Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Message: "Jesus is Life!"

In his Easter vigil message Pope Francis said: "Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness, and that is where death is. Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!" Worshiping Jesus in rituals is good but it will never be enough. Baptized Christians  are expected to embody Jesus.  By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the faithfuls have been given the gifts of His Holy Spirit to enable them to be up for the tasks.  On Easter we renew these vows. Now we can truly live meaningfully for others as well. We can only give what we are in our essence. By  unleashing  Jesus' love from our very own hearts, it will be reflected by the way we live and in the way we love.

Pope Francis has also reminded everyone that the message of Easter is that faith can help people transform their lives by letting "those desert places in our hearts bloom".

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Palm Sunday Message:"Wake Up!"

"When Jesus got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” - Luke 22:45-46
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It is only this physical world that sleeps as it is lulled by its deluded desires to have and to do more; but not our spirit, our being,  which is always awake and just waiting to be alive in the Spirit of God. Many choose to stay asleep for it is more convenient and seemingly safe, despite the fact that being stuck to it is the source of troubles and immense woes. Truly, it takes one to have a greater courage, openness and grace to want and desire to be awakened and to stay that way for God. How will Jesus find you today, asleep or awake?  
As you offer your palms for blessings this Sunday to welcome the Holy Week observance, let the spirit of love, joy, peace through forgiveness and prayers reign in your being and through the way you live all the days of your life. May we all have a blessed Palm Sunday!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Each moment can be a moment of grace if our faith is truly genuine and alive. And only those who have known Christ deeply in this way will ever lived in this grace and will able to grasp and appreciate what Paul was talking about with the Philippians in today's first gospel reading. For Paul, knowing Christ is enough, a kind of knowing that surpasses everything. What does your heart tell you now? Do you want something or someone other than Christ? And will that something be ever enough?
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Philippians 3:8-14

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Take the Wheel: How to Let God Lead and Take Control

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Praying to Mama Mary for Guidance

We join the entire world in welcoming and praying for Pope Francis! He inspires hope for a genuine inner transformation to happen and a revitalized faith for the more than 1 billion Catholics the world over. Practicing religion with spirituality is possible if we make it so. 
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We all love our mothers. Jesus loved his mother a lot, too. And so does Pope Francis. Jesuit superior general Father General Adolfo Nicol├ís says that taking the name of Francis (taken from St. Francis de Assisi) indicates the new pope will be close to the poor, and committed to the good of the church.  Some  very good news, indeed!                                                 
The new pope makes a surprise visit to Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica to pray for guidance on his first day in the new role. Priests say Pope Francis's visit was a surprise and that they only had 10 minutes to prepare for his arrival. Pope Francis is the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years.


    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    A Prayer for Those Who Journey

    On February 28, 2013, and unprecedentedly, Pope Benedict XVI has stepped down from papacy for health reasons, which for many (and that includes me), is a sign of genuine humility and love for the Church which has been entrusted to his care and which he has devotedly served. Not anymore a pontiff, he now calls himself an ordinary pilgrim. And that's who we really all are, pope or no pope,  in this temporary world we inhabit and find ourselves in . . . a pilgrim.  And through and beyond imperfections, we're pilgrims who are free to choose to find love, peace and joy in Christ, moment by moment. O Lord, how we love this journey! And for those of us who embark on this exciting pilgrimage we call life, here's the prayer of our heart.
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    A Prayer for Those Who Journey
    - An excerpt from Joyce Rupp's Meeting God in our Transition Times

    Response: God of our journey, remind us you are near.

    Life is an unfolding mystery, sometimes a painful search and sometimes a wonderful discovery . . .
    As we journey through life, we often face the fear of the unknown, doubts, hesitations, anxieties and insecurities . . .
    Our hearts are restless because they are pilgrim hearts whose home is not here . . .
    When our footsteps grow weary, when we stumble along the way, discouragement and doubt so easily come forth to greet us . . .
    We are always learning what to leave behind and what to take with us as we move along the road of life . . .
    We  encounter God continually in the cycle of "setting out" and "coming home." Sometimes we allow life to be so busy as we travel that we miss this special presence . . .
    Expectancy, anticipation, and courage rise up in our beings when we are open to the ways of God in the wilderness . . .
    In our journeying, we need strong conviction about the beauty and goodness of life, a vision of hope that endures the pain and the struggle, and a thread of love that weaves through all of our dreams . . .
    God of the journey, we need a burning bush to set our hearts aflame with deep love of you.  When the road of life seems long and tedious, when dying and rising get to be too much, be that pillar of fire by night. Be that comforting cloud by day so that we not only can see the way, but also can be confident of your gracious presence which is our strength and our hope. Thank you for your nearness to us. Amen
    In the same vein, two days from now our event- Road Trip: Finding God in Your Life's Journey will take place. We pray . . . God of our journey be with us all, the facilitator, organizers and especially with the participants as we invoke your grace to work through us. Amen.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    More healing from Jesus

    Today we again follow Jesus as he goes around in his sorties. And we found him as he continues on his healing journey near a pool called Bethesda where so many sick people, cripple, lame, blind, etc., have been coming for healing. He spotted a  blind man who was blind for the last 38 years and he asked him: "Do you want to be well?"
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    The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."  Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately, the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

    This time, Jesus turned his gaze upon me and asked me, too: "Do you want to be well? And amazed but with little hesitation I answered: "Yes, Lord! I, too, am blind for so long and I've been wanting to see. This world is extremely competitive for me; I am weak and I cannot simply get ahead nor am able to catch up. There seems to be no one in my life to lift me up and bring me to healing. Help me see." And Jesus said to me, "Rise, bring your weary body up and walk." Immediately, I knew I am well, I see with clarity and able to reflect on his words and life deeply and write these blog posts.

    It is no mere coincidence nor whimsical that I reflect and share inspired thoughts online. . . it's just because I was internally blind and now I can see better.  And as I learn to come to terms with whatever unfolds in life, however and whatever, unshackled and with dipping resistance, then, I know and feel, He continually heals me  . . . moment by moment. Nothing to resist and nothing to fix in the moment. Everything is perfect in the moment that it arises. Come, let us continue to follow Jesus and to join him in His mission of  being love, joy and peace to all. That's the only way we can ever thank Him for the healing and for this wonderful gift called life.

    Join us in this spiritual retreat:

    Finding God in Your Life's Journey
    March, 16, 2013; 8am-5pm
    Venue: Quezon City, Philippines
    Ms. Nina Robledo: Retreat Director
    Fee: P800 per person w/ lunch and snacks
    For questions and to reserve a place send an email to:

    v  walk prayerfully through the many phases of your life
    v  discover God as your constant companion on your journey
    v  reflect on your transitions in the light of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus
    v  uncover the gifts of these transitions

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Who wants to be healed?

    In today's Gospel reading, Jesus heals the sickness of an official's son from afar and instantaneously through the father.  Yes, it did happen before.  But,  how about now?
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    Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He still heals whoever realizes that he is sick of whatever malady in body, emotion, mind, or spirit;  and that he sincerely and humbly asks for healing. We can start our healing process, one way or the other,  when we come to realize that there are more rights than wrongs with us.

    Jesus Heals the Official Son (NIV John 4:43-54)
    43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
    46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
    48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
    49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
    50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
    The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
    53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
    54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.