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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When you’re generous in sharing your gifts without expecting anything in return, you leave God to recompense you with His abundance - Daily Bible Reflections November 16, 2016


TRUSTED ONE
 
“Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.” – Luke 19:17
 
       As the only representative of the Philippines in the Asian federation of extreme sports, I was tasked to organize a technical committee to choose team members for an upcoming championship. I invited some of my friends who were pillars of the sport, but only a few were willing to give their services without monetary compensation.
       That’s why Mike stood out. I told him we wouldn’t get anything from this event aside from the prestige of bringing the team to represent our country. He said he was willing to help without pay. What he said stuck in my mind because I like people who work with passion and not for money.
       So when I was asked to give a recommendation for an international official for the biggest Asian Extreme Sports event in Thailand, I gave Mike’s name. I was confident that he could do the job since I had found him faithful in small matters.
       Mike, the team and I flew to Phuket and represented our country in the tournament. He was even given a five-figure honorarium for his services as an international official and is still being tapped to officiate in local and foreign events. Monty Mendigoria (montymendigoria@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: When you’re generous in sharing your gifts without expecting anything in return, you leave God to recompense you with His abundance.
 
Lord, let Your goodness flow through me. Make me a channel of blessings for others. Amen.
 
St. Margaret of Scotland, pray for us.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Are you growing impatient because you haven’t gotten that big breakthrough you’re praying for? Review your small breakthroughs. They might already be pieces of that big one - Daily Bible Reflections November 2, 2016


All Souls Day
 
GRACE FOR THE
MOMENT
 
Only goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. – Psalm 23:6
 
       Have you ever had a gigantic problem you thought only an equally huge solution could overcome it?
       Before she died, Mama was confined in the Intensive Care Unit — comatose due to a stroke.  On the third day, her hospital bill was a staggering P117,000. I prayed for resources to survive this crisis.
       Around midnight, she needed a procedure to drain the fluids in her brain. But first, we had to pay P15,000 for the fluid container. Papa and I didn’t have that amount with us and I couldn’t get more at that ungodly hour. Then I remembered the P4,000 my aunt and a community brother had given earlier. With that and the cash in our wallets, we raised P8,000. The doctor was kind enough to allow payment of the balance the next day. These droplets of mercy answered our need for the moment.
       That grace made me realize we don’t always have to receive the answer to our prayers in one downpour because God’s goodness flows each day. Sometimes, the solution comes in trickles, but in the end, the drops gathered in our blessings bucket are enough to drown our big problems. Lella M. Santiago (lellams88@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: Are you growing impatient because you haven’t gotten that big breakthrough you’re praying for? Review your small breakthroughs. They might already be pieces of that big one.
 
Father God, help me to trust that Your mercy will be enough for my moments of need.
 
All Souls, pray for us.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Are you resisting God’s call for your life? Surrender and find joy and fulfillment - Daily Bible Reflections October 28, 2016


Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude,
Apostles
 
I SURRENDER
 
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. – Luke 6:12
 
       I believe in the power of prayer. It is through my prayer time that I make a conscious effort to know the will of God for me.
       Months ago, I made a life-changing decision. I left my career and family to heed the call of God. It wasn’t easy but I know I made the right choice because I am happy and fulfilled.
          As I write this, I am in my room in the seminary. I may be a little late because I’m already 25. But God’s call is always timely.
         My life as a seminarian is crazy, challenging and joyful. I thank God for giving me more time to reflect, discern and pray for His will in my life.
         I surrender my life to God and leave everything up to Him. As I seek that His will be done in me, I look forward to becoming
the Lord’s priest by 2021. Kein Chito (kein.chito@gmail.com)
 
Reflection:Are you resisting God’s call for your life? Surrender and find joy and fulfillment.
 
Holy Spirit, help me to discern God’s will for my life and to surrender to Him joyfully.
 
Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles, pray for us.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Do you find yourself in the middle of a war right now? How do you prepare your spiritual muscles for the battle ahead? - Daily Bible Reflections October 27, 2016


 
NEW MEANING OF
STRENGTH
 
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness... – Ephesians 6:12
 
       “Ahooo! Ahooo!” This was the chant of the mighty Spartan soldiers from my favorite movie, 300. It’s also the battle cry of the Radicals, a group of young men from the Light of Jesus Family who are being groomed to be mighty servants of God.
       I used to think that strength is measured by how big and strong your muscles are. But thanks to the Radical Training Program, I found the true meaning of strength. To give until it hurts. To be patient with the other driver who cut you off. To understand your spouse when she’s being unreasonable. To be able to provide for your family and be a good example to your kids. To serve God and His people through loving sacrifice. And to strive to be more loving than to fight for what’s right.      
       Like the mighty 300, we face a deadly war every day. A war between succumbing to sin or having the strength to live the Gospel. Lucky for us, we have the best King any army could ever have — Jesus! With Him leading the way, losing is not an option. Monching Bueno (ramon_bueno@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection:Do you find yourself in the middle of a war right now?  How do you prepare your spiritual muscles for the battle ahead?
 
Lord Jesus, give me the strength today to live and love like You. Amen.
 
Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza, pray for us.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Do you rely on God for strength in times of trouble? Or do you rely on other people or yourself alone? - Daily Bible Reflections October 23, 2016

STAND BY ME
 
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength… – 2 Timothy 4:17
 
        “When the night has come. And the land is dark. And the moon is the only light we’ll see. No, I won’t be afraid. Oh, I won’t be afraid. Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”
         I was reminded of the lyrics of this old, popular song after I read the passage above from the book of 2 Timothy. We become brave enough to endure the different seasons of darkness in our lives when we know that we are not alone… when we know that someone is standing with us or beside us while we face these dark times.
      We are bravest, though, when we know that that Someone who stands with us in the dark is God. His presence alone drives away all our fears and enables us not only to endure the darkness but also to overcome it. He gives us courage and strength to step out in faith even though we have just enough light for the next step.
       Because of this, we can sing: “So Jesus, Jesus, stand by me, oh stand by me, oh stand, stand by me, stand by me.” Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection:Do you rely on God for strength in times of trouble? Or do you rely on other people or yourself alone?
 
Lord, please stand by me and give me strength in times of trouble so that I can proclaim the Good News in season and out of season.
.
St. John of Capistrano, priest, pray for us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Open yourself to God’s grace. He will never give up on you - Daily Bible Reflections October 19, 2016


POWER OF GRACE
 
Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power. – Ephesians 3:7
 
      I am one of the most impatient people I know. Although to my assessment, I have already completed 10,000 hours of waiting for other people for meetings, dates and events, my patience runs thin when it comes to myself. I get so frustrated whenever I fail to execute my plans, lose discipline and start doubting my capabilities.
           Much more when I sin.
       Sometimes frustration gets the better of me that I am tempted to question why God has called me to serve Him in the first place. That’s why before, during and after carrying out every ministry task given to me, I am always left amazed at how I was able to do it.
         But then again, it’s not my work. It’s all God’s doing. His grace can never be earned — He generously bestows it to strengthen His children. Knowing every bit of myself, flaws and weaknesses included, I have no right to boast of who I am. I can only testify that regardless of how I see myself, God finds a way to maximize me as He wills.
       I am only made worthy by God’s love, empowered by His grace. Maymay R. Salvosa (cmaysalvosa@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection:Open yourself to God’s grace. He will never give up on you.
 
Father, let Your grace and love overflow in me, such that everything I do may reflect You today, Amen.
 
St. Isaac Jogues and Companions, pray for us.

Friday, October 14, 2016

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) - Daily Bible Reflections October 14, 2016


REDIRECTION
 
In Christ we were chosen, destined in accord with purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to intention of his will. – Ephesians 1:11
 
        I auditioned for our youth music ministry as a singer. There were only a few who volunteered, and I was happy because we had higher chances of getting in. I was last to audition and my schedule got moved to the following week. I waited for my turn but it never came.  Worse, it was my very own sister who headed the auditions!
      I felt the rejection and it was hard. But my love for worship music never faded. It was during this time that I began to play the piano at home. I asked my sister to mentor me.
       I auditioned again after a year, but this time as a keyboardist. I was chosen and I never stopped playing ever since. That gift brought me to places and allowed me to meet amazing people. From hard rejection, my failed auditions became my hopeful redirection. I’m grateful that it was in God’s plan all along.
       Today, when I serve, I play music and sing at the same time. Truly, He works out everything according to the purpose of His will. Didoy Lubaton (didoymd@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
 
Lord, thank You for choosing me. I align my will to Yours. I trust Your plans for my life.
 
St. Callistus I, pope and martyr, pray for us.
 



Friday, September 30, 2016

When it is full, they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. – Matthew13:48 - Daily Bible Reflections September 30, 2016


Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and
Doctor of the Church
 
 
BAD FISH
 
When it is full, they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. – Matthew13:48
 
       This scene is very vivid to me. Years ago, my class group had to go to the Navotas Fishport for the feasibility project we were doing. We witnessed how fish were loaded into many big banyera (tub) and were sorted according to kind, quality and size. This was done so the fish can be priced accordingly. The bad ones were then thrown into a separate container and deposited into the trash bin.
       I still remember the awful stench coming from the bin that contained the bad fish. People stayed away from it because, aside from the foul smell, a lot of flies swarmed around it.
       I dread to think that come Judgment Day, I will be among those that the angels will discard and throw into the burning furnace. Reng D. Morelos(hermierengmorelos@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: On Judgment Day, Jesus will ask you practical questions: When I was hungry, did you give Me food? When I was thirsty, did you give Me a drink? Did you welcome Me, clothe Me, visit Me in prison? What do you need to do today to be able to answer Him in the affirmative?
 
Lord, continue to mold me into the person that You want me to be so I may be in Your presence forevermore.  
St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

As you find Him in your life, declare this with love and surrender, “I will follow You, Lord, wherever You go - Daily Bible Reflections September 28, 2016


LOST BUT FOUND
 
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” – Luke 9:57
 
       It was time for our family bonding and we went to an old mall in Manila. I was a kid and I remember my mommy saying to me, “Kein, hold my hands so you will not get lost.”
       I whispered a soft yes, which was the same as, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
       We entered an arcade. I was amazed by the flash of lights, loud sounds and video game machines inside. Wow, it was paradise!
       Then the inevitable happened. I let go of my mommy’s hand. And I got lost. I was horrified! I prayed hard as I wiped away my tears.
       Several minutes later, I spotted my daddy who was looking for me together with my mom. I was relieved.
        My parents made the effort to find me. Why? Because their life would not be complete without me and vice versa.
       It’s the same reason why God makes an effort to search for us whenever we are lost in our spiritual life. He will always find us because He wants us to be with Him in heaven.
   Friend, make the effort to find Him, too. Kein Chito (kein.chito@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: As you find Him in your life, declare this with love and surrender, “I will follow You, Lord, wherever You go.”
 
Lord, give me a heart that follows You.
 
St. Wenceslaus, martyr, pray for us.
 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What are your prejudices? How is this preventing you from receiving blessings and from being a channel of blessings to others? - Daily Bible Reflections September 27, 2016


PREJUDICE
 
“Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to consume them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. – Luke 9:54-55
 
       After the death of King Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was split into two parts, Judah in the south, and Samaria in the north. The two kingdoms were often in disagreement. The northern kings loved their pagan idols and were constantly at odds with Jerusalem. When the Assyrians conquered Samaria, some Samaritans remained in their homeland and intermarried with the pagan settlers. When the Babylonians allowed the Judeans to return to their homeland, some sources say that the Samaritans offered to help rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, but were rudely refused because of their pagan impurity. Other sources say the Samaritans were the ones who refused to help their brothers of Judah to rebuild. Sadly, disagreements, wars, differences in worship, and miscommunication resulted in the simmering hatred that divided the people of Israel that were once brothers.
       Can you see similarities between the first century Jewish-Samaritan problem and cultural and religious conflicts we face today in our family, churches, community, country and nations? Can you hear Jesus rebuking you? Meann Tee (meanntytee@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: What are your prejudices? How is this preventing you from receiving blessings and from being a channel of blessings to others?
 
Father, please remove my prejudices. Help me accept and love people who may have different beliefs, values and convictions to promote true and lasting peace and unity. Amen.
 
St. Vincent de Paul, priest, pray for us.
 



Friday, September 23, 2016

Do you recognize that your family members are God’s gifts to you? Do you consciously set aside time to bond with them so that they would know and feel that they are important to you? - Daily Bible Reflections September 23, 2016


Memorial of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
 
TIME FOR FAMILY
 
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. – Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
       The family is the basic unit of society. Yet, it is threatened by so many things nowadays. There are a growing number of broken homes that produce children who are also broken. One factor that leads to this is when one or both parents fail to invest time in their family. Many parents are too busy with their jobs or businesses that they spend too much time at work. And when they get home, they still spend their time looking at their computers or mobile phones instead of looking at their loved ones in the eye.
       It has been said that relationships are like plants. You need to water them daily or they die. So we need to invest time in our relationships. Otherwise, they would deteriorate.
     Ecclesiastes 3 says that there’s an appointed time for everything. There is a time for work and a time for rest. A time to be out of the house and a time to be home. “A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.”
       Take time to embrace your family members today and look them in the eye. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: Do you recognize that your family members are God’s gifts to you? Do you consciously set aside time to bond with them so that they would know and feel that they are important to you?
 
Father, You made time to create and to rest. Help me to remember to make time for all that You want me to do. Grant me wisdom in the use of my precious time so I can give glory to You.
 
St. Padre Pio de Pietrelcina, pray for us.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Do we take time to sing to the Lord in a solo concert daily? He loves our voices raised up in a double prayer - Daily Bible Reflections September 22, 2016


LET ALL MY LIFE BE
MUSIC
 
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. – Psalm 90:14
 
       I was blessed to be the president of our glee club when I was a third year high school student in St. Agnes Academy in Legaspi City. I now always preface that information that I earned the position not because of my Alto 1 voice, but because I was courageous enough to sing. Maybe even then, I realized that he who sings, prays twice, as St. Augustine said.
       I was raised, though, as a Benedictine student with the dictum ora et labora, pray and work. More aptly perhaps, we pray by singing and then work joyfully for the Lord and His perfect will in our lives.
       We have a God who blesses our every day with His constant love and, thus, we can sing and be glad all our life. As we do this,   our lives become the melody that we sing to the Lord, just as the song, “Let All My Life Be Music” says: “Let all my life be music, ah, let the heart of me be as a harp, where joy and pain are blended harmony... And, when the Great Musician plays, in notes of joy or pain, then let my heart respond and sing... A wondrous song, a living song, a rapturous song, oh send. And on a thrilling major chord, there let life end.” Grace Princesa (grprincesa@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: Do we take time to sing to the Lord in a solo concert daily? He loves our voices raised up in a double prayer.
 
Lord, let my life be a beautiful song for You.
 
St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

“Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) - Daily Bible Reflections September 21, 2016


Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist
 
FROM ADMIRATION TO
IMITATION
 
He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed. – Matthew 9:9
 
       For four blessed days we went agog over Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines. We were glued to the TV, we lined up the streets to get a fleeting glance, we waited at the places where he would be. We wore papal T-shirts and bought all sorts of souvenirs to remember those days.
       At the University of Sto. Tomas grounds, he exhorted the youth to love with the three languages of your mind, heart and hands. I took it to mean that it is not enough that we believe; we need to take steps of action. In our country, he was “walking his talk” and taking giant papal strides to demonstrate it. He was here to comfort those afflicted by Typhoon Yolanda. Like Jesus, he came to feel what we feel. In spite of a storm, he still went to Tacloban to be with the people of God — to pray with them and comfort them personally.
      Now that the Pope is gone, I will take on a priest-commentators advice on TV — to turn admiration to imitation.
       I resolved then, and it’s driving my actions now, to be like Pope Francis, but more importantly to be like Jesus. Rolly España (rollyespana@homeliving.com.ph)
 
Reflection: “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
 
Lord, I pray for a strong resolve to conform to Your mind and do what You’ve commissioned me to do — to make disciples.
 
St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, pray for us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

“If you have patience and diligence, the seeds of knowledge will certainly give good fruit.” (Leonardo da Vinci) - Daily Bible Reflections September 20, 2016


HASTE MAKES WASTE
 
The plans of the diligent are sure of profit, but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
 
       “The Banker’s offer is P999,000. Is it a deal or no deal?” Kris Aquino, the host of the game show, Deal or No Deal, asked the contestant.
       “No deal!” the player answered with full conviction.
     Two million pesos was still on the board and the only substantial amount; the few remaining were just measly sums.
       “Why did you choose ‘No deal’?” Kris asked.
       “Because before I went to the studio, I opened my Bible and was able to read this verse from Psalm 37:4, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart,’” the contestant said.
       “And what is your heart’s desire?” Kris asked.
      “To get the two million pesos!” She won only a small amount for the two million was not in the briefcase she held.
      The contestant joined the game show to try her luck so she could provide for the tuition fees of her younger siblings. The two million blinded her from her true desire and her hasty decision kept her from walking away with almost a million pesos.
       Let us learn to be wise and prudent in the decisions we make so we can avoid costly mistakes. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: “If you have patience and diligence, the seeds of knowledge will certainly give good fruit.” (Leonardo da Vinci)
 
Lord, teach me to be prudent, not only in temporal things but also in spiritual ones, that I may do what is pleasing in Your sight.
 
Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions, martyrs, pray for us.
 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Do you feel as if there’s no hope of bearing fruit in what you’re doing? Fret not. The Lord might just surprise you! - Daily Bible Reflections September 19, 2016


HE REMEMBERS
 
But the dwelling of the just, he favors. – Proverbs 3:33
 
       “Lord, Your will be done. You know everything!” Carla prayed. Not that she wanted to be promoted, but because she felt it was unjust that she should be doing the job of her superior who was often out of the country. It happened for years.
       She loves her job and considers it her mission — with God as her boss. But somehow she felt abused during those years. Still, she kept quiet and shared about it only to a close friend, all the while praying, confident that the Lord sees everything. Humbly, she did her work and gave it her best shot. She made the company’s interest her priority over her own.
       After four years, she got promoted, not only once but twice! God did not fail her.
       You and I go sometimes go through life situations where we want to fight back or demand for our rights. That is certainly necessary in some cases, especially when our dignity is trampled upon. But no matter how bad the situation is, there is always hope. God doesn’t sleep. He sees everything and, just like in Carla’s case, He has a way of bringing about justice — in His time. We only have to trust Him. Tess V. Atienza (theresa.a@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)
 
Reflection: Do you feel as if there’s no hope of bearing fruit in what you’re doing? Fret not. The Lord might just surprise you!
 
Thank You, Lord, for being there for me when nothing seems to be happening down here, and for the hope that Your Word gives me. Amen.
 
St. Januarius, bishop and martyr, pray for us.
 

Are you tired of working hard, but finding no results? Let go. God has already won this battle for you. Wait for Him to deliver the victory to you - Daily Bible Reflections September 18, 2016


GOD’S TIMING,
NOT OURS
 
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain?” – Amos 8:5
 
       Amy has been working for the bank for years, but she has yet to be promoted. Karl has met the sales quota over and over again, but he has yet to receive his commission. Andy has been working so hard to be known as a public speaker, but he has yet to book a speaking gig that would cover his bills.
       Have you ever felt like you’ve been trying so hard, working so long, and fighting so strong, but nothing’s happening? The nights are long and the days are hard, and each time you take one step forward, you get shoved three steps backwards. Sometimes, it’s so tiring to fight for our dreams; it’s much easier to give up.
       I get tired, too. But I know that I get tired because I am impatient, because I want to see results immediately. It took me a long time to learn that my timing is different from God’s, because His is perfect. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the One who know what was, what is, and what will be. He has already set out before us, and won our battles for us.
       And when I learned to accept that, I learned to let go. It’s His timing. Not ours, not ours. Karren Renz Seña (karren.s@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)
 
Reflection: Are you tired of working hard, but finding no results? Let go. God has already won this battle for you. Wait for Him to deliver the victory to you.
 
Lord, I pray to have the patience to accept Your timing, Your answers to my prayers, and Your version to these answers. Amen.
 
St. Joseph of Cupertino, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Christ died that you may live. So make your life count by living for Him - Daily Bible Reflections September 14, 2016


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
 
 
THE FRUIT
 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:17
 
       Remember when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
       The reason why I took these verses is to emphasize that God never said that they can’t eat from any tree in the garden. Neither did He say that they can’t taste the delicious fruits nor that they can’t be happy. Rather, God said, they could eat any fruit except the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, because it will cause them harm.
       Friends, God wants to protect us. And I believe that the reason why God sent His only Son in this world is because He wanted us to understand this very fact. We need Jesus. Jesus Christ is our bridge to God. He is the connection we need to understand deeper the great love the Father has for us.
     The Father sent Jesus not to condemn us but to save us. Erika Mendoza (epaulmendoza@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: Christ died that you may live. So make your life count by living for Him.
 
Thank You, Lord God, for sending us Your Son, Jesus Christ.
 
St. Notburga, pray for us.

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