Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.
February 28, 2018 Wednesday
Gospel : MT 20:17-28
Serve and Love
Each one of us is a "leader" in some way at some point--in politics, business, work, family or at class. Jesus today is reminding us that He came in this world not to be served but to serve, and in our pursue of living like Christ, we are called to do the same. What is one thing we can do today to serve our people? One concrete step could be preparing a coffee for our office guards or maintenance staff, cooking a meal for our siblings, or as simple as telling to a person what is good about them today. A smile can also be a powerful way to serve.
Serve and love, "do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person" - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
February 27, 2018 Tuesday
Gospel : MT 23:1-12
The Greatest Among You Must Be Your Servant
We all want to be great. We all imagined ourselves on the peek of success, where all look up on us, seek wisdom from us and praise us. But is that really the picture of greatness? Jesus flips that image upside down in today's Gospel. Saying that "The greatest among you must be your servant." Must. It's a necessity, an obligation that if we do not fulfill then we are not the greatest person in the room. God calls all of us to serve, therefore to be great, in His standards.
Today's invitation is simple: Be a servant.
February 26, 2018 Monday
Gospel : LK 6:36-38
Today is another day, but would it be that "another day" again? Where we judge people we meet by their appearance? Where we play the finger-pointing game? Where we cannot forgive those who wrong us?
Jesus is inviting us to see today as "another chance." Chance to change the gears of how we see and live. From judging to understanding. From hoarding to giving. Give and gifts will be given to you. But mind you, give more not because you know you will receive more, but give more simply because that's how you love more. "For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
Today is another chance to love anew.
February 25, 2018 Sunday
Gospel : Mark 9:2-10
The Transfiguration revealed Christ divine nature. Just like his baptism at the Jordan River, the heavenly voice proclaims that Jesus is the beloved Son of God.
“Listen to him!” (Mark9:7), this time it is a word addressed to his disciples. To them, witnessing the event was an intense spiritual experience! They saw Jesus transfigured and heard the voice of the Father! Distracted and confused from what they heard from Jesus about his suffering, death and resurrection. This encounter sealed their faith. How about our own experience of transfiguration? Only a profound personal encounter with Jesus will display that dazzling enthusiasm and joy in us.
How about making your own project of life based on the four exercises - daily personal prayer, fraternal life, carrying your cross and missions? This lent is a good opportunity to live it out.
February 24, 2018 - Saturday
Gospel : Matthew 5:43-48
Love Your Enemies
This book caught my attention and immediately grab it : “Working with Bitches - Identify the 8 types of Office Mean Girls and Rise above workplace nastiness” by Meredith Fuller. I only heard horror stories from colleagues about some types of women in the office until i encountered one!
“If you only love those who love you, what reward is there for that?”; “Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5: 46, 43) Easier said than done! But really turning frustration and unexpressed anger to praying for a person lifts the burden and makes one see the situation from the lens of Christ .
To love even our enemies is our calling too! Take heed despite the discomfort and trust God! In no time justice will prevail and everything is put back to order.
Today, for whom is God inviting you to show your love?
February 23, 2018 Friday
Gospel : Matthew 5:20-26
Do you know when you’re angry? How often do you recognize this fiery emotion? Is it bad to be angry? Some are good at expressing it .When anger remains unexpressed, what happens? No matter how you ignore it, the anger would still be there. In your thoughts, in your bones you can’t deny it. It’d keep coming back.
Anger isn’t a bad emotion if properly dealt with. Else, it feels uncomfortable, tense, anxious, puts you in a bad mood and worst may affect your relationship with other people.
It took me awhile to heed this teaching - “so if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone had something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person.” (Matthew 5:23-24) and when i finally did , i felt freedom and peace within me.
Are you in a similar situation? Do not hesitate to take action now. Be reconciled with yourself and others. Be free!
February 22, 2018 Thursday
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
Shepherd for the flock
“You are Peter and upon this rock
i will build my church” (Mt16:13)
Today is the Feast of the Chair of St Peter the Apostle. It reminds us of the mission and appointment of Peter as the leader of the church in a continuous succession up to the present Pope Francis. How awesome the mind of Jesus who had put structures and developed leaders way ahead of the HR’s today so that the church lived on from one generation to the next benifitting each one of us in this generation!
CBCP declared 2018 as the Year of the Clergy and Concecrated Persons. CBCP Archbishop Valles said, “envisions that clergy and concecrated persons become “renewed” servants leaders who cares most especially to the last, least and lost.
Let us be grateful and pray for them for it is because of their YES that we have heard and received the WORD. And more people are reached through all the ends of the earth.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet who brings good news” Isaiah 52:7
February 21, 2018
Gospel: Lk 11:29-32
Demanding for a sign
In general i think we all seem to ask for signs from time to time, for it gives us a feeling of certainty and assurance. Apparitions and miracles like the film Himala - a local girl seer and healer or asking for roses as a confirmation. In whatever form it may be it doesnt change the fact . Jesus insist that he himself is the sign . For through him God sent his son into our world as a sign of his great love for us! Whoever sees him sees God !
The Ninevites were moved to conversion by the prophetic sign of Jonah. Today, it is Jesus calling us for repentance and invites us to turn to him. He is our true source of life and love! Turn to him now and stop looking for other signs to validate or satisfy you! He is here, now and waiting for you! What are you looking for?
February 20, 2018
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
The Lord’s Prayer
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases”
How’s your prayer life ? Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving is the invitation this Lent. Pope Francis in his lenten message said “ by more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation of God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.”
To pray i learned about ACTS - A for adoration. The first part of the “Our Father” is a praise to God! Glorifying and honoring not just anybody’s father, rather Our Father himself! The face of love to whom we all come from.
Though, “your father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him” (Matthew6:8), we still need to pray even if God already knows our needs. Because it is to remind us that without him we are nothing. A declaration of our dependency on him.
Our communication with God is prayer itself. Therefore, prayer should be a delightful experience! No drop calls, no busy line , no load required. He can be reached 24x7 , always on-line. So let us turn to him who waits on us.
February 19, 2018 Monday
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Let Love Continue
Here we find Jesus teaching his disciples. Picture this, everyone in assembly before God. He grouped the people into two teams - the sheep and goat. Which Team are you?
The sheep are those who practice the corporal acts of mercy - feed the hungry, gave water to drink, welcomed strangers,clothed the naked, visited the sick and those in prison. The sheep responded aptly to the people in need. Just as Jesus said, “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”Matthew 25:40
The goats responded the exact opposite of the sheep. Thus Jesus says to the goats, “depart from me! ...”
Klaus Swabb speech at WEF on “The Fourth Industry Revolution” said that “the advancement of economy may change not only what we do but who we are.” It’s becoming technology controlling over humans! Despite technological disruption & innovations influencinh our future, it is still about people and values. We are called to help those in need. We simply cannot ignore the plight of people who are suffering from hunger, thirst,homelesness, sickness and in imprisoned. We work for ourselves and family. Also to have something to give for others too. (Hebrew 13:2-3)
What is God’s invitation for you this lent?