"Lord, forgive me for picking back up what I’ve already laid at Your feet."

- (Not sure who said this)

2 months ago 26 notes

Today, we end seven weeks of Eastertide (roughly 49 days except Sundays) and so we celebrate Pentecost Sunday (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], “the fiftieth [day]”). After 7 weeks of celebrating the Paschal Mystery, we commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles as tongues like as of fire. And so we describe also Pentecost as the birthday of the Church, not the building, but the people of God who strives to continue “the visible presence of God and his work by living openly in the Spirit of Jesus and offering its experience of knowing Christ to the world” (Sacred Space 2014).

Today we end Easter, but the work of Easter has just begun. 

(1) RECAP

The gospel readings we have prayed within the last week has brought us very close to Jesus, with imagery of sitting beside him at the Last Supper and sharing breakfast with him after the Resurrection.

Reflection 1: How has that intimacy with Jesus felt for you? Was there warmth, lightness, heaviness, awkwardness, etc.?

(2) WIND AND FIRE

The First Reading gives us a stark biblical imagery of how God sent His Spirit. There was a sound “like the rush of a violent wind”. In Greek the words used here for “wind” and “Spirit” are very similar. The whole house was filled with the very Spirit of God. 

Then tongues as of fire were seen resting on the all the people present. Fire is also an image and presence of God to the people, just as the burning bush to Moses and the pillar of fire to the Israelites of the Exodus. But here, the fires can be imagined as quiet and little, in contrast to the magnificent fires of the Old Testament. It is as if to say, God can be found in both the great and the small. Moreover, the fires are described as looking like tongues as if the apostles were given the grace to speak in the name of God (which was evidenced in what happened after).

Reflection 2: Let us contemplate—imagine that we are on the Pentecost scene? What did it all look like, and sound like? What did you feel?

(3) BREATH OF GOD

On the other hand, the Gospel reading today (from John) gives us a different account of the coming of the Spirit. It is a repeat of the first part of the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). 

The scene was emotional. The disciples were fearing for their lives as Jesus had just been executed 3 days ago. But then the newly risen Jesus appeared to them. The disciples might have experienced joy, but perhaps with embarrassment. Nung nagtagpo si Hesus at ang kanyang mga disipulo, hindi man lang siya nagalit o nagsambit ng “Bakit niyo ako iniwan?” Instead, he greete them with “Peace be with you.” It is both a prayer-wish and a statement. He gave them a greeting of peace that only He can give and breathed on them the Holy Spirit and gave them a mission, with authority to act in His name, quite contrary to what a betrayed person might say to his friends.

—-
Our daily lives might be less dramatic or less spectacular than both scenes, but the Holy Spirit is surely present to us now—perhaps as seen during an event or happening or a few words from a friend or family or a simple gesture from a loved one, that somehow you felt the divine, that you felt closer to God, that somehow everything fell into place, that you felt at peace, that you felt encouraged, that you felt elated.

Prayer:
O Hininga ng Diyos,
Buntong-Hininga ko,
Huminga po kayo sa akin,
at bigyan ako ng pahinga,
nang mabago ako nang patuloy
at sabay nating mabago ang mundo.

—-
Come Lord Jesus. Send us your Spirit. Renew the face of the earth.

1. Come to us, Spirit of God. Breathe in us now. We sing together. 
Spirit of hope and of light, be in our lives. 
Come to us, Spirit of God.

2. Fill us with the fire of your love. Burn in us now. Bring us together. 
Come to us; dwell in us. Change our lives, oh Lord. Come to us, Spirit of God.

3. Send us the wings of new birth. 
Fill all the earth with the love you have taught us. 
Let all creation now be shaken with love. Come to us, Spirit of God.

(Image: http://bloorlansdownechristianfellowship.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/pentecost.jpg)

—-
Pahinga, Pa-Hinga.  A blessed Sunday and a blessed week ahead for you.

3 months ago
Sa pagdiwang ngayon ng ikalawang Linggo ng Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay, ipinagbubunyi rin natin ang Banal na Awa o Divine Mercy Sunday, na isinulong nina Santa Faustina Kowalska at John Paul II na maging unibersal na debosyon sa Simbahan. Ipinagdiriwang din natin ang pagtalaga bilang santo sa dalawang Santo Papa na tinuturing na “pastoral”: sina John XXIII at John Paul II.
Sentral sa Ebanghelyo ngayon ang awa ng Diyos, ni Hesus, lalo na sa kanyang mga disipulo.
Three reflection points for today:
***
(1) God Meets Us Where We Are: Ang Galaw ng Diyos.
In today’s Gospel, the movement of God in the person of Christ is in contrast with that in the last Sunday’s Gospel. Whereas last week, the disciples were going to where they thought Christ was supposed to be (i.e., in the tomb), this week we have Christ going to where the disciples are.
Ang Diyos ang unang gumalaw, ang unang nagma(ma)hal. God takes the initiative.
Sa larangan ng sining, madalas inilalarawan ang mga disipulong hinahanap ang katawan ni Kristo sa unang umaga ng Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay. Ngunit pagnilayan natin: isang magandang imahe rin sa contemplatio ay si Hesus na hinahanap rin ang kanyang mga kaibigan, mga kaibigang iniwan at tinalikuran siya noong Biyernes Santo, siguro dahil sa takot, galit, o hiya.
Ngunit nung nagtagpo si Hesus at ang kanyang mga disipulo, hindi man lang siya nagalit o nagsambit ng “Bakit niyo ako iniwan?” Instead, he gave them a greeting of peace that only He can give and breathed on them the Holy Spirit and gave them a mission, quite contrary to what a betrayed person might say to his friends.
Reflection question: Paano ko natatagpuan ang Diyos? Paano ako natatagpuan ng Diyos sa kabila ng aking paglayo sa Kanya?
***
(2) God Meets Us Where We Are: The Incredulity but Full Confession of Thomas
Contemplating Thomas, he might have felt devastated and sad, both because he was one of the disciples who weren’t there during their friend’s Passion and because he also wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared to the disciples. He must have felt so too because Jesus greeted them not with anger or lamentation, but with peace, an unsettling mercy from a betrayed friends.
And so he might have felt devastated as he might have thought he wasn’t worthy enough for the Risen Christ to appear to him, that he is not forgiven, doubting Christ’s mercy.. So perhaps when he said, ““Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe,” sadness might have mixed with his doubt.
But we nuance this: well-placed feelings of doubt and incredulity are entirely human as we live in the sensate level. Jesus might have chosen Thomas in the first place as a disciple precisely because Thomas’s grounding on reality and his being difficult-to-be-deceived personality, traits that a reasonable and prudent disciple should have.
But Jesus, in his entire divine mercy, understands and meets Thomas where he is. Thomas asked for real and tangible proof of His resurrection. Jesus gives him that not out of spite or out of exasperation, but out of love for his friend Thomas. And a most striking part is, contrary to what art depicts, it was not even mentioned in the Gospel that Thomas did “put (his) finger into the nailmarks and put (his) hand into his side.” Thomas just answered and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Perhaps there was no single touch.
So perhaps it is unfair that Thomas is forever depicted as the Doubting Thomas, when in fact it is from the Doubting One himself that a full confession of faith was uttered. Thomas’s words were not of incredulity or doubt but a full confession of faith, not just of Christ’s lordship but also his divinity. Among the post-Resurrection appearance stories, this one of Thomas is one of the very few that these words were uttered. Only a few people in the Scriptures have said these words. These are words that have been uttered resoundingly across the world and across centuries until today.
Reflection Question: How has Jesus shown his “marks of the nails” and his “side”, His signs of Resurrection and mercy, to me and in my life?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making yourself real to us everyday, for showing and giving us the marks of your Resurrection, your Divine Mercy, and your daily living in and with us, even if it is with difficulty that we look for them. Tulutan Niyo pong gawin kaming bukas-isip, bukas-puso, bukas-mata, bukas-kaluluwa, at babang-loob upang matanggap nang buo ang awa Mo at ng aming mga mahal sa buhay, at upang maging bukas-palad kami.
***
(3) John XXIII and John Paul II: Fruits of the Resurrection and the Divine Mercy
In an interview last year, Pope Francis gave us reflection of his motto, Miserando atque Eligendo. The first word doesn’t translate well into English or Spanish so he approximated by making a new word in Spanish—misericordiando or “mercy-ing”. With that, mercy becomes not just an object, but an action, a modo de proceder (Ignatian way of proceeding).
As Michelle Francl-Donnay had said, “Mercy-ing calls us to forgive the unforgivable, to look tenderly upon the unappealing and the troublesome, to be compassionate to the ungrateful. It demands that we give a full measure, packed down and flowing over, and to empty our granaries again and again for those who cannot hope to repay us. It asks us to open our hands and hearts, not because we expect mercy in return, but because who we yearn to become could not—did not—do anything less for us…For in the end, none of us is worthy of the mercy God has shown to us through his Son, the Christ, who came a-mercying, crying, ‘What I do is me: for that I came.’ (quoting As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ).”
It is because of God’s immense mercy that the Resurrection happened and that mercy-ing continues until today. At may tawag na ang ganitong mercy-ing ay maging likas na bahagi ng ating buhay Kristiyano. Madaling sambitin. Madaling ulit-ulitin sabihin. Madali ring makakalimutan. Ngunit marami tayong mga huwaran ng ganitong mercy-ing at dalawa na rito ay sina Santo Papa Juan XXII at Juan Pablo II.
Prayer: Dear Popes John XXIII and JPII, basbasan niyo po kaming lahat at tulungan niyo pa kaming maging instrumento ng pag-ibig at kapayapaan para sa isa’t isa. Bigyan niyo po kami ng sapat na lakas ng loob upang masambit man lamang nang totoo, kung hindi man maisabuhay, ang mga salitang isinapuso ninyo: “Obedientia et Pax” (John XXIII) at “Totus tuus!” (John Paul II). Ipanalangin ninyo po kami.
 
***
 
Thoughts inspired by Card. Chito Tagle, James Martin, SJ, and Michelle Francl-Donnay
5 months ago 2 notes

Darkness and Light

Why “Black” Saturday? Sabado “de Gloria”? Lolas would say, “Naghihintay tayo sa Kanyang Gloria sa Linggo, kasi patay ang Diyos ngayon, kaya madilim.”#pushmoyanlola

But it is in this very darkness that new life and light come forth,
just as a seed grows in the darkness below the earth,
just as a baby grows within the darkness of the womb,
just as photosynthesis can happen independent of light,
just as the stars shine brightest in the darkest of nights,
just as the Liturgy/Service of Light, the Exsultet is sung, and the crosses are unveiled in the darkness of the church building later,
just as the disciples waited with a mix of hope and darkness of heart,
just as Jesus has risen perhaps in the dark of the tomb, perhaps in the darkness before the break of dawn.

Even in the darkness God moves and works. Even in the darkness there is hope, light, and life. And we can find them easily if we lovingly look for them, at the Real, with the eyes and heart of faith.

Adapting from Fr. Horacio dela Costa SJ and tweaking much what he said: we were promised new life. We almost never dared to dream that Life Himself would come (again) and give us that.

Sama-sama tayong maghintay sa Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay. A hopeful #BlackSaturday and a glorious#Easter vigil to you.

Image: Easter Vigil 2013, Pope Francis, Vatican (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

5 months ago 1 note

Psalm for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 30, 2014, is Psalm 23: “Ang Panginoon ang aking pastol, hindi ako magkukulang.”

Top picture: Ang Mabuting Pastol, ink on manila paper, April 1, 2014. Reflection drawing during the ASMPH Silent Retreat 2014 at the Maryridge Retreat House, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters.

Bottom picture: Faded old mural painting at Maryridge Retreat House, Tagaytay, depicting the shepherd in the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15), where the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to look for the lost one.

Reflection/prayer points for us:

(1) Sa mga pagkakataong nararamdaman kong naiwan o iniwanan ako ng mga taong pinagkakatiwalaan ko, salamat at andiyan Kayo at ‘di ako pinabayaan.

(2) Sa kabilang dako naman, tulutan Mo aking puso na tularan ang puso ng Mabuting Pastol, na balikan ang mga naiwan kong mga taong nagti(ti)wala sa akin.

5 months ago

officialfrenchtoast:

”..the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve..”

-Matthew 20:28

(via thefuuuucomics)

5 months ago 169,190 notes

In this Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, our Gospel reading is a long one: the Passion Narrative. The story (and the other readings for today) provides insights on the dimensions of suffering. Ang pagpapakasakit ni Hesus ay dulot ng kanyang pagsunod sa kalooban ng Ama, kahit lubhang nasisindak na siya sa paghihirap na daranasin. It is a suffering with a complete trust to the will of God and not to the will of oneself or of other men (in Jesus’ case, Peter).

Sa isang banda rin, hindi ito isang pagpapapakasakit alang-alang sa pagpapakasakit lamang. It is also not just suffering as a consequence of obedience but a suffering out of love and out of service, to the point of death. In the Passion narrative, naranasan ni Hesus ang halos lahat ng maaaring maranasang pagdurusa ng tao—binigo, iniwan, itinatwa, ipinagkanulo, ipinagpalit sa salapi, hanggang sa kamatayan. Jesus was and is in solidarity with us, choosing to suffer out of love for us. It is not just sympathy or empathy. It is owning our own sufferings and trying to alleviate them so. 

From these two points, we get to understand a bit the reason behind the passion: love. A dimension of love is compassion. In fact, the word compassion, from its Latin etymology, is literally “to suffer with” or “to bear with”. It is to suffer with the person you love. It is also to bear the sufferings of the person you love. Isa ring dimensyon ng pagmamahal ay malasakit. Salitang-ugat pa lamang, andiyan na ang “sakit”. Kahit nasasaktan at masasaktan, nagmamahal at nagbibigay at nag-aalay pa rin. Ganito magmahal si Hesus.

'Ika nga ni Card. Tagle, “The love of Jesus, the love of God, the love of us, is a love willing to suffer…Let us learn in that love for it is the love that saves us. It it the love that gave us new life.” Even to the point of death, He loves us. Even to the point of our “little deaths to ourselves”, let us love like Him.

A blessed Holy Week ahead for you.

Image: Christ Crowned with Thorns, oil on canvas, by Matthias Stom, c. 1633-1639

5 months ago 1 note

asean-community:

ASEAN Community
Palaspas (Palm Sunday), Philippines

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. It is the start of the Holy Week. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels.

Palaspas, or decorative palm fronds, are part of the Catholic celebration of Palm Sunday in the Philippines, marking the start of Holy Week. It is made from young coconut palm leaves, locally called ibus, which have not yet opened.

(via acatholicrose)

5 months ago 45 notes

April 6, 2014, Fifth Sunday of Lent. Gospel: John 11:1-45

The last “sign” in the Gospel of John and perhaps the greatest miracle of Jesus before His Passion was the raising of his friend, Lazarus.

Ang mga kaganapang malungkot at mabigat sa buhay ay nagsisilbi ring mga pagkakataong maipakita ng Diyos ang Kanyang pag-ibig at awa. Hingin lamang natin na mahanap Siya at magpahanap sa Kanya nang may pananampalataya at pag-asa sa Muling Pagkabuhay.

Paano ako binubuhay ng Diyos? Paano nagiging buháy ang Diyos sa aking búhay?

May the Lord breathe newness in your life and bring you newness of things (pagbabago at pagbabalik-loob).

Belated happy Sunday, Doctor of Christ! Have a blessed week.

Image: The Raising of Lazarus, tempera and gold on panel, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1310-1311

5 months ago 1 note

Isa sa mga librong matagal ko nang inaasam na magkaroon pero lubhang hindi mahahanap dito sa Pinas. Maraming salamat sa pasalubong/bday gift, @shethinksthat and JC! Binasa ko siya kaunti nung retreat.

5 months ago

"Give. Even when you know you can get nothing back."

- (via gettingahealthybody)

(via louraeinthesky)

8 months ago 85,601 notes

As St. Ignatius would say, “Friends in the Lord”

And as we would say, “Barkada sa Diyos”

9 months ago

"Sa ‘pagkamatay sa sarili’ at pagkaubos lamang tayo napupuno ng Diyos."

- my brain and heart

9 months ago

"We were promised a savior. We never dreamed God Himself would come."

- Horacio de la Costa, SJ, first Filipino Provincial of the Society of Jesus

9 months ago

More than the affect, genuine Christian joy is the hidden, dynamic, and quiet choice and emotion that God endows to us.

Iniimbita tayo ng Diyos sa Kanyang kagalakan, na hindi mahahanap sa sarili lamang, kundi sa ibang tao, sa ating mga kaibigan at minamahal.

With patience and trust like that of St. John the Baptist, the prophet Isaiah, and St. James, let’s choose joy: pray for the joy of others and we will see God.

Thoughts by Henri J.M. Nouwen, author of The Return of the Prodigal Sonon joy

  • Joy and resentment cannot coexist. – p. 73

  • This experience of not being able to enter joy is the experience of a resentful heart. – p. 74

  • The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. – p. 85

  • God not only offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing, but wants to lift up these gifts as a source of joy for all who witness them. – p. 113

  • In all three of the parables which Jesus tells to explain why he eats with sinners, God rejoices and invites others to rejoice with him. – p. 114

  • It is God’s joy, not the joy that the world offers. It is the joy that comes from seeing a child walk home amid all the destruction, devastation, and anguish of the world. It is a hidden joy, as inconspicuous as the flute player that Rembrandt painted in the wall above the head of the seated observer. – p. 114
  • I have to learn to “steal” all the real joy there is to steal and lift it up for others to see… I don’t have to wait until all is well, but I can celebrate every little hint of the Kingdom that is at hand. – p. 115

  • The reward of choosing joy is joy itself… There is so much rejection, pain, and woundedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy. – p. 116

  • From God’s perspective, one hidden act of repentance, one little gesture of selfless love, one moment of true forgiveness is all that is needed to bring God from his throne to run to his returning son and to fill the heavens with sounds of divine joy. – p. 116

  • Because what greater joy can there be for me than to stretch out my tired arms and let my hands rest in a blessing on the shoulders of my home-coming children. – p. 133
  • The joy of fatherhood is vastly different from the pleasure of the wayward children. It is a joy beyond rejection and loneliness; yes, even beyond affirmation and community. It is the joy of a fatherhood that takes its name from the heavenly Father and partakes in his divine solitude – p. 138

9 months ago 1 note