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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 30,3013


Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27
A few nights ago, my daughter got hit in the eye by the stick attached to a balloon she was playing with. We thought she was fine but a visit to the doctor revealed that she had a laceration on the cornea of her eye.
A few weeks ago, my parents were informed of an unusually high reading on their water meter. They discovered that an underground pipe was leaking and this resulted in a P52,000 water bill.
A few months ago, my dear Aunt Christine passed away. I never got to visit her while she was battling cancer. I deeply regretted not being able to tell her how richly she had touched my life by being the warm and thoughtful person that she was. I still cry each time I think of her.
Accidents, money problems, losing loved ones. Trials in many forms may come our way. But Jesus in the Gospel assures us that we need not be afraid. He gives us His Holy Spirit to overcome the adversities of life. He gives healing, provisions and turns our mourning into joy. When we look to Him and trust in Him, He gives us the peace that the world cannot give. Geraldine G. Catral (teachergeegee@yahoo.com)
Reflection: What areas of your life are needing peace right now? Surrender them to God!
Dearest Lord, fill me with Your Spirit. I claim Your peace in my heart, in spite of all the trials that may come my way. Amen.
St. Pius V, pope, pray for us.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 29,2013

Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church


“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” – John 14:21
When I was young, my parents would remind me that following the Lord and loving Him is the only way to live a happy life.
As I grew older, I realized that loving and serving God isn’t easy at all. I didn’t expect trials and challenges would come to hinder my journey in pursuing my apostolate. Instead of affirmations, I would be persecuted for the good things I did for Him. Financial problems and other difficulties arose which made me struggle in following Him. Oftentimes I would ask myself, does God really love me?
In reading the lives of saints, I saw how much they suffered as they followed the Lord. This inspired me to stand up and continue serving Him through various ministries that I am involved with.
No servant is greater than his master. If the Lord carried the cross of my sins, then with His grace, I, too, will embrace the cross of serving and following Him. Dho Rimando (dougsterrimando@yahoo. com.ph)
Reflection: Keep on serving and loving the Lord even in bad times. For in the end, the reward is peace and happiness.
Lord, teach me to embrace the crosses and trials that come my way.
St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 26,2013


“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. I am going to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:2
“Please bring your own towels for your island hopping adventure,” said the receptionist at our honeymoon hotel. Upon arriving at the dock, our non-English speaking driver strangely asked for our towels as we got down from the car. He motioned as if to say, “Just trust me. I’ll take care of everything.”
We were a bit delayed in boarding the boat because I had to pay the tour guide for flippers and snacks. As I saw the people filling up the good spots, I sighed at the thought that we’d get the worst seats left. Then we saw our driver at the front of the boat signaling to us. To our surprise, we found our towels covering the best spot in the boat — the only two isolated seats right beside the captain. Our driver had reserved them for us.
There are times in our lives when we feel left behind. I did a year of volunteer service in the province right after college. When I returned, most of my AB Communication batch mates had gotten a head start as segment producers, TV hosts and even assistant directors. I had felt I gotten left behind. But after patiently waiting, working and praying, I now have my dream job as creative director of Bo Sanchez’s media ministry. All the while, God was reserving the best seat I could ask for. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
Reflection: Do you feel you’ve been left behind? God is reserving the best seat for you.
Lord, You are the restorer of lost time.
St. Pedro de San Jose Betancur, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 24,2013


Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me.” – John 12:44
Every now and then, we are faced with situations that would test our honesty regarding money matters and our faith in God. Truly, “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). Come to think of it, aren’t all problems due to money?
Just look around and you will see: (a) Best friends Andy and Bob becoming best enemies because of unpaid debt; (b) Allan is fired from his job as a banker because of malversation of funds; (c) Siblings Rod and Amy are estranged because of unequal division of the inheritance from their parents; (d) Housewife Cecilia killing husband Alberto because she wants everything to be hers and none to the mistress; (e)  The marriage of Roel and Anne breaking up because she’s  earning more than him.
Aren’t these concrete proof of how the love of money brings forth dishonesty and unfaithfulness to God I remember the story of my OB-Gyne professor back in med school. A patient went to her clinic to ask her for one thing at the right price: an abortion. At that time, the OB-Gyne was in financial straits and the offer was tempting. But she dismissed the thought because of honesty and her faith in God. Dr. Henry Yu (henrio_md@yahoo.com)
Reflection: The secret to happiness is to simplify life and live simply by being honest and faithful to God Almighty.
Father, remind us always to be honest and faithful to You, no matter what.
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr, pray for us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 23,2013


“If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” – John 10:24
Will I accept this service in our community? Should I continue to entertain this suitor? Which dress should I wear — the red or the pink?
If God has spoken plainly to some people in the past, can He also speak plainly to me when I’m in a dilemma?
I have asked God all these questions before — from the life-changing questions to the mundane or even vain. Believe me, He has answered them all... but not always plainly. Many times, He gives His answers through circumstances, the people around me or my prayer time. On a few occasions, He made things plain and clear. It really doesn’t matter much how He speaks. What’s more important is that our hearts are ready to listen to His voice and we obey Him.
Did I accept the service being asked of me? Yes. God spoke to me through my circumstances and Scripture.
Did I continue to entertain that suitor? Yes. God spoke to me through someone I know.
Which dress did I wear? I wore the red one; because God spoke plainly to me through a song.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Do you recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you?
Lord Jesus, speak to my heart. Please be my guide.
St. George, martyr, patron of England, pray for us.

Daily Bible Reflections - April 22,2013


“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10
Babies have special powers to captivate anyone. They have tantalizing eyes that can melt you with their gaze. They have little cute noses whose sneezes can make you giggle. They have angelic smiles and laughter. They have an amazing appetite. (I always wonder how babies get chubby just by taking milk.)
What’s even more amazing is their capacity to love you back.
Through their little eyes.
Through their little smiles.
Through their little gestures.
Babies are living wonders because they never lose their sense of wonder. They are little packages of hope!
Pablo Picasso once said that every child is an artist. The challenge is how to keep this artist alive for the rest of your life.
Someone said that in heaven, there’s a sign that says: “For Children Only. Adults Not Allowed!”
You want to live life to the fullest?
Avoid childishness; practice childlikeness.
Because from a pure heart comes a full life! Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
Reflection: Are you childish and immature, or childlike and pure?
My Father in heaven, let me live like Your child here on earth.                                   
St. Adalbert of Prague, pray for us.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 21,2013


“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
Today, as soon as I open my eyes, the first thing that comes forth from my lips is, “Thank You, Lord.”
Many years ago, when I was in the middle of a financial crisis, waking up was a struggle for me. I knew that as soon as I awoke, the problem would hit me right in the eye. I had credit card debts, and I was also being hounded by investors of a failed business that my cousin and I had put up. Those were dark days for me, and all I would do was worry, cry and get mad. I didn’t know where or whom to turn to.
I couldn’t even tell my husband. But one day, he found out and talked to me. His words hit me hard. “Have you asked God to help you? I’m sure He talks to you, but do youlisten?” Then he led me to pray. As we did, my whole body, especially my heart, was on fire. Because as I laid out my problems to Him, a different calmness took over me. The key to prayer, which I learned that day, was to talk to God and then listen.
As I listened to God, I also learned to trust in Him until my faith became stronger.
Prayer is much more than asking. To pray is also to listen and to follow Him. Chelle Crisanto (ellehcmaria@yahoo.com)
Reflection: We are the sheep of the Lord. Listen to His voice because we know that no one can snatch us out of His hand.
Lord, I need to learn from You. Speak to me and fill my heart with the humility to obey.
St. Anselm, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 19,2013

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” – Acts 9:4
I was once hard-line with my convictions. I subscribed to an ideology that placed me “left of center” in the political spectrum and I reveled in my belief that I was serving my country by being “radical,” by joining farmers and the marginalized in protest marches against the oppressive administration, and supporting the ousting of foreign military bases in the country. I may not have persecuted Christians but I turned away from Jesus and made an ideology my way of life.
I try to place myself in Paul’s shoes at that very moment when Jesus asked him the life-changing question in the above verse. “Dina, Dina, why have you forgotten Me? Why did you choose an ideology over Me?” I could only bow my head in shame and cry tears of remorse. While change for the good was what I had intended to help bring about, there’s no excuse for purposely pushing Jesus to the sideline.
I look back to my “old life” and feel no regret but only thankfulness to Christ who called me by name. He healed me of my “blind” belief and taught me the divine ideology: only faith in Him will bring about real change and lead us to eternal life. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
Reflection: The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums. (Ezra Taft Benson)
Forgive me, Jesus, for the times I chose lesser things over You.
Blessed Luchesio and Buonadonna, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 17,2013

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” – John 6:35
It was our Caring Group’s Christmas celebration. It was also the birthday of one of the brothers, so he and his wife hosted our dinner. They laid an abundant feast before us! There was veggie salad, stuffed turkey, roasted pork, fish, squid, shrimps and other dishes. There was also a variety of desserts and drinks.
After eating, we felt we needed to confess the sin of gluttony! But this couple-host’s generosity didn’t stop there.  They even sent us home with more food for our kids!
If our friends could be immensely generous with us, how much more our big God? He has blessed me with loving family members and friends. He has given my husband a well-paying job so we can send our son to college. He healed my husband and my son when they were both down with flu. He hears my prayers for loved ones who are sick. He gave us a faithful househelp when many are looking for helpers.
He allowed us to get a 10-year multiple-entry U.S. visa. He keeps us safe and protected.
Indeed, our God is amazing! He fills and satisfies us. With Him, we will never go hungry and never be thirsty. Sol Saura (sol_saura@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Whoever has God lacks nothing: God alone is enough. (St. Teresa of Avila)
Lord, You are the Bread of Life. We believe that You shall fill our every need.
Blessed Katéri Tekakwitha, virgin, pray for us.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Daily Bible Readings - April 15,2013

Stephen knows what he believes in and is willing to die for it. The only way authorities can convict him of anything is by fabricating a case against him. As we look at the death of Stephen, we see that much of it is patterned after the death of Jesus. Why? Perhaps Luke wants the first martyr to be seen within the ambit of Christ’s passion and death so as to emphasize that a martyr’s witness is not to him or her self but to Christ.
Acts 6:8-15
8Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, 10 but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They presented false witnesses who testified, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
R: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
23 Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. 24 Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. (R) 26 I declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. (R) 29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. 30 The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me. (R)
What motivations drive us? Are we focused on the superficial things of the world or do we look deeper into the spiritual realm of things? Jesus challenges the crowd to look beyond their superficial desires and address their deeper hunger the hunger for salvation — to know the true meaning of their lives. This is a challenge that will always be with us.
One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
John 6:22-29
22 [After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. 23 Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 28 So they asked him,  What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
think:  Jesus challenges us to look beyond our superficial desires and address our deeper hunger — the hunger for salvation.
Thank You Lord for: __________________
God’s special verse/thought for me today_

Daily Bible Reflections - April 15,2013

Napoleon and a nearsighted friend were once looking out of a window. Napoleon admired some distant stars which his friend could not see, and so he said, “That’s the difference between you and me.” What he meant was that he, Napoleon, was a man of vision who looks at the far horizon 
is able to see the stars, while his friend sees only what is nearby. “
Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life,” Jesus told the crowd who came to have their bellies filled once again through a miraculous multiplication of a few loaves.
It is understandable that we worry and care a lot about our physical needs. But there is a danger, which St. John Chrysostom expressed when he said, “Men are nailed to the things of this life.” We can easily become so occupied with the needs of daily life that we forget to look to the horizon of our lives and what lies beyond – eternal life.
Even religion can be abused by a materialistic approach, forgetting or ignoring the spiritual gifts that religion is supposed to give. The British philosopher Bertrand Russel wrote a book entitled Why I Am Not a Christian. In this book, he laments that so many Christians use religion only to gain friends, money and prestige, and some politicians find religion useful to gain votes.
How come that in our country, the “only Christian country in Asia,” as we proudly call it, graft and criminality are so rampant? How come that, in a country that prides itself of so many churches, colorful fiestas, crowds that flock to churches during the Simbang Gabi and Holy Week, so many un-Christian attitudes flourish?
Maybe the words of Jesus that we hear today can inspire us to look beyond the horizon of our lives and become more concerned with “the food that endures for eternal life.”
Maybe we will focus more on the essence of our religion than on using it for some temporal gains. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do religion, attending Mass and prayer meetings have an influence on your daily dealing with others?
Lord, Your words are again eye-openers. Open my eyes to what is essential so that I will not miss eternal life with You.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 12,2013


When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” – John 6:12
As a child, my parents taught my siblings and me not to waste food (among other resources). My dad, in particular, insisted that we always eat everything on our plate, saying that there were many hungry kids all over the world who were not as materially blessed as we were. This is something I am, in turn, trying to teach my own children: to be grateful for what we have, and not to waste whatever blessings and resources God has given us.
We recently welcomed the Easter season, which was preceded by 40 days of Lent — a time for prayer, reflection, fasting and good works. It was a time for self-denial and sharing our blessings with others.
We need to remember, though, that denying one’s self and sharing with others shouldn’t just be a Lenten practice but something we must do every day. We shouldn’t waste the time, talent and treasure God has given us. Instead, we should allow these to be blessed, used and multiplied so that others can benefit from them. Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (teachermamatina@gmail.com)
Reflection: Think about what you can do to reduce wastage of food and other resources in your home. Also, offer
your time, talent and treasure in service to God.
Lord, thank You for all Your blessings. Please help me not to waste what You’ve given me and to share what I can with others.
St. Teresa of Los Andes, pray for us.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 11,2013

“He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.” – John 3:34
Ann cannot move by herself. She is bedridden and experiences frequent muscular pains and headaches. Yet she wakes up at 3 a.m. to pray for people who ask for her prayers. She also uses her toes to compose inspirational text messages and sends them to her friends and even strangers who request for her prayers.
Fatima is blind, but through her music and jolly spirit, she inspires millions to trust in God despite their trials. Jessica is armless but she hurdles through life using the
power of her two feet and legs. As a motivational speaker, she goes around the globe to encourage people to pursue their dreams with persistence and creativity.
Ann, Fatima and Jessica are only a few of the countless people I know who have some form of handicap. But our God is a God who gives so much more than what our physical bodies could do for us. He is a God of balance — what we think and feel we lack, He compensates in other ways.
We only have to look beyond what our eyes can see and realize that He has given us sufficient gifts to achieve our purpose in life. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)
Reflection:How do you see your weakness? Do you allow them to obstruct the fulfillment of your mission in life?
Lord Jesus, thank You for the gifts You have given me. May I learn to use my weaknesses in serving You, too.
St. Stanislaus, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 10,2013

But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out... – Acts 5:19
I watched the video waiting for the “miraculous rescue” that the newscaster had referred to before the segment came on. The footage showed a woman in her SUV being sucked in by a flash flood. She couldn’t escape because she couldn’t swim and she kept all four windows shut to keep the water out.
With the car almost engulfed by the muddy waters, a guy reached her and tried desperately to break a window with a stick. No luck. Soon, five other rescuers had arrived. But by then, her car was completely submerged. Suddenly, one of the rescuers on top of her car felt her hand grasp his through an opening in the window. He pulled her out of the water to safety.
Where was the miraculous rescue there? When the car was towed from the water, all four windows were closed! No one could explain how the woman got out of her car.
We, who believe in God’s power, know exactly how she was rescued. Angels aren’t stuff of fairy tales or folklore. Hebrews 1:14 says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
Yes, angels are all around us, protecting us, directing our ways and leading us closer to our Lord. Have you prayed to your guardian angel to lead you today? Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
Reflection: For (God) will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. (Psalm 91:11)
Dear Guardian Angel, be at my side to guard and lead me today.
St. Magdalen of Canossa, pray for us.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 7,2013


When the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst. — John 20:19
Many years ago, I attended a seminar in the U.S. In one of the sessions, each group had to brainstorm a particular case study and present their solution to the class. To my surprise, I was chosen by my American group mates to be the presenter. I was trembling inside for I felt I didn’t have a full understanding of the case because of time pressure.
Armed with a few notes, I began my presentation. The instructor asked me some questions and I was able to answer them. When I returned to my seat, my group mates were all smiles. One of them even told me, “I couldn’t have possibly done what you did.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples were locked in a room for fear of the Jews, probably thinking that they would suffer the same fate as their Master. But when Jesus showed Himself and breathed His Spirit on them, all their fears were washed away. They had renewed courage to fulfill their God-given mission.
We may have fears that dominate our lives and we hide behind locked doors. Let Jesus’ Spirit enter the closed door of our hearts and break us free from the fears that have chained us for so long. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
Reflection: What are you afraid of? Know that God is with you in the midst of your fears.
I surrender my fears to You, O Lord. Fill me with Your peace.
St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest, pray for us.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 5,2013

Easter Friday


When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. – John 21:4
I stared at the picture of a sick child posted in the elevator. The boy was only seven years old and looked very frail. His body was skinny but his tummy was bloated. He had a liver ailment and needed a major operation. Below his picture were contact numbers and a bank account where one can make a donation.
Then I reached my office floor and I stepped out of the elevator unmoved by the child’s plea for help. I justified my reaction by thinking, “A lot of people will read that poster and the child will get enough donations.”
Three weeks later, I received an email from our HR officer. It was about the same sick child. I don’t know what happened to me but I suddenly felt guilty about the way I had acted a few weeks back. I asked forgiveness from God because I didn’t see Jesus in the helpless child. I gave a personal donation and also enjoined a few friends to give.
In today’s reading, the disciples, too, didn’t immediately recognize Jesus. They only realized it was Him when He gave them instructions. Initially, I also didn’t see Jesus in the sick child needing help. I forgot that Jesus said that loving Him includes helping the sick, visiting the prisoner and feeding the hungry. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Don’t experience Jesus through prayers and Mass only. Experience His presence when you help others who are in need.
Jesus, let my faith come alive as I see and serve You in others.
St. Vincent Ferrer, priest, pray for us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Daily Bible Reflections - April 4,2013

Easter Thursday


“Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance.” – Acts 3:17
I found this entry in Ripley’s Believe It or Not: “Driven by love for the Berlin Wall, Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer of Sweden married it in 1979 and took its name as her surname.”
It’s obviously crazy to marry a wall. We may not do something as bizarre but are we any different in our love for material things?
How about the husband who pours time and money on his car and yells at his wife and children if they so much as scratch its glossy finish or spill something inside its pristine interior?
How about the mother who watches telenovelas nonstop rather than sit with her child who needs help with homework?
How about the career-driven person who backstabs a colleague to get ahead in the corporate rat race?
How about the employee who takes home office supplies to save on his kids’ school supplies?
Many times we act like we are ignorant of the fact that people and values are more important than things. Let us consciously seek to know God’s ways and His will so that we can act like the Christians that we’re supposed to be. Lella M. Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)
Reflection: What worldly thing has become more important to you than God, values and relationships?                         
Lord, reign in my heart forever. You are my Number One.
St. Isidore of Seville, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

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