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Sunday, January 1, 2023




Did you know?

1. Today, the very first day of the New Year, we honor  Mary as the THEOTOKOS, the Mother of God which is the greatest of all the Marian feasts.

2. Her motherhood defines her whole being: she is the mother of Jesus, the mother of the New Humanity, the mother of the Church and the mother of us all.

3. The motherhood of Mary to Jesus which started with the Annunciation reached its peak when she stood beneath the cross as she was called “woman” by Jesus in fulfilment of the Old Testament promise of the “woman” in Genesis 3:15. From that time on, Mary became the New Eve.

4. Mary who is the most distinguished member of the Church, is personified as the Icon of the Church, hence we also call her the "Mother of the Church".  Consequently all those born in the Church by the virtue of baptism is also born of Mary, hence we also call her our own Mother.

5. Because Mary personifies the Virgin-Church (who is the "bride" of Christ), Mary remains a virgin and because the Church gives spiritual birth to all the children of God, Mary is also at the same time a Mother.  This is the reason why we call her the Virgin Mother!

6. “Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."  (the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

7. Let us entrust this New Year 2023 and ourselves unto Mary, the Mother of God.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

GET READY (First Sunday of Advent - A)

Entering into Advent, today is almost a “new year” in the liturgical calendar of the Church.  The three readings speak about “time”. The prophet Isaiah in the First Reading prophesied about a time of peace when swords will become ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks and nation will not raise sword against nation.  In the second reading St. Paul reminds us that this is the time to choose life rather than death, light rather than darkness in the way we live our lives.  

The gospel this Sunday reminds us about the coming of the Son of Man!  Jesus points to the time of Noah when people lived their lives without knowing the impending deluge.  Except for the family of Noah in the ark, they all perished.   Just like the deluge, the Lord will also come at unexpected time so He urges us to be awake at all time.  Just like a thief can break into a house anytime, we have to be on guard!

From the moment we were born we entered into time and  we are given a timeline to spend for the rest of our lives; some short, some longer depending on the mission entrusted to us.   We say time is gold because it is up to us to turn time into something precious.  Therefore time is of great value that we do not want to waste away.  Given as a gift, time is an opportunity not just to develop ourselves into the being that God envisages us to be but to optimize our giftedness as well. As a gift, we have the corresponding responsibility to re-create it through our concrete acts of selfless giving.  Since Christ entered into time He transforms history into a pilgrimage and continuous to incarnate Himself in the world He had created.  During His lifetime, He re-created creation by 

un-selfing Himself  hence transforming the world into a sacred space for humanity to live in.  “In the same way that Christ gives incarnate expression to divine self-surrender, so too must participation in Christ result in concrete acts of selfless giving” (Hans Urs von Balthasar).   

In appreciation for the time that is entrusted to us, the best way to spend it is to give away ourself as a gift to others just like Christ who poured out totally Himself as a gift to us. 

To be awake is to break away from self-enclosure into self-surrender as expressed by the Church in her mission to outpour herself out for the world.   Advent brings us into that readiness to face God when we share ourselves totally to others without reserve.  When that happens then we are ready to meet the Immanuel who continues to indwell in us in the here and now of our existence. 


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Judas Wednesday

Today we take a special look at Judas Iscariot. Who was Judas?  Why did he sell Jesus? What do we learn from him?

The gospel of Holy Monday gave us different portraits of Judas and Mary (the one who anointed Jesus’ feet).  Six days before the Passover, Jesus was in Bethany having dinner with Lazarus, Mary and Martha.   Mary expressed her super generosity by pouring in a pure nard (a very expensive perfume) unto the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. When Judas saw this, he said “Why is this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?”  John the one writing the story commented that Judas said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steel the contributions.  Judas was the treasurer and was a thief!

In the gospel of Holy Tuesday during the Last Supper we see again the difference portraits of Judas and Peter.  Amongst the twelve apostles, the two of them betrayed Jesus: Judas sold Jesus for thirty silver coins, Peter denied Jesus three times.  At the end, Judas despaired and hanged himself while Peter repented and was forgiven by Jesus.  Judas had nowhere to go in his greed, on the other hand Peter (according to tradition) went to Mary and asked  for help while he was in his grief.

Why did Jesus choose Judas as one of the Apostles
if he foreknew that Judas would betrayed him? It’s because Jesus believes in the inherent goodness of each person. He doesn’t judge us because of the bad things in our resumes.  He even chose Judas to be the treasurer and entrusted him the money of the band. Jesus simply believes that in spite of our “bad records” we can still change for the better.

Why did Judas sell Jesus? Because Judas was a thief, little by little he used to rob the common purse of the Apostles. Being used of doing it for the past three years that they were together, that evil scheme had already transformed him into a hungry monster.  

It is not important to ask whether Judas was saved or not but rather to learn the lesson from what he did.  We are all like Judas.  We have inherent goodness in us; we have been entrusted by God with so many gifts, resources and talents.  We always have the tendency to feed in the little monsters in our lives like the different addictions that entice us.  If we continue feeding these little monsters, we will crave for more until we are not able to control our cravings and one day those monsters will eat us up (this is the lesson we learn from “A Little Shop of Horrors”).

Even if we have done the worst thing, we don’t have to despair. We continue to believe that God loves us in spite of our sinfulness. We hope against hope that we can still change for the better.  Yes we are sinners like Judas but we are loved sinners.

Saturday, November 12, 2016



       We have now come towards the end of the journey in the Ordinary Time of the liturgical calendar of the Church.  Next Sunday being the last is the Solemnity of Christ the King.  Like any other journey, it has come to an end to give way to a new season which is Advent.  Life is cyclic! 

      Our gospel this Sunday belongs to a genre in biblical literature which what we call apocalyptic literature.  It is a unique body of work which describes in symbols the things to come at the end of time.  Because they are symbolic, they should not be interpreted in the literal sense.  One thing is sure though, that is, the world will come to an end like any other created realities.  

       The temple in Jerusalem was considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world during the time of Jesus.  It was predicted by Jesus that one day it would be put into complete ruins.  When he was asked the time of of its occurrence, Jesus did not say 'when' but rather he pointed out the signs that would accompany its fulfilment: false prophets, wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famines, plagues and other cosmic happenings.  There would be very harsh persecutions!  

      Because the Church brings us through a journey, it makes us realise that the end is inevitable.  The signs mentioned are those that would accompany the end.  They are more important than knowing the exact time of the end.  They are not only pointing to  the coming of the end of time but also act as warnings that the end is already at hand. 

       If the signs like wars, earthquakes, super typhoons and persecutions are already here with us therefore the end of time is also around the corner.  It means that our life and all other realities that we experience are telling us an important lesson:  impermanence!  Nothing will last!  Everything hangs on in a borrowed time!  The most important thing is not yesterday nor tomorrow but today that's why we call it present.  It is a precious gift that is lent to us by God!  

      To live life to the fullest by doing good to others is the best way to persevere despite the hard times ahead of us.  To entrust ourselves to God, knowing that nothing will harm us despite the overwhelming darkness and pains that continue to confront us, is itself the gift of faith!  To know that God is in charge of our life is itself a sweet victory!

Saturday, May 28, 2016