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Thursday, December 17, 2015

If dogs have papers to prove their pedigree, then we have the Bible to support our lineage, too - Daily Bible Reflections December 17,2015

Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called Christ. – Matthew 1:16
       My friend belongs to one of the well-known, affluent clans in their province. Her mom is like a living genealogy book. She practically knows everyone’s lineage all the way up to their forefathers! Not only does she know the branches of their huge family tree, she also knows all the stories surrounding each family, including their hidden secrets and mysteries. That seems to be the culture then where everyone knows everyone and everything that’s happening in their town.
       So when my friend was going to get married, the first question her mom asked was his pedigree, as if my friend was buying a dog. Her mom needed to know if her daughter was going to marry into a buena familia (good family).
       No matter how boring today’s Gospel reading may be, genealogy is significant for any culture. It establishes the identity of a person, his “belongingness.” For us Christians, it reveals that not everyone in Jesus’ lineage was from a buena familia. It wasn’t a prerequisite in producing the Messiah.
       This shows that there are no hopeless cases or rejects with God. No matter what your past is, God can always turn it around and produce something amazing! Ronna Ledesma (ronna_ledesma@yahoo.com.ph)
Reflection: If dogs have papers to prove their pedigree, then we have the Bible to support our lineage, too.
Abba Father, thank You for my papers that proves that I am Your daughter.
St. Lazarus, pray for us.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The very first devils that you will fight against are the devils in your mind - Daily Bible Reflections December 11, 2015

“But to what shall I compare this generation?” – Matthew 11:16
    Wars today involve high-tech weapons — weapons of mass destruction. One push of a button and whole cities are destroyed in massive proportions.
         I find this very cowardly when you compare it to wars in the past. In the olden days, wars involved swords, daggers, shields, spears, lances and other hand weapons. The warrior must possess raw courage. He also experiences pride and determination when the general rouses the entire army with supernatural courage.
       The general brings out the value, the power of the cooperation and the esprit-de-corps of his troops. But the most critical part is when he exhorts the army with the “why” of the fight — their raison d’ĂȘtre.
       Scottish hero William Wallace exhorted, “Fight and die, yes. Run and live, only for a while... Yet when you are old you look back and say that I should have fought... Tell them that they may take away our lives but not our freedom!”
       They won the war. You will win yours, too!
       Know your why. Fight the good fight of faith. Fight on God’s side. And victory will always be yours. Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
Reflection: The very first devils that you will fight against are the devils in your mind.
Lord, may I fight the good fight of faith, never giving up until victory is ours.
St. Damasus I, pope, pray for us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jesus is there at the Blessed Sacrament. Have you visited Him lately? - Daily Bible Reflections December 9, 2015

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart…” – Matthew 11:29
       I was on my way to my next appointment, already feeling tired and exhausted, when I saw a little child reaching out her arms to me. I stopped, squatted to her height and allowed her to hug me. At that instant, all the stress of my day melted away. I didn’t know who that little angel was but I remember her to this day.
       I now understand why parents say that their weariness fades after a hard day’s work when they come home and see their kids.
       It’s the same experience I feel whenever I visit the Blessed Sacrament. I find Jesus hidden there behind the thin wafer of the Host. He comes to us humble and meek, ready to embrace us. He is vulnerable to us. We can either hug Him back or reject His love. But how He longs to give us much needed rest. He wants to spend time with us, to listen to our problems and to counsel us, to bind our wounds. He wants to teach us what little children know — not to be afraid and to trust God.
       Our humble Savior comes to us as a Child, reminding us that no matter how old we grow, we will always be His Father’s children. We can rest in His love and presence. Marjorie Ann Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)
Reflection: Jesus is there at the Blessed Sacrament. Have you visited Him lately?
Dear Jesus, bless and protect the little children in the womb and in the world, they reveal Your gentle heart to us. Take care of Your children, Lord. Amen.
St. Juan Diego, pray for us.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Have you thanked God for everything around you today? - Daily Bible Reflections December 4,2015

Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” – Matthew 9:29
       The grace of God is upon His children. I was in college when I took this truth to heart.
       Being the youngest in a brood of seven, my family never had the easiest of times when it came to fulfilling the simplest needs of food or material things.
       Times were hard when we were growing up. I remember not being allowed to take a whole fried tilapia for a meal, otherwise nothing would be left for one more sibling who gets the last spot in the dinner table. We scrimped on everything, yet we learned to share.
       But the grace of understanding what we were going through, rather than getting hung up about it, had come upon me even at that young age. I believed in my heart that God had better things in store for me and my family, so I kept pressing on.
       In my heart, I know that God touched my “eyes” and allowed me to see every blessing He has prepared for me — then and now. Eugene Cailao (eugenecailao@gmail.com)
Reflection: Have you thanked God for everything around you today?
In the chaos of everyday life, allow me, God, to see Your grace and blessing in everything around me.
St. John Damascene, priest and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You can’t be blessed apart from God, for all blessings come from Him - Daily Bible Reflections December 2,2015

“… I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” – Matthew15:32
       When I was a teenager, I had this technique to get extra allowance for my occasional gimmicks. I call it “abiding presence.” One week before my scheduled gimmick, I would already ask for extra money. Mom would always say, “If you want to have money, save up the whole week.” But we both knew that even if I skip meals in school, I wouldn’t be able to save enough.
       What I’d do is stay by Mom’s side all throughout the week. I’d help her with the household chores, plus… I’d pluck her white hair! At the end of the week, before I leave for my gimmick, my mom would hand me extra money. It never failed!
       Why did it work? Was it because of my presence and services? No! It only worked because my mom is compassionate.
       It’s the same thing with our lives. If we remain in the abiding presence of God, we will never go empty-handed. Blessings abound. Our hands are filled not because we remain in Him.
       We lack nothing because He is compassionate. He won’t let us go empty-handed. Velden Lim (veldenlim@gmail.com)
Reflection: You can’t be blessed apart from God, for all blessings come from Him.
Lord, thank You for Your unending compassion. Everything I have is because of Your mercy.
Blessed Rafael Chylinski, pray for us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What is your image of God? How do you relate to Him? - Daily Bible Reflections December 1,2015

Not by appearance shall he judge... – Isaiah 11:3
       One day, a man came up to me and said, “Bo, I feel God is angry at me today because I missed my prayer time. I’m afraid that He’ll punish me.” Friends, I knew that feeling very well. Because for years — decades — I used to think at way. Yes, I once had toxic faith. For 20 years, I worshipped a judgmental, wrathful, vindictive and legalistic God.
       Why? Because our intellectual image of God is very different from our subconscious image of God. The latter is much deeper and more difficult to change.
       I used to pray daily out of fear of God’s punishment. Do you know how absurd that was? Imagine a father calling up his son and growling, “Ingrate! You don’t visit me anymore. I’m going to put a curse on you if you don’t visit me right this minute.” What kind of father is that? And yet we imagine God to be like that.
       Today, I still pray daily, but I do so because I love to pray. He blesses me, nourishes me, and fills my heart with love. If I do miss my prayers, He doesn’t throw lightning bolts at me.
       Friend, God understands us more than anybody else. That’s why He became Man. Merry Christmas! Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@kerygmafamily.com)
Reflection: What is your image of God? How do you relate to Him?
Heal my wrong image of You, Lord.
Blessed John of Vercelli, pray for us.

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