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Friday, September 30, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 29, 2011
Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

angelic protection

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon… – Revelation 12:7

I was badly shaken as our son, Peevee, together with the rest of the family, rushed me to the hospital. I felt so helpless and totally out of control as I plummeted down the stairway on a free fall, slamming against the long flight of steps. As in all accidents, it just happened so fast without warning. I fell headlong and crashed into the cemented landing below.
It was my first time to be in an ER and was immediately brought to the trauma room. I must have been in a state of shock because I didn’t feel any pain until I felt the sting of the anti-tetanus shots and the hydrogen peroxide that was generously poured on the deep wounds on my left arm that was bleeding and badly swollen.
My story could have had a different and tragic ending. But the X-ray and other tests yielded negative results. I came out of the fall unscathed except for the scar that now serves as a reminder of the Lord’s goodness.
I am deeply grateful to Him for giving me a guardian angel who shielded and protected me on that day of the accident. Mari Sison-Garcia (mari_sison_garcia@yahoo.com)
29
REFLECTION:
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

Lord, I thank You for assigning an angel to watch over me 24/7.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 28, 2011
SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

The emperor gave me all I asked for, because God was with me. – Nehemiah 2:8

Tired and hungry from a Sunday service, my friend Nell and I went to a restaurant to eat. I wanted to eat kare-kare or lechon paksiw but she suggested toho steak, which was also delicious. I gave in to her suggestion.
The next day, guess what my viands were? Surprise! Surprise! We had kare-kare and lechon paksiw! My sister said that her friend gave us the kare-kare and our eldest sister gave the lechon paksiw.
I got teary eyed. I so appreciated God’s provision. I didn’t even pray for them. It was just a teeny-weeny, unimportant desire I had that I could have let go easily.
But God noticed it. If He did that, how much more with the big needs I have? If He had given me this very simple provision, how much more with the things I really need?
This further strengthened my belief that God is always with me. As I yield to His will in my life, He watches over me and provides what I will need, even the tiniest ones I have. Ma. Luisa A. De la Cruz (ma_luisa2004@yahoo.com)
28
REFLECTION:
Do you believe God will provide Your greatest needs? What do you need now that you want to ask from Him?

Dearest God, I entrust to You my daily needs. I believe that You will take care of me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 27, 2011
Godspeak

“Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” – Zechariah 8: 23

I always like talking with my friend Rene P. Whether we are talking casually or discussing serious stuff, he always seems to bring messages from the Lord.
One January, we met to discuss about a transaction I made. I was set on discussing what best investment I could make and what strategies I could take. My mind was on business.
In the course of our conversation, he managed to encourage me to seek God’s will and plan first, instead of planning ahead and asking God to bless my plans. What I didn’t tell him was that I was having some difficulty plotting my direction for the year. I was usually all set by the end of December but not this time. And then there he was, telling me what I forgot to do.
I saw Rene’s face. I heard Rene’s voice. But God spoke to my heart through him. One research says that women speak 20,000 words while men speak about 7,000 in a day. How many of these are words from the Lord? Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)
27
REFLECTION:
When people hear you talk, do they hear God speaking?

May the words that come out of my mouth come from You, oh Lord.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 26, 2011
Do it Anyway!

“There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.” – Matthew 21:28-29

I had a fever, had no money, was under persecution and, worse, I was spiritually dry. Then the phone rang. A friend in need asked, “Pray for me, I’m sick and I have a job interview tomorrow.” Moved, I prayed for her. Another called up, “I need two million pesos this week! If I don’t pay my clients, they will sue me!” Left with no choice, I prayed for her. The third caller related how his co-leaders slandered him. He was also at the height of his spiritual dryness. Again, I prayed for him.
I said, “God, are you joking? Each of them represents my immediate need. Lord, meet their needs… uh, and mine?”
After two days they all called up again. One said she was healed and got the job. The next said that a relative from the US paid a big debt he owed him and a long lost client paid the remaining sum. The third related that he and his co-leaders reconciled and his spiritual dryness was over.
All of them got their prayers answered, except me!
What helped? An unselfish loving prayer. I later got my healing and graces, though — after a friend prayed over me! Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
25
REFLECTION:
Were there times when you were tempted to delay a good deed?

Lord, even when I hesitate to obey You, grant me the grace to eventually do what You want.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 25, 2011
DO IT ANYWAY!

“There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.” – Matthew 21:28-29

I had a fever, had no money, was under persecution and, worse, I was spiritually dry. Then the phone rang. A friend in need asked, “Pray for me, I’m sick and I have a job interview tomorrow.” Moved, I prayed for her. Another called up, “I need two million pesos this week! If I don’t pay my clients, they will sue me!” Left with no choice, I prayed for her. The third caller related how his co-leaders slandered him. He was also at the height of his spiritual dryness. Again, I prayed for him.
I said, “God, are you joking? Each of them represents my immediate need. Lord, meet their needs… uh, and mine?”
After two days they all called up again. One said she was healed and got the job. The next said that a relative from the US paid a big debt he owed him and a long lost client paid the remaining sum. The third related that he and his co-leaders reconciled and his spiritual dryness was over.
All of them got their prayers answered, except me!
What helped? An unselfish loving prayer. I later got my healing and graces, though — after a friend prayed over me! Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
25
REFLECTION:
Were there times when you were tempted to delay a good deed?

Lord, even when I hesitate to obey You, grant me the grace to eventually do what You want.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 24, 2011
AT HOME

And (the Lord) will dwell among you...– Zechariah 2:15

Having a baby in the house will change the way you live. When our firstborn began to walk and explore, we had to remove everything in her way that could pose as a threat. Marbles, buttons, paper clips and staples had to be out of sight lest she get her hands on them and put them into her mouth. Breakable vases and decors had to be positioned out of reach because she’d surely hurl them to the floor. For many months, our living room looked more like a playground than a formal place to entertain visitors.
In a similar way, that’s what should happen to our homes when we accept the Lord into our lives.
I remember how my mom “redecorated” our home after her personal conversion. She removed Buddhas and other items that symbolized gods of other religions. She also did away with other items that were associated with vices, like ashtrays and her stash of liquor. Instead, she enthroned a large Bible in the center of our home. She wanted our house to be one where Jesus alone was glorified.
When the Lord dwells in someone’s heart, it should show in that person’s home as well. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
24
REFLECTION:
If Jesus would stay in your house today, would He feel at home?

Lord Jesus, may my house reflect Your holiness and Your beauty.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 23, 2011
MY JESUS

“Who do the crowds say that I am?” – Luke 9:18

Being an OFW and living in a foreign country, Jesus has revealed to me His presence in so many ways — in my solitude, or when laboring through daily struggles at work or at home.
When I am alone, He is my companion (Matthew 28:20). When I feel weak, He is my strength (Philippians 4:13). When I am sick, He is my healer (Luke 5:40). When people stay away from me, He is my friend (John 15:15). When my mind is troubled, He is my peace (Isaiah 9:6). When I am vulnerable, He is my refuge (Psalm 31:3). When I am confused, He is my guide (Psalm 73:24). When I feel sad, He is my joy (Psalm 4:7). When I miss my family, He is my comforter (John 14:16). When risks are all around, He is my protector (Psalm 91). When I lack something, He is my provider (Philippians 4:19). When I do not know what to do, He is my teacher (Matthew 12:38). When I need advice, He is my wisdom (Romans 11:33). When I am lost, He is the way (John 14:6). When people falsely accuse me, He is my vindicator (Isaiah 54:17).
And yes, Jesus is my Master, my King, my Lord! He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords! He is a merciful and loving God. Danny Tariman (danny@ dtariman.com)
23
REFLECTION:
Who is Jesus to you?

Lord, I am sorry for the times that I have not recognized You in my life. Rule my life from now on; I enthrone You as my Lord!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 22, 2011
O=E+R

Consider your ways! – Haggai 1:5
A friend once said that we continuously attract the situation we are in because of the habits or patterns that we have. Jack Canfield wrote an interesting formula in relation to this: OUTCOME = EVENT + REACTION (O=E+R).
In the formula above, the outcome of any situation is within my control since my reaction is totally up to me. Events are not within my control but my attitude and actions toward it dictate the result of the situation.
At times, I would get annoyed when a vehicle would cut me from out of the blue. I’d take my imaginary gun and shoot his tires and bring him to submission. Sometimes I’d chase him and would give him the stare. If I don’t shift my thinking, chances are, the rest of my day gets ruined because of a petty event.
The Scripture in Haggai may have been directed towards the Israelites in building the temple. However, the principle of “considering our ways” applies even to the smallest situation in our life.
God’s grace is there to empower us to respond positively instead of reacting to external happenings that may disturb us. Spending time alone with Him in prayer allows us to access this grace as we ponder on these events.Ariel Driz (adriz77@yahoo.com)
22
REFLECTION:
Do you spend time to consider your ways in His presence?

Lord Jesus, thank You for being always present when we approach Your throne of grace. May we prioritize time with You above all each day. Amen.

Daily Bible Reflections

September 21, 2011
Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

GPS: God’s Positioning System

“Follow me.” – Matthew 9:9

“I don’t understand why it wants us to go to that route,” my husband said, frustrated about the GPS (Global Positioning System) we were using while we were traveling. The GPS is a helpful tool that provides driving directions to our destination. It gives us the option of taking a shorter route or one that will bring us to our destination at a faster time. But it can’t detect if the roads are rough in those routes. This is why my husband isn’t too crazy about the GPS especially when he feels he knows a better way of getting us safely to our destination.
Unlike the GPS, God’s guidance is foolproof. Through the Church’s teachings and Scripture, He shows us how we are to live our lives. At the same time, He gives us the freedom to choose the path we want to take. Along the way, we may encounter challenges that could lead us into making bad choices, thus requiring a detour. Or sometimes, the challenging situations may bring about an opportunity to become a better person.
It is all a matter of how we handle life’s crossroads and road blocks, and making sure that we are always in touch with God who leads us to eternal life. Jane Gonzales-Rauch (mjsg2468@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
It is essential to know where we need to go, but it is as important to prepare well for the journey, knowing that there will be many hurdles.

Dear God, lead me to the way that I need to go and help me overcome the obstacles along the way. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 20, 2011
what are your gifts?

“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” – Luke 8:16

Everyone has gifts. Some of us have obvious gifts and we use them. Some are conscious of their gifts but do not understand what the gifts are for. Still, some of us are just not aware that we have gifts. For some, we know our gifts but we misuse them. And still some of us, well, we just don’t care.
Have you noticed that the world has more words to describe failure and weakness than strengths? (Even the research group Gallup had to invent its own strengths dictionary!) But to God, it is more important for us to understand our gifts, blessings and talents.
Everyone, without exception, has gifts; from the least to the greatest. These gifts exist because God put them there. They were given because God loves you and He loves the people around you. So if you don’t know your gifts, ask. If you don’t have the courage to use them, ask. If you misuse them, ask for forgiveness. St. Paul says that we have been “given every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Ephesians 1:3).
May we learn to discover what our gifts are and use them well. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Today is the start of another week. In our spiritual lives, God has blessed us with gifts and spiritual faculties. What can we add to His kingdom this week?

Lord, You have given me a spirit that is true and brave. But often, my sin and my own indecision get in the way of Your will. Help me to understand what my gifts are and grant me the grace to use them to love You and to make You loved.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 19, 2011
what are your gifts?

“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” – Luke 8:16

Everyone has gifts. Some of us have obvious gifts and we use them. Some are conscious of their gifts but do not understand what the gifts are for. Still, some of us are just not aware that we have gifts. For some, we know our gifts but we misuse them. And still some of us, well, we just don’t care.
Have you noticed that the world has more words to describe failure and weakness than strengths? (Even the research group Gallup had to invent its own strengths dictionary!) But to God, it is more important for us to understand our gifts, blessings and talents.
Everyone, without exception, has gifts; from the least to the greatest. These gifts exist because God put them there. They were given because God loves you and He loves the people around you. So if you don’t know your gifts, ask. If you don’t have the courage to use them, ask. If you misuse them, ask for forgiveness. St. Paul says that we have been “given every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Ephesians 1:3).
May we learn to discover what our gifts are and use them well. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Today is the start of another week. In our spiritual lives, God has blessed us with gifts and spiritual faculties. What can we add to His kingdom this week?

Lord, You have given me a spirit that is true and brave. But often, my sin and my own indecision get in the way of Your will. Help me to understand what my gifts are and grant me the grace to use them to love You and to make You loved.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 18, 2011
UNDESERVED BLESSINGS

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. – Matthew 20:10

“The office will be sending you to the U.S. for a two-week training,” the audit partner informed me. She also mentioned that I could extend my stay after the training and the office would shoulder the plane fare.
I was ecstatic and told my fellow auditors about it. However, one of the superstars (i.e., an auditor who got promoted ahead of his batch mates because of outstanding performance) in our batch gave this remark behind my back: “Why her?” I wasn’t a superstar but I was chosen among more deserving auditors.
In today’s Gospel, the landowner gave the same wage to all the workers regardless of the time spent. Because of this, those who worked the whole day grumbled against the landowner and accused him of being unfair.
Like the landowner, our God is a generous God. He gives to everyone whether one has done something for His kingdom or not. God doesn’t bless us based on how long we have served Him, how many ministries we are involved in, or if we have accepted Him only during the last days of our earthly life. No one deserves God’s blessings, but because He is generous, He chooses to bless us. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
18
REFLECTION:
Have you ever been jealous when God has blessed another person? Focus on what God has given you and be thankful for it.

Whenever I feel superior and think I deserve to receive more than others, convict me, Lord. Grant me the grace to rejoice with the blessings of others.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 17,2011
NO GLORY WITHOUT SACRIFICE

“For the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” – Luke 8:15

As medical students, we all went through the stage of having so many things to do in so little time. But time flew by so fast that before we knew it, we were done with medical school. In hindsight, it’s a good thing we didn’t give in to being disheartened or distraught. All those struggles, after all, were just part of being a medical student.
My elementary school teacher was right when she said, “We always start from A-B-C, 1-2-3, or do, re, mi. There’s no glory without sacrifice.”
This applies to every stage of one’s life.
Look back at your life and recall the severe trials you went through. Didn’t they help you become what you are now? God has a mission for our lives when He allowed us to become what we are today. He uses all our experiences, even our negative ones, to shape us into better persons. It may take time before we see the good emerge from it all, but as we persevere, we will soon enjoy the good fruit of our efforts.Dr. Henry Yu (henrio_md@yahoo.com)
17
REFLECTION:
The road tovbecoming what we are today was long and arduous. Truly, “there’s no glory without sacrifice.”

Lord, help us in our struggles. Show us hope when we are down. Grant us perseverance.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 16, 2011
badminton bonding

What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! – 1 Timothy 6:7

My father was a very busy man when we were growing up. He was the president of his company at that time. He was a great provider but I felt he had so little time to spare for me and my three brothers. But now our roles have been reversed. I now have my own family. My two other siblings have their own families, too. The work schedule of our youngest sibling is erratic. Our father has time to spare but all of us are busy with our respective work and families.
This was the case until we all got hooked on badminton. We forget our busyness whenever anybody in the family sets a game. Every game is bonding time for us. My wife and sisters-in-law also join us in the sport. We enjoy the wins, the losses, the smashes and drop shots. But what I love most are the conversations we have during such occasions.
Truly, relationships are our only real treasures. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
16
REFLECTION:
How do you value your relationships?

Lord, we ask that You bless our relationships with our family and friends. May we prioritize and strengthen these relationships over other things. Amen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 15, 2011
my mother, my intercessor

Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, there is your son.” In turn he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” – John 19:26-27

When I was a teenager, every time I needed permission to go to a party, I would ask my mom to ask dad on my behalf. She was also the referee whenever he and I had a misunderstanding. She was the cushion who lessened the blow of a sermon or a “no” from my dad.
I believe most, if not all, mothers are molded this way because of the example Mother Mary had set a long time ago.
Jesus not only bequeathed His Mother to His disciple, John, but to all of us — God’s children. She, in turn, accepted her role with all her heart — to be the mother of all Christians, interceding for us to make us closer to God, Our Father. Anne Macalino-Santos (annemac.santos@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.” (St.Therese of Lisieux)

Through the intercession of Mother Mary, I pray that my heart will fully embrace everything that God gives me – both the joys and the sorrows.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 14, 2011
Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

NEWFOUND FAITH

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:17

I read a book about an American agnostic woman’s near-death experience in 1973. There she narrated what she experienced in what seemed to be heaven.
An angel brought her to a room where her entire life flashed before her. She cried upon realizing how many people she had hurt along the way.
“Why are you crying?” asked the one she referred to as the Divine Being. “Because I can now feel how I made them feel,” she replied. She also told the Divine Being that she deserved punishment for that.
“Why are you too hard on yourself? I am not here to condemn you,” said the Divine Being. Do you want to go back and make things right?”
She did go back, and has since lived with a newfound Christian faith and purpose. The author now travels the world preaching about life after death.
Jesus came to us to save us from sin, and to give us hope that in Him we shall live. The God of love and forgiveness changes lives — for real. Let Him do wonders in yours. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Never underestimate God’s mercy and love.

Lord Jesus, thank You for seeing the good in me at all times. When I am too hard on myself, remind me of Your forgiving love.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 13, 2011
COMING SOON

The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. – Luke 7:15

Luigi and Mela have been waiting for a child since they got married many years ago. But they wouldn’t get pregnant. They tried everything humanly possible. “Lord, how long do we have to wait? Will this child ever come?” they prayed.
Austin was the blackest of the sheep. Booze? He drank the place dry. Drugs? He didn’t let a chance pass. Women? He had plenty. Monica, his mother, would cry her way to sleep while praying for his conversion. She did this for 39 years.
It’s never over till God says it’s over. It’s time to believe again. God says, “I can still bring that dream to life.” Are you in a major setback? With God you can turn it into a set up for a greater comeback!
Don’t be surprised if you see Luigi and Mela kiss a handsome boy crashing the drums to heavenly music. Their son, Sean, is now in high school! By the way, the agonizing mother Monica has a longer name now: Saint Monica. And her son Austin’s real name is Augustine — Saint Augustine, to be exact, the great theologian and doctor of the church.
Their time has come. And yours is coming! Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
You have been confronted by obstacles that have been there year after year. Are you ready to give up? Keep the faith, friend. You might be quitting one day too soon.

I want to believe again, Lord. Breathe life into my faith that my time is coming.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 12, 2011
Behind Closed Catholic Doors

For this I was appointed preacher and apostle... teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. – 1 Timothy 2:7

This verse reminds me of Bo Sanchez and Arun Gogna, men anointed by God when they were just teens to spread His Word.
It also reminds me of some of my Feast invitees. Some are “Sunday Catholics.” One hears Mass from the street corner across the church. Another only attends baptisms, weddings and funerals. Others are lonely or always angry people. I invited them hoping they’d develop a more personal relationship with the Lord. Their answers were: “I don’t listen to teachings of people younger than me.”
“I’m Catolico sarado.”
“My faith only involves me, the priest and God.”
“What you are doing is not r-e-a-l-l-y forbidden by the Church but it’s not for me.” (The condescending “really” had undertones of “This isn’t what normal Catholics do.”)
These reactions sadden me. I’ve listened to countless talks by Bo, Arun and other preachers. They richly blessed my life. If only these people would actively seek God’s Word — open their ears and hearts to His appointees — their faith will deepen and their lives will heal. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)
12
REFLECTION:
Are you growing in your faith? Have you made an effort to know God more?

Harden not my heart to your Word, Lord Jesus!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 11, 2011
true forgiveness


“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”– Matthew 18:35

What does it really mean to truly forgive from the heart? I once read an article that said, “Forgiveness is not a state of mind but a state of the heart.” Forgiveness doesn’t come easy for me. I find myself faced with the challenge of bringing about a change of heart that will make it fertile for the seeds of forgiveness to grow and bear fruit. And what does it take for forgiveness to take root in the heart?
It takes faith — I must believe that the Lord will change my heart so I can forgive. It takes prayer — I’m not able to forgive out of my own will so I pray to the Lord to help me. It takes trust — I trust the Lord to protect my heart and enable me to forgive even the deepest hurt inflicted on me. It takes remembering — I call to mind the many times the Lord forgives me so that I will not grow weary of forgiving others over and over again. And it takes love — I let love take over my feelings of anger, hurt and resentment so that I can show kindness to the person I have decided to forgive.
Forgiveness frees me from the burden of being the aggrieved party. It also frees the one I am forgiving from the burden of guilt and regret. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
11
REFLECTION:
“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred and the waste of spirits.” (Hannah Moore)

Jesus, if I hold anything against anyone, stop me from praying. Show me the error of unforgiveness and send my heart to them to forgive them. In Your will and in Your love, make forgiveness a key stepping stone of my life.

Daily Bible Reflections

September 11, 2011
true forgiveness


“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”– Matthew 18:35

What does it really mean to truly forgive from the heart? I once read an article that said, “Forgiveness is not a state of mind but a state of the heart.” Forgiveness doesn’t come easy for me. I find myself faced with the challenge of bringing about a change of heart that will make it fertile for the seeds of forgiveness to grow and bear fruit. And what does it take for forgiveness to take root in the heart?
It takes faith — I must believe that the Lord will change my heart so I can forgive. It takes prayer — I’m not able to forgive out of my own will so I pray to the Lord to help me. It takes trust — I trust the Lord to protect my heart and enable me to forgive even the deepest hurt inflicted on me. It takes remembering — I call to mind the many times the Lord forgives me so that I will not grow weary of forgiving others over and over again. And it takes love — I let love take over my feelings of anger, hurt and resentment so that I can show kindness to the person I have decided to forgive.
Forgiveness frees me from the burden of being the aggrieved party. It also frees the one I am forgiving from the burden of guilt and regret. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
11
REFLECTION:
“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred and the waste of spirits.” (Hannah Moore)

Jesus, if I hold anything against anyone, stop me from praying. Show me the error of unforgiveness and send my heart to them to forgive them. In Your will and in Your love, make forgiveness a key stepping stone of my life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 10, 2011
GOOD FRUIT

“For every tree is known by its own fruit.” – Luke 6:44

My grandfather was a great man. He wrote 2,000 laws for the Philippines and was famous for knowing and upholding the constitution. He was a passionate statesman who sought the good of the country.
When I was young, my grandmother would always want us to include our middle name whenever we wrote our names or introduced ourselves. But I felt I was namedropping. I simply wasn’t comfortable with telling people “who I was.”
Over the past few years, I’ve been called to serve the Lord on a larger scale. During one talk I gave, I was introduced by my full name. After I finished, someone came up to me and asked if I was the grandson of the late Senator Arturo Tolentino. I said yes. She said, “No wonder you speak well. You took after your grandfather.”
Nowadays, I always include my middle name. Because if I do anything good, I want to honor my grandfather by letting people know whom I take after. I want people to know that he bore good fruit.
It also applies to the fact that as a Christian, I carry the name of Christ wherever I go. If I do right, He is glorified.
And so I strive to bring justice to His name. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
What kind of fruit are you?

Lord, may You be glorified in my every thought, word and deed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 9, 2011
DON’T JUDGE ME!

“First take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:42

I used to write a series of stories back in high school, and one of the favorite mottos of my character was, “The thing you like or hate the most about another person is the thing you like or hate the most about yourself.” I can’t remember where I found that motto, but it fit my character’s personality, who, incidentally, was based on me.
I wrote those stories in first year high school as a way of coping and adjusting to the big change. It was a hard time then because everyone was trying to find their place in the school and among friends. Everyone was getting into some kind of argument or fight because someone would say something bad about the other person — from something as simple as not liking the way they talk or an apparent attitude problem.
I’m ashamed to admit that I was also one of those people who would say bad things about others then. Now, I try to remember my character’s motto whenever I feel annoyed with another person, because it certainly carries a whole lot of truth about getting along with others in life. Tina Matanguihan (tina.matanguihan@gmail.com)
9
REFLECTION:
When someone annoys you, take a deep breath and look in the mirror: What do you see?

Father, may I be slow to judge and quick to forgive.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 8, 2011
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

THE FLOOD THAT SAVED ME

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

Whenever there is a downpour, our street is the first to be flooded. I had dreamt to live in a better subdivision, but for a dozen reasons, we could not leave our place. Still, I hated the floods — until Ondoy came on September 26, 2009.
At 7 a.m., our street was already flooded, so I couldn’t go to work. That saved me from being stranded for long hours in traffic and from being exposed to dangerous situations.
At about 10 a.m., the flood started to creep into our house. Alarmed, I sent text messages to friends to pray for us. But I found out some of them were suffering a lot worse. So I called on Jesus to save us and asked Mary and all the saints I could name to intercede for us. The floodwater gradually left our living room. Later, I learned the subdivisions I dreamt to live in were ravaged by the floods. Had we lived in those subdivisions, we would have been among those who lost their homes.
It is difficult to fathom why we suffer, but even in the midst of our ordeal, let us cling to the promise in Romans 8:28: That all things will eventually work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. Cynthia Santiago (boses2go@gmail.com)
8
REFLECTION:
To everything, there is a season and a good reason.

Lord, strengthen my faith that I may feel Your presence especially in my darkest hours.

Daily Bible Reflections

September 8, 2011
WORDLY CONCERNS, HEAVENLY FOCUS

Keep your minds fixed on things there (in heaven), not on things here on earth. – Colossians 3: 2

“I’m sorry, Lord. I spend more time with my family — talking, eating, playing together — than on my prayer time with you.
I waste more time with friends, with brothers and sisters in community, listening to their needs and building them up than on reading the Bible.
I think of our businesses most of the time — of how to serve our clients more with excellence and love and of how to uplift the lives of our employees — more than I contemplate on the mysteries of the faith and teachings of the Church.
I’m sorry, Lord. I built a house here on earth and filled it with joy and love. I should focus more on my home in heaven. I am concerned with day-to-day things. I even have a car that brings me to people in different places, and a cell phone and a laptop to keep in touch with them. I am such a worldly man. Forgive me, Lord.”
Know what? I hear my God telling me: “My son, you are concerned with worldly things but when you bring my love in what you do, you bring heaven closer to you and to others. Keep it up, my child!” Alvin Barcelona (kpreacheralvin@gmail.com)
7
REFLECTION:
Are you concerned with worldly things for their own sake? Or are they your means to bring God and heaven closer to you and to others?

Dear God, let my worldly concerns be ultimately focused on heaven — on You — as the main reason for it all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 6, 2011
REGRET ... NOT

Jesus went up a hill to pray and spent the whole night there praying to God. – Luke 6:12

Art is my first love. Before I learned how to read or write, I already knew how to draw. I even had my own comic book characters when I was a kid. But I didn’t pursue a career in the arts. As a teenager, I was led to believe that there was no money in it. Though I was satisfied taking up engineering, I still regret not becoming a graphic artist or an animator.
Why do regrets come only in the end? Why do we feel sorry about the things that happened or didn’t happen in the past? Maybe it’s because we didn’t ask for God’s guidance before we made a decision. Because if we did, then we would have the confidence that whatever has happened was His will and was part of His bigger plan.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus had to spend overnight praying on top of a hill before making a big decision of naming His 12 Apostles. And guess what, one of those He chose would become a traitor. But did Jesus regret it? I don’t think so. For He knew that it was part of the Father’s plan. Edgardo Tulabut (ylnoseye@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
When was the last time you consulted God for a big decision?

Guide me, Lord, when I make choices in life so I will live according to Your plans.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 5, 2011
LOVE FREELY

“The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the Sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.” – Luke 6:7

Mr. Santos wasn’t able to attend last Sunday’s Mass. His reason: He took care of his very sick wife.
Ana’s husband got mad at her for leaving the house without his knowledge. Well, Ana rushed their neighbor to the hospital.
Mariel should have been home by 5:00 p.m. Her mother shouted and scolded her because she came home a little late. The reason: Mariel helped her classmates with their homework.
John was not supposed to go to the computer shop during regular days. When he got home, his father (who came home early) spanked him. Actually, John printed a Father’s Day card.
Jesus healed the sick. But the Pharisees accused him. Why? Because he did it on a Sabbath.
Though rules and regulations help in putting order to our lives, let us not be constrained by them. Rather, let us be free in showing our love by serving others whenever possible. Sol Saura (sol_saura@yahoo.com)
5
REFLECTION:
Love is serving others.

Lord, may I always seize the opportunity to serve others today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 4, 2011 SOUND THE ALARM “If I announce that an evil person is going to die but you do not warn him to change his ways so that he can save his life, then he will die, still a sinner, and I will hold you responsible for his death.” – Ezekiel: 33:8 I remember when the tragedy of the World Trade Center attack happened 10 years ago. The fire alarm set off but some of the workers stayed where they were until it was too late to leave. I realized how important it was to pay close attention when an alarm is sounded and to act promptly. When I was younger, my mom sternly admonished me when she found out I was in a bad relationship. It was painful to hear the truth and I struggled with it. But looking back now, I am truly grateful that she cared a lot for me to let me know that what I was doing was wrong. Today, I am happy and whole. I shudder to think how things would have turned out if I remained stubborn to her wise warning. How blessed are we if we have a loved one or a good friend who alerts us when we are entering a dangerous area and is honest with us when we sin. They are God’s angels who keep us safe from harm’s way. How more blessed if we become that loving friend.Marjorie Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com) 4 REFLECTION: Who needs to hear the truth? Pray for him. Schedule a one-to-one. Father, help me to become my brother’s keeper. Make me brave to say Your truth gently but firmly that I may bring him back to You and that he may live. Amen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 3, 2011 AN OTHER STEP Provided that you persevere in the faith. – Colossians 1:23 The Church calls it “final perseverance,” which is defined by the Catholic Encyclopedia as “the preservation of the state of grace till the end of life.” The saints prayed for it and I copy them, praying for it from time to time, “Lord, grant me final perseverance.” The Lord gives grace. Time and again, from the simplest rising from bed to attend morning Mass when I would rather go to sleep, to the will to minister when I would rather stay in a corner and entertain the blues, the Lord has given grace. And when I hear someone say that I seem to be always happy, then I know it really must be grace. For I might joke when I introduce myself, “Ligaya ang itawag mo sa akin” (Call me happiness), but that’s not always how I feel or think. But perhaps that is the grace of final perseverance. That when it seems like you can’t take another step, you do. And then you take another. And so on until you come before the One whom you want to see face-to-face. And so I will continue to pray for final perseverance, knowing with faith that He will never keep it from me. Join me?Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com) 3 REFLECTION: Oh, Divine Hand that never lets go of me, let me never let go of You! Dearest Lord, I am Yours and You are mine. Let me never forget it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

September 1,2011
WAIT FOR THE CATCH

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” – Luke 5:4

For 30 years, the Light of Jesus Family was trying to catch more fish. Patiently. Faithfully. Obediently. But there was a time when no matter what we did, we weren’t growing in number.
Sometimes, I wondered if God was just calling us to do media work, as this was being blessed. But Light of Jesus itself was stagnating. Don’t get me wrong. Our caring groups were strong. And our chapter meetings were tight. But why weren’t we growing in number by leaps and bounds?
And then a breakthrough happened. It was like we turned a corner and KABOOM! We knew who we were and what we were called to do. With this new direction, we dared to put out into the deep.
We opened more satellite Feasts in different places. And people flocked and grew in number.
It was like an explosion.
The message: Don’t give up when nothing seems to be happening. Just continue lowering your nets even in places where a catch doesn’t seem likely. And then wait. God will do the rest. Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
1
REFLECTION:
Are you reaping any harvest for your efforts? Are you fulfilling your dreams? If not, continue planting. Harvest will come.

Lead me, Lord, to the path of abundance and fruitfulness in my life.

Daily Bible Reflections

September 2, 2011 One God, One Goal And in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17 I was privileged to become HR Manager of the pioneer in outdoor advertising in the Philippines three years ago. I believe that more than my skills and experience, the owners invited me to join because we shared the same faith and values. Although not Catholics, they were also devout Christians who strove to live out their faith and values as businessmen. I discovered this as we discussed the scope of my responsibilities and their expectations. They wanted me to help them build a company culture based on Christian values on top of setting up HR systems and improving employee skills. They wanted to pay me to do something I’d even do for free! We didn’t always agree. We had disagreements on strategies and procedures but our common belief and relationship with Jesus Christ kept the Management Team and the Board united. I remember when typhoon Milenyo hit Metro Manila and affected many of our structures. Our faith in Christ held us together during the storm. It wasn’t a perfect organization but it surely was one of the best work environments I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com) 2 REFLECTION: What holds me and my family, company or group together? Lord Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit be upon us to unite us in Your love.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

August 31, 2011
UNEXPECTED HEALING

The crowds went looking for him (Jesus), and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news...” – Luke 4:42-43

A father who attended the 2009 Kerygma Conference prayed for his daughter to be healed from a certain condition. Weeks later, he noticed some changes, but not with his daughter. The father who wore glasses realized that his vision became clearer as days passed.
He didn’t understand why he was being healed. Nevertheless, He submits to the will of the Lord and is thankful.
In today’s Gospel, crowds tried to prevent Jesus from leaving so he could continue healing the people in that place. Jesus said “no” and that was probably difficult for many to understand. He had to move on and preach the Good News elsewhere.
We can always pray for healing, for ourselves and for others. Whom He decides to heal, we don’t know. But one thing is sure: Jesus loves us so much that He is concerned over our eternal salvation. If He doesn’t heal our body, but He heals our soul then that’s the greater blessing. Our time here on earth is but a speck compared to where our souls go after. Carlo Lorenzo (carloflorenzo@yahoo.com)

31
REFLECTION:
“My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)

Divine Healer, we pray for the sick, breathe Your love into their bodies, but more importantly, may we all embrace You into our lives and follow the path to heaven.

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