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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 29, 2011
WHO AND WHY

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” – Matthew 16:15

Especially for politicians, surveys are tools in gauging popularity, doing propaganda or promoting a platform.
In today’s passage, Jesus asks everyone a survey question, “Who do you say I am?” But Jesus didn’t ask out of selfish gain. He wasn’t interested to know how popular He was. Instead, He asked because His own disciples needed to know how close they were to God and what kind of relationship they had with Him.
Peter excelled in his response because God enabled him. Jesus acknowledged the anointing and Peter, an uneducated fisherman enlightened by the Holy Spirit, became our first Pope.
He is like that bishop who was asked why he became a priest. Fatigued after a long day and without even thinking, he answered, “Because I love Jesus.” As he said it, he began to cry because, just like Peter, he knew the answer was from his heart. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
When Jesus asks you, “Who do you say that I am?” where does your answer come from?

More than possessions, first among anyone, greater than any ambition, lead me to love You most of all; not only intellectually but from my heart and soul.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 28, 2011
NO THING CAN BE TOO SMALL

“It’s only a small place.” – Genesis 19:20

I chose a small school to do part-time counseling work. I didn’t have much expectation then. I only knew I can offer just a part of my time because of my hectic parish work.
Didn’t they say that big things come in small packages? It’s true. The Lord was able to do some beautiful overhaul in me in that small school. For one, the school stands on the lot where my family lived a long time ago. I recall I was still in grade school at the time. The memories of the place were both refreshing and healing. My work was also nostalgic because I left school counseling for community counseling about 15 years ago. Just as languages learned will always stay with us, I realized that experiences we gain will never be lost in us, too. And the joy of working with children again reminded me of the 10 years I spent as a counselor in another school. I left that school with some painful memories. But working here reminded me of the 95 percent happy times there that I had forgotten.
I marvel how the Lord uses experiences He gives us to refine His work in us. Nothing can be too small for Him.Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.
com)
REFLECTION:
Am I sensitive to the Lord’s work in me from my everyday experiences?

My Lord, my God and my wonderful Counselor, bless You for Your beautiful handiwork in my life. Please never tire of molding me until I become pleasing to You. Amen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 27, 2011
IF -THEN –ELSE

A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” – Matthew 8:19-20

In computer programming, there is a procedure known as the “IF-THEN-ELSE” statement. For example, you have a program that asks: “What is 1 + 1?” The answer can be programmed like this:
IF answer = 2, THEN display message “Correct!”
ELSE display message “Incorrect.”
Many of us are programmed with the IF-THEN-ELSE statement.
IF our lives are OK, THEN we take time to pray and put our faith in God. ELSE, we forget about praying and relying on God and go our own way.
IF serving is easy, THEN we serve. ELSE, we say no, I’m busy.
IF somebody is watching us, THEN we do the right thing. ELSE, we try to get away with the wrong thing.
But we can change our programming with God’s grace and mercy. When faced with uncertainties and temptations, just say this popular teen expression: WHATEVER!
Whatever the conditions, follow God. Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)
27
REFLECTION:
Is my obedience to God dependent on feelings and circumstances?

Dear Lord, I will follow You whatever the circumstances may be. Whether the way is easy or hard, I will rely on You alone. Amen.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 26, 2011
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE

“For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” – John 6:55

In the 8th century, in the town of Lanciano in Italy, a Basilian priest’s faith was wavering. He feared he was losing his vocation.
His doubts were particularly strong one morning as he began Mass. As he consecrated the bread and wine, an astounding miracle happened. The host turned into real flesh and the wine into real blood!
The miracle did not stop there. After more than 1,300 years, you would expect the relics to have disintegrated. Instead, it can still be found in the reliquary. Recent scientific tests showed that the flesh is human flesh consisting of the muscular tissue of the heart. The blood in the chalice has coagulated but when the scientists liquefied it, they found the proteins and minerals of freshly shed blood.
This first and greatest Eucharistic miracle has changed doubting Thomases to become believers in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. But we need to realize that we don’t need to travel all the way to Italy to witness this miracle. It happens every day, in every Catholic church around the world, during the consecration at Mass. Go and witness it yourself. Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
“What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

Lord, transform me with Your Body and Blood.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 24, 2011

Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist
24
CRITICISM AND PRAISE

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. – Isaiah 49:4

I was catching up with reading three weeks’ worth of emails from readers of our publications. I received three consecutive emails reacting to a reflection I wrote for Didache that day.
One after another, the senders criticized my use of the word “dictator” for President Ferdinand Marcos. Honestly, I didn’t mean to offend anyone and had related the story of the Marcoses’ hasty departure from the MalacaƱang as a historical fact.
By the third email, I was already feeling down. But as I continued reading my emails, another string of messages came, telling me how another Didache reflection I had written had touched them. This time, I received thrice as many encouraging emails than those that had criticized my previous reflection.
I sat in church that morning thanking God for the criticisms and the praise. The former taught me to be more sensitive to the implications of the words I use. It also humbled me. As for the praise, I took it as God’s way of telling me to keep on with what I’m doing even if I can’t please everybody all the time. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“It is not the critic who counts.... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena... who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is no effort without error and shortcomings.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

Lord, help me to accept criticism humbly and praise You even more so.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life Lessons

Written by a 90 - year - old !

This is something we should all read at least once a week!
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets . Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

- Regina Brett

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 22, 2011
GREATNESS, ARE YOU EXPECTING IT NOW?

But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it? “ – Genesis 15:8

Back in the year 2000, when my girlfriend was frustrated with me in my failure to get two points (a sales requirement in a multilevel marketing company) I remember telling her, “Me? I’m always on the verge of greatness.” Strangely, that would calm her down.
While I said those words, I didn’t realize how powerful they were.
After six years in a company where I reached senior assistant manager, I got an early retirement and started anew as a manager elsewhere. Two years later, I left that second company and successfully worked for myself as an Internet marketer.
We will be known by the results or fruits of our lives, the Gospel says. And one way we can make sure that the fruits will be a great harvest is to change the words we use to describe ourselves.
I used to describe myself as on the “edge” of greatness. Now I say that my life is one marvelous miracle to another.
Now proclaim it for yourself: “I live a marvelous life!” Jomar Hilario (jomar.hilario@gmail.com)
22
REFLECTION:
How do you describe your future?

Lord, help me understand that Your plan for me is a marvelous life!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 20, 2011
HYPOCRITE

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take that speck out of your eye,’ while all the time the plank remains in your own? You hypocrite!” – Matthew 7:4-5

During an interview, a presidentiable was saying we should stop speaking bad about others. He was later asked why he was running again when he had already lost in the past. His countenance changed as he recounted how he was cheated. He went on ranting about his political enemies. The interviewer reminded him of his earlier statement about not speaking ill of each other. The candidate was caught with his foot in his mouth and he was visibly embarrassed.
The word hypocrite comes from the ancient Greek plays where an actor would wear a smiling mask while delivering comic lines and change to a sad mask when saying tragic lines. The actor was called hypocritos.
All of us wear a mask at one time or another in order to be more acceptable to others. But time will come when all our pretenses will catch up with us. One of the lines in the movie Doctor Zhivago says, “Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel...” Sooner or later we shall be unmasked as we stand before God and we shall be held accountable for every word we have spoken in our life. Ronna Ledesma(ronnaledesma@email.com)
20
REFLECTION:
“Neither men nor angels can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible — except to God.” (John Milton, Paradise Lost)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in me…

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

TRUE TREASURE

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” – Matthew 6: 21

Let me call her Edna. Born to a poor single woman and sold for P30 to a businessman, she had an ordinary childhood with her other stepbrothers and sisters. At an early age, she did not dwell on her past but decided to finish her studies, land a good job and live her life well. Today, Edna’s dreams are fulfilled. She married a good, rich man, who provides her with everything in life and more. She has her children and grandchildren who love and care for her. All of them support her in the life she has chosen.
Edna can sit down, relax and enjoy all her clothes, jewelry, cars, houses and other treasures that money can buy. But she has opted for the better life.
Every day, she goes early to church and helps out with the preparation for the Mass, sweeps the surroundings and helps the nuns in their kitchen work. She is a member of organizations that feed the hungry, give counsel, visit the sick and bury the dead of the poor. Often invited to be an officer of many other organizations, she prefers to be a hands-on worker, opening her heart and hands to those who need her. Her true treasure is in her heart, which is full of goodness and love. Chelle Crisanto (ellehcmaria@yahoo.com)
17
REFLECTION:
What you keep in this world — that is your earthly treasure. What you give away in this world — that is your heavenly treasure.

Remind me, Lord, when I forget to love and care for my brothers and sisters. Remind me also that my life should be for others and not for myself alone

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

QUICK HARVEST FORMULA

Let me say this much: he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6

He was my real estate client and became a friend. I bumped into him in one of the shopping malls and he asked if I could visit him to ask for advice. It was the Christmas season and our calendar was full and our meeting schedule somehow could not fit. But a few days before Christmas, I gave him a call and he told me about his financial problems. He wanted to give his employees bonuses but his cash position was tight. He requested for a personal loan.
My husband and I prayed for discernment. I called him back to say that we were willing to loan him money and we had peace with our decision.
Not more than five minutes after I called my friend, the phone rang and the lady on the other line told me that I could pick up a commissions check the next day. This receivable had been overdue for more than two years and had been troublesome for me.
God’s timing was impeccable! When I planted a good deed, the harvest came immediately.Donna EspaƱa (donna.espana@yahoo.com)
15
REFLECTION:
Do you want to be rich? Give and share. Be generous.

Lord, thank You for teaching me how to give generously because I know that You will replenish with much more what I give and share.

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