Saturday, September 27, 2008

The faith of the shepherds


While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,


and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.


The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.


The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.


For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.


And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."


And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:


"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."


When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."


So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.


When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.


All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds."


At the message of the angels, the shepherds went to Bethlehem; they saw and they believed. They did not believe because they saw a god-like child lying in the manger. They saw the sign given them by the angel and they believed that the message of the angel was true. The child may look ordinary but the angel said that he is the "Messiah and Lord."

We too are invited to the Eucharist by the Lord. "Come and have breakfast with me. Come and taste and see that I am good. Come and eat bread to the full without money. Come and eat bread of the finest wheat." We go to Mass; we see the sign and we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist not because of any extraordinary manifestation but because of the message that we heard from the Lord is true.

Just like the shepherds, we encounter Christ only through faith in the Eucharist.



Friday, September 26, 2008

Easter Mystery

"God of mercy, may the Easter mystery we celebrate be effective throughout our lives….." (Mass Prayer in Easter Season)

How do we celebrate the Easter mystery? Through the Eucharist.

The Liturgy in Easter Season is filled with Scriptures on the death and resurrection of Christ. The Church wears a festive mood through flowers and decorations. The music is joyous. All these put us in a joyful mood. Joy and Peace are the special gifts of Easter. May we have the experience of the peace and joy of Easter all our lives.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chosen to bear fruit

"The Lord says, I have chosen you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last. Alleluia" (John 15: 16, 19)

I respond: Father, I say Amen to your word to me through your Son, Jesus. Now fulfill what you have promised.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Provide me only my necessities

"Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die: Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need; lest, being full I deny you, saying, "Who is the Lord?" Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God." (Proverbs 30: 7-9)

Amen !

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Holy Exchange of gifts

"Lord God, by this holy exchange of gifts you share with us your divine life. Grant that everything we do may be directed by the knowledge of your truth…." (Prayer at Mass)

The Eucharist is a holy exchange of gifts. We bring ourselves, our joys and challenges and offer them up with the bread and wine to the Father. We receive in exchange the precious Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ask the Father to grant that all our thoughts, words and actions will be directed by knowledge of His truth. Jesus Christ is the truth, the way and the life. We pray that the following be brought completely under the obedience of Christ:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Job
  • Money
  • Tools
  • Food

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Crucifix

"For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3: 16)

How does God love the world? - Look at the crucifix.

To believe in Jesus is to know Him, love Him and follow Him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mystery of Divine Providence

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I listened to the Opening Prayer, the first reading and the Gospel Reading of today's Mass, I knew instantly that the theme of this Sunday is the Mystery of Divine Providence. Divine Providence is for me one of the most consoling truths in religion. I want to highlight this theme through today's liturgy.

Opening Prayer:

"Father, guide us as you guide creation according to your law of love…"

God created heaven and earth and found everything He created good. He guides His creation with love and power. My deepest desire at this time is that my free-will will cooperate with God instead of being a hindrance in God's perfect guidance of my life.

First Reading: (Isaiah 55: 6-9)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

The above scripture defines the mystery of God's providence. If you can figure out the thoughts of God, then you can figure out His ways. From the Responsorial Psalm 145, we learn that "Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable."

The Gospel: (Matthew 20: 1-16)

"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard….


Going out about five o'clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?'


They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'


When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.'


When those who had started about five o'clock came, each received the usual daily wage.


So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.


And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner,


saying, 'These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden and the heat.'


He said to one of them in reply, 'My friend, I am not cheating you. 4 Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?


5Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?


(Or) am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?'


Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

If only I would remember in my hour of confusion and doubt that God's ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts, I would ask for grace to respond to God's ways with trust and obedience.