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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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 23, 2011
CLARENCE


Our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. – 1 Thessalonians 1:5


“I have never read the Bible nor have I gone to church in the 20 years that I was in the military!”

This was the opening statement of Clarence (not his real name), a former soldier of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, as he shared in the closing session of the Life in the Spirit Seminar. You can get a clue on the life he has lived from his stone face, fierce-looking eyes and facial scars.

As I gave my talk that night, I noticed him sitting at the back, listening intently to every word that I said. I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him. In that LSS, he accepted Jesus in his life. This was the start of a new life for Clarence. Since then, he would follow me to whatever parish I’d preach in, just to hear God’s Word.

He still has those scars on his face today. But the stone face and fierce eyes have changed to a gentle, smiling countenance. This happened because he opened his heart to the Word and the Holy Spirit! Danny Tariman (danny@ dtariman.com)

REFLECTION:

Are you struggling to let the Word of God change you? Let the Word and the Spirit change your life!


Come Holy Spirit, fill me and renew my life!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 22, 2011
HALFTIME


“I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.” – Luke 13:8-9


In his book, Halftime, Bob Buford cites realities in one’s life:

• The first half: On average, the first 40 years of your life. This is the time when most people focus more on their careers and less on others (and other significant causes).

• Halftime: This is when you take stock of what you have accomplished in your life and look for ways to move from success to significance. It’s a chance to dig more deeply into what you believe and evaluate whether your life is heading in a direction compatible with your core beliefs.

By the time I reached 40, I was grateful for what the Lord had allowed me to experience and achieve. But a few years after that, things started to fall apart due to my wrong decisions. I found myself in crisis mode. Then I realized that I needed to get out of my comfort zone to move from adding value to me (success) to adding value to others (significance), as John Maxwell puts it. At 45, it was time for me to give back and equip others to pursue God’s purpose in their lives — to bear fruit! The Lord’s excellence compels me to reach higher when I thought I was doing enough.Ariel Driz (adriz77@yahoo.com)
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REFLECTION:
What is God’s purpose for me? Am I helping others go for theirs?


Lord Jesus, thank You for my halftime. I pray for Your wisdom to discern the way You would want me to multiply the gifts and purposes You have given me. Amen.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 21, 2011
INNER CONFLICTS


For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. – Romans 7:19


One time in fourth grade, I came home and complained to my mom that I had a sick feeling in my tummy. But I couldn’t explain what was bothering me. All I could remember was that some kids had laughed at a boy who had tripped in the hallway and scattered his books all over the floor. With his face red with embarrassment, I watched as he fought back tears and gathered his things before scurrying away from the crowd.

After my story, my mom told me she knew why I wasn’t feeling well. “Guilt. You didn’t laugh at him but you didn’t want to be different from everybody else. So you didn’t reach out to help him either. When we know the right thing to do, we tend to regret not doing it.”

The Lord gave us great power through His Word and prayer to rise above the sinful nature of man. He has already provided the laws that separate right from wrong and it is in our true best interest to follow them. As Jiminy Cricket once said, “Let your conscience be your guide.” Eleanore Lee (elyo.lee@ gmail.com)

REFLECTION:

When faced with tough decisions wherein the right thing to do is not necessarily the same as what you want to do, ask, “What would Jesus do?”


“Lord, continue to shield me with Your love as I wage a constant battle between good and evil within myself and, as together we stand, righteousness will prevail.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 20, 2011
ABLAZE FOR GOD!


“I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!” – Luke 12:49


Kathryn Kuhlman was a well-known faith healing evangelist who conducted healing crusades from 1940 to 1970. She began preaching at the age of 15. Thousands would flock to her crusades because when she led people to worship, they were ushered into the presence of God. Her powerful anointing came from her pure passion for Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Until she fell in love with a married man. That was the start of the dwindling of her awesome ministry. Sources said she was never the same again after that because she knew that she grieved God deeply but could not give up the affair. She ran away with him, got married, but eventually divorced.

We were created by a passionate God to be passionate beings like Him. But sin has corrupted our original design. If God is not at the core of our passion, then our nature will always look for a substitute.

If we will allow something or someone else to occupy our thoughts and our emotions other than God, then that will eventually be our passion. Remember what St. Paul said about God: “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Be vigilant. Always check where the flames of your passion is burning. Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)
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REFLECTION:

“Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him…” (1 Peter
5:8-9)


Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, give me strength…

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 19, 2011
protected

You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” – Luke 12:40

“Dad,” Tina said calmly, “there’s someone here.” There was no one at the gate but as I heard the scuffle of feet from upstairs, I realized what was happening: a thief in the house! I quickly ran upstairs but he had already jumped from the window, gotten on his bike and disappeared.
The experience was a lesson:
1. Ready – After the incident, we did everything to be safe. We called the police, told the barangay, installed grills and even bought baseball bats!
2. Rampant – There were five other victims in our community in the past month. The thieves were ready and observant as no one had yet been caught.
3. Resolve – The reason why my usually jumpy wife was calm was because her Scripture reading that morning read, “I am with you. No one will attack and harm you” (Acts 18:10). It was only afterwards did she realize the reason behind the passage and why she was at peace during the incident. God had prepared her.
As Christians, we need to protect ourselves spiritually as much as we prepare for physical dangers. God desires our salvation. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Whether it is insurance, a high wall or a security guard, we go to great lengths to protect ourselves against temporal danger. But how much effort do we invest in preparing spiritually to meet Jesus?

You watch over the people I love more than I can ever care for them. But help me, Lord, to pray for them that they may grow to love You always and therefore be prepared to meet You one day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 18, 2011
Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist
FOLLOW THE VOICE

“Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.” – Luke 10:4

Dr. Hook was a strict and demanding person. During one of the Voltes V team’s trainings, he taught them a new defense technique. It was so difficult that it pushed the team beyond their limits. Dr. Hook didn’t allow them to stop practicing until they got it perfectly. Steve, the leader of the Voltes team, resented the way Dr. Hook was running their training and their lives. He didn’t want to accept any more instructions from Dr. Hook. While flying their machines across the horizon, a Bozanian monster appeared, one they had defeated before. But this time it was faster and stronger. They couldn’t defeat it. Dr. Hook commanded them to apply the new technique but Steve refused. Later, when he realized that they were doomed, he abided. They were able to volt in and destroy the enemy.
Jesus gave His disciples specific instructions when they were sent on their missions. In fulfilling ours, we must be open to receive new instructions. We may have succeeded in our previous missions using “old techniques” but we need to get ourselves “updated” if we are to win this spiritual battle. We need to follow the voice of the One who commissions us if we are to succeed. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you Mr. /Ms./ Mrs. Know-it-All?

Help me, Lord, to realize and admit that I do not know everything. Grant me the grace to listen to others and try to see the wisdom behind their words.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 17, 2011
TRUST IN YOUR FATHER

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. – Romans 4:20

I coach my son’s basketball team. During one game, he was crying. He hurt his knees earlier. I told him to “man up” and stop crying. He said he was crying not because he got hurt, but because he was frustrated. His team was losing again. They hadn’t won a single game. He wanted out. He had lost faith in his team.
I asked, “Do you trust me?” He nodded. “Then understand that what’s important is you give your best and help your teammates. The winning will follow.” I believe that left a positive impression on him. Since then he’s been playing his heart out, improving his skills and having fun with his newfound friends. Incidentally, my son’s team is now 4-0 after not winning any game the last two seasons.
That’s how it is sometimes when it comes to our relationship with our Father. When we experience life’s difficulties and things don’t go well, we may feel frustrated to the point of giving up.
The Lord reminds us that during these times we should continue to trust Him and remain strong in our faith, for He always works everything for the good of those who love Him. Erwin Roceles (erwin_roceles@yahoo.com)
17
REFLECTION:
In times of trouble, do you rely on your way or God’s way to get you through it?

Lord, teach me to trust in You at all times. Be my strength in times of weakness. Be my hope in times of despair. Be my light when I am in the dark.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 16, 2011
winning the battle

“I am the Lord; there is no other god. I will give you the strength you need, although you do not know me.” – Isaiah 45:5

GP was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005.
He was a young professional, single and living a worry-free life at that time. Everything was on the right track until he got the bad news from his doctor.
The news did not shock him. GP knew the fatal consequences of his illness. He did not have the financial resources to fight this battle. He also did not want his mother to know about his condition because of her heart condition.
But he was not afraid because he knew one thing. He knew that God will give him the strength for the battle. And God did not fail him. Through his friends in community, he was able to find the right doctor. His friends worked together to help him raise the funds for the procedure.
He underwent operation and was declared cancer-free seven months later. GP is now married and has a son. His battle cry is “whatever does not kill you will make you stronger.” Truly God has given him the strength to win the battle with cancer! Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
16
REFLECTION:
When you’re facing trials, turn to Jesus for strength and victory.

Lord, I am facing a lot of battles in various aspects of my life. I recognize my weakness and I pray to You, give me the strength to win over these battles. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 15, 2011
Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila

the impossible expert

He believed, hoping against hope... – Romans 4:18

Do you know how it feels to hope against hope? I do. I got married at the nearly impossible age of 38.
Those who married early or who had many suitors to choose from will never know how a single, aging woman with no prospects feels everytime her birthday rolls by.
Instead of hearing a joyful birthday song, I’d hear a deafening alarm bell warning me that my body clock was fast running out of time.
Instead of donning a red dress to party with friends, I’d put on the blues and sulk that I had no “special someone” to celebrate with.
It was depressing, especially coming from a breakup that dashed my hopes of wedding bells to come.
That’s why I feel for single ladies praying for their one true love. And that’s why I pray specially for my single friends who are going through what I went through when I was single. And that’s why I have my book, Confessions of an Impatient Bride.
Because I’ve felt the hopelessness, even as I prayed unceasingly. And even though it seemed impossible, it happened. Because our God specializes in the impossible. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
15
REFLECTION:
“God specializes in ‘impossible’ things that are too good to be true.” (Carroll E. Simcox)

In faith, I hold on to Your promises, my Lord.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 14, 2011
HAKUNA MATATA!

“Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:7

In my faith journey, I have learned to chant this famous Disney phrase in my head when worries build up inside me.
As the song explains, “Hakuna matata” means no worries. This simple phrase does wonders in changing my frame of mind. Each time I say it, though, I add more to it.
When monthly bills start coming in just when I am short on cash, I say, “Hakuna matata… God will provide.”
When I’m on a major crossroad and can’t decide which way to go, I say, “Hakuna matata… God will lead the way.”
And even in trivial matters, say, being caught in a traffic jam, I say, “Hakuna matata… God will open up the roads for me.”
And guess what? It always works! Because I call on God’s powerful name, and believe that whatever I ask of Him will be granted if it is good for me.
Jesus tells us that we are worth more than many sparrows, so keep the worries away. God knows what we need even before we ask. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
14
REFLECTION:
Worries will only get you down. Do you trust in God’s providence?

Father in heaven, You are our Maker. I trust that You will take care of my needs today and always.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 13, 2011
NEW POLLUTION

Waiting to catch him in something he might say. – Luke 11:54

One presidential candidate who rides on the “preserve the nature” platform in the campaign trail declared his total war against pollution. Unknown to him, he is a major contributor to another form of devastating pollution: verbal pollution.
One popular Christian author writes, “The verbal pollution passed around by grumblers, complainers, criticizers and pessimists are poison that creates an atmosphere of wholesale negativism where nothing but the bad side of everything is emphasized.”
A group of Christian friends became concerned about this form of pollution and their personal part in it. So they made a pact to avoid critical words for a whole week. They were surprised to find how little they spoke! They learned that they needed to overhaul their entire heart-to-mouth system. Verbal pollutant carriers don’t go too far in the direction of a joy-filled life.
The Pharisees and their cohorts caught Jesus because He was saying “different” things — stuff that was beautiful, joyful and true. Like Him, will I, too, get caught because of my “different” proclamations or will the world not notice me since what I say is strikingly similar to theirs?Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@ gmail.com)
13
REFLECTION:
If you record what you say the entire day, how much of it brings life to the people you love and serve, and how much verbal pollution do you contribute to the environment?

Purify my heart and fill it with Your joy, Lord, for from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 12, 2011
A Chorus Line

“Woe to you, Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces.” – Luke 11: 43

I love performing.That’s the reason why I joined the glee club in college. Singing and dancing onstage under the lights, in front of big applauding crowds, was the highlight of my college life.
When I joined Light of Jesus, my ministry of choice was, naturally, music. Later, our chapter’s Music Ministry was absorbed into the South Feast in Alabang. I noticed that pride was an issue in the beginning. We were like Pharisees who loved the limelight. Feelings were hurt over lead singer assignments; some members thought they were too good to be taught. But as our service increased, pride slowly decreased.
Joining the chorus at the 2009 Kerygma Conference was a humbling experience for many of us. It was a big chorus. Those of us in the third row were not seen by the audience or on camera. But more than performing in front of a huge crowd in Araneta, our biggest thrill was singing for the Lord and touching the people there. It didn’t matter to me that only a fourth of my face was seen in the official photos. I knew from where He sat, the Lord could see us. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)
12
REFLECTION:
Do you serve because you love God or because you love the acclaim?

Lord, help us to realize that pride has no place in our service for You.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 11,2011
religious hypocrisy

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.’” – Luke 11:39

A professor of religious education had this interesting insight about the passion of Christ: “The most terrifying act of the Passion of Christ was not the betrayal or crucifixion; it was the devil walking in the robes of the Pharisees. Jesus Christ was not murdered by the pagan or the atheist, nor the unlearned. He was killed by people who were vessels of religious knowledge.”
In one of his sermons, St. Chrysostom, one of the radical Fathers of the Church, tackled the horror of religious hypocrisy which began with the Pharisees and continues to threaten our Church today. He said, “Who is fit to be a leader in the Church?…. Imagine a person of great intellectual ability, who twisted the words of Scripture to suit his own wicked purposes. That person could make a congregation believe that good was evil, and evil good.”
Priests, the religious, and all who serve the Lord are in danger of falling into the trap of hypocrisy just as the rest of us are. Fervent prayers to the Lord, invoking the intercession of Mama Mary, and a discerning heart are needed to see the evil hiding behind what is seemingly good. Dina PecaƱa (dpecana@yahoo.com)
11
REFLECTION:
“No faith unfaithful, can keep an adherent, falsely true.” (Tennyson)

Jesus, protect me from the evils of hypocrisy. Give me the grace to always know and see the truth You reveal to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 10, 2011
FROM THE BEGINNING

Called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. – Romans 1:1

When I was three years old, I discovered my love for music. I could sing along and even find the second voice to any song. My parents would ask me to perform every time we had a party at home, no-holds-barred.
When I was 12 years old, I met the Lord through a Life in the Spirit Seminar. When I entered the hall on the first day of the seminar, I saw the music ministry in front. A flame lit up in my heart. I immediately said to myself, “One day, I’m going to be singing with them.” And I did. I started drowning myself in praise music and I dedicated my voice to singing songs that would glorify God and tell people about His love.
I’ve been serving the Lord as a music minister and worship leader for more than half of my life now. There’s nothing I love doing more.
As early as age three, the Lord was already revealing to me my calling. Looking back, I doubt that my parents ever thought that I would be serving the Lord the way I do today. But I believe that since the day I was born, I was set apart to preach His Gospel — to deliver His Good News through my talents. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
10
REFLECTION:
How is God calling you to preach His Gospel?

Lord, in whatever I do, may I carry Your Good News.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 9, 2011
worthy guests

“Then he said to his servants: ‘The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy.’” – Matthew 22:8

When they were kids, my children always got excited whenever they received invitations to the birthday parties of their classmates and friends. They went because they enjoyed playing with their friends, participating in the games and winning prizes, eating their favorite spaghetti, cake and ice cream, and bringing home bags of goodies. They attended parties for their own happiness.
As they grew up and began ignoring invitations due to sheer laziness, I asked them how they would feel if the table was turned and their invitations were also ignored. I taught them that they should feel honored whenever they are invited. They should respond and show that they are worthy of the invitation by accepting and giving honor and importance to the person who invited them. Their presence would surely make the host happy.
God, too, is inviting us all to His banquet. We should respond by preparing ourselves to make us worthy of His invitation. We should give praise and honor Him by accepting His invitation. Bay Cabrera (baycabrera@yahoo.com)
9
REFLECTION:
In spite of our unworthiness, God is inviting us to His kingdom. How do we respond to His invitation?

Lord, give us the grace to be worthy and to respond to Your invitation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 8, 2011
Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary

MY CAR AND A MIRACLE

“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” – Luke 11:27

Praying the rosary has been my habit every time I go home from work. I needed the comfort of the rosary especially because I rode in an old, rickety company car. I used to hate it. It looked Christmassy because the car was red but the paint was peeling so the green base color of the vehicle showed. It was always summer inside because the aircon didn’t work. Oh, but the car gave me an alibi whenever I was late for work — because it often conked out in the middle of nowhere.
I also had a company driver, so I really shouldn’t complain. But still, I’d pray the rosary in the car, asking Mary to intercede for my needs — including a better car.
Then, I learned about today’s reading, that God blesses those who hear His Word and observe it. So, I obeyed God, being grateful in all circumstances — the car included— until I learned to love it, especially when I see long lines of people waiting for a ride home.
As today’s reading promised, God eventually blessed my family through our son Paolo who bought us a new car. The first time I rode in the car, I noticed there was this medal with an image of Mary and the Infant Jesus mounted on the dashboard. We never knew who put it there. Cynthia Santiago (boses2go@gmail.com)
8
REFLECTION:
Light dawns for the just; gladness, for the honest of heart.

Lord, give me a humble, obedient heart.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 7, 2011
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

CRABS

“But some of the people said, ‘It is Beelzebul, the chief of the demons, who gives him the power to drive them out.” – Luke 11: 15

Isn’t it hilarious how people with “crab mentality” will think of anything to destroy you? Take my task, for example, as the Light of Jesus Family Feast builder and main preacher in Marilao, Bulacan, assigned by no less than Bo Sanchez and the community elders. When we started our official Feast gatherings, my share of “crab people” remarked, “How will they fill up that venue? Where will they get the funds? What does that preacher know about these things?”
Today, close to a thousand people gather every Saturday to worship, receive healing and listen to the Word at SM Marilao Cinema 2. We now have two sessions and upcoming youth and children’s sessions (as of this writing). So, you think those “crabs” will now stop bickering? Now they say, “Oh, but their presentations are too theatrical! Their band is too loud… and they have long hair… starting with their preacher!”
I just take consolation in the thought that even Jesus Himself had His taste of “crabs.” Imagine, the Son of God being charged as the chief of demons! Pitiful, what “crabs” would do just to pull others down and draw attention to themselves! Alvin Barcelona (kpreacheralvin@gmail.com)
7
REFLECTION:
You know what to do with crabs? You pray for them before you cook and eat them.

Dear God, grant me the grace to rejoice in the success of others and to pray for those who persecute me. In Your Most Holy Name. Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 6, 2011
GOD-SENT

“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” – Luke 11:9

I was then already enrolled as a junior student in high school but my fees were just partially paid. Life was hard and I had just lost my scholarship. I applied as a student aide and prayed hard to be accepted.
But I was not. My sister was already an aide then and the school was not allowing siblings to both work as student aides. I prayed for reconsideration since I was a person with disability.
Still, rules were rules.
Just when I was about to lose hope, my Journalism teacher, Mrs. Teodoro, came to the rescue. Aside from being one of her students who disliked Journalism, I didn’t know Mrs. Teodoro and vice versa. But when she learned about my case, she decided that she would shoulder my tuition fees without demanding any work from me in return, not even to check test papers. he was truly God-sent, the answer to my prayers.
Indeed, ask and we shall receive. It may not be how we want it or when we want it. But for sure it’s for the greater good that only God knows. Edgardo Tulabut (ylnoseye@gmail.com)
6
REFLECTION:
Are you about to lose hope? Don’t! Just hold on to your faith. God answers prayers in His own time and way.

We thank You, Father, for opening Your doors and answering our calls, not because of our persistence but because of Your great love for us!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 5, 2011
MY RIGHT, MY RESPONSIBILITY

The Lord replied, “What right do you have to be angry?” – Jonah 4:4

Ever since I got conscious of the effects of man-initiated activities to the environment and experiencing the effects of climate change, I felt frustrated that the authorities are not making it their top priority to implement eco-friendly practices in their respective constituency. I can fill this entire page of all the things that I think they should look into and those are only the environmental issues!
Don’t get me wrong. This is not about my political views but of my realization that I‘ve been caught up with the large-scale issues, forgetting that I am part of the problem.
While I push for awareness on global warming, I’d still print out documents when I can read them online. Or I use more paper napkins than needed at restaurants. With these realizations, I began to question my criticisms, not only regarding environmental issues but how I perceive the goings-on around me.
I realized that while I have the right to be frustrated and angry at the system, I have the responsibility for doing my bit. Not because the system is not capable of doing it but because I know I am capable of making a difference. Mae Ignacio (maemi04@aim.com)
5
REFLECTION:
Know your rights and, most importantly, know the responsibilities that go with those rights.

Father, help me uphold my rights and constantly remind me that I have responsibilities to fulfill.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 4, 2011
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
DISTRACTED FROM SERVING

Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving and finally she said, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister left me to do all the serving?” – Luke 10:40

I believe that we have no right to judge the way other people serve, especially those who belong to the same community, because it’s not us whom they serve but God. I’ve been serving in our Children’s Ministry for more than two years now. With all the services I’m involved in (I’m also a coordinator), it can get draining at times. My co-servants see me as an overly committed servant. Truth is, there have been times when I’d complain to God and compare my service with others.
For months, my best friends and I sacrificed our good night’s sleep every Saturday just to come up with all the materials needed for the kids the following day. When I got physically tired, I aired out my complaints. “Why do we always have to make the materials? What about the others?”
Like Martha, I was distracted from serving the Lord. It suddenly dawned upon me that I was doing all those things because I love God and all the kids entrusted to us. Leeanne Sy (havenofleeanne@yahoo.com)
4
REFLECTION:
Are you tired of your service? Instead of comparing your output with others, why not ponder on why you are serving in the first place?

Father, I humbly implore You to remind me not to judge my sisters and brothers in their service because it is You whom they are serving and not me. I am also a mere servant in Your vineyard.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 3, 2011
100 PERCENT

“Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbour to the robbers’ victim?... The one who treated him with mercy.” – Luke 10:36-37

In organizing events, I have acquired a deeper understanding of mercy.
By many estimates, I am considered an efficient worker. To me, it’s just something I have to do within a deadline I have to meet. So you can imagine my impatience with a lackadaisical staff.
But when I look at other people, I see that most of them work really hard to do what I ask. So I realized that my 100 percent is not necessarily another person’s 100 percent.
Instead of getting frustrated, I am learning to accept people’s limitations. If I see that someone can take so much more, then I push. If not, I do the work myself or hand it over to someone who can do it.
Mercy, I have realized, comes even before there is a need to forgive. It is accepting a person’s capacity and weakness, and maximizing to get the best out of the person.
I still have a long way to go to learn this lesson but I pray that I will never let up on this road. For I, too, need mercy.
May He, who knows everything, have mercy on us.Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)
3
REFLECTION:
“The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed — it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.” (William Shakespeare)

Help me to be merciful, Lord. Have mercy on me, too, a sinner.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 2, 2011
STILLNESS

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

His waking moments are filled with thoughts that bring the morning to a standstill. The sun has barely touched the corners of his room, yet his heart already looks for the moon’s soft glow. For this man, each day has become marked with wisps of silent struggles between laughter and tears, of strength and weakness, of hope and despair. His soul is locked inside the gridiron battle between reason and emotion impervious to those around him.
The heart longs for another’s presence who once shared its space; yet, to place one’s meaning and happiness on another person does not only invite longing and perturbation, but also creates a void.
St. Paul knows the inner journey more than anyone else. Having embraced God’s work in the midst of sickness and emotional challenges, he understands that true peace and joy can only come when one surrenders to the healing love of Jesus Christ.
And for the man who is trapped in the invisible battle of reason and emotion, true peace comes when he offers the outcome in supplication and thanksgiving as requests made known to God(Philippians 4:6).Reden Cerrer (redcer@yahoo.com)
2
REFLECTION:
What troubles your soul? What burdens your mind? Be still and allow God to fill the void in your heart and heal you.

Lord, let my soul be still in the knowledge that You are God.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

October 1, 2011
Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

LIKE A MAGIC SKETCHPAD

As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him… – Baruch 4:28

I’m a legendary artist. (Ahem.) I’ve produced legendary artwork. So legendary, in fact, that no one remembers them. Michelangelo used paint. Leonardo da Vinci used charcoal. Me? I use my sons’ magic sketchpad.
I love this toy. My boys and I would sit on the couch and doodle for hours. Together, we’ve drawn thousands of sketches. Here’s why I love this toy. When I make a mistake, I don’t get angry. I don’t curse myself. I don’t condemn myself. I simply pull the eraser button and draw again. Which is what we’re supposed to do in life.
I’ve met some people who think that just because they’ve made mistakes, God won’t bless them anymore. Hey, we’ve all made mistakes. Perhaps you gave yourself to addictions. Perhaps you married the wrong person. Perhaps you made poor financial decisions.
Friend, your future is brighter than your past. How do I know? Because God’s plan is bigger than your mistakes. He has a giant magic sketchpad. All He has to do is pull the eraser button and draw new plans again! Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
1
REFLECTION:
Feeling hopeless because you made big mistakes in your life? God has better plans for you. Seek Him again.

Lord, strengthen my hope in You.

Daily Bible Reflections

September 30, 2011
OJT

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” – Luke 10:16

When I was in college, I had an on-the-job training for a TV program that was a course requirement. One time, the executive producer asked me to call the young actors who were resting in their van. I did as I was told. I told them the boss was calling them and they said OK. After calling them two more times, they still didn’t come.
On the third time, the boss personally went to the vehicle and, in a way, scolded the young celebrities. She told them that even if I was just a student and wasn’t part of their staff, she sent me and I was representing her. If they didn’t follow me, it meant they were disrespecting her who had sent me.
Today’s Gospel speaks about Jesus sending out 70 men to represent Him. They were sent to heal and proclaim that the kingdom of God was at hand. It didn’t matter if they were inexperienced, unimportant or uninfluential. They carried His authority. And whoever rejected them meant they were rejecting Jesus as well.
The message and instructions they conveyed were from the Boss. Carlo Lorenzo (carloflorenzo@yahoo.com)
30
REFLECTION:
Do I ignore or subtly reject people who share the Good News or who witness to God’s presence in their lives simply because they don’t seem credible enough? Do I reject the message because I feel the sender doesn’t have enough authority or influence over me?

Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me understand and listen to Your messages regardless of who the messenger is.

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