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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 31, 2012


ONLY BELIEVE
 
“Don’t be afraid, only believe.” – Mark 5:36
 
“You have to undergo thyrodectomy immediately,” the doctor told me. “It’s not as simple as you think. The more you postpone it, the riskier it is. You’re not getting any younger,” he added.
For the ninth time I had to go under the surgeon’s knife.
My first surgery was a simple tonsilectomy in 1980 where they removed my right tonsil.
In 1986, I was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in my left breast, so I had to go through a mastectomy.
Four years later, there was a lump and grape-like clusters of mass in my right ovary, which were all malignant. The doctor ordered a hysterectomy to avoid the big C.
During my thyrodectomy, I kept praying while I was at the operating room, “Lord, please restore my voice. Don’t take away my privilege of proclaiming Your Word.”
God promised me, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” This gave me assurance before I passed out with the anesthesia.
Three weeks after my thyrodectomy, I proclaimed God’s Word at the Rizal Feast — with my voice even better than ever!  Beth Corral (bethcorral_0330@yahoo.com)
31
REFLECTION:
“My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you... Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him, too.” (Sirach 38:9, 12)
 
Lord, let me know Your will in any sickness You allowed in me. Heal me, Lord, for You are the greatest physician.
 
St. John Bosco, priest, pray for us.

Monday, January 30, 2012

God Whispers January 30, 2012


Don’t lash out at that impolite security guard or that rude officemate. Don’t take offense at your irritating boss or that driver who cut you in traffic. That’s my way of reminding you to pray for them.

Love,
God

P.S. Find every reason to pray for people you encounter daily.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 30, 2012


the higher road
 
“Notice my misery and give me blessings…” – 2 Samuel 16:12
 
I looked up to my ex-boss because she was efficient in performing her work. But I didn’t like the way she corrected me and my colleagues when things went wrong. She’d shout at the top of her voice. She’d curse and humiliate me in front of other people. I couldn’t help but feel angry.
But in my misery, the Lord used my family to console me. They were supportive especially in my moments of pain. I was also comforted through the Catholic Charismatic community where I belong. There I found grace to control myself and gained emotional strength that kept me from taking any form of vengeance against people who hurt me.
A nun friend once told me that I shouldn’t be angry at people who curse or ridicule me. Instead, I must feel sorry for them. She said that people who usually curse others are those who are deeply wounded themselves. If we want to become true instruments of peace and God’s love, it is better for us to take the higher road of forgiveness and understanding. I believe that the Lord exceedingly gives grace to people who know how to hate the sin but love the sinner. Dho Rimando (dougsterrimando@yahoo.com.ph)
30
REFLECTION:
Has anybody hurt you? Are you being persecuted? Take the higher road. Forgive.
 
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Grant that I may not so much seek to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
 
St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 29, 2012


IN JESUS’ AUTHORITY

“What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” – Mark 1:27
“You can command those evil spirits, in the name of Jesus, and they will obey you! I mean COMMAND, not request, with a commanding voice!” I was passionately explaining to a congregation about the authority we have in the name of Jesus. In the prayer meeting the following week, a brother came to the front to share a story that had happened to him. One night, he and his wife were disturbed by noisy people outside their home. Some drunkards were having a drinking spree near their gate.
Remembering the teaching he just heard, he called his wife to their room and, together, in the name of Jesus, they cast out those disturbing spirits who were using these people to upset their peace. They did it with authority. A few minutes later, the drunkards left.
Just as the returning disciples said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name” (Luke 10:17), this authority is with us, too! Danny Tariman (danny@ dtariman.com)
REFLECTION:
Are you easily cowed by circumstances? You are an overcomer! You have the power and authority to overcome your situation.
Thank You, Lord, for giving me the authority to use Your Name. Remind me to use this weapon when I face challenges. Amen.
Servant of God Brother Juniper, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 28, 2012


IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
 
Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with His head on the pillow… and He said to the waves, “Be still!”… and there was great calm. – Mark 4:38, 39
 
When I was two years old, I got sick of polio. My right foot shrank. During elementary, I used a brace up to my chest. It was difficult. Every time I went to the toilet, I had to remove it. When a screw got lost, I had to be carried. In high school, I startedusing a cane. Goodbye, brace!
All my life, I will be living with my physical challenge. This is one of the storms in my life. It has brought me limitations and pain. There are things I want to do that I can’t, like the exercises and games in my P.E. classes or mountain climbing. But God shows me how to appreciate life in spite of this. He turns my storm into a blessing.
As I continue to grow in my personal relationship with Him, He leads me out of my shell and helps me accomplish things I have never done before. He uses my handicap to inspire others.
In facing my storm, I just had to stay in its eye where I can rest in God and let Jesus say to my waves of challenges, “Be still!” Ma. Luisa A. De la Cruz (theessence_byluisa@yahoo.com)
 
REFLECTION:
What kind of storm are you now facing in your life? Are you at peace despite your challenge, trusting that God will bring stillness?
 
Dearest God, increase my faith in You. Despite my challenges in life, may I remain trusting that You will keep me safe and provide for my needs.
 
St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, pray for us.
 

Daily Bible Reflections- January 27, 2012


A TIME TO REAP
 
And when it is ripe for harvesting they take the sickle for the cutting: the time for harvest has come. – Mark 4:29
 
I have a widow’s peak. Because there is a Chinese belief that it means I’d be working hard for the rest of my life, I accepted it as true.
I graduated from a prestigious Chinese school and an equally renowned Catholic university. I was a consistent dean’s lister and even graduated with honors. I also inched my way to pursue higher education because of my love for knowledge. I managed to land a job even before I graduated from college. But because of my perfectionist nature, I found myself resigning whenever I found some form of injustice at work. I questioned why God allowed those things to happen. My puny mind couldn’t grasp how a diligent and conscientious worker could end up with meager remuneration.
Looking back, I laugh at how God orchestrated the whole thing. All the while, He was preparing me for something bigger. It dawned upon me that there’s a time to plant and a time to reap.
Now, I’m working for a few hours a day and being paid like a full-time worker. I also landed my dream job.
Harvest time!  Ems Sy Chan (havenofleeanne@gmail.com)
 
REFLECTION:
Experiencing a plateau in your career? God wants you to plant seeds of faith so that you’ll have a bountiful harvest in His perfect time.
 
Lord, I want to trust You even when things don’t go my way. I know that harvest time is just around the corner.
 
St. Angela Merici, virgin, pray for us.
 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 26, 2012


Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops
 
The Most Important
 
“I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience”– 2 Timothy 1: 3
 
Many moons ago, I was in second year high school in St. Agnes Academy, a Benedictine school in Legaspi City, Albay, Region V. Part of the school work for our religion class was to rate from one to 10 what was important to us. Among the choices were health, success and others. I chose a clear conscience as number one.
That’s still valid today. When I sin, my life seems dark, heavy and directionless. My conscience, which to me is God’s voice, reminds me to confess so that I will have inner peace again — and feel light and focused.
I thank God for this realization that I can only worship Him fully and listen to His voice leading me if my conscience is clear. My choice then and now is still the most important.  Grace Relucio Princesa (grprincesa@yahoo. com)
 
REFLECTION:
What is number one or the most important in your life?
 
Thank You, Lord, for letting me realize that having a clear conscience or being sinless is one of the most important decisions that I should make daily.
 
Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops, pray for us.
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 25, 2012


Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle
 
SWITCHING SIDES
 
But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.” – Acts 9: 13
 
Scared, suspicious and resentful, Jeruza still obeyed her boss. She was tasked to orient Pia, the new executive who came from their rival company. Pia was infamous for her previous attacks on this company’s credibility so many were shocked to find her switching sides. Jeruza tried her best to be polite while waiting for Pia to make mistakes.
Days passed and Jeruza found Pia surprisingly pleasant. Was she the same person? Did she have a hidden agenda? Soon, she saw how dedicated Pia was, and felt bad about her prejudice. Jeruza’s experience taught her to obey and trust her bosses, stop judging and give people a chance to change.
Like Jeruza, Ananias was tasked by the Lord to help out Saul, who was a known persecutor of Christians. Ananias had his reservations but he obeyed God. This paved the way for St. Paul to become God’s powerful instrument.
Though one has been judged by his misdeeds, we do not know what God has in store for him and what mighty works he will be doing in the future. Carlo Lorenzo (carloflorenzo@yahoo.com)
 
REFLECTION:
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” (Oswald Chambers)
 
Oh God of wisdom, take away the judgment in our heart against people. One’s sins do not define his future. May the conversion of St. Paul inspire us that he was a sinner first before he became a saint.
 
St. Peter Thomas, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 24, 2012


GIFT OF DANCE
 
Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the Lord with abandon… – 2 Samuel 6:14
 
I’m a frustrated dancer. I took ballet and jazz lessons in grade school, but really, I wish I stuck to swimming. To this day, I remain a good dance… watcher. Which is why I consider a gift I had received during my 40th birthday last year most special.
I belong to a caring group of preachers’ wives. We sisters come together three times a month to share, support and enrich one another.
During birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions, we try to surprise one another. One time, it was a spa party. Another time, we created an enchanted re-enactment of Cinderella. There was a concert tribute to the Megastar, an all-red party.
On my 40th birthday, these loving sisters surprised me with an 80s dance medley. It was well-choreographed like a number from those variety shows on TV. It was the highlight of the night, bringing people to their feet.
I sat there and took it in. Seven heart-pounding minutes.
I realized I was not given the gift of dance, but I received a dance as a gift.
That night, I watched with delight, and felt so loved. Lallaine Gogna (lallygogna@yahoo.com)
 
REFLECTION:
Have you ever received a gift you can’t forget? Thank God for it now.
 
Thank You, Lord, for friends.
 
St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 23, 2012


LOVING HOME
 
“Look, we are your own flesh and bone.” – 2 Samuel 5:1
 
“Sometimes, parents have no idea about the damage that they do to their children,” my good friend said. We were sharing the common problems we had in our relationships. Both our partners have similar histories: they come from disharmonious homes and lacked affirmations while growing up. Not surprisingly, they have similar problems now that they’re adults: irascible temper, low self-esteem and a propensity for depression.
My friend and I know how difficult it is to counter the damage born out of years of growing up in an unhappy home. But we both know we can survive it, because each experienced a happy childhood within a loving family.
Mother Teresa said, “There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”
Let’s learn to value our family. Spend time with your children. Forgive your parents. Show concern for your siblings. By uniting our families, we begin to unite the world. Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)
 
REFLECTION:
“Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.” (Mother Teresa)
 
Lord, grant that love will prove mightier than all the trials through which our families will pass.
 
Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 22, 2012


WISH COME TRUE
 
“This is the time of fulfillment…” – Mark 1:15
 
It’s your birthday. Your family and friends surprise you with your favorite cake adorned with tiny lighted candles. You prepare to blow out the candles. But wait! They tell you to first make a wish. So with eyes closed, you concentrate on that great dream you have, tingling with excitement for all the possibilities.
When I was a kid, I enjoyed that moment, but there came a time when I no longer felt the magic. I grew tired of making birthday wishes that never came true. I figured maybe God was too busy to hear me or He just didn’t want to give me my heart’s desires.
Today, I celebrate my 29th year of life with joy at the fulfillment of a birthday wish I made 12 years ago. The long wait is over. I realized that God was simply using the time to hone me in character and train me in skill, and I needed more time to learn to trust Him. Now I know that He heard my wish after all.
God indeed is the Master of Perfect Timing. He knows the right time to fulfil our wishes. If you’re reading this reflection, then you know what I wished for.Josiel Erica (osy.erica@ gmail.com)
 
REFLECTION:
Do you have wishes and dreams that are yet to come true? Trust that God knows the right time to fulfill them.
 
Lord, comfort me in times of impatience and help me trust in Your perfect timing.
 
St. Vincent, deacon and martyr, pray for us.
 

Daily Bible Reflections- January 21, 2012


VICTORY OVER THE TRIPLE D
 
“How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!” – 2 Samuel 1:27
 
My grandma Cianing would tell me stories about how they fled their home and lived in the caves, subsisted on crocodile meat and prayed fervently that they be spared from the bayonets of Japanese soldiers. My grandma survived and has lived to see her 100th birthday yet memories of the war remain with her.
I believe no one wins in a war, no matter how noble the intention is for going into battle. The suffering doesn’t stop in the battlefield but ripples out towards the families of fallen soldiers and innocent people caught in the crossfire. The agony continues to linger for years, even throughout generations, after the war has ended to haunt the survivors and those left behind by the dead.
Destruction, devastation, death — these are the triple Ds that war brings. But I believe that in our small way, fervent prayer, fasting and being at peace with ourselves and others will help end all wars. The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, has won the victory over the triple D by His death on the Cross. And in His perfect time the day will come when warmongers will be transformed into peacemakers and will inherit not only the earth but everlasting peace. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
21
REFLECTION:
How do I help bring peace into my home, in my country and in the world?
 
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light, where there is sadness, joy. (St. Francis of Assisi)
 
St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, pray for us.
 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 20, 2012


Facing the Enemy
 
“I will deliver your enemy into your grasp; do with him as you see fit.” – 1 Samuel 24:5
 
“Hey Jane!… Jane! Is that you?” I was just getting off the escalator when I heard this familiar voice behind me that sent chills all over my body. I looked back and felt the throbbing pain again as soon as I saw his face. He was someone from my past who hurt me the most, treated me like trash and caused me to hate the world.
“You gotta be kidding me, Lord. It took years for me to regain my self-respect and You’re letting me see this guy again?” I whispered to myself, trying hard to compose myself as he approached me.
I thought of walking away and pretend that I didn’t recognize him but I realized that it was a great opportunity to claim my total healing. So I exchanged brief pleasantries with him, excused myself and took off. It was a liberating moment.
Are you facing an enemy today? Trying to overcome a bad habit? Resisting the lure of temptation? Avoiding a desire to avenge? Whatever it is that you struggle with, consider it not as a cross but an opportunity for your maturity and spiritual growth. Jane Gonzales-Rauch (mgr516@gmail.com)
20
REFLECTION:
When in a bad situation, have courage and confidence in God that He will guide you to do the right thing.
 
Father, forgive me when I yield to iniquity, and help me to have the right disposition when faced with troubles.
 
St. Sebastian, martyr, pray for us.
 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 19, 2012


JESUS LOOK-ALIKE
 
“And all the sick kept pushing their way to him in order to touch him... ” – Mark 3: 10
 
Honey always sought out Neca to minister to her. Sometimes to ask for favors, or to ask for a massage to soothe her aching body, or just to have someone beside her. Honey, diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given a few months to live, resided in a depressed area where neighbors live close to one another.
Through Neca’s leadership, their area has nine cells (Bible sharing groups), daily recitation of the rosary and weekly catechism for kids. She was the point person whenever someone was sick and in need.
It was Neca who was at the hospital the day Honey died. She facilitated her last confession and prayed with her until Honey passed away.
It can only be Jesus that people see in Neca. That’s what drew Honey and her neighbors to her.
Jesus, being the same yesterday, today and forever is easily recognizable in people like Neca because He does not and will not change.
When Jesus is in us, we, too, can bring love to this world that is in dire need of healing! Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Do I know my neighbors? Can I consider myself a blessing to other people?
 
Jesus, please help me to be like You. Use me to give compassion and love to the people I live with and to my neighbors, too. Amen.
 
St. Fabian, pray for us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

God Whispers January 18, 2012

It’s not the quantity of words that’s important—it’s the quality. The quality of your words will determine the quality of your life — including the life of the people around you.



Proclaiming your blessings,

God



P.S.Do your words bless or curse?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 17, 2012

HEART TO HEART

“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

My youngest daughter who is five handed me a card that she made. She wrote: “My mommy love her card for her heart for her card. A heart is in the card because she love CALIYA” [sic]. She even had some scribbles below her name, which was supposed to be her signature.
It’s not the first time she made a card like this for me. But I was really touched, especially seeing her proud smile because she knew that I was pleased with her. Frankly, I didn’t understand what she wrote since it was grammatically incorrect. But I did understand the love that she wanted to convey in her imperfect message. It was enough to make me cry.
I realized that’s how God is with us. No matter how imperfect we are, He still loves us and sees past all our imperfections. He sees our heart, not our flaws, weaknesses or failures. Even if we don’t say anything, He feels our love and wants to love us back.
Yes, God loves every square inch of me. I don’t have to do or say anything to impress Him. He knows my heart and sees that it has His name written all over it. And that makes Him happy! Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)

REFLECTION:
God always looks forward to a heart-to-heart talk with us.

To bless Your heart, Lord God, is my desire...

St. Anthony, abbot, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 16, 2012

AMPAW

“Obedience is better than sacrifice…”– 1 Samuel 15:22

When I was a kid I liked ampaw. It’s a sweet delicacy made of puffed rice covered with syrup. The kind that I liked best were those that appeared big with nothing inside but air. This quality may be good for an ampaw but not for people. You see lots of these types today, right? Even in churches and communities. They appear religious outside, but, well... you know what I mean. For them, the outside rituals are more important — how you kneel, how you raise your hand, how you recite your prayers.
The people of the law in the Old Testament and many religious leaders during Jesus’ time were of this type. Of course, these practices aren’t bad. The laws, the rites, the rituals are not without purpose. Our Church is rich in symbolism and meaning that it may
present to us the God who deserves order and full reverence.
When we meet Jesus in heaven I wonder if He would ask us how we did things more than why we did them. Or better, I think He’ll ask us, “What happened to you and to others as you did your good works?”
I bet He would be more interested in what’s inside of us than what appears outside. Alvin Barcelona (alvinbarcelona@gmail.com)
16
REFLECTION:
Ask yourself: The last time you went to church, did you go out of obligation or love?

Dear Lord, receive today my humble sacrifice – a heart whose true desire is to love You more. Amen.

St. Bernard and Companions, pray for us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

God Whispers January 15, 2012

You’re a product of your thoughts. You are who you are because of the thoughts you’ve allowed to fill your mind.



Thinking of you,

God



P.S. If you transform your thoughts, you transform your life.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 15, 2012

Feast of the Santo Niño
everyth ing you need

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3

My two toddlers have everything they need. When they get up, they have nannies to brush their teeth, change their diapers, feed
them breakfast and change their clothes.
On school days, my eldest doesn’t have to worry about transportation to get to her class. She doesn’t fret over tuition fee payments. My babies don’t even have to think about how to buy the toys that they want. No, my husband and I anticipate all their needs and take care of them.
Reflecting on this has given me added insight on what it means to be childlike. Our Heavenly Father has thought of everything
we need and has provided for them in advance.
Has God called you to a ministry? Then He has provided for the gifts, the co-workers and the funding to make it all happen.
Is God calling you to the married life? Then He has provided a suitable partner, marital grace and financial support.
Has God placed you in a challenging workplace or assigned you to care for an ailing relative? He has gone ahead of you.
Wherever you are, whatever you need, every spiritual blessing in Christ is available to you. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)

15
REFLECTION:
“It is the childlike mind that finds the kingdom.” (Charles Fillmore)

Dear Father, I put my complete and total trust in You.

St. Paul the Hermit, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 14, 2012

HARDHEADED ME

He said to him, “Follow me.” – Mark 2:14

After two years of giving myself wholeheartedly to my work, I found the chance to one day go to a mountaintop to listen to the Lord and relax in His presence.
There I presented to Him all my concerns. At the bottom of my list was my health. For many months, my body had been “acting up,” but I didn’t listen to it. Instead I continued working, sometimes even overnight just to beat our deadlines.
This went on even after my retreat. And so it came to pass — I slipped and tripped, injured my finger, had elevated bad cholesterol and sugar levels, had migraine headaches, and cough and colds almost every month. By yearend, instead of enjoying the holiday break, I was cooped up in bed, too weak and tired to even do my Christmas shopping. In the silence of my heart, I heard the Lord say again, “Didn’t I tell you to listen to your body?”
“Sorry, Lord!” And so I decided to live a healthier and more balanced life. But deciding is different from actually doing it. I try, but I’m not always successful — until now.
Following God’s Word is sometimes hard to do, but knowing that it’s always for our own good makes me keep on trying. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
What is the Lord telling you? Are you following His Word?

Lord, if I don’t seem to hear and follow Your Word to me, shake me up some more till I do.

Servant of God John the Gardener, pray for us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 13, 2012

RTW

“Get up, take your mat and walk!” – Mark 2:9

The Kerygma Conference 2010 was an explosion of God’s power! It was a plethora of grace, a celebration of unexplainable joy!
The Inward Seekers were healed and revived in the Spirit! The Faithful rediscovered the beauty and grace of their Catholic Life! The Singles rediscovered the beauty of their promising future in Christ! The Couples renewed their commitment unto God and with one another! The Solo Parents recommitted their agape love to their God-lent children! The Celibates offered purity of heart and body through godly living! The Youth partied their way to new life, light and servanthood!
It was a simultaneous explosion of joy and miracles in all seven tracks. Each person was happy, fulfilled and ready to face life’s new challenges and claim godly victory.
Why? Because of RTW! No, not ready-to-wear clothes, but ready-to-wear grace! Jesus said, “RTW! Rise, Take up your mat and Walk.”
When we open our lives to His grace, He helps us to rise up from our ruins, change our psycho-emotional-spiritual crutches into our strongest witness and walk with Him in our new-found life. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
13
REFLECTION:
What do I wear today — my masks or His grace?

Lord, when faced by storms in life, may I wear Your RTW grace!

St. Hilary, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 12, 2012

PROCLAIM IT!

Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything…” – Mark 1:44

Jesus told him not to tell anybody, but he went on and spread the word about the man who cured him. Well, why not? Good news must be shared, right? Little did the former leper know that what he did would cause some trouble, because Jesus could no longer enter a town openly after that.
We, however, have been told to proclaim God’s goodness. Have we done so? Maybe we haven’t received a miracle as grand as the leper’s healing but surely there are numerous small wonders in our day that we can speak of.
“I can just keep it to myself and simply thank God for it,” some would reason. But I have learned to brag about how good the Lord has been to me. Yes, you read that right. I said brag. I proudly share my stories of His goodness with friends and family because after all the bad things I had done in the past, He still blesses me with wonderful things. I want everyone to know how His love turned my life around.
Count the little miracles you receive daily, and proclaim it! You may just help change someone’s life. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
12
REFLECTION:
Are you brave enough to proclaim the Good News?

Lord Jesus, set my heart aflame that I may freely proclaim to the world how good You are.

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, virgin, pray for us.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

God Whispers

It's true: What you can visualize, you can actualize. That's the
enormous power you have. I gave that to you. It's funny how a
lot of people visualize their fears and their complaints. If only
they knew how they materially create all that garbage around
them with their thoughts. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Not my plan, believe me.

Senior Creator,

God



P.S. Not you. You're different. You always fill your
thoughts with good stuff. You always visualize the fulfillment
of your dreams. Go, my co-creator!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 11, 2012

ON CALL FOR GOD

The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” – 1 Samuel 3:4

I could hardly breathe. It felt like something was obstructing my air passages. I tried to go back to sleep since it was still dawn but nothing I did eased my breathing. Then it struck me: maybe someone else was suffering and God allowed me to feel the burden so I could pray for this person. I prayed in tongues. Nothing happened. I began to feel anxious. Maybe I was really sick. I continued to pray. A few minutes later, I was able to breathe easily and slept peacefully.
When the sun rose, I received a text message from a sister in community who asked for prayers. She had cough and colds; the doctor suspected that she might have pneumonia. She shared that every dawn, she would cough profusely and experience labored breathing but this dawn she didn’t experience much difficulty.
God speaks to us in many ways — through His Word, prophecies, circumstances, and so on. Like Samuel, we must be ready to say, “Here I am” when God calls us to action. We must always be prepared because the Lord can call us whenever and wherever we may be, whether we are wide-awake or in dreamland. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
When God calls, what response could He expect to hear from you? Is it “Sorry, all circuits are busy now. Please try your call later”? Let’s hope it’s “This is (your name) speaking. How can I help you?”

Here I am, Lord. I come to do Your will.

Blessed William Carter, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 10, 2012

Prayer Button

Hannah answered… “I was only pouring out my troubles to the Lord.” – 1 Samuel 1:15b

Panic only complicates situations. Consider this: My wife and I had a flight to Cebu at 12:30 p.m. We left Quezon City at 8:30 a.m., calculating that we had enough time to reach the airport.
It was raining that morning and the route we took had many street diggings. In short, it was nearing noon and we were nowhere near the airport. We arrived at the counter 10 minutes before departure but the airline still accommodated us because they used a bigger plane and wanted to fill it.
Before this final outcome, it would have been natural to push the panic button and start the blame game while we were
stuck in traffic. My wife and I could have blamed the driver who took the wrong route or each other for not waking up early.
But instead we pushed the prayer button. It calmed my fast-beating heart and prevented me from making negative statements. The prayer brought much peace in our hearts that we even had the “luxury” of making a restroom stop.
Prayer depressurizes our mind, allowing us to think freely and peacefully. Rolly España (rnespana@nwineskin.com)

REFLECTION:
A problematic situation can always be a choice. Will you let the devil get your goat or will you let the Spirit take over the situation?

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of prayer that calms my heart and quiets my troubled mind.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, pray for us.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 9, 2012

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

IT’S PERSONAL

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. – Mark 1:9

In a brief biography of St. Francis of Assisi, G. K. Chesterton begins with a glimpse into the heart of this unique and compassionate man born in the 12th century. Chesterton writes, “As St. Francis did not love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ.... The reader cannot even begin to see the sense of a story that may well seem to him a very wild one, until he understands that to this great mystic his religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair.”
Why did Jesus have to be baptized by John? Oh, there are many theological answers! I’m just a simple, handsome guy (I wonder why my nose gets longer every time I say this?) and I’m no theologian, but I’ve thought of a reason that I feel is very close to the heart of the God I love. Jesus wanted to be just like us, to be identified with us. To taste, feel, see, smell and hear for Himself all of our experiences.
Yes, He is the High and Mighty, Awesome God. But He also wants to be known as someone we can love, whom we can laugh and cry with. He’s been through all we’ve gone through. He is near. Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
What is the name of your God? Is He a “force” or an impersonal “energy,” or the Personal God who knows and understands you?

Father, let me understand the nearness of Your love as Jesus did. May I obey Your Word trusting that Your commands come from the God who cares.

St. Adrian of Canterbury, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 8, 2012

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
8
A Lesson from a Tendril

“Where is the new born king of the Jews? We observed the rising of his star and have come to honor him.”– Matthew 2:2

New Year’s day 2010 was a quiet and windy morning in my place in Batangas. I strolled in the garden appreciating the orchids, fruits and vegetables. Passing through the patch of squash at the far end, I was struck by the sight of tiny tendrils of vine each seeking the nearest wire to coil around to. With the vine now secure on the screen wire, it swayed undamaged with the wind.
It’s amazing how a seemingly insignificant tendril offered a lesson in life on the first day of the year. Temptations and trials will be there as they have always been. I can choose to be knocked out or remain resilient. Opting to battle it out, I need to constantly seek out my support. And there is no better support than the Word of God.
I may seem frail like a tendril when it comes to my faith. But in seeking out His Word as my anchor, I will go through life to complete my journey. Marie Franco (mariefranco_pie@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Whenever I am troubled, whom do I turn to?

Thank You, oh Lord, for leaving behind Your Word as my refuge. Many times, I have taken it for granted, trusting only in my instincts and wisdom. I am sorry.

Blessed Angela of Foligno, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 7, 2012

DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU

His Mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” – John 2:5

We’ve seen it in the movies time and again. The hero who sacrificed his life to save many is about to die in the arms of his lover. With his last ounce of energy, he attempts to say something to her. But he stops in midsentence, gasps for breath and dies.
Everybody watching the film wants to know what he was about to say because those are the most significant words of his life.
Last words said on earth or huling habilin are indeed most important.
“Do whatever my son tells you” are the last words in Scripture that the Mother of Jesus said.
These words say so much about our Mother Mary.
Every time we go to her in prayer, she leads us to her Son.
When we pray the rosary or a novena to her, all our prayers are escorted to God Himself.
Just like what she did at the wedding at Cana, Mama Mary doesn’t call attention to herself.
She always brings us to Jesus.
Mama Mary tells you, “Do whatever, Jesus, my son, tells you to do.” Arun Gogna (gognaa1@yahoo.com)
7
REFLECTION:
Are you doing what Jesus is telling you to do?

Mama Mary, please help me listen to and follow what your Son Jesus tells me.

St. Raymund of Penyafort, priest, pray for us.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 6, 2012

Little by Little

“Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” – 1 John 5:5

When 2011 was about to roll in, one of the news channels featured a scene in a market. The camera zoomed in on a buyer in the midst of various good luck charms. The buyer said, “Pampa-suwerte ito. Wala namang mawawala kung gagawin mo rin ‘to, di ba?” (This is for good luck. You won’t lose anything if you also do this, right?)
When a new year comes in, many line up, haggle and even quarrel just to get the right quantity of round fruits as well as the new year’s lucky animal.
Do we lose anything when we buy good luck charms and round fruits? Wikipedia writes, “God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe.” So to the extent that we believe in lucky charms and other things that will bring us a better life, so we also lose — little by little — our wholehearted faith in God and His power over us. It may not seem so, yet looking deeper, we allow ourselves room for other “gods.”
As Christians, we should be moving towards greater faith little by little, not eroding it. And I think that’s a good new year’s resolution. Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
How can I exercise my faith for it to grow? In what daily events can I exercise it?

Forgive me, Lord, for not trusting You enough. Enable me to grow closer to You.

St. Andre Bessette, religious, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections- January 5, 2012

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” answered Philip. – John 1:46

Claire just got home when she received a phone call from her mother. “Claire, your father is dead!”
She rushed back to her parents’ house, which was only a few blocks away from her home. Upon arrival, she learned that robbers had forcibly entered the house. One of them shot her father when he obstructed the criminal’s path.
Questions hounded Claire. What did they do to deserve this? Doesn’t God care about her and her family? They were already serving actively in their parish yet God allowed this tragedy to happen.
But after much prayer and reflection, her perspective started to change. She became thankful that the robbers panicked after they fired the gun and immediately left the scene, leaving other family members unharmed. Now, Claire continues to serve and invite others to experience God in the Renewal movement of their parish.
The family tragedy brought darkness into her life but, with the grace of God, she continues to bring a lot of strangers into the light of Christ through her service. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
5
REFLECTION:
When faced with trials, will you become bitter or better?

Lord, thank You for being the light in the dark situations of my life. Amen. St. John Neumann, bishop, pray for us.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 4, 2012

WHO I AM

Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. – 1 John 3:10

Does God speak to you? He does to me. I mean not directly — not like He appears before me in all His glory. I wish!
God speaks to me through His words, which come to me just when I need them. Like the reading today in the book of 1 John.
For some time, I carried a grudge against a friend. I knew I should forgive but tried as I may, I just couldn’t go up to that level. Then, I received a call from Angie Espuerta, Didache’s editorial assistant. I had already submitted my assigned articles for 2012 but she requested me to rewrite my January 4 article. “You wrote about 1 John 3:16. You’re supposed to reflect on 1 John 3:7-10,” she said.
So I quickly looked up the passage and… wham! I could almost hear God’s booming voice: “You’re my child. Do what is right. Love your friend!”
All right, already. After I’m done with this reflection, I’m gonna forgive and reconcile with my friend.
And I am going to post 1 John 3:7-10 on my desk — better yet, in my heart — so throughout 2012 and the rest of my life, I will be reminded of who I am. Cynthia Santiago (cusantiago@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Have you talked — and listened — to God lately?

Lord, grant that I may always feel Your presence and always listen to You. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious, pray for us.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections - January 3, 2012

HUMILITY, NOT PRIDE

“He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” – John 1:30

St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure were commissioned to write a hymn for the feast of Corpus Christi. Upon reading the opus of Aquinas, Bonaventure burned his own work. He knew that his composition was inferior to the masterpiece of Aquinas and accepted it graciously. What humility!
My wife would tell me which way to turn if she thinks that I am going the wrong way. Her navigational skills are better than mine so I just “swallow my pride” and follow the road she points to. I could ignore her, but that would lead to a wrong route and a disconcerting silence after.
Have we let pride take over and ruin relationships? Many marriages could have been saved if more of these were said: “Please forgive me. You were right. I was wrong.”
No one has a monopoly of being right. We might be better in some areas than others, but, certainly, some will know more than us in other things. Let us not choose to be wrong for the sake of saving face or pride. Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)
3
REFLECTION:
I am good in many areas but not so in others. Have I let my pride strain my relationships by not admitting my mistakes or shortcomings?

Lord, grant me the humility to accept my limitations and the grace to accept that others may be better than I am. Amen. St. Genevieve, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 2, 2012

A clear image of god

Be sure, then, to keep in your hearts the message you heard from the beginning. – 1 John 2:24

ACT 1
Creator: I create you in my image. You have dominion over the earth.
ACT 2
Created One: Lord, I have no suitable partner.
Creator: Of your rib, I create one. But this I made different – I threw in a fragile ego.
Between us girls, we have to make him believe he came first.
This short play is my tongue-in-cheek take on the story of creation. It draws a different, feminist picture of God and gives a funny twist to the tale of man’s (or woman’s) beginnings.
Seriously now, what’s your image of God? Is He a distant God up in the heavens or a loving parent whose spirit is with you every day? Is He a wrathful God who sends personal thunderbolts when you sin or a forgiving One who sent His only son to save you?
We may not have a clear image of what God looks like but as Christians let’s have a clear image of His heart. His heart is in His words given in the Bible. The message of the Bible is constant from beginning to end. It’s a message of love and mercy. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)
2
REFLECTION:
What’s your image of God? The picture we have of Him sets the tone for your relationship with Him.

O Lord, my Creator, engrave Your message of love deep in my heart.

Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church, pray for us.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Daily Bible Reflections- January 1, 2012

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

HAVE A SUPER BLESSED YEAR!

The Lord bless you and keep you! – Numbers 6:24

My sons love playing with clay. It’s a great toy because you can shape it any way you want.
My boys would ask, “Dad, make a ball!” and I’d roll it on my hands and make a ball. Then they’d say, “Dad, make a hotdog!”and I’d rub it between my palms and make a hotdog. Then they’d ask, “Dad, make an Optimus Prime Transformer robot!” and I’d tell them, “Nah, that’s too simple for me. Here, why don’t you try it?”
Friend, here’s the truth that you may not know. Your life is like clay in your hand.
Because God has given you the power to shape your life.
And this new year is no different.
How do you want your 2012 to look like? It’s really up to you. It’s your choice. You call the shots. You decide your destiny.
I repeat. Your life is a clump of clay. And God has given you two powerful tools to shape your life: your faith and your action. Actually, faith and action are one.
Because the clearest expression of your faith is when you act on what you believe.
And you’ll discover that life — and all of God’s creation — will adjust to your faith and action. Have a blessed 2012!Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)

REFLECTION:
Check your actions. Do they match your faith?

Lord, give me the audacity to act as my faith dictates.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us

Daily Bible Reflections- December 31, 2011

Reason for the Season

“ And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us...” – John 1:1,14

It used to be so much fun spending Christmas with relatives. I watched a lot of Christmas-themed cartoons with cousins, went to family reunions and received a lot of gifts.
Years went by. Some relatives have passed away, others migrated or have their reasons for skipping reunions. The excitement, the thrill, the joy have become a rarity.
What’s wrong with this picture? I’ve been missing the whole point. Today’s Gospel puts everything in perspective. The reason for the season. It’s Christmas, the day Jesus was born, that’s the most intense and awesome gift to us. God in all His greatness was born in a very humble manger, a wrinkly baby, needing to be fed, taken cared of, helpless. All that, just to save us from hell.
Hey, maybe next Christmas will be different. Maybe next Christmas, I might just share about Jesus in our family reunion. It’s something we already know but I think we ought to talk about over and over again, and feel the profound love God showed us. It might feel a bit awkward but, what the heck, I’ll just do it, and start making Christmases more about Jesus. Really about Jesus. Carlo Lorenzo (carloflorenzo@yahoo.com)
31
REFLECTION:
What do I look forward to this Christmas season? What should I do to make Christmas more meaningful in line with the Reason for the Season?

Holy Spirit, whisper to me what I can do to make Christmas more Jesus-centered and more meaningful in my life and in the lives of my loved ones.

Daily Bible Reflections- December 30, 2011

Feast of the Holy Family
HONOR THY AGING PARENTS

“If you obey the Lord by honoring your father and making your mother happy, you will live a long life.” – Sirach 3:6

My friend works as a caregiver in a Canadian nursing home. Daily, she would attend to the needs of parents not her own. In Western countries, nurses like her have replaced children in caring for aging parents. The children have grown up and
have become too busy living their lives.
In the Philippines, some old people are being left to the streets when children find it difficult to take care of them. This is a sad reality of our times. Thankfully, Anawim takes care of the abandonded elderly.
Now that I’m getting older and my parents’ strength is failing, the Lord’s command to “respect your father and mother” has grown closer to my heart. I believe it is when they are old that we can best honor them. It is in this time when they need our understanding and love the most. Marjorie Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
“My child, take care of your father when he grows old; give him no cause for worry as long as he lives. Be sympathetic even if his mind fails him; don’t look down on him just because you are strong and healthy.” (Sirach 3:13)

Father, our parents are Your gift to us. Grant us the grace to love them even more as they grow older. Amen.

Daily Bible Reflections- December 29, 2011

Excuses , Excuses

In accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord. –Luke 2:24
Don’t you find it strange that Jesus had to be brought to the temple and be presented to God? He is the Son of God! Surely, He’s exempt from these ceremonies.
Joseph and Mary had the perfect excuse to stay home and avoid the trouble of traveling all the way to Jerusalem for Jesus’ presentation. But they still went through the trouble and, without any intention of offering an excuse, followed the ceremony because “it is written in the law of the Lord.”
Seeing Joseph and Mary, it is shameful how we make excuses for ourselves. When we’re too lazy to hear Mass, we say that missing it will not make us evil and we’re still better than others who do hear Mass but are worse sinners than us. When we’re too proud to go to Confession, we justify that God already knows our sins and how sorry we are. When we’re too stingy to give tithes, we rationalize that we give to charity anyway.
The excuses are endless. But if we know how much God loves us, we will realize that He asks so little and offering excuses actually makes no sense.Pepper Bruce (pepper.bruce@gmail.com)
29
REFLECTION:
“The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.” (Henry Ward Beecher)

Lord, sometimes we fail to appreciate that You love us so much that You gave us Your own Son. May we show our love in return through the sacraments and through serving You.

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