Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bokasyon


Dati gusto ko nang sumuko...
Sa tuwing binabalikan ko ang lahat
Naririnig ko ang dati kong sarili
Na laging gustong-gustong lumabas
At tumakas sa buhay na pinili para sa akin ng Diyos.

Kahit na ako, hindi ko akalaing dito ako mapapadpad
Pero, dito ako inilagayy ng Diyos
Nananalig ako na kasama ko siya
Kung kaya nagpapaubaya na lamang ako ng buong ganap
At sumusuko sa kagustuhan Niya para sa akin

Hilaw man ang aking pagnanasa noong una
Dahil pikit-matang tumugon ako tawag ng Diyos
Pero sa katagalan ng panahon
Natutunan kong ma-appreciate ang kabutihan ng Diyos
Hanggang sa natutunan kong nang lumaon na ibigin din ang Diyos

Mula noon, pinalad na akong makita ko na Siya
Nakita ko siya sa mga taong kapwa ko kasing-bigo
Nakita ko siya sa mga taong dukha at mahina
Nahawakan ko siya at buhay na buhay na nakausap
Dahil naka-daupang palad ko Siya sa lahat ng kanyang iniibig na nilikha!

den mar

Testing the Vocation

BSVC is the right place to start purifying your intentions. Inspired by one other, you and your fellow discerner-- prays for one another, remind one another and inspires one another.
Like any other youth groups, BSVC also have its own set of rules and regulations. These are not to stop you from being who you are but to make yourself available to discern freely.
BSVC is a one of the portals to understand the other dimension of your personality... your future is glimpsed through this group. But what's inside the BSVC formation is not the totality of your entire vocation. Your stay in the BSVC can be only be fruitful unless you become open to the requisite of vocation discernment which is openness to formation and, at the same time, balancing your current way of life as a student or young professional.
While inside the group, it is very normal for the members to open to one another their current struggles in life that affects their vocation. Just try to listen to one another. In the many occasions that you will gather together, you will have your chance to be heard by other members; so start also recognizing the providence of God in your own vocation. Try starting retelling your vocation story to yourself. Do not be ashamed to admit to your self your humble beginnings since God is always working in the humility of our first few steps towards Him. Start appreciating other's stories as God work in their daily lives.
Normally, single male or single female are the usual member of the BSVC. Those who are in a commitment with their boyfriend or girlfriend are usually advised to nourish their present relationship.
About the intriguing question, about those who are in a relationship: if they are allowed to join in the BSVC? Rev. Fr. Kenny Joe, who was also a former BSVCian, answered, “BSVC is a test of vocation for all of the members. A test which gives them a chance to see beyond their present plans in life. BSVC provides a place where they can talk with God about God’s plan in their life. BSVC is a place where we open ourselves to the possibilities of other vocation other that what we are thinking or planning ahead of us. So, those who are in a relationship who chose to enter BSVC, I advised them to pause for a while and maintain some distance away from one another so that they can reflect more and pray more about the will of God in them. They need to free themselves from any commitments to freely focus themselves to God. I know it is painful, but we cannot serve two masters. But on the lighter side, they would understand that vocation is not all about being a brother-religious, a priest or a sister-nun at all! But, it is also about single-blessedness and married life! Discernment requires us to free ourselves from any commitments so that we freely decide when the right time for us to decide without any biased. That's why we discern carefully, at this stage, so that when we reach the point that we are about to choose what vocation is for us, we will go for it with maturity and with our full responsibility. We will go for it with God at our side. That’s why parents are very supportive because BSVC, as a vocation discernment club, co-journeys with their children.”
If ever someone has decided to enter a seminary, for males; or decided to enter a congregation for a nun, if a female... BSVC is also a venue to discern the charism of the candidate. There are future questions that are usually encountered when someone has already entered the priestly or sisterly formation like: "what charism is really fitted for me?" Charism is the work of the Holy Spirit within the person. Charism is an expression of our love that we can contribute for the growth of the Church.
When Religious are talking about Charism, it is like giving their occupation inside the Church. Some congregations dedicate themselves in teaching, helping the homeless or feeding the poor and the like. Some are dedicated to be Parish Priests under the care of a Bishop. Some became Religious-brothers who do specific task in the Church... and so on and so forth. At the end, the Charism is the specific expression of the love of Jesus Christ, a gift of the Holy Spirit, that animates congregations to serve the Church. Charism is the love of God, given through these different congregations, to the beloved of God.
BSVC has linkages to different seminaries and congregations in the Archdiocese of Cagayan that could help any BSVC member to purify his or her innermost questions. Most of the time, when the member's charism fits more the diocesan seminary or other religious formation, BSVC is recommending the person to go to where he or she most fitted. This is not a matter of sending away the person from the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament but a way of guiding the person to his or her better more suitable place so that the possibility of leaving any formation because of mismatched charism would be lessen.
Of course, the final decision is always given to the person concern. The person is given the ultimate freedom to choose for himself or herself.
The BSVC a gift of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament to the Church so BSVC is more concern on the success rate of its applicant whether inside the Coongregation of the Blessed Sacrament or even to different seminaries and other congregations.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament


Friday, November 7, 2014

Luke 16:9-15

Scripture: Luke 16:9-15

9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. 10 "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him. 15 But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

===

Reflection:

The reading today has a clear-cut message, “we cannot serve both God and mammon.”

‘Mammon’ is a term for wealth which is regarded having evil influence or it could also be a false object of worship and devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil of covetousness, and revived in this sense by John Milton in the classic Paradise Lost.

As religious, we are within a prevailing global economy where the influence of ‘mammon’ occurs. Mammon could be power, money, or influence. It is true that without money, we do not have purchasing power to buy food and other basic goods in order for us to survive and to live. It is true that without power we cannot be free to become who we are. It is true that without influence we cannot practice our authority as a Church. But as religious, the world is also looking upon us on how we manage our material resources.

As I reflect our life as religious, I can say that it is a contradiction against the prevailing current of the world. The more we know God, the more we understand and connect ourselves to Him. Instead of clinging to the material world, we cling only to Jesus who is the creator of the material world.
Jesus has a poor life… but He has faithful friends who generously supported His earthly ministry as a priest, healer and teacher. This poverty has made Jesus rich by serving God without personal attachments or even without political biases.  Jesus has no power, for He Himself was condemned and crucified. What He had was His genuine love to God, the Father and His obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus has no great influence for He let people to be free in choosing to love God and to freely choose to change.

We know that Jesus is a God who chooses to be a slave. He stripped off Himself of His crown of glory and has chosen to live among us. Thus, Jesus becomes a model for us on how to live generously by giving our self for those who we love.
As religious-seminarian, I always reflect on how I should live. It is always with prudence, modesty and simplicity. I admit that it is so painful to leave behind the comforts of the world but at the end, I realized that with God, I become more free.  Gadgets are constantly changing… collecting newer ones were addictive and exciting… but at the end, it is also tiresome-- for the world never gets tired of reinventing itself until we realized that our youthful energy is already burned out by this worldly trends that seems to be unending and has no plan to stop.

As St. Augustine told us, God is never changing yet God always remains new. It could mean that the love of God is always there since from the beginning of time for us; but every day we always discover newer ways of how God remain loving us. Every day is always a revelation of God’s generous love for all of us. Truly, the love of God is inexhaustible.
As a person, I have only one life. The question is how to use this God given life-- Is this life is a life for ‘mammon’ or is this life is a life for God?

Mammon in our times becomes the little gods. Money, power and prestige become godlike where everyone becomes so willing to surrender their freedom in exchange of wealth, influence and fame. To embrace the cross freely, we need to let go of these baggages. Just like Jesus, in order to love God, we need to empty ourselves through ‘kenosis’ so that the Spirit of God could enter and penetrate freely into the deepest part of our heart where we let God to reside permanently in our heart… our life being the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our life being a reflection of God’s image.

As a person, I have only one life and I want to give it only to my one true God. A Trinitarian God who loves me back… who inspires me and give me strength when I am low… a God who never abandoned me when I have almost nothing… a God who silently suffers with me in everyday trials and persecutions.

As our founder is always telling us, “You already have the Eucharist, what else would you ask for?”

With these great words of our founder, I realized that, yes, I have only one life… and my constant prayer is that I always want to give it back to God who first loved me before I knew how to love Him back.


Amen.

Creative Adoration

1.Prayer of Adoration. Br. Jon
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction:

You are my God and my all
You alone, I adore
In Your works is a mighty presence
Of Your Holiness I see...

My heart sings your joy to Your name
Proclaiming Your great majesty
You're the living Christ who dwells in me
The Saving Lord, Jesus, I've known...

B.Compose a personal prayer Adoring God.

2.Prayer of Contrition. Br. Joseph
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction:

I come to You my Lord
As a broken soul
I lift to You all my shame and my fears
Make me whole once more.

In Your hands, I lift to You my past
That burdens me all my life
Forgive my sinful heart my Lord
Heal me with Your love.

Teach my heart Your ways, O Lord
Purify my withered soul
Use my hands to serve You once more
Use my life and my all...

B.Compose a prayer of sorry to God in behalf of the scandals of the Church, of the misgivings of the community and of the omissions of ordinary seminarians. Ask for inspiration to change and be renewed.

3.Prayer of Thanks. Br. Tonny
2-3 minutes only

A.Read the introduction.

O God of silence, I heard your voice
Deep within my darkness you called my name
You touched my heart, as You blessed me with your light
You fill my longing spirit with Your love.

Thank You, O God of silence, because I heard your call
You gently whisper through my weary soul
You purify my intention with Your divine compassion
And now I will take my response.

B.Compose a personal prayer of Thanksgiving to God—saying the thanksgiving of the Church, thanksgiving for the graces received by the community and thanksgiving for the graces received by you as seminarian.

4.Prayer of Supplication. Br. Dang.
2-3 minutes only

A.Read this introduction
On my journey with God
I am letting Him lead
I let things go
And let my God
To do His will in me
I trust Him with all my heart
On my journey
I know that He is near.

I lift to Him all my fears
I rest my struggling soul to Him
All my life's desires
And loneliness of my heart
Are lifted up to God
The source of joy of my heart. 


B.Compose a personal prayer asking God for daily needs of the Church, of the community and of the seminarians.

===
***you can use this as your pattern in your creative adoration.
see also:

Br. Den Mar

The Praying Church

Under the Roman Empire, Christianity has begun as a persecuted religion. Jesus Christ who was crucified and died on the cross has inspired new believers through His apostles and disciples. The witnessing of the early Christians, amidst persecution, has resulted to more converts who were inspired by their faith. Under the emperor Nero, persecutions worsen.

Only after almost three hundred years of persecution, only under Constantine, who had a vision of the cross and who fought under its protection and later has won the battle of Milvian Bridge, that the edict of Milan finally paved way for them as it gave freedom to Christians to worship Jesus as Lord.

"Through the mother of Constantine, the mother queen Helena, gave palaces to become churches and one of this is the Lateran Palace which was built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. The Lateran Church is also known as the the Basilica of St. John Lateran and is the cathedral of Rome. This is not St. Peter's basilica, but it is the Pope's cathedral. Also called the Church of Holy Savior or the Church of St. John Baptist, it was the baptism church of ancient Rome. This feast became a universal celebration in honor of the basilica called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput) as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.
The Lateran Cathedral, as it is known today is considered the mother of all Churches. It is considered as the earliest parish church. We celebrate this magnificent Church as we celebrate also the freedom of Christianity.
Later in our Church history, Theodosius I, the son of Constantine, would make Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire."

http://www.rome.info/basilicas/st-john-lateran/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archbasilica_of_St._John_Lateran
===
After 2000 years, it is true that Jesus really remained faithful to His Church. Until now, we celebrate Jesus in the Eucharist.  The power of the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ present in our midst.

Jesus Christ, who suffered, died and who has risen continuously inspires us as we gather together as His faithful Church. Jesus Christ is the temple who was destroyed by power of evil through the hands of men has been restored by the power and the will of the God, the Father. Obedience, through his passion, death and resurrection has become more meaningful for all of us… and perhaps, this inspires the early Christians to persevere for their Christian faith even to the point also of death… a painful death under martyrdom.

===
As a Church, prayer has been our connection to God and Jesus Himself taught us to pray to God the Father.
Our founder, St. Peter Julian Eymard, has taught us to pray. Perhaps, St. Peter Julian Eymard, being an apostle of the Eucharist has also discovered the driving force that motivated the spirituality of the Early Christian communities who were also described in the Acts of the Apostles—who pray together, break the bread together, who listen to the word of God together and who share their resources together.

St. Peter Julian Eymard, gave us a pattern on how to pray most especially during our adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps, St. Peter Julian Eymard patterned the prayer in the Lord’s prayer-- he advised us to start first our prayer in praising God as we adore Him in all His magnificence and greatness, second he advised us to prepare ourselves by doing a simple contrition… to say sorry for all those what we missed to do and for the minor sins we have committed. Third, as a child of God he encouraged us to say our thanksgiving to God… to say ‘thank you for all the blessings we received.’ Lastly is the supplication part, like Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard understood us, that as humans, we also have needs so he advised us to say to God what we need but he also reminded us to be always open to the ‘will of God unto us.’
===
Jesus is the head of the Church and we are His body and through our faithful prayer, we are always connected to Jesus Christ who is our Lord and our God.


Den Mar





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Babang Luksa

Palayain mo ang iyong sarili
Umiyak ka lang
Hayaan mong tumulo ang iyong luha
Ibulalas mo ang iyong kinikimkim na mga kataga at salita
Upang tuluyan ka nang lumaya
Mula sa pagkakabilanggo sa kalungkutan

Kailangan mo na ngayong magpalaya
Sa iyong pinakamamahal sa buhay
Upang ganap na pumayapa na rin sila
Sa lugar na kanilang kinalalagyan

Ang kamatayan nila ay hindi hangganan ng iyong buhay
Sapagkat ang kamatayan nila ay ang simula ng iyong bagong buhay
Kung kaya mabuhay ka para sa kanila na sa iyo ay nagmahal
At tumayo kang muli at manindigan para sa kanilang mga minamahal

Tandaan mo sana... na hindi lang ikaw ang nasaktan
Marami rin kami na namatayan at parang namatay na rin ng paulit-ulit
Subalit... sinikap naming magbago
Sinimulan namin ito sa pagpapalaya ng aming sarili

Oo, mahirap at masakit
Pero ito ang aming pinili.

den mar


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lost Child of God

"In the end, our peace-offering to God 
is our broken and wounded heart..." den mar




I am a child of God
Even at times, I am lost
Even at times, I am broken into pieces
But still, I'm a wonderful child of God

Sometimes, I admit
I am begging for love
I look for the scraps
And own them as Your heart

But in the end, I am always hurt
For my heart is not loved back
I am 'used' and 'abused'
But, still, hoping to be loved

Until I found You, my Lord
When I gaze heavenward
With the stars I see Your face
Gazing on me from the start

You never leave me alone
It's only me who always ignore You
You never love me less
You never give-up on me

I lift to You my life
I offer to You my final strength
And with my same burning desire
I finally give to you my love

I am Your child my God
Make me whole, accept my heart
Even now I am broken and shattered
I finally found You... who I desire from the start. den mar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sacramentum Caritatis



Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation—SacramentumCaritatis of the Holy Father Benedict XVI

To have a holistic understanding of the document SacramentumCaritatis of the Holy Father Benedict XVI it is good to tour its three parts: the first part consists of the Eucharist as a mystery to be believed; the second part, the Eucharist as a mystery to be celebrated and the last part, the Eucharist to be lived.

The first part, the Eucharist as a mystery discussed the Church’s Eucharistic faith which is rooted in the Blessed Trinity. The Eucharist who is Jesus Himself is given by the Father and made present by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, that came from God, the Father in heaven and this Eucharist who is Jesus as the true sacrificial lamb is a free gift from the Trinity. “The Church receives, celebrates and adores this gift in faithful obedience. The "mystery of faith" is thus a mystery of Trinitarian love, a mystery in which we are called by grace to participate. We too should therefore exclaim with Saint Augustine: ‘If you see love, you see the Trinity.’”

Further, Jesus had spoken of the "new and eternal covenant" in the shedding of his blood. Jesus being recognized by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29).Where it is very noticeable that this same statement, “Lamb” is always mentioned in the context of the Mass. This leads us to reflect on the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and the great act of the Holy Spirit to make the Supper of the Lord always present in our celebration of the Mass.

The first part also elaborated the Eucharist being the source of other sacraments. The second part, the Eucharist as a mystery to be celebrated.The second part dwells on the active appreciation in the beautiful liturgy. This discusses the structure of the Eucharistic celebration, its celebrants and the people of God. It also emphasizes the importance of the adoration to the Blessed Sacrament.

The third part, the Eucharist, a mystery to be lived encourages us to live a Christian life faithful in meeting our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday in the Mass. From the Church where we meet Jesus Christ, we are encouraged to proclaim what we have encountered—the words of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ whom we have received in the Eucharist.

====

The Eucharistic and Eschatological Part of the Document:

The document SacramentumCaritatis (no. 30-31) specifically mentions the ‘Eucharist and Eschatology.’  The document states that the Eucharist is a gift to men and women, being pilgrims, on their journey. The document tells us that in our journey, we need to move towards the right direction which is going to Jesus Christ Himself as being our goal. The Lord makes himself present to us in a special way in the Eucharistic celebration. According to the document, “Even though we remain "aliens and exiles" in this world (1 Pet 2:11), through faith we already share in the fullness of risen life.” Further, “the Eucharistic banquet, by disclosing its powerful eschatological dimension, comes to the aid of our freedom as we continue our journey.”

The document reflects on the Eschatological banquet where by Jesus’ self-gift, he objectively inaugurated the eschatological age. One of the signs, as I understood, is the gathering of the scattered people of God. This is clearly manifested in his intention to gather together the community of the covenant, in order to bring to fulfillment the promises made by God to the fathers of old. This started in his earthly ministry, in the calling of the Twelve, which is to be understood in relation to the twelve tribes of Israel, and in the command he gave them at the Last Supper. “To celebrate his memorial, Jesus showed that he wished to transfer to the entire community which he had founded the task of being, within history, the sign and instrument of the eschatological gathering that had its origin in Him.”

The document affirms that every Eucharistic celebration sacramentally accomplishes the eschatological gathering of the People of God. The Eucharistic banquet is a real foretaste of the final banquet foretold by the prophets and described in the New Testament as "the marriage-feast of the Lamb" which is referred in Revelation 19:7-9, to be celebrated in the joy of the communion of saints.

The document also mentioned our dead brethren who went ahead of us. The Eucharistic celebration, in which we proclaim that Christ has died and risen, and will come again, is a pledge of the future glory in which our bodies too will be glorified. In the celebration of the memorial of our salvation our hope in the resurrection of the body and in the possibility of meeting once again, face to face, those who have gone before us marked with the sign of strengthen faith. Pope Benedict XVI stressed the importance of prayers for the dead, especially the offering of Mass for them, “so that, once purified, they can come to the beatific vision of God.” This is a rediscovery of the eschatological dimension inherent in the Eucharist, celebrated and adored, that will help sustain us on our journey and comfort us in the hope of glory.

Following the section that deals the eschatological dimension of the Eucharist is the treatment with Mary being the innagurator of Church’s participation in the sacrifice of the redeemer. According to the document, “She is the Immaculata, who receives God's gift unconditionally and is thus associated with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church, is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist.”

The Lamb's Supper By Scott Hahn


Eschatological Synopsis of The Book—“The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth” by Scott Hahn.

Dr. Scott Hahn dwells particularly on the Eschatological aspect of the Eucharist-- the celebration of the Mass being related to the “Parousia,” the coming of the Lord. He placed the setting of the Lamb’s Supper within the context of the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation relating the figures mentioned in Revelation being not only the signs of the end times but also, based on his findings in his research, a depiction of the Mass being a ‘the coming of the kingdom of heaven here on earth.’ He proposed that the key to understanding the Mass is the biblical Book of Revelation—and, further, he added that the Mass is the only way a Christian can truly make sense of the Book of Revelation.

The entire book, the Lamb’s Supper, consists of four parts. The first part, explains the Mass being a gift from God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The second part has, in a positive sense, connected the Book of Revelation to the Mass—particularly on the Eucharist where Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb. The third part has developed the idea of heavenly marriage and heavenly banquet in the setting of God’s family. The fourth book proposes some inspirations for us to prepare ourselves in Second Coming, the immanent “Parousia.” The entire book from beginning to end is eschatological—it is well presented starting from our history beginning from the cross towards the end which is to be with Jesus who is the person of the cross.

The first part, the Gift of the Mass, relates the first Mass experience of the Protestant Pastor Scott Hahn. This inspired him to be converted to Catholicism. He found that the Mass is soaked in scripture readings. He was astounded that when he carefully heard for the first time the responses, he recognized that these were all in the Holy Scripture. When the priest pronounced the words: “This is My body… This is the cup of My blood,” all of his doubts were all drained away as he saw the priest raise Holy Eucharist, he instantly recognized the scenario’ which was affirmed when followed by the ‘Lamb of God’ which he heard four times. From long years of studying the Bible, Hahn immediately knew where he was. He concluded that he was in the Book of Revelation where Jesus is called the “Lamb” no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. Relating his first experiences with the Mass, according to him, “I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb.”

Also in the first book, Scott Hahn, humbly admitted that the idea of the ‘Mass in heaven on earth’ was originally conceived by the early Fathers of the Church. He also admitted that he just rediscovered this relationship between the Mass and the Book of revelation.

He noted that the Lamb, who is Jesus, is central to both the Mass and the Book of Revelation. For the readers to have a background about he is saying on his book, he presented a good historical research with their corresponding Biblical texts. To ancient Israel, the lamb was identified with sacrifice, and sacrifice is one of the most primal forms of worship. As early as the second generation described in Genesis, we find, in the story of Cain and Abel, the first recorded example of a sacrificial offering, followed also by Noah, Abraham, Jacob and others. In Genesis, the patriarchs were forever building altars, and altars served primarily as places of sacrifice. In addition to burnt offerings, the ancients sometimes poured “libations,” or sacrificial offerings of wine.

Notably, Melchizedek appears as the first priest mentioned in the Bible. Melchizedek has been seen as a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. Melchizedek was both priest and king, an odd combination in the Old Testament, but one that would later be applied to Jesus. Melchizedek’s sacrifice was extraordinary since it involved no animals, instead, he offered bread and wine, as Jesus would at the Last Supper, when He instituted the Eucharist. Melchizedek’s sacrifice ended with a blessing upon Abraham. Jesus Christ is a priest in the line of Melchizedek.

Further, Scott Hahn explained that Christians would later look upon the story of Abraham and Isaac as a profound allegory for the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. He observed similarities. First, Jesus, like Isaac, was a father’s only beloved son. Again like Isaac, Jesus carried uphill the wood for His own sacrifice, which would be consummated on a hill in Jerusalem. According to Hahn, Calvary, was one of the hillocks on Moriah’s range where Isaac was almost sacrificed by his faithful father, Abraham; but God provided a ‘lamb’ to be sacrificed instead.

In this point, Scott Hahn helped his readers to take note that man’s primal need to worship God has always expressed itself in sacrifice: worship that is simultaneously an act of praise, atonement, self-giving, covenant, and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in Greek is “eucharistia.” With this term, Scott Hahn has related the “todah” of the ancient Israel being the most striking liturgical “ancestor” of the Mass. Hahn noted that the Hebrew word “todah”, like the Greek Eucharist, means “thank-offering” or “thanksgiving.” The word denotes a sacrificial meal shared with friends in order to celebrate one’s gratitude to God. “A “todah” begins by recalling some mortal threat and then celebrates man’s divine deliverance from that threat. It is a powerful expression of confidence in God’s sovereignty and mercy.” He observed that the “todah” and the Eucharist present their worship through word and meal. Moreover, the “todah,” like the Mass, includes an unbloody offering of unleavened bread and wine. Let me quote again from the book an important finding of Scott Hahn which is worth mentioning, “the ancient rabbis made a significant prediction regarding the “todah”. ‘In the coming [Messianic] age, all sacrifices will cease except the “todah” sacrifice. This will never cease in all eternity’ (Pesiqta, I, p. 159).” This is now happening in the Mass with the Bread and Wine being offered, taken, blessed, broken and shared. He speaks of the Church as “the place of sacrifice.”

The Second Part has touched the Book of Revelation as he relates this to the development and the condition of the Mass in the Church. According to him, as he began reading the Church Fathers, the Christian writers and teachers of the first eight centuries, and especially their commentaries on the Bible, he discovered that the ancient liturgy seemed to incorporate many of the small details of the Apocalypse—in a context in which they made sense.

Revelation is an unveiling; that’s the literal meaning of the Greek word “apokalypsis.” From the Fathers’ exegetical studies of the Apocalypse, he found that many of these men had made the explicit connection between the Mass and the Book of Revelation. He emphasized that for most of the early Christians the Book of Revelation was incomprehensible apart from the liturgy.

To summarize his conclusion in the Second Part based on the Book of Revelation, he noted: revelation’s altar (Rev 8:3), its robed clergymen (4:4), candles (1:12), incense (5:8), manna (2:17), chalices (ch. 16), Sunday worship (1:10), the prominence it gives to the Blessed Virgin Mary (12:1-6), the “Holy, Holy, Holy” (4:8), the Gloria (15:3-4), the Sign of the Cross (14:1), the Alleluia (19:1, 3, 6), the readings from Scripture (ch. 2-3), and the “Lamb of God” (many, many times mentioned)-- these are, for him, what consists the Apocalypse which is present in the Mass.

The title, the “Lamb” in the Book of Revelation is the favored title used for Jesus Christ. Other titles in the Book of Revelation include: Jesus is ruler (1:5); He who stands amid the Menorah robed as high priest (1:13); He is “the first and the last” (1:17), “the holy one” (3:7), “Lord of lords and King of kings” (17:14).

Scott Hahn also took a note on Revelation 12. This is John’s vision of the woman clothed with the sun which captures the essence of the Book of Revelation. With many layers of meaning, it shows a past event prefiguring an event far off in the future. It recaps the Old Testament as it completes the New. It reveals heaven, but in images of earth.

The vision of John begins with the opening of God’s temple in heaven, “and the ark of Hiscovenant was seen within the temple” (Rev 11:19). According to him, for five centuries, the Ark of the Covenant had not been seen. The prophet Jeremiah had hidden the ark in a place that at the time of the Babylonian captivity,“shall be unknown until God gathers His people together again” (2 Mac 2:7).

In connection with the Book of Revelation, that promise mentioned in 2 Mac 2:7 is fulfilled in John’s vision. The temple appeared, “and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” And then: “A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child” (Rev 12:1–2).

Scott Hahn believes, with the Fathers of the Church, that when John describes the woman, he is describing the ark—of the New Covenant who gives birth to the male child-- who will rule the nations. Clearly for him, the child is Jesus; His mother is Mary.

To compare the old and the new covenant he stated the following: the old ark contained the word of God written in stone; Mary contained in her womb the Word of God Who became man and dwelt among us. The ark contained manna; Mary contained the living bread whocame down from heaven. The ark contained the rod of the high priest Aaron; Mary’s womb contained the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ. In the heavenly temple, the Word of God is Jesus, and the ark in whom he resides is Mary, His mother.

Scott Hahn made a survey of believers of this Apocalyptic interpretation about Mary being the woman in the Book of Revelation. According to him, along the history of Church, this interpretation was upheld also by the early Church Fathers such as St. Athanasius, St. Epiphanius, and many others. For them, the “woman” also stands for more being the “daughter Zion,” which brought forth Israel’s Messiah. She is also the Church, besieged by Satan, yet preserved in safety.

To make a balanced survey of opinions, Scott Hahn also presented those who opposed on this issue and mentioned their argument: some say that “the woman cannot be Mary, since, according to Catholic tradition, Mary suffered no labor pain.” With this, others believe that the pangs of the woman, however, need not have been physical pain. He cited St. Paul, to give example, who used birth pangs to describe his own agony until Christ be formed in his disciples (Gal 4:19). Thus, the suffering of the woman could describe the suffering of a soul—the suffering that Mary knew, at the foot of the cross, as she became the mother of all “beloved disciples” (Jn 19:25–27).

For Scott Hahn, it is clear to him that the woman is Mary who is the Mother of the Church. In the Book of Revelation, Mary is portrayed as the “New Eve,” the new mother of all the living. In the Garden of Eden, God promised to “put enmity” between Satan, the ancient serpent, and Eve —and between Satan’s “seed and her seed” (Gen 3:15). Now, in the Apocalypse, he saw the climax of this enmity. The seed of the new woman, Mary, is the male son, Jesus Christ, Who comes to defeat the serpent that is the devil.

Scott Hahn mentioned the angels, martyrs, virgins, and other folks who are in heaven. With this idea of the Mass being heaven on earth--the Mass becomes a holy venue where Christians joined forces with the angels and saints to worship God, as the Book of Revelation shows us. The Mass is where the Church received the “hidden manna” for sustenance in times of trial (see Rev 2:17). The Mass is where the prayers of the saints on earth rose like incense to join the prayers of angels in heaven—“and it is these prayers that altered the course of battles and the course of history.”

Being a Protestant Minister before, Scott Hahn is aware of futurist interpretation of the Book of Revelation. For him, the rich imagery in the Book of Revelation is not merely symbols. Regarding the reality of the Beasts, he believes that they are real spiritual beings, members of the satanic “lowerarchy,”demonic persons who have controlled and corrupted the political destiny of nations. John describes two ugly beasts, for Scott Hahn, they want to corrupt kingdom and the priesthood. The controversial 666 is interpreted by Hahn as a degradation of the number seven, which, in Israel’s tradition, the number seven represented perfection, holiness, and the covenant. The seventh day, for example according to him, was declared holy by God and set aside for rest and worship. Work was done in six days; itwas sanctified, however, in the sacrificial worship represented by the seventh day. The number “666,” then, represents a man stalled in the sixth day, serving the beast who concerns himself with buying and selling (see Rev 13:17) without rest for worship. Though work isholy, it becomes evil when man refuses to offer it to God on the seventh day which is a holy day for it is the Day of the Lord.

Through his exposition of the Book of Revelation, Scott Hahn mentioned the final battle, the Battle of Armageddon where“demonic spirits . . . go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle” (Rev 16:14). John describes a world war that is simultaneously an otherworldly war: “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon” (12:7). Angels pour out the chalices of God’s wrath, and strong armies retreat in fear. Casualty counts run high, and the tribulations extend even to God’s people. In this hopeless scenario, Revelation does offer encouragement to all Christians who undergo trials or persecution, to any degree.

From the very beginning, Revelation has an imminent tone: The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place” (Rev 1:1). Jesus Himself indicated that He would return soon, even before a generation had passed since His resurrection. “There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Mt 16:28). “This generation will not pass away till all these things take place (Mt 24:34).”

According to Scott Hahn, today, most of us associate the “soon” with the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. And this is surely true since both John and Jesus were speaking about the end of history. He believes that they were also—and primarily—speaking about the end of a world: the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, and with it the end of the world of the Old Covenant, with its sacrifices and rituals, its barriers to gentiles, and its barriers between heaven and earth. Yet the “Parousia” or “coming” of Jesus was to be more than an ending; it was a beginning, a new Jerusalem, a New Covenant, a new heaven and earth.

In the Apocalypse, John depicts celestial scenes in graphic, earthly terms which he suspects that God revealed heavenly worship in earthly terms so that humans—who, for the first time, were invited to participate in heavenly worship—would know how to do it. The Apostles and their successors had been celebrating the liturgy since Pentecost, at least. Yet neither is Revelation merely an echo of a liturgy already established, a projection into heaven of what’s happening on earth.

The third part talks on the Heavenly Marriage. This is what was unveiled in the Book of Revelation: the union of heaven and earth, consummated in the Holy Eucharist. The term apokalypsis, usually translated as “revelation,” literally means “unveiling.” In John’s time, Jews commonly used apokalypsis to describe part of their week-long wedding festivities. The apokalypsis was the lifting of the veil of a virgin bride, which took place immediately before the marriage was consummated in sexual union. For Scott Hahn, this is John was getting at. So close is the unity of heaven and earth that it is like the fruitful and ecstatic union of a husband and wife in love. In Ephesians 5, St. Paul describes the Church as the bride of Christ and Revelation unveils that bride. For Scott Hahn, the possible climax of the Apocalypse, then, is the communion of the Church and Christ: the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9). Now, as Revelation shows, both heaven and earth participate together in a single act of loving worship.

It is nice that Scott Hahn refers to the apocalypse, or unveiling, way back to the cross where Matthew reports that, when Jesus died, “the curtain or veil of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (27:51). Thus, “the sanctuary of God was “apocalypsed,” unveiled, His dwelling no longer reserved for the high priest alone.” Jesus’ redemption unveiled the Holy of Holies, opening God’s presence to everyone. Heaven and earth could now embrace in intimate love.

Towards the “Parousia,” Hahn expressed in his book that we are in Spiritual Battle. Seemingly thereare inequality and injustice since the unholy seems to have a far better life. Here, he gave hope for the affected faithful to remain holy, for he claimed that God is a merciful and compassionate God. All this holiness is in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ wherein its foretaste is made present in the Mass.

If Scott Hahn will be asked about his image of Jesus’ Second Coming, he would admit that it isEucharisti, and it is brought about as the Mass brings heaven to earth. Just as the earthly priest praying over the bread and wine and says “This is My body,” thus transforming the elements, so Christ thehigh priest stands over the cosmos, pronouncing the same words. We stand on the earth asthe elements stand on the altar. According to him, “we are here living on earth to be transformed: to die to self, live for others, and love like God. That is what’s happening on the altar of the earth, just as it happens on the altars of our churches. As the fire, who is the Holy Spirit, descended from heaven to consume the sacrifices on Solomon’s altar, so the fire descended to consume the disciples at the first Pentecost. The guiding fire is one and the same; it is the Holy Spirit, Who enables us to be offered up as living sacrifices upon the altar of the earth.

With the Holy Spirit being the Divine Fire, we see the daily life—with its struggles and glory-- not as a meaningless and unconnected experiences, but as a story, whose ending we already know. All things in history—in world history and in our personal history—work together for the good of those who love God (see Rom 8:28). For Christ is Lord of history, its beginning (Jn 1:1) and its end (1 Cor 4:5).Christ is firmly in charge, and He wants us to reign with Him as His bride.

The Fourth Book talks about heaven. He used the metaphor of a family reunion with all God’s children. To be in heaven, the challenge Scott Hahn is offering is that we must fight to gain our throne. We need to work hard here on earth for our rightful place beside God. Hahn look upon it in romantic terms where history is the story of Christ wooing His Church, gradually drawing us all to our marriage supper, the banquet of the Lamb. He looks upon us as Adam looking upon Eve and saying, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh (Gen 2:23).” The Church is at once His bride and His body, for in marriage the two become one flesh (Mt 19:5) where at the end Christ will welcome us telling to us, “This is My body.”

Our connection to God is prayer. The Mass is the highest form of prayer… ‘of thanks giving.’ We can advance only if we come to know ourselves—if we accept our weaknesses and be reconciled once again in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. John accurately sized up the situation when he met the “Lamb of God.” Just like John, we need to see the truth with the same clarity. There is a need to see these eschatological matters in the same divine light so that we can understand the real meaning of the Eucharist and appreciate its celebration as a foretaste of heaven.

Jesus told us that “I will be with you always.” This captures the powerful sense of Jesus’ imminent “Parousia”—His coming that takes place right now in the Mass. The Apocalypse shows us that He is here in fullness—in kingship, in judgment, in warfare, in priestly sacrifice, in Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity—whenever Christians celebrate the Eucharist.

To summarize the entire Apocalypse: it is about the communion of saints and angels, the feast, the judgment, and the blood of Christ. “The various forms of sacrifice have one common, positive meaning: life is surrendered in order to be transformed and shared.” Our supreme act of worship is a supreme act of sacrifice: the Lamb’s Supper, the Mass.

He noted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who said, “Liturgy is anticipated “Parousia,” the “already’ entering our “not yet,’”. When Jesus comes again at the end of time, He will not have a single drop more glory than He has right now upon the altars and in the tabernacles of our churches. God dwells among mankind, right now, because the Mass is heaven on earth.

The Book of Revelation is a mystical book. Throughout this book, the author hoped that the reader would probably encounter the Mass in new ways—ways other than we used to attending. Though heaven touches down whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the Mass looks different from place to place and time to time.

====
The Author, Dr. Scott Hahn.

The foreword of the book by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., a priest for forty years,  mentioned the background of Dr. Hahn. Hahn who is a Catholic convert exploring  the mysterious reality of the Mass with all the zeal and enthusiasm which leads us to a new appreciation of the Mass… since relatively few Catholics realize the link between the celebration of the Eucharist and the end of the world.

Scott Hahn has been studying the Book of Revelation for more than twenty years. In 1985, he studied the Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse, as a Protestant minister. Upon studying, he found himself engaged, in turn, by most of the fashionable and unfashionable interpretive theories which failed to answer his queries and in time provedthemselves wrong.

He tried every key in interpreting the Book of Revelation, but none could possibly explain it to him during those time, but he remained hopeful. According to him, “Yet only when I began to contemplate the Mass did I feel the door begin to give way, a little bit at a time. Gradually, I found myself taken up by the great Christian tradition, and in 1986 I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church.” After his conversion, the study of the Book of Revelation became clearer. “After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door!” (Rev 4:1). He found the Revelation in the Mass. Every single Mass for him, just like the Fathers of the Church—is heaven on earth.


Den Mar

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Demonic Possession


Luke 11:15-26

15But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons"; 16while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 17But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul. 19And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; 22but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. 23He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 24"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.' 25And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. 26Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

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The reading for today has many dimensions. First, the reality of the spiritual world; Second is the human response to the reality of the spiritual world; and third is the connection of the Spiritual World to our physical world.

First, the reality of the spiritual world. One of Jesus’ ministry is healing. And part of his healing ministry is casting out of demons from the person they possessed.

When Jesus drove out the devil, the Pharisees accused him as being the leader of the evil spirits that’s why they obey. But Jesus gave them an analogy making them realized that they are just accusing Jesus with no basis at all.

Truly in our time, demonic possessions still happens. Many times, during my Cagayan de Oro exposure, we encountered some of these unexplained phenomena. There was a time that when I was blessing a house, some dark silhouettes—a darker than dark figures suddenly fled from the room we just blessed. Our lighted candles were suddenly extinguished, the dogs were howling, the lights, all of a sudden, just get busted. Out of the total darknes... and one of the children from the other room suddenly screamed with a voice laughing and cursing Jesus. Someone rushed for a flash light and when we checked the boy, his eyes were all black. The boy was laughing and cursing us with a big dark coarse voice. There’s no way to go for us but to continue the house blessing and to proceed to exorcism. The family was too afraid. Me too, I felt the goose-bumps suddenly rising in my entire body. I commanded the spirit, “in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… in the name of Jesus… i command you to depart and go to the foot of the cross!” I sprinkled the holy water and the boy’s body was smoking as if burned by the holy water. The boy fainted. And there was silence…. no more creepy howling of dogs. We cannot believed to what we have witnessed. I asked the family, if they still go to church, they answered me honestly, “not anymore…”

The devil lurks on people who are not prayerful that’s why Jesus always tells us to pray more, o pray pervently and to pray even harder.

Second is our attitude about the spiritual world, Fr. Syquia, the exorcist of Manila always tells us in our class-- all of us, men and women of the church have business in this world. Our business is Spiritual because there is a Spiritual battle that is really happening that we don’t see.  The priesthood was given a ministry of driving the devil. For me, I was a seminarian given an authority by the Parish Priest who has a faculty delegated to him by our Bishop. In this sense, we drive spirit not as being alone, but as an entire Church.

But in the Gospel, the Pharisees, instead of becoming thankful, they even accused Jesus to be the leader of the evil spirits. With their jealous hearts they failed to discern who Jesus really is and they fell into the devil's trap of ‘crab mentality.’

Third, the reading for today is leading us to understand the connection of the spiritual world to our physical world... metaphysics. God is a pure spirit. God created other Spirits who were angels before us. But some of the angels rejected God's plan for man so they defected and from then on went hunting us human to abominate the creative power of the will of God. They cannot accept that Jesus will become man. The devil cannot accept that they will serve man. For these full of pride fallen angels, they are superior than man. But w
hen Jesus became man, Jesus became an embodied spirit. Jesus became like us, an embodied spirit. So the devil always tries to destroy us because they see the image of God in us. 

Before, there are such mythical ‘dwarfs,’ ‘fairies’ and even ‘dark creatures.’ They show their power to heal, to control things and to threaten us just to make themselves appears to be stronger than the God we serve. But now, according to a Franciscan priest I just knew, they decided not to reveal themselves so that it would appear that there is no God.

But the devil cannot really hide themselves. When we pray, they are disturbed. When we say the name of Jesus, they are trembled. When we cast them in the name of God, they cannot do anything but to depart. If they resist they get burned with the Holy Water and the Holy Oil. They shout in pain in the presence of relics. Their ears are pounded with the praying of the rosary. They tremble in fear with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They become powerless in the face of the Blessed Sacrament where they are forced to reveal their name. The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus. Jesus is the finger of God. The command of God that gives us the authority to cast out demons.

Jesus warned us, because there is always retaliation in the part of the devil. The evil spirits would not be contented so they usually take revenge. I, myself, also suffered after this event I fell so sick for a week until I was given a counseling by another exorcist brother.

Unless we change our heart and mind, then they will no longer possess us through their vile charms that would bring our soul with them to hell. The dreadful charms are usually the luxury in life that we learn to live and love. Fame, Power, and Riches… all of these are the desire of every man. All of these are what the devil is offering.

The Pharisees always wanted fame for they don't want anymore to accept the promised Messiah; power since they always wanted to be in control; and riches because they already corrupted the Church by turning it into a den of thieves… with all these, they failed to recognize the humble, obedient and merciful Jesus Christ... the promised Messiah of God.

Do you accept Jesus? Say AMEN, if you believe in Jesus! den mar
With the good intention of Jesus in casting off the evil spirits the Pharisees only recognized 
Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons, it is because it is Beel'zebul who they are serving unknowingly.

When we failed to see God in others, maybe something dark evil is happening inside us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Si Maria, Ina ng Simbahan— ang Mahal na Birhen ng Santo Rosaryo



Napaka-hulugan ng salitang binitiwan ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo habang siya ay nakabayubay sa krus. Sa gitna ng kanyang tinitiis na sakit ng kanyang pagpapakasakit ay heto, nakuha pa rin niyang isipin ang kapakanan ng kanyang ina. Mayaman sa kahulugan ito at sana maging bukas tayo sa pag-unawa sa mga kahulugang ito.

Una, sinabi ni Kristo kay Juan “Juan, mula ngayon Siya na ang Nanay mo…” Bakit ba kinakailangang ihabilin ang mahal na Inang Maria kay Juan? Ang sagot, dahil noong panahong iyon, para sa mga Hudyo, kapag ang mga Ina ay nabalo na at wala nang anak, sila ay wala nang ‘status’ sa lipunan. Para sa kanilang kultura kung saan malaki ang ginagampanan ng mga lalaki ang mga babae ay pangalawa lamang sa lipunan. E paano pa kung ang babae ay isang balo o walang asawa… o paano kung wala na siyang anak? Siya ay ulilang lubos na at ala nang mag-kakanlong sa kanya, wala nang mag-aalaga sa kanya sa kanyang pag-tanda at wala na ring magtatanggol sa kanya.

Mula rito sa unang pagpapakahulugan… mula sa Panginoong Hesu-Kristo, natuto tayong mag-alaga sa ating mga mga magulang at gumabay sa kanila lalo pa sa kanilang katandaan. Mula nang matutunan natin ito sa loob ng ating tahanan ay natuto tayo bilang mga Kristiyano na mag-alaga sa mga ulilang lubos at natuto din tayong maging bukas palad sa lahat ng mga nangangailangan… at higit sa lahat… at natuto tayong magmahal kahit nang ating mga kaaway dahil naturuan tayo ng Panginoong Hesukristo noong nakapako siya sa Krus na magpatawad.

Pangalawa, kay Inang Maria, sinabi sa kanya ng Panginoon, “Babae… Siya na ngayon ang iyong anak.” Babae… bakit nga ba babae? Kapag sinabing babae sa ating Pilipinong kultura, sabi nga, basta babae “pinagkakapitagan,” “nirerespeto” at “minamahal.” Mula rito, maliliwanagan natin na itinaas ng ating Panginoon ang dignidad ng mga kababaihan. Sabi ko kanina, sa kulturang Hudyo ang mga babae ay pangalawa lamang sa lahat ng bagay, pero sa tinuran ng ating Panginoon, itinaas nya ang dignidad ng mga kababaihan at ginawa niyang kapantay sa dignidad ng mga kalalakihan sa mata ng Diyos na siya mismong manlilikha.

Palalimin pa po natin ang ating pagkakaunawa. Subukan natin ngayong pagtahi-tahiin ang mga maliliit na detalye na sinabi ko sa inyo:

Si Hesus ay ang ating Panginoon.
Ang mahal na Inang si Maria ay ang Ina ni Hesus.
Si Hesus ay ang ating Panginoon.
Bilang Panginoon si Hesus ay ang ating Diyos.
Sumakatuwid, ang ina ng ating Panginoong Diyos na si Hesu-Kristo ay si Maria.
In short, si Maria ay ang Ina ng Diyos:


Tanging babae lamang ang maaaring maging Ina. At sa mga naging ina, si Maria lamang naging Ina ng Diyos. At bilang pagkilalala natin kay Maria bilang Ina ng Diyos, gayahin natin si San Juan… dahil naging mapagmahal siya kay Inang Maria. Pero bukod pa po doon, ano pa ba ang ginagampanan ng “Babae” na pinatungkol kay Inang Maria?

Sabi nga ni Anghel San Gabriel, si Maria ang “Pinagpala si Maria sa babaeng lahat” kasi nga si Maria ang Ina ng Diyos na si Hesuskristo. Bilang Ina ng Diyos, si Maria rin ang Ina ng simbahang itinatag ni Kristo. Sa sinabi ng Panginoon Jesus kay San Juan, “Kilalanin mo ang iyong Ina” maiintindihan natin na kinakatawan ni San Juan tayo na mga mananampalataya. Na kapag sinabi ito ng Diyos, “Tanggapin mo ang iyong Ina” makikita natin ang ating mga sarili sa katayuan ni San Juan. E kung andon tayo sa paanan ng krus… ano ang isasagot natin? Tatanggapin mo ba ang ulilang lubos na si Maria bilang iyong ina?

Opo, napa-intimate ng moment. Ang pinakamamahal na Ina ng Diyos ay inihahabilin sa ating mga kamay. Ayon sa Bibliya, si Maria ay “TATAWAGING PINAGPALA NG LAHAT NG SALING-LAHI.” At kung tatanggapin natin siya, tayo rin ay tatawaging pinagpala.


Kung tinatanggap po natin si Maria, tinatanggap po natin siya bilang Ina. Dahil siya po ang Ina ng Diyos nating si Hesu-Kristo, siya rin po ang Ina ng ating simbahan.  Dahil kay Inang Maria, noong bago pa lang itinatatag ang simbahan, ang simbahan ay hindi ganap na naulila. Naroon ang mahal na Ina hanggang sa naunawaan ng mga Apostol na hindi kaylan man iniwan ni HesuKristo ang simbahang itinatag niya. Hanggang sa ngayon ang Simbahan ay hindi naulila sa Panginoong Hesukristo at nanatiling matatag ang simbahan sa kabila ng maraming pagsubok dahil si Maria bilang Ina ng simbahan ay naging katuwang sa pamamagitan ng kanyang taimtim na pagdarasal.

Bilang Ina ng simbahan… gayahin po natin ang ating mahal na ina—sa kanyang pagiging pala-dasal… sa kanyang pagsunod sa Diyos… sa kanyang pagiging bukas-palad sa mga kapwa niya nangangailangan. Ang mga Pilipino po ay maka-ina… kaya huwag po tayong mahiya na lumapit sa ating Inang Maria dahil ang mahal na Inang Maria ang maghahatid sa atin patungo sa ating Panginoong Hesukristo.

Pangatlo po, ano nga po ba ang laging habilin ng Mahal na Inang Maria sa ating mga anak niya? Ang lagi niyang sinasabi, “Pray the rosary.” Kapag dinasal po natin ang rosaryo, makikilala natin si Kristo. Actually nga po, ang rosaryo po ang maituturing kong summary ng buhay at pagpapakasakit ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo. Nasa bawat misteryo ng rosaryo ang bawat mahahalagang yugto sa kabanata ng buhay ng ating Panginoon—mula sa pagkasilang, kamatayan at hanggang sa katuparan ng kanyang banal na misyon na naging dahilan ng ating kaligtasan.

At ngayon po saan po tayo dinadala ng pagro-rosaryo? Kasama ni Maria, dinadala po tayo ng pagrorosaryo patungo sa Panginoong Hesukristo-- mapa-joyful mysteries, mapa-sorrowful mysteries, mapa-glorious mysteries, at mapa-mystery of light. Yun din ang ating buhay… may masaya, may malungkot… at syempre hindi nawawala ang kaluwalhatian at tagumpay.

At ngayon sa ating panahon… napag-usapan na rin naman natin ang mystery of light… dinadala tayo ng pagro-rosaryo kasama ni Inang Maria patungo sa Eukaristiya kasi binanggit ito sa third mystery ng mystery of light na nagsasabi ng: “the institution of the Eucharist.” Ibig sabihin po nito, pinapaalalahanan tayo ni Inang Maria dahil siya ang Ina ng ating Simbahan na bukod sa pagdarasal ng rosaryo, tayo rin po ay palaging magsimba upang palagi rin nating makadaupang palad ang kanyang mahal na anak na ating Panginoong HesuKristo sa pamamagitan ng pagtanggap ng Eukaristiya.

Tandaan po nating lagi na kapag tinanggap natin si Maria bilang ating Ina… tinatanggap din tayo ng ating Panginoong HesusKristo bilang kanyang mahal-mahal na kapatid.

Maligayang kapistahan po ng Ina ng Santo Rosaryo. Sabihin po nating lahat, “Aba Ginoong Maria, napupuno ka ng grasya, ang Panginoong Diyos ay sumasaiyo, bukod kang pinagpala sa babaeng lahat at pinagpala naman ang iyong anak na si Kristo… Santa Maria, Ina ng Diyos, ipanalangin mo kaming makasalanan ngayon at kung kami’y mamamatay….”


AMEN. 


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John 19:25-27

25 ¶Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

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denmar

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dakilang Mangingibig



Paano ko matatalikdan ang isang pagmamahal?
Na sumibol mula sa aking kawalang malay
Kung saan nagkaroon ng kaganapan ang pag-big
Na hinugot mula sa sinapupunan ng pag-iisang dibdib

Ang pagmamahal na ito ay bunga ng pagpapakasakit
Nang isang pinakatatangi na sa akin lamang ay umibig
Sa kabila ng paulit-ulit kong mga pagkakamali
At napakaraming beses na pagsugat sa pag-aalay ng kanyang sarili

Paano ko makakalimutan ang gaya n'yang dakilang mangingibig?
Na kahit hindi niya kaylan man nabanaag ang pag-asa sa akin
Ay pinili pa rin niya akong yakapin at pikit matang tanggapin
Sa kabila ng mga kataksilan ko ay nagagawa pa rin niya akong patawarin

Ito ang tumunaw sa panlalamig ng aking puso...
Na dumurog ng ganap sa ganid na pagkatao ko
Ang ibigin pala ang pinakamagandang nangyari sa akin
Dahil sa busilak n'yang pag-ibig... naging kapwa rin niya ako na mangingibig

Tanging sa piling niya matitiwasay ang aking pusong nahihilahil
Kapag kayakap ko siya hindi na ako matitigatig ng anumang pagsubok na sisilaw sa akin
Maaaring isang araw... sa isang iglap ay madapa at mapasadlak akong muli
Subalit alam ko na may dakilang mangingibig na muling hahango sa akin

Wagas na pagmamahal ang bumago sa aking puso
Na daluyan ng pag-ibig, pagpapatawad at pagsuko
Tanging pagmamahal lamang ang nagpatahan sa aking pagkabigo
Nang buuing muli ng pagmamahal ang nagugulumihan kong pagkatao. denmar

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Alvin Manaois

Life is not black and white. It is a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors, textures, shades, and distinctions… it is a canvasof details, tones, differences and diversities.

Just like also the call of God— many forms, many ways, mostly unexpected; but always going towards the same direction… towards the greatest artist of all who is God. God who is the light of the world who enables us to see and understand His marvelous canvass of life.

Sometime in April, 2008 a total stranger asked me what time the last train would leave the LRT station somewhere in Manila. Without any hesitation, I assisted and generously gave him the information he needed. Me, I just came from the Church and I asked God to give me a sign for what I am longing for. I believe there was a divine intervention because he introduced himself as a seminarian... a Religious SSS-Brother. It rung a bell! I was praying for a deeper meaning in life, but I didn’t expect more than this. As we part ways we exchanged celfon numbers and he referred me right away to Fr. Randy, who was the vocation director then. From then on until the time I entered the SSS-congregation, the ray of light of God always gives meaning to my life. His wisdom, little by little, was revealed to me as I discover my vocation which is a gift of God to me.

Christ is the light of the world, as whoever comes to see His light will have the light of faith. I have come to see light upon gazing on Him at the Crucifix – as Christ was revealed as the Son of Man and truly the Son of God; He suffered for us because of God the Father’s tremendous desire to redeem us from our sins… a sacrifice born out love.

As a seminarian, my prayer-life sustains me to persevere. My prayer-life connects me to God who constantly inspires me to give myself generously in His heavenly mission here on earth. Doing my ministry in my apostolate area becomes an invitation for me from God to love as He does.

The Holy Eucharist is a witness to the truth and love which Christ himself teaches us from God, the Father. The Holy Eucharist is an inexhaustible expression of God’s love which fills me with His divine presence. His divine presence is a spark of hope where I always cling-on to in times of sorrow… His divine presence is a ray of light that sheds meaning to all chaos and adversities that wounds and breaks me most of the time. The Eucharist, as the source and summit of the Church’s life and my life, there, I always draw my inspiration to do my mission with joy in my heart.

To become a Religious-Priest someday is to become a faithful lover of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ Himself who is really present in the form of theBread that is broken and shared. Like Him, in doing mission, I will also be broken and be shared to others.





Mission to Africa



Despite of the great distance of Uganda and the danger of Ebola Virus that now plagues the Northern part of Africa, Br. Aldi Bureros, SSS remain courageous in answering God’s call to serve our Ugandan brothers and sisters in Central Africa.

Br. Aldi left for Uganda last June.  As a Scholastic in his Pastoral Year, he will be staying in Uganda for the next ten months. As of now, he is the Uganda community treasurer aside from helping the Parish which the SSS-Philippine Province administers in Uganda.

“Mission is always there in our midst. It is opening our heart to find God where ever we are. Sometimes, we try to avoid this mission because it is always challenging on our part since there are so many things that we need to surrender just to make ourselves totally available for the Lord.

I think, to be open for the invitation of the Lord is the key to follow Him. Discipleship means to trust fully in the providence of the Lord and to serve Him with Christian JOY despite of our personal shortcomings to fulfill this great task from God.

Let us always remember that MISSION is the work of God. With this, I see myself as a humble co-worker in God’s vineyard. It is not only me or the other missionaries who are called; but even you, you are also called by God. Your mission starts at your very own doorsteps.”