice in the overwhelming grace or blessings we receive. But yes, there is grace and blessing in the ordinary.
When we overlook the ordinary — and we often do — we miss the grace and blessing that the everyday “normal” brings. But if you think about it, that’s where most of our blessings abound. That every ordinary breath of ours brings life. That we can do the things normal people do. That the sun rises every morning. That the daily tasks and routines get done.
After all, ordinary isn’t so commonplace when a disruption happens. Like when you lose a yaya. Or you get sick. Or you lose your job.
No, nothing is ordinary or normal in a Christian’s life. Everything is a miracle and a grace. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
19
REFLECTION:
It takes an exceptional soul in an ordinary Christian to see God’s blessings in the daily grind.

Lord, thank You for everything that is “ordinary” and “normal” in my life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 18, 2011
FILE DELETED

Then Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things... – Luke 19:45

A male officer in one of my previous employments was busy doing something on our department’s laptop. He was surrounded by our other office mates who were gawking at his monitor. I learned from my friend that they were watching an X-rated video, which came from an employee of another department and was stored in the hard disk of our laptop.
I was scandalized with what I learned and resolved to do something about it. Since my friend was more knowledgeable about computers, I asked her to locate the X-rated file and delete it permanently. My friend borrowed the laptop from this male officer and got to work. Later, she informed me, “Mission accomplished.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus entered the temple area and drove out the merchants and money changers. He was angry at them because they made God’s temple a place of extortion, and thus it became a “barrier” or obstacle to Jews who wanted to worship.
Jesus didn’t mind what other people would think or say of Him. He became angry but did not sin. His anger was directed toward the right issues — sin and injustice — and stood against them. We need to do the same. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
18
REFLECTION:
Do you have the tendency to just “go with the flow,” not wanting to rock the boat?

Lord, grant me the courage to go against the flow when the need arises. Be with me as I stand up for what is good, right and just.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 17, 2011
A MAN FOR JESUS

“We will not obey the words of the king nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree.” – 1 Maccabees 2:22

My friend and I had just finished a morning run when a car parked beside us. A man alighted and walked towards us with a pamphlet in hand.
After brief introductions, the man handed over the pamphlet and proceeded to share his faith in Jesus. You can immediately sense that this guy was enamored with Jesus and was only too eager to let everyone know about it. He was surely persuasive, to say the least, as he invited us to attend a Bible study.
I told the guy that, like him, my friend and I have also accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and that we were actually part of a community where we also share and learn about God’s Word. He looked surprised and pleased at the same time. After a few more exchanges, the man left.
My friend and I were encouraged by the man’s boldness. We both surmised that he may not get the same favorable response as he did from us when he speaks to other people. But we knew that it would not deter him from proclaiming the best story ever told.
Would we do the same? Erwin Roceles (erwin_roceles@yahoo.com)
17
REFLECTION:
Do you look for opportunities to share Jesus to others? Does your conduct reflect the image of Jesus?

Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 16, 2011
FAITHFUL IN BIG MATTERS

“Well done,” he said; “you are a good servant! Since you were faithful in small matters, I will put you in charge of ten cities.” – Luke 19:17

Albert de Guzman has an inspiring story. His dad passed away when he was only eight years old. His mother had to work as a maid for them to survive.
He wanted a better life for his family. He was ready to take on any job. He worked as a houseboy, salesman, waiter, OFW and even a lifeguard. He was always a trustworthy and hardworking employee. Because of his excellent work ethic, he was trusted with more responsibility every time he transferred employers.
After several years of working as an employee, he had the desire to manage his own business.
God eventually answered his prayer. He was able to find the right location and right partner for a food franchise. Through borrowed money and God’s grace he was able to open his first outlet in a mall.
Albert now manages more outlets and is able to provide for his mother and siblings. He was able to achieve the better life he wanted. He is a living proof that those who can be trusted with small matters will be given bigger ones. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
16
REFLECTION:
Have you been faithful and wise with the resources that God has given you? Today is a good day to start evaluating how you have been using these resources.

Jesus, make me a faithful and farsighted servant. Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 15, 2011
extra care

Jesus said to him: “Today salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost.” – Luke 19: 9-10

I have been blessed by leaps and bounds. There are even times that instead of being thankful, I tend to ask, “What did I do to deserve this?”
It’s not like I’ve been a model Christian. Um, I used to skip Sunday Mass — among other things. Still, Jesus makes me feel so loved and sends blessings my way. And His strategy of unconditional love works! I take extra effort nowadays to hear Mass.
Love and acceptance are indeed powerful and gentle ways to bring those who are lost back on the right track. Jesus takes extra care of those who need it most. Anne Macalino-Santos (annemac.santos@gmail.com)
15
REFLECTION:
Do I only give attention to those who are easy to love?

Dear Jesus, help me to have a bigger heart and to give more love, especially to those who really need it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 14, 2011
NO HARM IN ASKING

Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” – Luke 18:40-41

When I was in grade school, I failed in many quizzes. Sure, I listened to the lectures intently, but I never really comprehended them. While my classmates raised their hand to ask questions, I chose to remain silent, fearing that if I asked, I might be accused of being inattentive.
As I grew older I learned to raise my hand in class to ask. Then, better grades followed. I realized that to ask is a humble thing to do because it’s as good as showing a weakness or a lack. But it gives us a benefit — a new learning, a thing desired, an awaited answer.
In prayer, I have also learned to ask even for the silliest things from God — as silly as, “Lord, can You please make this guy call me?” After all, Jesus did ask the blind man in today’s Gospel what he wanted from Him.
I believe that Jesus asks us this question every single day of our lives. The mighty God that He is still remains to be the humble Servant to us, His people. We just need to humble ourselves, too, to seek His assistance. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
What do you want Jesus to do for you today?

Lord, thank You for granting the blessings that I asked You for, and thank You for the ones that are yet to come.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 13, 2011
THE BREAKTHROUGH HURDLE

But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. – Matthew 25:18

The major breakthroughs in my life happened because I decided to break free from my comfort zones. I was a teenager when I took the challenge of giving my first talk in a prayer meeting and, through the years, eventually grew into an international conference speaker. When I decided to leave the security of a regular job to tread the unknown waters of becoming an entrepreneur, I prospered. When I took a chance on a nearly improbable scholarship, I ended up being one of this prominent school’s top scholars.
I’ve learned that:
1. God has put talents in me waiting to be discovered and unleashed.
2. Every time I took the challenge and overcame a major hurdle, my talent went up another notch higher.
3. Everything I wanted is just outside of my comfort zones.
Imagine what great tragedy it is for people who simply dig a hole, bury their talent, pass up the opportunity to break free from their comfort zones and miss out on God’s best. The “joy of the Master” is being the best that I can be, as He created me to be. Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)
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REFLECTION:
Do you have a tough hurdle now that challenges you to go beyond your comfort zone? Friend, maybe it’s time to break free towards greater heights.

Father, You desire me to prosper and grow beyond my wildest imagination. Give me the courage and the will to work hard to go beyond my comfort zone.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 12, 2011
SING! SING UNTO THE LORD!

Sing praise, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds! – Psalm 105:2

In 1992, my cousin, Belle, gave me my first Didache – a tiny booklet that changed my life big-time. So inspired by the reflections there, I wanted to be a Didache writer. But she knew that only community members were invited to write. “I’ll gladly join the community!” I replied. “Not possible,” she said, “you’ll need a husband first.” They were then with LOJ’s Homes for Christ — a couples group. Yeah, right, my husband just died. Where in heaven’s name do I buy one?
With the desire to serve the Lord awakened, I became a hanger-on — an LOJ member wannabe. Belle brought me along to many community activities, urging me to keep signing the attendance sheets. “They might get so fed up with seeing your name, they’ll finally accept you,” she said. In 2003, LOJ South finally opened its doors to singles.
I read the above verse fondly because today I sing with the South Feast Music Ministry (even got the chance to join the Kerygma Conference chorus). I also edit the South Feast bulletin being the secretariat head. And I’m a Didache writer! The Lord truly does wonderful things for people who love Him. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you losing heart because of unfulfilled dreams? Praise the Lord and wait on Him. His plans for you are more glorious than you can imagine.

My joyful heart sings praises to You, Lord, my wonderful Savior!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 11, 2011
WHEN THE END COMES


“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage.... Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” – Luke 17:26-27


The end of the world is something that I don’t reflect on. It scares me just to think that there is actually an end to all life. And what I fear even more is I don’t know when this is going to happen. Only God knows when He will put a period to the last sentence of this generation’s life story.

Come to think of it, when I recall the devastation brought by calamities, the wars all over the world and the diseases that threaten us daily, I ask myself if our generation still deserves to live in the world we have abused and failed to love. God was justified in cleansing the world with the flood during Noah’s time and there’s no telling if He will choose to do it again. Maybe the old life has to end for new life to begin — a life that is lived in faithfulness to God’s design and will.

Although I am powerless to stop the world’s demise, I realized I can trust God’s infallible wisdom and mercy to carry out His will for us. More than destruction, the second coming of Jesus will bring a new beginning, a new life and a new hope. I just pray that I will be prepared and worthy to witness His glorious revelation. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:16-17)


Jesus, may You find me faithful and prepared when You come again in glory.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 10, 2011
IN ME


“The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed... For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” – Luke 17:20-21


My friend said once, “Why do we always look up when we pray? Is heaven really up there? Or is it something we’ve just
been accustomed to because of movies and books?”

This thought struck me. And I must admit, it makes a lot of sense.

When God made man, He was the only one among all creation of whom God said to be made in His image and likeness. God, being invisible, has made Himself visible through the people around us. In that sense, His kingdom is among us.

I often give people great books or cool Christian CDs or invite them to prayer gatherings. But I’ve realized that before they read, listen to or attend any of those things, they should be able to see, hear and experience God through me. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you aware of God’s presence in the people around you?


Lord, let Your kingdom come in me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 9, 2011
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

ALWAYS with you


“See, I am with you and I will keep you safe wherever you go….” – Genesis 28:15


My youngest daughter Mae had always wanted to pursue her masteral studies and work abroad. So as soon as she earned her bachelor’s degree here in the Philippines, she explored various options. She was barely 21 years old then, and we, her parents, discouraged her, using financial constraint as the reason. But the truth is, how can we let her live all by herself in a faraway land where we have no relatives or close friends? Obedient as she is, she relented and opted to work here. Three years later, she brought up the subject again, saying she could take in part-time jobs to support her studies and somehow lighten our burden.

This time, we yielded to her desire and gave her our full support. She finished her studies with flying colors in a year and a half and is now legally employed in New York.

What made us give in to her request? We remembered and trusted God’s promise that He will always be with her and keep her safe wherever she goes.Bay Cabrera (baycabrera@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:

When you travel to unfamiliar places, do you sometimes feel danger lurking at you? Do you call on God to protect you?


Lord, give us the grace to believe that You will always be with us.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 8, 2011
MEET LALING, A SERVANT


“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” – Luke 17: 10


We treat our maids like they were members of our family. We always ask them to join us at table during meal time. But one time, we had Laling (not her real name). She would not join us during meal times. She said she would eat after we finished eating.

We were not comfortable about that. My husband, particularly, thinks it’s unethical to serve leftover food to anyone. So, we had a better arrangement: Laling ate ahead of us.

As I reflect on today’s Gospel, I surmise there are different meanings of the word servant. Laling might have belonged to that generation who thought maids should be, well, slaves — meant to do whatever their masters commanded them to do.

In my prayer community, we work in various ministries and call ourselves servants. But we are not like our household helpers who work because they need the salary. What we need is to express our love for God, and how do we do this? We take the position of servants ready to do what God, Our Master, wants us to do. After all, rather than be a Master, He said He came to serve us. Yes, after all, He is our Head Servant. Cynthia Santiago (boses2go@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:

Who do you serve?

Lord, purify my motives in working for You.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 7, 2011
Faith Forgives

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” – Luke 17:5

Do you know exactly when the apostles asked our Lord for an increase in faith? Right after Jesus taught them to forgive. “Even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry’ you should forgive him” (Luke 17:4).
I don’t know whether these two verses are directly related. But one thing’s for sure. You need extraordinary faith to forgive. Especially when someone does you wrong “regularly.”
I know about justice. I believe in correcting someone who does wrong because as an educator, I know that discipline is vital to learning. But you don’t need to be a Christian to practice justice and discipline. Even the pagans do that. I believe that if there’s one thing that will set us apart as Christians it’s forgiveness. Justice — yes. Discipline — yes. But forgiveness — above all! Because forgiveness is the ultimate expression of love.
Easy to say. Difficult to follow. Forgive people who wrong you? Seven times a day? Nonsense. Well, that’s why you need an increase of faith. Because with extra faith — and a mega dose of love — forgiveness may still not make sense. But it’s all worth it. Alvin Barcelona (kpreacheralvin@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Do you want to forgive someone but find it difficult to do? Ask an increase of faith from God now. And with that, forgive and follow Jesus!

Dear Lord, grant me an increase in faith that I may forgive and be like You. Amen.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November 6, 2011
A CHANNEL OF GOD’S HELP

She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of men’s desire. – Wisdom 6:13

As I write this, I am amazed at how God has continued to use me in unexpected ways — mostly to meet other people’s needs.
At a time when there was not even a hint of publishing non-book products, the idea of an inspirational perpetual calendar popped into my head. A few months later, the idea was put to good use when our company president asked us to think of other products to sell. With Bo’s approval, the idea turned into reality.
Another time, I got a call from one of our counselors. A counselee wanted to apply as a writer in our publication. We weren’t hiring, so I just told her to let the person send in her resume. A few weeks later, I overheard our events organizer and her boss discussing about a need to hire a marketing person. Suddenly, I remembered the person, whose redentials met their needs. Last I heard she’s about to start working for our events group.
There have been numerous instances of this kind in my life. Call it serendipity, but I believe the Holy Spirit knows what God’s people need even before we’re aware of it, and uses other people to channel His help. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
How open and sensitive am I to the leadings of the Holy Spirit?

Lord, make me more sensitive to Your promptings in my life. I offer myself to be used as a channel of Your help for other people.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 5, 2011
IN MY DEFENSE

“You justify yourselves in the sight of others…” – Luke 16:15

Being a part-time student, I miss out on a lot of school interactions — both official and the ones organized by my classmates. This also means that I do not get to hang out often with classmates (other transferees but full-time students) whom I got close to. Many times I cannot relate with their discussion because I already missed out on most of them already.
Once, we were asked to group ourselves and I had to join another group because the number of members per team was limited. Though it made me feel let down and overlooked, I had to convince my classmates (and myself) that I was OK. I even rationalized the situation by just thinking that I didn’t even expect to be part of the team from the start. My rationalization enabled me to participate in my assigned group and the feeling of being left out was gone by the time our task was done. In the process, I made new acquaintances.
This is only one of those instances when, I must admit, I mask my true emotions just so everything seems OK. It may not seem the most honest thing to do, I think it is necessary to do that at times, so that we can move on and not remain disheartened. God knows our intentions and He can still make us emerge better persons in trying situations. Mae Ignacio (maemi04@aim.com)

REFLECTION:
Do you have feelings that you keep from others? That is OK; lift them to God. He knows best how to make you feel better.

Father, You know my deepest desires. I lift them all to You.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 4, 2011
BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS

As the Scripture says, “Those who were not told about Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” – Romans 15:21

I’ve been a member of the Light of Jesus Family for three years now. I still remember my first few chapter meetings. Inherently taciturn, I was hesitant to attend the meetings without someone accompanying me.
Less than a year later, I handled my first care group (CG). I thought I was a failure because I was having trouble establishing rapport with my members who were new to the community.
Little did I know that it served as a venue to practice love and acquire the patience of a saint. My second care group reached almost 15 members because of the eager servants from the Children’s Ministry who were searching for a sense of belongingness through the CG. Most of my members became close to one another because they’re serving in the same ministry and finding joy in what they do.
I’m now handling my third flock as a coordinator. It’s very inspiring to see my fellow CG heads and the number of their members growing. Indeed, the Pasig Feast is serving its purpose of reaching out to the unchurched and has grown by leaps and bounds.Leeanne Sy (havenofleeanne@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Hesitant to accept a big responsibility in your prayer group? Say “I will” to God first, then allow Him to bring you through it, and your group will grow by leaps and bounds.

Cast away all the doubts, fears and apprehensions in our hearts, Lord. Remove our pride and counsel us on what to do so that we do not solely depend on ourselves.

Daily Bible Reflections

November 3, 2011
who ’s the judge?

Why then do you judge your brother?... For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. – Romans 14:10

“We live below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current-model-year automobile.” This is one of the portraits of the American millionaire found in the book, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. The book profiled actual millionaires in the US based on focus group interviews and questionnaires that they answered. The authors said that actual millionaires won’t get a primetime spot on TV since they live dull normal lives, far from what we think about them.
In the same manner, the Church has all sorts of canonized saints. While there are St. Therese of Lisieux-types, who was said to have never committed a mortal sin, there are also saints that had a history of sin like St. Augustine who said, “Lord, make me pure, but not yet.”
What am I trying to say? That it is better for us to give others the benefit of the doubt. People don’t necessarily fit a pattern. Besides, the only pattern that we need to follow is Jesus’ example and command to love others. After all, the final judgment is His. And we, too, will be judged. Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

Lord, help me to see with Your eyes so that I will not easily jud

Daily Bible Reflections

November 2, 2011
Solemnity of All Souls

WHAT STORY DID YOU HEAR?

Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4

I was seven years old. My classmate made unpleasant remarks, and in rebuke, my math teacher told us a story about the end of the world. She said we will not know the exact day and hour. And when the end comes, we will be separated into two: on the left will be the goats and on the right, the sheep.
With eyes as big as an owl’s, she scared the wits out of us in saying that “bad” boys will go to hell unless we become blameless and “good” like sheep. I didn’t understand the analogy at the time, but the idea that I could die anytime and go to hell frightened me so much that I couldn’t sleep for many nights. Talk about a bad bedtime story. In my adult life, I’ve had my share of “emotional deaths” — relationships that have crushed my soul and left me empty, and hopeless like a seven-year-old.
But St. Paul tells us a different story. He says that through Jesus, death, in whatever form, is now a temporary reality to attain eternal union with the Father. Today, God raises us to a new, refreshed life and invites us to walk the path that He laid out for us with gratitude and hope. Reden Cerrer (redcer@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
“For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died in Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:7)

Jesus, let me live for You every day of my life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

November, 2011
Solemnity of All Saints
A BLESSING MAGNET

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

Many of my friends lost many things in the major floods that hit our country two years ago. They lost homes, businesses and properties. With tears, my auntie said, “Bo, I lost all the material things I’ve collected over the past 50 years of my life!” Some friends said that the most painful was losing all their photographs — the memories of a lifetime.
Many years ago, I, too, lost a lot of money in a business venture. At that time, I lost almost my entire net worth. I was tempted to mope, sulk and carry a heavy burden for a long time. Actually, I allowed myself to grieve for a while, which was healthy. But I decided not to grieve for too long, or I would be stuck forever. After some time, I declared, “God has something better for me.” I chose to believe that better businesses would come my way. I even began declaring the unbelievable. I said, “I’ll earn 10 times what I lost!”
And that’s what happened. With my loss, God was able to create room for something better to come my way.
Better things happen when you become grateful for what you still have. When you become grateful, you attract more of what you’re grateful for. And gratitude is a blessings magnet. Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
1
REFLECTION:
Have you experienced some loss lately? Focus on what you still have.

Lord, grant me a grateful heart — to be thankful for what I still have despite my losses, and for the blessings that are yet to come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 31, 2011
ULTERIOR MOTIVES

“Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:14

Dodong and Boyet are both account executives. They handle the promotion of different products including shows and launches. During lunch breaks, Dodong would often sit with the bosses, sometimes even volunteer to treat them. But he was cold to the utility personnel. After all, what could he get from rubbing elbows with them? Boyet, on the other hand, was pleasant to everyone. He would even treat the utility men at times.
When the performance evaluation came, Boyet scored a lot higher than Dodong and qualified for a raise. Both didn’t know the bosses consult even the utility men when evaluating. During events, it turned out, Boyet was more efficient, the great working relationships he had with everyone established a better productive atmosphere.
Today’s Gospel spoke of Jesus’ message to the Pharisees who invited people to dine with them because they had ulterior motives. They wanted to impress them and benefit from them in some way. Jesus told them instead to invite those who couldn’t repay them for their reward would be in heaven. That was true for Boyet who didn’t have to wait for heaven for his reward. Carlo Lorenzo (carloflorenzo@yahoo.com)
31
REFLECTION:
Are my kind acts tainted with ulterior motives? Am I being sincere or is there something I expect in return?

Holy Spirit, search my heart and whisper to me if my good deeds for others are done with a conscious or unconscious motive to gain.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 30, 2011
PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS

“So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don’t practice what they preach.” – Matthew 23:3

It is said that a priest touches the lives of a minimum of 5,000 people in his lifetime. What a sacred duty and an awesome responsibility to be the Lord’s messenger of His great love and mercy to his people. One parish priest wisely said that “a holy priest would mean a holy community” and earnestly asked to “please pray for us.”
Being human themselves, we know that our priests today are subjected to many temptations, perhaps even more than the ordinary person will experience in his life. It is our duty to pray for them that they may remain steadfast and true to their calling, to bring us to God and not lead us astray.
Instead of spreading gossip and scandals, we must turn to heaven and earnestly pray to the Father and Teacher of us all, that they may have the strength and grace to be faithful to their King.Marjorie Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)

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REFLECTION:
Remember your parish priest today. Offer a prayer on his behalf.

Father, be close to our priests today as You were to the apostles of old. Pour Your holiness upon them that they may always be true to You, priests after Your own heart. Amen.

Daily Bible Reflections

October 29, 2011
what’s your card?

“My friend, come up higher...” – Luke 14:10

I was stuck in traffic when a big SUV hit my puny car. The driver of the SUV dismissed the damage I got and instead pulled out his business card saying, “I’m a lawyer.” I think he meant to intimidate me, so I handed him my own business card. Only then did he start talking to me with respect.
People usually give lawyers special treatment (and some lawyers expect it). This is why I’m not comfortable letting strangers know that I’m a lawyer, unless it’s necessary.
I also tried to pull my lawyer card (after shameless girlish pleading) to convince a traffic enforcer to let me off with a warning instead of writing me a ticket. The traffic enforcer would not budge but offered an alternative: that I pay my way out of the ticket. Bribery would be a lot more convenient and a lot less expensive, but I immediately handed my license and asked for a ticket instead.
You see, I have another card: my “Child of God” card. This one may sometimes be harder to carry, but it is definitely more impressive and worth keeping more than my business card. Pepper Bruce (pepper.bruce@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“God makes three requests of his children: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now.” (African American proverb)

Lord, please help us remember that being Your child is the highest honor, and that we should always live up to that honor.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 28, 2011
Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles

MY SWEET YES


“When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated to be apostles...” – Luke 6:13


It was 1989, and I had joined a Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar. I was a shy and awkward 14-year-old. I must admit, I felt a little left out in the crowd of bustling teenagers. Looking back, I didn’t have great social skills then, and I thought I was just too quiet and plain to be interesting to anyone. But I was wrong. Someone was interested in me. Although I wasn’t the smartest, prettiest or most talented person in the bunch, He showed me that He liked me and that I didn’t have to do anything to impress Him. With Him, I was confident and I wasn’t afraid to be myself. He made me feel important and loved. All He wanted from me was to trust Him and to say I was His… to give Him my sweet “yes.”

Saying “Yes” to Jesus is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Since then, I’ve taken on a variety of spiritual leadership roles in the different circles I move in. He’s used me to teach, to share, and even to sing and dance for Him. Did this shy and awkward teenager see that coming? No. But He knew about all that, the moment I said “yes.”Geraldine G. Catral (teachergeegee@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:

There is no criterion to being His disciple except that we be ready and willing to be used.


Lord, use me in ways I cannot imagine. I am here. I am ready. I am yours. I say yes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 27, 2011
What is Your Objective?


He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.’” – Luke 13:32


We met for our college project and started discussing the details.We were going nowhere, arguing back and forth. Suddenly, one classmate blurted, “Wait. What is the objective of this meeting?” We all looked at one another: We did not know why we were meeting. We backtracked and set our objective. Things flowed smoothly after that.

I took that lesson with me ever since. Now, I always start a meeting (and almost anything I do) by stating the objective. Jesus knew His purpose and was so focused on it that not even pain, suffering, friends, enemies or even death stopped Him from reaching it.

Many people go through life aimlessly, without a clear goal. They try to find happiness in new clothes, gadgets, trends and they fail. Then they go for vices and addictions, finding out that these will never make them happy. If only they knew their purpose — to know, love and serve God. Only when they set their hearts and mind on this will they find true and lasting happiness. Is this your purpose now?Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:

Am I doing the hings I do to satisfy my desires and selfish interests? Or are they to know, love and serve God?


Lord, You are my life, You are my desire. For You alone I live. Amen.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 26, 2011
IT’S NOT FAIR!


God works with those who love him...and turns everything to their good. – Romans 8:28


Have you experienced allowing someone to move in front of your line at the ATM then have the machine break down when it was your turn? Or letting someone borrow your umbrella only to realize you need it yourself?

We’ve all had those moments when we wish that we could take back the good that we’ve done. Sometimes, it’s more than just random acts of kindness, but deliberate sacrifices that still resulted to big-time losses in our time, relationships, finances or personal integrity. Then we ask ourselves where we went wrong and scream at God, “It’s not fair!”

The Gospel today teaches us that we should not succumb and take the easier path. Is the person you’re serving ungrateful? Keep serving him anyway. Are you responsible for a debt that you didn’t incur? Keep paying it anyway.

Above all else, do your duty with Christian love and lift your burdens to God. Although it may seem that the good guys always finish last, Jesus assures us those same rules don’t apply in heaven. When that time comes, you’ll be way ahead of the pack.Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:

“It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men.” (Cesar Chavez)


I will continue, O my God, doing all my actions for love of You.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 25, 2011
PLANT THE SEED!


“The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.... It grew and became a tree...” – Luke 13:19


Big things come from small beginnings. During the Feast Manila launch on July 3, 2009, our team waited anxiously in an 890-seat cinema while our bulletin declared this faith-filled message:

Finally the Feast is in Manila! We’re right smack in the heart of Manila — Cinema 4 of SM City Manila to be exact. Despite initial rejections, the Feast is finally here! God is right on target — He’s a sharp-shooter! So, brothers and sisters, we welcome you to the Feast Manila!

What will we watch in Cinema 4? Every Fridays 7 p.m., you will see God in action!
In what ways? Himig, Pag-ibig, Astig!

Himig! God will ignite your soul through spirit-filled, world class worship-music!

Pag-ibig! God will captivate you in the Eucharist and through life-changing talk!

! God will show His power through the miracles that will happen to everyone who will become a part of this mission!

Now Feast Manila venue is filled to capacity, majority of them are youth — from a mustard seed to a bountiful harvest. Astig! Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you overwhelmed with the challenge of the Harvest? Have the courage to start planting the seed!


Jesus, You are the Lord of the Harvest. Help us persevere in planting mustard seeds!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 24, 2011
WHO WINS?


For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. – Romans 8:13


On a vacation, a family went to visit a US Navy submarine upon the prompting of their eight-year-old son. The boy had long wanted to see the inside of a real submarine. When they entered the exhibit grounds, they had to pay the entrance fee. The mom, to save a few bucks, passed off her son to be younger than his real age. The boy corrected his mom but she hushed him.

When they got to the entrance of the submarine, only kids eight years and older were allowed to enter. And because the mom had lied about her son’s age, he was not allowed to get in. The boy bawled at not being able to see what he came for in the first place. He couldn’t stop blaming his mom for the incident.

Sometimes we think we get ahead when we dupe others. But in truth, who do we really cheat? We end up as the

losers because we shortchange ourselves — selling our integrity for a few bucks.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

How wonderful it is to live a life of freedom! Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:

“Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented.” (George Braque)


Let me walk in Your truth at all times, Lord.

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