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Thursday, November 28, 2013

What signs have God been sending you recently? - Daily Bible Reflections November 28,2013


“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” – Luke 21:28
Wise words from the old American West read, “If somebody calls you a horse’s rear, ignore it. If two people call you a horse’s rear, look in the mirror. If three people call you a horse’s rear, buy a saddle.”
       God, by His grace, sends “signs” to call our attention. He doesn’t necessarily use falling constellations, or the splitting of mountains in the middle, or an apparition in the grotto, but simple reminders from people you love.
       If three of your respected and trusted loved ones say, “You’ve been workaholic and you need to give time to your kids” — buy a saddle. If another three of their kind say, “You’re neglecting your husband” — buy a saddle. If they say, “Get serious about your financial life” — buy a saddle. If they say, “You’ve been failing and you need to get serious with your studies” — buy a saddle.
       Advent means “more of Jesus’ victory coming into your life” this season. He may be sending signs. It’s never      usually the dramatic or the headline kind, but it’s convicting nevertheless. So rejoice, for “redemption is near” in that specific area of your life. Obey Him. Work and pray hard. Your miracle is coming! Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)
Reflection: What signs have God been sending you recently?
Jesus, I need more of You in the areas of my life that need breakthroughs. Let me be sensitive to Your “signs.”
St. James of Marche, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do you make an effort to know God’s voice better? - Daily Bible Reflections November 26,2013


“See that you not be deceived.” – Luke 21:8
I had the biggest crush on her, but I never actually met her. One day, my phone rang and her friend told me my crush wanted to speak to me. I got a sudden rush of excitement. “She wants to talk to me?!?!” But before I could piece that puzzle together, she said hello. We chatted for a few seconds, but it seemed like eternity. I couldn’t believe we were conversing for the first time! After a while, though, I started to hear giggling in the background. Then I realized her whole barkada was there. All of a sudden, the first girl who called me got the phone from my crush and laughingly apologized for the prank they had just pulled. I didn’t just have a conversation with my crush. She was someone else. I wept a bit, but I eventually got over it. After all, I was only in grade six.
       Why didn’t I recognize her voice? Well, because I never actually talked to her before. It’s the same in our spiritual life. When we lack familiarity with God’s voice, we tend to be fooled by what other voices tell us. We get misled. But there are many ways to know Him better: reading the Bible and supplementary readings, hanging out with good friends in the faith, spending time in prayer, and attending gatherings like The Feast. If we know Him, we will recognize His voice. And when we do, we can be led by His words of eternal life. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
Reflection: Do you make an effort to know God’s voice better?
Oh, I want to know You more. Deep within my soul, I want to know You. Lord, I want to know You. (Steve Green)
St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Think of others more than yourself — today and always - Daily Bible Reflections November 25,2013


“But she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” – Luke 21:4
Paul Aguas, my father-in-law, was a man who loved God. When he was young, he was a man of the world. He married at a young age and had a family. He earned his first million at the age of 23. He was successful in his endeavors and enjoyed life to the hilt.
       In 1972, he was invited to attend a prayer meeting. Along with his family, the Lord touched them and changed their lives forever.
       Paul Aguas and his family chose to live an austere life similar to that of St. Francis of Assisi. He gave up his material wealth and spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching the Word of God.
       In 1993, Paul Aguas passed away.
       But to this day, the lives he has changed, the lives he has enriched, and the people he has touched continue to tell us that he was a man who gave up everything for the sake of the Kingdom of God. His was a life well lived.
       Just like the widow in the Gospel reading today, he gave everything he had as an offering to God. Marisa Aguas (jojangaguas@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Think of others more than yourself — today and always.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous.
St. Columban, pray for us.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What does love look like? It has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and the needy - Daily Bible Reflections November 22,2013

Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr


“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’”– Luke 19:46
People want change. But they’re confused as to what needs to be changed. This confusion is the reason why modern-day people are dissatisfied.
       They’re dissatisfied with their face. They’re dissatisfied with their complexion. They’re dissatisfied with their waistline. They’re dissatisfied with their height (ahem).
They’re dissatisfied with their relationships. They’re dissatisfied with their friends. They’re dissatisfied with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They’re dissatisfied with their school or job. They’re dissatisfied with their gender.
       The result? People are robbed of real joy! They’re contaminated with the “out-there-icitis.” They look for the beauty out there. Some do the absurd: they have a facelift, nose-lift, tummy-tuck, botox, bariatric surgery, even a sex change! They pay costly amounts for a major makeover. They don’t know that God is the Ultimate Beauty Secret.
       You are the Temple of God. Let Him give you an internal extreme makeover. Because God doesn’t look at your appearance but your heart. Then inner beauty grows from the inside out! Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
Reflection: What does love look like? It has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and the needy. It has eyes to see the misery and want. It has ears to hear the sigh and the sorrows of men. (St. Augustine)
Jesus, let me be a beautiful temple of Your presence. Amen.
St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do you realize how many people didn’t wake up today? - God Whispers November 19,2013

Do you realize how many people didn’t wake up today? Waking up is one of the sacred gifts I give you. Don’t take it for granted.
Count your blessings,
P.S. Instead of complaining, give thanks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Practice what you preach. But even better, preach what you practice - Daily Bible Reflections November 18,2013

Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostle
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied. – Luke 18:41
I don’t preach as often as my friends who are Feast builders. While they preach almost every day, I do so only when a company, prayer group or school invites me. So compared to them, I’d say I’m more nervous when I am onstage.
       At the same time, I suffer from another form of stage fright. Whenever I go up on a platform to preach, I know that the spotlight shines, not just on me as I deliver my talk, but on my whole life as well. People can freely scrutinize — and even criticize — me and how I live.
       I take the stage with holy fear and awe knowing that I am merely a spokesman of the Lord of the universe. I don’t want to misrepresent Him or give Him a bad reputation for choosing His spokespersons so poorly.
       So I pray for the grace to see the truth behind my motives and actions. To see the areas in my life where I do not practice what I preach. To see that when people applaud or praise me, the glory is the Lord’s, not mine.
       Because ultimately, the only applause that matters is that which comes from my audience of One. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
Reflection: Practice what you preach. But even better, preach what you practice.
Lord, let me see the darkness in my life that I may let Your light shine.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Are there people who are persecuting you? Don’t worry for God is with you - Daily Bible Reflections November 17,2013


“Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you…” – Luke 21:12
When I was still working, I was never an aggressive person when it came to my career. I just did my work to the very best of my ability. When I got appreciated and promoted,thanks be to God! When I wasn’t, it was alright.
       You could say that it was my superiors who drew my career path. They believed in me, and appreciated and acknowledged my efforts. I went up the ranks without reallyaiming for it. I was never threatened when there were new incoming officers. Competition was never in my mind. I just enjoyed my job and worked my heart out.
       But even if I only desired what was good for everyone, there were still some coworkers who didn’t like me and eventually persecuted me. They interpreted my intentions negatively, they questioned my capabilities, and they looked down on my accomplishments. Yes, I got hurt, but, with God’s grace, I remained loving and kind to them. As our Lord promised, though everyone may hate us, with Him we shall not perish. We just have to stand firm and we will win in life, because we have an Almighty Ally who shall always stand for us! Sol Saura (sol_saura@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Are there people who are persecuting you? Don’t worry for God is with you.
Lord, thank You for we know that You are always with us. You will never leave us or abandon us.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious, pray for us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

FIND GOD IN ALL THINGS - Daily Bible Reflecttions November 15,2013


For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. – Wisdom 13: 5
My spirituality is summed up in the title above: “Find God in all things.” (No, that’s not my original writing. The Ignatians and Jesuits beat me to that.)
       Because yes, God can and should be experienced in His creation. In fact, we should see God in every person — God’s highest creation.
       But no, you shouldn’t start worshiping everything and every person as God. That’s what some people initially thought I was — a long-haired New Age guru who promoted pantheism, the belief that “all things are God.” That’s not what I believe. That’s not what the Catholic Church believes.
       I believe that the beauty of creation should point you to its Creator. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). It would be foolish to marvel at a work of art and miss knowing and appreciating its artist.
       Above all, the greatest honor we could give the Creator is when we become faithful caretakers and responsible stewards of the creation He has entrusted to us. Alvin Barcelona (apb_ayo@yahoo.com)
Reflection: For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord? (Wisdom 13:9)
O Divine Creator, lead me to see Your majesty, Your greatness, Your goodness and love in the beauty of Your creation. Let me honor You in Your work by taking good care of it. Amen.
St. Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do you value intelligence, popularity, achievement and other mundane things over the gifts of the Holy Spirit? - Daily Bible Reflections November 14,2013


She is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. – Wisdom 7:26
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
       I love this prayer. I was in college when I first heard it from my professor and, for some reason, I fell in love with its wisdom.
       When I was active in a Charismatic community, I would often ask the Lord for this particular gift of the Holy Spirit. I’ve read quite a number of biographies and autobiographies of saints and holy people. If there is anything common among several of them, it is wisdom. With gentle courage, they wouldn’t budge from the right thing to do.
       Using saints as my model, my formula of wisdom is: an active prayer life + total surrender to the Lord =  wisdom. That’s because on our own strength, power and resources, I’m convinced it is next to impossible to be wise. Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Do you value intelligence, popularity, achievement and other mundane things over the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Lord Jesus, help us to tune in to Your Holy Spirit all the days of our life so that we may be endowed with wisdom and win the Father’s deep friendship.
St. Dyfrig, bishop, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Lord’s Word is alive and effective and He is faithful and true in fulfilling His promises - Daily Bible Reflections November 13,2013


Desire therefore my words; long for them and you will be instructed. – Wisdom 6:11
Every New Year’s Eve, I seek God’s message through a word from Scripture, with my mind focused on receiving it as an instruction. This year, I got Lamentations 3:21. I didn’t understand it at the beginning. But not too long after, a serious situation caused me to resign from my real estate company affiliation. I had worked with that company for over a decade and leaving it was not easy.
       But God’s Word from Lamentations rang in my mind. He promised that the “favors of the Lord will not be exhausted, His mercies are not spent; these are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.” Many other messages from Him made me peaceful in my decision. I even felt a sense of liberation and freedom. He placed hopeful joy in my heart through His Word.
       I claimed His promise that “to the faithful, He is faithful.” I know in my heart that when I put my hope and trust in Him, the God of the universe will cause prosperity and abundance to fill my future. Donna España (donna.espana@yahoo.com)
Reflection: The Lord’s Word is alive and effective and He is faithful and true in fulfilling His promises.
Help me, Lord, to be grateful and glad when Your gracious hand is upon me.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are you following the footsteps of the Lord whom you serve? - Daily Bible Reflections November 12,2013


“We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” – Luke 17:10
“Your unworthy servant....” I was struck with these words as the Archbishop of Port Moresby was saying the prayer at a Mass referring to himself being Bishop of the Diocese. Maybe this is a regular prayer but this time, it rang differently in my ear.
       On another occasion, the good Archbishop, who arrived a minute ahead of me at a Talleres Convent, guided me with hand signals as I parked my car.
       “This is too much!” I mumbled to myself. “The Archbishop as my parking attendant?”
       Considering his stature, the Archbishop’s humility and readiness to serve his flock touched me deeply.
       As a servant-leader, it’s natural to delegate the “dirty jobs” to the “low ranking” servants. But not with this man of God. He really  lives up to the title of “servant.” He lives up to what Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (John 12:26). Just like our Lord, He “came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Danny Tariman (dtariman.loj@gmail.com)
Reflection: Are you following the footsteps of the Lord whom you serve?
Lord, I am sorry for being “title-oriented” as I serve You. Grant me the grace to serve You in others. Amen.
St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Do you have a tendency to conceal the truth when you’re pushed against the wall? - Daily Bible Reflections November 11,2013


Because God is the witness of the inmost self. – Wisdom 1:6
Last year, the hearings on the impeachment case against Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona filled the daily news.
       This isn’t the first time that we have witnessed investigations like this. We’ve seen it all — Ninoy’s assassination, the Vizconde massacre, Maguindanao massacre, Estrada’s impeachment, and even the much-celebrated Katrina Halili-Hayden Kho sex video scandal.
       Despite voluminous evidences and countless testimonies presented, we cannot know for sure the truth behind the cases. A poor set of lawyers, even if they possess the truth, can still be outwitted in court. No matter how glaring the truth is, legalism and, sadly, corruption still rule.
       But there’s one Judge who doesn’t need all those evidences and witnesses to know the truth. He knows everything — and one day, His court will open and no one can escape His brand of justice.
       Let’s make sure we have not denied others their right to life and freedom by concealing the truth. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Do you have a tendency to conceal the truth when you’re pushed against the wall?
Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I have suppressed the truth to save myself.
St. Martin of Tours, bishop, pray for us.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever - Daily Bible Reflections November 10,2013


“He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.” – Luke 20:38
My dad would have turned 73 years old yesterday. I can imagine him waking up early to get ready for Mass. He would wear a red polo shirt with his favorite jeans. Over the years, Dad would wear a red top for his birthday because he says it’s a color for celebration. In church, he would sit at the left side, the area beside the park from where the cool breeze blows. Mom and I would be with him as he gives thanks to the Lord for the blessing of another year in life.
       Yesterday, November 9, was both a happy and sad day as I remembered my beloved dad who passed away four years ago. Yesterday, it was only my mom and I who woke up early for Mass. Yesterday, it was only Mom and I who thanked the Lord for giving us 40 years with Dad.
       But I believe Dad also celebrated his special day in a different way. I believe he wore white for purity. Instead of Mass, I believe Dad is at the heavenly throne room, singing praises to God with the angels and saints.
       Dad may no longer be with us in this earthly life but I know he lives eternally in heaven. Praise the Lord, the God of the living, for to Him all are alive! Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
Lord, give me the grace to live a life worthy of spending eternity with You in heaven.
St. Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Friday, November 8, 2013

God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands mission - Daily Bible Reflections November 8,2013


A minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable... – Romans 15:16
Many years ago, I watched The Mission, a movie about three Jesuit priests who brought the Good News and evangelized the Guarani natives in South America. The priests, headed by Fr. Gabriel (Jeremy Irons), established a mission that became a sanctuary and a place of education for the Guarani natives. By God’s grace and the perseverance of the missionary priests, the pagan Guarani natives embraced Christianity.
       But trouble began when the land upon which the mission stood was ceded to the Portuguese. The mission was to be closed, and sadly, the Portuguese intended to enslave the natives. Fr. Gabriel and Fr. Rodrigo decided to fight and taught the Guarani natives the art of combat. For a while they were able to defend the mission but they were outnumbered. The Jesuit priests and their converts perished in defense of the mission, in defense of their faith.
       The Jesuit priests brought the Gospel to the pagan Guarani natives. Their martyrdom inspired more missionary priests to serve and defend indigenous people all over the world so that Christ’s mission may continue to this day. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
Reflection: God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit. (George W. Peters)
God of missions, grant me the courage to go wherever You lead me that I may be Your hands and feet in serving those who have yet to know You.
Blessed John Duns Scotus, pray for us.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Has someone lost his or her way because of your own doing? What should you do to bring that person back to the right path? - Daily Bible Reflections November 7,2013


“Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.” – Luke 15:6
Babita’s biggest nightmare came true: her five-year-old daughter, Suhani, was missing.
       She left her alone at home because she went to visit a nearby hospital while her husband, a vegetable vendor, had already gone to the market early that morning. Together with her husband, they looked for Suhani but she was nowhere to be found. Later, they went to the police station to report the missing child. The police informed them that their child was in the safe custody of Childline. A good Samaritan noticed their frightened-looking daughter around 12 noon. He took her in his custody before he handed her over to the police. After seven agonizing hours of frantic searching, the child was reunited with her parents.
       Just like the parents of Suhani, God searches for those who are lost. And He never stops until He finds them and brings them back to His fold. Each person is valuable to the Lord. No matter how far deep you are in your sins, He continues to love, search and woo you. And when He finally finds you, He rejoices together with His angels and saints. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Has someone lost his or her way because of your own doing? What should you do to bring that person back to the right path?
Teach me Your ways, Lord, that I may lead others to You.
St. Didacus, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If you were to stack rank the people you love, where would God be in the list? No, really? - Daily Bible Reflections November 6,2013


“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26
If I slapped a friend just for kicks, she’d probably never talk to me again. If I did the same to my boss, I’d likely be suspended. Still, if I hit the President, I’d be thrown in jail or shot on site. See the pattern? Even if the offense is the same, the weight of punishment follows the rank of the person offended. So what do you think happens when we offend God?
       As the weight of punishment varies according to the person we offend, so should our love and loyalty naturally change according to the responsibility we have towards people. While my kids were having a conversation, one of them asked, “Who is more important, Mommy or God?” My other kid replied, “God, of course, because Mommy wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for God.”
       In being called to follow Christ, we are also called to know the weight and value of our relationships. We are tasked to grow in knowing each person’s place in our lives. God most certainly should always be first. It is not, after all, worthy of being called Christianity if it isn’t Christ-centered. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)
Reflection: If you were to stack rank the people you love, where would God be in the list? No, really?
What does it mean, Lord, for the psalmist to say, “A day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere?” He must have really loved You to want to be in Your presence so much. I want to love you that way, too.
St. Nicholas Travelic and Companions, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are you doing your part in building up the Church of Jesus and are you doing it well? - Daily Bible Reflections November 5,2013


Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly. – Romans 12:6
I once had a wound in my right big toe. It wasn’t a big wound but the cut was deep. It bled for some minutes before I was able to stop it. But my worries didn’t end there because the pain stayed on. The discomfort was too much that I had to make a few adjustments. I stopped wearing closed shoes for a couple of days. I avoided activities that required long walks and I was more cautious about the things around me so that I wouldn’t accidently bump my wounded toe. The wound bothered me for a number of days. It was amazing how a small wound located in a trivial part of my body could create a big impact on my daily routine.
       This is similar to our individual roles in the church or community. We may think that our role is insignificant. We may think that we don’t create any impact. If we don’t hold any leadership position or aren’t part of any ministry, we assume that our absence won’t matter.
       But each one of us has a role to fulfill in the church. There are no big or small roles. Like the wound on my toe, the whole body is affected if one “small” part is not working properly. Be involved in your church so that the Body of Christ may function like a well-oiled machine. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Are you doing your part in building up the Church of Jesus and are you doing it well?
Jesus, use me to help build up Your Body here on earth.
Venerable Solanus Casey, pray for us.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Do you want to be blessed? Give and be a blessing to others - Daily Bible Reflections November 4,2013


“When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be.” – Luke 14:13-14
My friend Susan loves the poor so much and she is so generous. When we were in college, she was our class president. She would organize outreaches for our class. We went to orphanages, homes for the aged and prison cells.
       When she got married and had a child, we celebrated the first birthday of her daughter, Yannah, my goddaughter, in an orphanage. The kids in the orphanage had so much fun. They ate to their hearts’ content. We helped feed the little ones. They played games. Smiles, laughters, shouts of joy filled the whole place.
       Before we left, the kids serenaded us with some songs and some dance numbers. We went home so blessed.
       There’s truth in the saying, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”
       John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” God always gives the best. He gave us His Son, Jesus. If we want to be like Him, let’s give the way He gives by giving our best and giving it generously. Meann Tee (meanntytee@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Do you want to be blessed? Give and be a blessing to others.
Father, thank You for all the blessings that we receive from You. Teach us to be generous like You.
St. Charles Borromeo, bishop, pray for us.

Friday, November 1, 2013

On this All Saints Day, use your words to upbuild, not destroy - Daily Bible Reflections November 1,2013

Solemnity of All Saints
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you...” — Matthew 5:11
When I was a kid, I was never good in sports. So I dreaded Physical Education. Whenever I had P.E. class, I always wished that I’d get sick that day. Because in almost every class, kids would ridicule me. It didn’t matter if it was basketball or volleyball or soccer. I was always so uncoordinated.
       When I was nine years old, my P.E. was baseball. And I was even more terrified.
       True enough, at practice, I couldn’t catch the ball — even if I had an oversized glove. I was so bad at catching, the teacher assigned me to the farthest spot in the field. And with his booming voice, he told everyone, “Try to hit your ball towards that kid over there,” pointing to me. “Because he won’t catch the ball, and you’ll get a home run!” He laughed loudly, slapping his knee many times. And all the kids laughed with him.
       I pretended to laugh, too. But my little heart was crying inside. For the next 15 years, I never joined any sport.
       Be careful with ridicule. Be careful with negative humor. Here’s my realization: Nothing hurts more than words. Nothing can be more hurting than humiliation. Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
Reflection: On this All Saints Day, use your words to upbuild, not destroy.
Tame my tongue, Lord, that I may speak only good words to others.
All Saints, pray for us.

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