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Friday, November 27, 2015

After all is said and done, the Word of God will continue to live on. It remains forever - Daily Bible Reflections November 27,2015

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” – Luke 21:33
       I’ve loved reading Bible stories ever since I was a small girl. The colored pictures amused me. In my early twenties, I copied on index cards Bible phrases that spoke to me in particular moments in my life. Three decades later, the same words continue to speak to me, revealing different messages as circumstances changed over time.
       I have lived to see three generations before me – my great grandparents, my grandparents and my parents. My children were born when my grandparents were still alive and strong. All these generations have heard the Word of God, and the future generations will all hear the same Word of God.
       In much the same way, the world we live in has gone through war and peace, through destruction and rehabilitation. People, famous and not, have come and gone. We’ve had our share of triumphs and defeats, of joys and sorrows. But His Word has remained the same. It urges us on. It showers us with hope. It lifts up our spirits. And it transforms us day by day. Bella Estrella (blestrella@gmail.com)
Reflection: After all is said and done, the Word of God will continue to live on. It remains forever.
Thank You, Lord, for molding us through Your Word that never changes. Steadfast indeed is Your love, and we can never live without it.
St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, pray for us.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

It is not easy to say goodbye to a habit. But through self-determination and discipline, coupled with prayers, nothing is impossible - Daily Bible Reflections November 26,2015

“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” – Luke 21:28
       My 49-year-old patient who has been a smoker since his college days came to see me one day to ask me about how to stop smoking.
       After two weeks, he came back telling me,“It’s so hard to kick the habit, doc, so I just cut down my usual consumption to half.”
       Ladies and gentlemen of the smoking republic, if you are really bent on kicking the habit of smoking, you have to do it “on a lump sum” and not on “installment basis.” You need to go all the way and give it up completely.
       God is giving us enough time and chances to right our wrongs. So let us make use of this time to change our ways. The earlier we do it, the better. Let’s not wait till tomorrow, for tomorrow may not come. There’s no other time. Now is the time. Act now before it’s too late. Dr. Henry L. Yu (henrio_md@yahoo.com)
Reflection: It is not easy to say goodbye to a habit. But through self-determination and discipline, coupled with prayers, nothing is impossible. Without God, we can do nothing. With Him, we are strong.
Dear Lord, grant us the determination to kick our bad habits and become the good children that You have designed us to be.
St. Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary - Daily Bible Reflections November 25,2015

“… I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking…” — Luke 21:15
       When I was a fulltime worker for my Catholic community, I used to speak to different crowds — to young people, married couples, even to little kids. Usually I’d speak in English, but there were many times that I’d have to speak in Bahasa Melayu or Tetum (a language spoken in Timor Leste, where my family and I used to be based).
       I’m not a fulltime worker anymore and I don’t give talks as often as I used to. I am blessed, though, because I still get invited to speak at events, usually at parenting seminars or special seminars for women. It’s even more challenging to speak to people of different backgrounds, and not necessarily of the same faith. I often find myself praying and preparing for each talk with great care, because I believe that every speaking opportunity is a chance for me to glorify God. Thank God for His wisdom that sees me through every talk!
       So if ever you find yourself at a loss for words when you’ve been tasked to speak about something — especially about God — don’t fear! He will give you the words you need! Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (tina@trulyrichmom.com)
Reflection: Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary. — Anonymous
Lord, grant me the wisdom I need to speak of Your love and grace to those who need to hear it the most.
St. Columban, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Do you use the life you were given only to serve yourself or do you responsibly use it to serve God and others? - Daily Bible Reflections November 24,2015

“There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues...” – Luke 21:11
       The Philippines will remember 2013 for the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that flattened Bohol and the strongest ever recorded typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) that ravaged Central Philippines. In other parts of the world, the Midwest US and Ohio Valley were hit by a tornado, Indonesia had a violent volcanic eruption, while the desert kingdom of Riyadh experienced severe flooding.
       What is happening to the world? Is the end near? Environmentalists point to climate change. But doomsayers claim these  events are God’s way of punishing a world gone astray – with war, corruption and widespread acceptance of abortion.
       Nobody knows the time and day of God’s second coming. It will happen according to His time. Instead of ranting about shortcomings, questioning God for the tragedies, and predicting the end of the world, let us channel our energies to doing these things: Let us recognize the strong spirit of humanity and the best of mankind that springs after each tragedy. Let us examine our inner selves about our contributions in making the world a better place, and finally, in preparing ourselves for death and His judgment. Marie Franco (mariefranco_pie@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Do you use the life you were given only to serve yourself or do you responsibly use it to serve God and others?
Spare us, O Lord, from the tragedies in life. And as I am spared, grant me the conscience to uplift those who experience tragedies and trials in life.
St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, pray for us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

If you were in Daniel’s situation, would you continue to be faithful? What do you think it means to be “poor of the Lord”? - Daily Bible Reflections November 23,2015

“He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest...”– Luke 21:3
Imagine losing everything in the worst possible way — no more house, no more money, your family is either killed, maimed or enslaved in front of you, nothing that you are or own matters anymore, you’re thrown into the streets, and you’re made a slave of a tyrant.
       Would you still serve God?
    In today’s readings, that is exactly what happened to Daniel, his companions and the widow. None of them chose the situation they were in — Daniel and his friends were now slaves, and the widow, having lost her family, was now a beggar for life.
       But more than having anguish in common, they also had a strong faith, a living hope and a firm devotion to the Lord. Consider that even in their situation, (a) none of them complained or blamed God for their circumstances, (b) consistently, they showed nothing but conviction, and (c) compared to others who had freedom or riches or both, these people who had very little still exceeded expectations in what they did for the Lord.
       They were blessed for their faith and they have blessed us with their example. They are “giants” to emulate indeed. Rod Velez (rod.velez@gmail.com)
Reflection: If you were in Daniel’s situation, would you continue to be faithful? What do you think it means to be “poor of the Lord”?
Lord, You know better the deficiencies in my faith; take them all away and make me whole. For Your greater honor and glory. Amen.
St. Clement I, pope and martyr, pray for us.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What is your topmost need or dream right now? Tell Jesus about it in detail - Daily Bible Reflections November 16,2015

“What do you want me to do for you?” – Luke 18:41
       God knows what you will ask from Him even before you tell Him. Nonetheless, tell Him.
       As a father to my kids, I almost always know what my son or daughter will ask from me. Still, I want them to tell me. Why? So that we can talk and nourish our relationship. And because more than what I give or what my child receives, the more important thing is our  relationship — the giver and the receiver, the father and the child.
        When you pray and ask God for what you need, your talking to Him is already creating miracles. You recognize Him. You honor Him. You depend on Him. You profess your faith in Him. Whether you receive what you asked for or not, developing your relationship with Him is what matters most.
       Also, you know that when you receive what you asked for, it’s from Him! You asked for it, right? So you become grateful, joyful and humble, knowing that the blessings you have are not the fruit of your hard work but are given by His grace.
       Now, hear Jesus ask you again, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Tell Him. Talk to Him. Now. Alvin Barcelona (apb_ayo@yahoo.com)
Reflection: What is your topmost need or dream right now? Tell Jesus about it in detail. Expect Him to answer your prayers as you deepen your relationship with Him.
Dear Lord, this is what I want You to do for me today. (Specify what it is.) Thank You for answering my prayer in the best possible way. I love You, Jesus.
St. Margaret of Scotland, pray for us. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How is your spiritual life at this point in time? In what ways do you cultivate your soul? - Daily Bible Reflections November 15,2015

“In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates.” – Mark 13:29
       Though it’s still wintertime as I write this, temperatures have been warming up early for spring, warm enough for ants to know that it’s time to come out of their nests to raid our bathroom and kitchen again. Very smart, these ants. They communicate with each other, build underground “cities,” and they don’t waste time gathering food in preparation for the next winter season.
       Ant behavior is tied to the weather. Like most other creatures that are of lesser intelligence, they survive by using their senses. We humans, however, are the most intelligent creatures of the Earth yet our intelligence causes us to analyze too much, thus hindering us from recognizing the signs of the times.
       In Mark chapter 13, Jesus speaks about the signs of the end that have been upon us for many years — warring nations, earthquakes, famines. How are we preparing our souls? The end of days may not happen in our lifetime, but surely our lives will come to an end.
       Like the ants, let’s use our time on Earth wisely by nurturing our souls so that when the winter of life is over, we’ll be ready to meet our Maker. Nova A. Sevilla (nova.svp@gmail.com)
Reflection: How is your spiritual life at this point in time? In what ways do you cultivate your soul?
Heavenly Father, may I make it a daily goal to beautify my soul in preparation for meeting You when my time comes.
St. Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

God wants you to ride His van of hope. Hop in! - Daily Bible Reflections November 14,2015

“Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?” – Luke 18:7
       I had only two hours to commute from Mandaluyong to Cubao, and back. That shouldn’t have been a problem, since the distance was only around 12 kilometers in total. But I was going to do so on a Friday during the Christmas rush, and “traffic jam” was an understatement.
       I hired a taxi to take me to Cubao so I was able to get there in time. The problem was getting back to Mandaluyong.
       So there I was, pleading to God to let me make it back in time. Tough luck, I thought to myself.
       Then, as I was about to walk to the bus stop, a white van appeared in front of me. The windows opened, and I heard a man shout from the inside, “Hop in!” To my surprise, I saw that the man was Bo Sanchez. His wife, Marowe, was with him in the van and there was plenty of room for me!
       “Thank You, Lord!” My heart was full of joy and praise as I stepped inside the van. I learned that the kind couple were heading the same way, and that they could drop me off as close as possible to where I needed to be. I sat back, shared lots of stories, and thanked them for being my angels when I got down.
    God truly answers when we call on Him! Migs Ramirez (migsramirez.seminars@gmail.com)
Reflection: God wants you to ride His van of hope. Hop in!
Lord, thank You for meeting my needs at the perfect time. Teach me to trust in You and never grow weary of relying on You. Amen.
St. Dyfrig, bishop, pray for us.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How often do you attribute what you have and what you have achieved to God? Focus on the Giver, not the gift - Daily Bible Reflections November 13,2015

For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. – Wisdom 13:5
       She was one of those girls whom guys would love to take home to their parents and whom girls would want to be best friends with. She was beautiful, with clear skin, bouncy hair and naturally doll-like eyes that twinkled as she smiled. Compliment her, and she’d tell you, “Thank you. Bigay ni Lord. (It’s God’s gift).”
       She was gifted with a love for music. Her voice could be likened to an angel’s, and this has become her instrument in serving God. As friends pat her on the back as she goes offstage after leading worship, she would humbly say, “Thank you. Bigay ni Lord. (It’s God’s gift).”
         One time, she shared about her success in her flourishing career. A new car had been offered to her as a reward for her hard
work. She answered my congratulations with “Thank you. Bigay ni Lord. (It’s God’s gift).” To her, everything is a gift from God.
       When we focus more on the Gift Giver rather than the gift, we can see God more. When we become more astounded by the generosity of God rather than the greatness of His blessing, we become more grateful to Him. Osy Erica (osy.erica@gmail.com)
Reflection: How often do you attribute what you have and what you have achieved to God? Focus on the Giver, not the gift.
Thank You, Father, for everything You have given me. For every blessing, help me to focus on You more. Remind me that every good thing is not of my doing but a gift from You. Amen.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, pray for us.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Beware and never let your guards down - Daily Bible Reflections November 12,2015

“The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed... the kingdom of God is among you.” – Luke 17:20-21
       In the early days of my conversion, I was always invited by different religious sects to attend their Bible studies and prayer meetings. They quoted passages in the Bible just to convince me to leave my religion and join theirs.
       There were life-changing testimonies from former Catholics who converted when they felt Jesus was more “present” in that specific religious denomination. But every time I asked them about Mary as the Mother of God and the Holy Eucharist as the true presence of Christ, they couldn’t give me concrete answers.
       Finally, after so many groups had tried to convince me about their “true” religion, it was God Himself who manifested His presence to me. I attended daily Mass during my lunch breaks and the first of those daily Masses happened on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. What further proof did I need to show the people on the real presence of God?
       From then on, my life changed. To this day, I continue to receive Jesus daily in the Holy Eucharist, where God’s presence is truly magnified. Monty Mendigoria (montymendigoria@yahoo.com)
Reflection: Beware and never let your guards down. There will be voices of deception to make us believe that they were sent to bring salvation. Let Jesus reveal Himself and let Him manifest in your life.
My Lord, let Your almighty power come like a flash of lightning and let the world see Your greatness in every corner of the Earth.
St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A grateful heart is a magnet of blessings. Start thanking God and get ready to be blessed - Daily Bible Reflections November 11,2015

And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice. – Luke 17:15
       I can identify with the lepers in today’s Gospel. Not that I had leprosy — only that I was also as despicable:
       I was ugly, short, and had a not-so-pointed-nose, big eyes (with big eyebags), a rough complexion, unkempt hair, and teeth resembling a broken fence. I was also pimple-infested, bad-smelling, skinny and frail, asthmatic, poor in math, accounting, grammar and writing. I was a total failure.
       Then God entered my life! The amazing Savior poured in His grace. He loved me and gave beautiful color to my rather boring, pale and dreary life.
       Now, I’m still vertically-challenged, yet I have a nearly-pointed-nose, expressive eyes and manly complexion. I have a fair-skinned face, am good-smelling, fit and sporty. I am an entrepreneur and investor, speak good English, an author of books, an international speaker, a visionary, have a great family life, and living a life of success and significance.
       All thanks to Jesus — and that is why I preach His Word.
       Indeed, when you realize and see that it is the Son of God Himself who heals and redeems you, you will never be the same again. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
Reflection: A grateful heart is a magnet of blessings. Start thanking God and get ready to be blessed.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)
St. Martin of Tours, bishop, pray for us.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Where is God leading you? - Daily Bible Reflections November 8, 2015

‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ – 1 Kings 17:14
       I resigned from my stable job in advertising to focus on building my dream — to be a full-time crafter.
       When God planted this desire in my heart, I asked myself, “How the heck am I going to survive without a regular income?”
       For more than a year, I prayed for direction every day, and as I prayed, my passion for crafting grew. So I asked God, “What do you want me to do?” He answered with a smile on His face, “Pia, whatever it is that you decide to do, do everything for Me and with Me, and everything will fall into place.”
       My fear was replaced with peace and excitement. I knew I had to take a leap of faith. So, after more than a year of thinking and praying, I submitted my resignation letter. As promised, God made everything fall into place.
       Big and small freelance writing projects lined up like ants, enough to sustain me for the rest of the year. I now have more time to do arts and crafts, bringing me a step closer to opening my dream craft store. My God provides for my every need.
       Open your heart to God. Share your dreams with Him, because His will for you is to be happy more than words can express. Pia Angelica Suiza (piasuiza@yahoo.com)
REFLECTION: Where is God leading you?
Jesus, my Provider, You make all things new in Your perfect time. Grant me the humility and patience to listen to Your voice each and every day. Amen.
Blessed John Duns Scotus, pray for us.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Success is not built overnight. It’s all about starting slow and finishing strong, and starting small but finishing big - Daily Bible Reflections November 7,2015

“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.” – Luke 16:10
       Let me ask you something. Do you ever dream of giving away one million pesos?
       I do. But I’m still in the process of learning to give away one hundred thousand pesos.
       Before that, I learned to give away ten thousand pesos.
       And way before that, I had to learn to give away one thousand pesos first.
       Have you ever dreamed of being responsible for a hundredmillion-peso-business?
       Then learn to be responsible for a hundred-thousand-pesobusiness. But believe me when I tell you that before you even get there, you have to start being responsible for a thousand-pesobusiness first. And then God will allow you to work your way up.
       Do you want live a life without limits?
       Then learn to get out of your comfort zone, and keep at it. The next thing you know, God is already allowing you to live a life  without limits because He knows that you can handle it. Orange Garcia (orange_garcia@hotmail.com)
Reflection: Success is not built overnight. It’s all about starting slow and finishing strong, and starting small but finishing big.
Lord, give me the wisdom to become and remain a responsible and accountable steward.
St. Didacus, pray for us.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Are you having difficulty sharing Jesus to someone? Maybe you just need a new approach - Daily Bible Reflections November 6,2015

I aspire to proclaim the gospel not where Christ has already been named... – Romans 15:20
       A few years ago some, my friends and I came together to make a wild idea come true: Put up a different kind of inspirational gathering so that we can invite all our friends whom we haven’t been able to convince to attend a regular prayer meeting. The ideas started flowing…
       “Let’s have small tables with chips and overflowing coffee so people can converse over a snack. Let’s sing popular secular songs that complement the preaching. Let’s have a small stage where the singers, musicians and preacher sit on bar stools so that it gives a relaxed atmosphere.”
       Thus, Light Thursdays was born. Our theme was “Because God Chills.” Many non-Churchgoers were overwhelmingly grateful for this unique Catholic gathering where they found God in a non-conventional way. A number of them even called it their “home.” Check out what’s happening with us on Facebook/ BGC Light Thursdays
       I believe God honors maverick efforts for the good, no matter what the results are. Because of this, my friends and I continue to find fresh ways to share the Gospel to those who haven’t heard it. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.g@svrtv.com)
Reflection: Are you having difficulty sharing Jesus to someone? Maybe you just need a new approach.
Lord, may I never grow tired of sharing Your Good News.
St. Nicholas Travelic and Companions, pray for us.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Are you living the way the Lord wants you to live? - Daily Bible Reflections November 5, 2015

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord...” – Romans 14:8
       Cathy lived for the Lord. She was a very active parishioner and served in various church ministries. She was a true worshiper, worshiping God in spirit and in truth. She was a generous giver — she didn’t count the cost of her giving but always gave her all.
        She did all these because of her love for the Lord.
        One day, friends told me she was ill, so we went to visit her.
       Lying in bed, she managed to smile when she saw us. She was in pain but didn’t complain. She had been bedridden for weeks but she continued to hope in the Lord for healing. When we prayed for her, I sensed a big leap of faith in her “aura.”
        A few days later, the sad news came: Cathy had passed away.
       When I went to her wake, she looked like she was at peace. Her face showed a quiet calmness and tranquility that told me that she is with the Lord.
       I believe that was so because the Lord says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3).
    She had lived for the Lord, and had died for the Lord. We will certainly miss you, Cathy! Danny Tariman (dtariman.loj@gmail.com)
Reflection: Are you living the way the Lord wants you to live?
Lord Jesus, may I have the courage to live for You, so that I may also be with You in the life to come! Amen.
Venerable Solanus Casey, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reflection: Are you diplomatic and loving in your words and deeds? - Daily Bible Reflections November 4,2015

“Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10
       I am a product of the public school system, where students come from all backgrounds. Diversity often results in students nursing a cut or bruise on their bodies — a direct result of “rumbles” and fights.
         Spats were bound to happen, and I was never exempt from arguing with my schoolmates. However, for some reason, I never got into any serious messes with anyone that could have led to fighting.
       Looking back now, the one thing that got me through my “public school life” was the fact that I never wanted to inflict pain (physical or emotional) on anyone. I was always diplomatic when it came to handling relationship issues with others.
       Looking back, I think my love and respect for others always prevailed over any issue. I’m grateful to God for that because even up to now, being diplomatic and loving has already become second nature to me, by God’s grace.
       Whenever you have conflicts with others or are tempted to fight with someone, remember Jesus’s reminder for us to love our neighbor... and be His diplomat. Eugene Cailao (eugenecailao@gmail.com)
Reflection: Are you diplomatic and loving in your words and deeds?
Do you seek to love instead of do evil whenever your neighbor wrongs you?
Father, allow me the grace to show my love to the people around me by my words and actions.
St. Charles Borromeo, bishop, pray for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How are you using your God-given gifts in building His Kingdom? - Daily Bible Reflections November 3,2015

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them. – Romans 12:6
Seven pairs of hands held the rope — on which balanced some plastic eggs, at different angles and points. Slowly and somewhat prayerfully, we walked towards the goal.
       As we neared it, our movements became more coordinated. We finished the exercise without dropping a single egg — and found out later on that our group was the best finisher.
       Reflecting on that activity, I believe we succeeded because we trusted in what each person in the group could do. We were well-coordinated and we kept the goal in mind.
       Applying this to our work as the production team of Shepherd’s Voice Publications, which churns out more than 20 books a year and four monthly magazines, I realize the same things help us achieve our goals. Each one of us has his or her own strengths and weaknesses in terms of work style, preferences, skills and background. What one lacks, the other supports, even if it’s not part of one’s job description.
       That’s what the Church needs, too — we must contribute what we can, each according to the gifts given to us. And as long as we’re faithful to the Giver of the gifts, we can achieve our goal — for His greater glory. Tess V. Atienza (theresa.a@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)
Reflection: How are you using your God-given gifts in building His Kingdom?
Lead me, Lord, on how I can best use the gifts You have poured upon me.
St. Martin de Porres, religious, pray for us.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A burden shared is a burden halved. – Anonymous - Daily Bible Reflections November 2, 2015

Solemnity of All Souls Day
“Take my yoke upon you... For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” – Matthew 11:29-30
       One summer, our family had a vacation in a five-star hotel. My siblings and I were waiting in the lounge as my parents were settling the arrangement of our rooms at the reception desk. As soon as Dad handed the keys to us, all my siblings rushed upstairs to our rooms. I found myself left there with all of their baggage.
       Being the eldest son, I took the burden of carrying their baggage all the way to the third floor. It was a struggle. I ended up bathed in sweat. As my siblings opened the door, I grumbled: “Why did you leave me to carry all your baggage?”
       They laughed so hard and then they all pointed to the area behind me. I turned around and, lo and behold, the bellboy was there! He said, “Sorry, sir, I got a trolley for the baggage, but you went up so quickly!”
       Are you struggling and sweating because of a burden? Maybe you’re not supposed to be carrying it in the first place. Why not hand it over to God or share the burden with Him?
     Remember, whenever you’re faced with a burdensome trial or situation, you don’t have to carry it alone. Velden Lim (veldenlim@
Reflection: A burden shared is a burden halved. – Anonymous
Lord, when I am weary and burdened, may I rely not on my own strength, but on Your strength that is within me.
All Souls, pray for us.

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