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Friday, May 31, 2013




As we celebrate this Sunday the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ), let us focus our reflection on the Body of Christ as a living organism.   A corpse is a dead body because it is devoid of life due to the absence of a soul which is the principle of life.  The Body of Christ is not a corpse because it was risen from the dead during the resurrection.  It is alive, breathing, pulsating and full of energy.   Being the physical body of Jesus Christ it was bruised, crucified, died and rose back to life.   No other human being who lived on this earth experienced such phenomenon:  Jesus alone!  Others might have been resuscitated back to life but their physical bodies did not have the eternal qualities of Jesus’ body. 

It was this physical body of Jesus who could generate life not just for itself but a new body which is spiritual and mystical. From His tortured body hanging on the cross in the height of excruciating pain, Jesus gave birth to the New Humanity.   On Calvary, the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, was born from the open breast of Jesus.   This was symbolized by the blood and water which gushed forth from the side of Jesus which are the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism respectively. 

To become a member of this Mystical Body of Christ, one has to be baptized.  Once baptized, a person is grafted into the very life of its Body whose Head is Jesus Christ.   The Church being a living organism is made up of the followers of Jesus and they form one spiritual body which is patterned after the physical body of Jesus.   In this mystical phenomenon, all the members are inter-connected with each other as if through a bond like interwoven threads that form a beautiful tapestry.  Each member is also like a piece of tile which is placed in a particular design in the formation of a mosaic.  The joys and pains, the glory and struggles of all the members become the living fibers in unity that creates harmony.   That is why, each member is most valuable in the operation of that body because each one completes the masterpiece of God.  

The Eucharist which also came from the heart of Jesus is the celebration par excellence that expresses the very essence of the Mystical Body of Christ.  Like the body that needs nourishment, as a living organism it is also needs spiritual nourishment which comes from the sacrifice of its Head and founder.   When the members gather to celebrate the Eucharist they enter into a living memorial of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. As they re-live the events in the life of Jesus, they enter into a Kairos, a sacred time when:

The sanctuary is transformed into Calvary

The cross now stands as the altar of redemption

The Eternal High Priest is now an ordinary man

The body of the hanging victim is raised as bread

And his precious blood flows as wine into the cup

Lo and behold the unfolding of a great mystery:

The Word becomes flesh again: “This is my Body….”

Every celebration of the Eucharist even in its humblest form is of epic proportion when grace explodes and radiates into the universe transforming every fiber of creation into the realm of God.  This is the beauty and grandeur of the Eucharist.  We may not see nor understand it but it is happening and we are part of this great mystery.  That is why the Eucharist is the greatest treasure of the Church!

Friday, May 24, 2013




John 16:12-15

God is one and God is three.  That is the shortest definition of the Trinity.  One in substance yet three in Persons.  Very simple yet very complex.   

What distinguishes a Christian from a faithful Jew or Muslim who both believe in One God, is the belief that God subsists in three persons namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.   The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not just the monotheism of Judaism and Islam but a belief in God who is a communion and a family of love.  God subsists in three relationships or modalities or dynamics: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   If God is love, the Father is the Lover, the Son is the Beloved and the Holy Spirit is shared Love.  We express this belief every time we make the sign of the cross and whenever we pray the Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit….

Benedict XVI says “I believe in one God is a subversive statement which disempowers all claimants to deity.  No president, no prime minister, no culture, no country, no ideology is God.  The Church is the vehicle by which this One God wants to draw all peoples to unity within Himself” (quoted by Fr. Robert Barron in Christianity Series).  It is also subversive in a sense that the founders of other religions cannot claim to be God: not Buddha, not Confucius, not Mohammad!

We believe that this One God revealed Himself as the Trinity in pilgrimage with His pilgrim people towards Himself.  The whole economy of salvation is nothing but the unfolding of God in a progressive and continuous revelation of His being to us.  But the human mind can comprehend only so little that we find ourselves inarticulate to express the inexhaustible mystery of God.  The God we believe in is the God who reveals Himself in being hidden and at the same time hides in being revealed. 

If the Trinity is a communion of three Persons in love, the sharing of that communion overflows into creation.  In this self-communication of God, He enters into a relationship with His creatures particularly with man who is called the imago Trinitatis (the image of the Trinity).   Here we understand the Father as the Creator, the Son as the Redeemer  and the Holy Spirit as the Sanctifier.   We can only understand the Trinity through their functions, namely what they do in relations to us, otherwise we can never understand them in terms of their essence or  substance.  The best theologians of the Church have been groping with terminologies in the quest to comprehend the Christian doctrine which is expressed using Greek philosophical terms. 

The Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ assumed human nature and became a pilgrim God-man who introduced to man a new of relating with God.  The mission of Jesus is not just to reveal to us the three persons of the Trinity but to bring us into the Trinitarian life, like Mary who is the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

When we were baptized, we received the indelible but invisible mark of the Trinity: we became children of God the Father, Jesus became our personal Saviour and the Holy Spirit became our Paraclete.  We have entered into a communion of divine fellowship with the One God.   In this communion, we became part of the Mystery, we became  members of the Divine Family.  Because God is love,  God is our lover, we are His beloved and He loves us with unconditional love.  On our part we are called “to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with our might” (Dt. 6:4). 
Let us ask Mary, our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity to bring us into the fulness of the Trinitarian life....

To know more about the SOLT (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity), please visit our website: 

Friday, May 17, 2013


John 20:19-23

         Today we celebrate the birth-day of the Church!  Today we celebrate the beginning of a new era in the history of salvation when the Holy Spirit was gifted to the followers of Jesus in fulfillment of His promise: “I will send you the Paraclete…”   Today is the day of empowerment!
         The disciples of Jesus before Easter were a picture of ultimate losers, full of fear and nothing to hold on to when the reason of their existence vanished in the death of their Master.  It was on this horrifying and hopeless situation that the Risen Christ appeared to them giving them peace.  Suddenly they were filled with joy!    With a new mission as ambassadors of the Resurrection, they received new life from the One who said “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).  Christ breathed on them and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  For a number of times during the Last Discourse of Jesus (Jn 14-17) He introduced the Paraclete as the new name of the Holy Spirit.  He also promised that the Paraclete would be the gift of the Father to His disciples. 
         Creation is always associated with the breath of God (ruah in Hebrew) which also refers to breath or wind (pneuma in Greek) and was translated as spiritus in Latin (spirit in English).   Everything in creation came into being when the Word was spoken by the Father.  Therefore all creatures continue in existence by the Father’s continuous utterance of the Word through the breathing of the Holy Spirit.   That is why we say that each single created being is an imprint of the Trinity (vestigia Trinitatis).  In a very special way, when God created man, He blew His ruah as divine breath into the nostril of man and man became a living being.   God’s breath was loaned to man in the duration of his earthly life and will totally depend on God as He continued to breathe through the utterance of His Word.   But sin tremendously damaged that relationship between God and man.   The Risen Christ as if in the second act of creation, breathed once again a renewed ruah to humanity during the Pentecost to give life once again, and this time fullness of life.  This very act is the creation of the Church as the New Humanity.   In this new creation, the recipients were empowered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to constantly renew themselves through the sacrament of Reconciliation:  If you forgive sins, they are forgiven…”  The breath of God empowers the disciples of Jesus to perform extraordinary actions because of the presence of the Paraclete in them. 
         Pentecost happens everyday because God continues to utter His Word through us when we do good things to ourselves, to others and to the world.   There is Pentecost when we embrace a stranger as our own, when we forgive somebody who wronged us, when we brake down the walls of  prejudice and racism, when an enemy becomes a friend, when members of different religions come together as brothers and sisters, when nations stopped fighting each other, etc.  When we do these, we are able to use the divine breath that is given on loan to us to help in re-creating this world into the realm of God!
Take a deep breath and feel the power within you… the presence of the ruah who dwells within you that makes you sacred and empowers you to breathe into the world fresh and new life….

Friday, May 10, 2013


Luke 24:46-53

           Have you tried responding to these fundamental questions in life:  For whom do I wake up in the morning? What drives me to live the day? Where am I going to at the end of my life’s journey?
         The first principle and foundation of the Spiritual Exercises of the Jesuits is that we are created to know, love and be with God forever.  This is the whole purpose of life!  To achieve that goal is the ultimate quest that one can ever have.  In the mystery of the incarnation, Jesus Christ became a pilgrim God to offer the pilgrim humanity fullness of life: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).
         The Ascension of Jesus did not just complete His earthly pilgrimage but opened up a new door of a further pilgrimage for humanity beyond the material world.   There is something more to life than what we can experience by our senses.   The ultimate challenge of our faith is for us to trust that God will bring us to His dwelling place: “In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. I will go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, here you may be also” (Jn 14:2-3).   Now we know why God created us!  Now we know the purpose of  life. God does not only give us a promise but gives us all the means in fulfilling that promise.  From our end, everything we do is geared towards the achieving the goal for which we were created.  
         The gospel of Luke started in the temple with a priest (Zechariah representing the priesthood of the Old Testament) who was unable to give a blessing.  The same gospel ended in the temple where the disciples were praising God after the High Priest Jesus Christ gave them the blessing.   The disciples were given the mission to proclaim repentance and forgiveness to all the nations.  They were not just the first missionaries but the first witnesses as well.
         I once asked a friend who comes from another faith orientation where his religion would bring him after he dies.  He was stunned because he does not know where he is going to.   After we die we do not want to be reincarnated into a worm, a cow, a cockroach or any lovely animal.  We also do not believe that we just disintegrate into air as pure consciousness and become part of cosmic dust.   We are ascending to heaven to live life to the fullest in eternity.
         Here are the beautiful lyrics of the song: Go the Distance from the animated movie Hercules:

I have often dreamed, of a far off place
Where a hero's welcome, would be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer, when they see my face
And a voice keeps saying, this is where I'm meant to be
I'll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way, if I can be strong
I know ev'ry mile, will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I'll be right where I belong....

The Ascension of Jesus is a sign of hope for all of us.  After our life’s pilgrimage, we are going home!  Home to where we should belong.  Home together with our family and friends and all our loved ones.  Home where our Father who has been anxiously awaiting for us will greet us: “Welcome home!”

Saturday, May 4, 2013




John 14:23-2

   One of the hardest things to do is to say goodbye to the ones we love.  It sometimes rends our hearts as it is emotionally draining.  It breaks something in us, maybe a relationship,  home, friendship and when it is permanent like the death of someone close to us, it is usually devastating.  We always endeavor to  leave something precious that will remind the person/s we leave behind about us.

When Jesus announced to His apostles that He was going away, we could imagine how devastated they were.  This was because they were not enlightened yet and had to struggle to understand what was going on.   Jesus assured them that His physical absence would actually be a “creative presence”, a notion which they would only understand in the light of Easter.  Jesus revealed something explosive in the ears of His apostles that He will continue to be with them, this time together with His Father to those who will keep His word.  The Father and Jesus will indwell in the person who will be faithful to the teachings of Jesus: “The Father and I will make a home with him.”   It was a new way of Jesus’ presence with the apostles which transcends time and space.

Added to the indwelling of the Father and Jesus was the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit by the name “Advocate”.  It was a pre-announcement of the Pentecost!   When Jesus goes back to the Father, the Holy Spirit will inaugurate a new era in the History of Salvation.   This distinct period of history will be permeated with the presence of the Paraclete.  Jesus announced two of the functions of the Paraclete namely: to teach the apostles all things and remind them of everything that Jesus taught.   There will be no new revelation by the Paraclete but an infusion of wisdom and understanding in the minds of the followers of Jesus.  The Paraclete will also make present the teachings and words of Jesus making them always fresh and new in the hearts of all believers for all time.  Indeed with the coming of the Paraclete, Jesus has come back and will never leave again His followers albeit in the spiritual sense. 

Once again Jesus leaves His peace, not as a mere greeting the way we give when we meet someone.   It is not the absence of noise, conflict nor pain but the serenity of heart in the midst of afflictions and suffering.   It is the tranquility of the heart that enables the believers to face hardships, difficulties and even death.

Yes it was devastating for the apostles to hear that their Master would not be with them physically anymore but they should not be disheartened because He would still be with them in a new and fuller way, that is through the indwelling of the Trinity in their hearts.    This is a foretaste of the fullness of life when the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit dwell within us and make us  temples of God!  This is living the Trinitarian life!