Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day, Bayville New York 2007



PRAYER
Eternal Father, giver of Love and Life, the source of our freedom and the protector of our Nation.
We offer to You our Praises and Thanksgiving for You are all Good and Merciful. And “your mercies have followed us all the days of our lives.”
As we come together on this special day of remembrance..

We remember first of all how you have loved us.

We remember also specially the men and women who offered their lives serving our nation and fought hard for freedom and justice for all of us to enjoy. Eternal rest grant unto them Lord and Let Perpetual Light shine upon them.
We remember their families and love ones and we pray that they be comforted in their sorrows.

Father, we entrust to you our nation, the leaders and those whose who are continuously defending our values and freedom against the evil of terrorism.
Bless us with Peace eternal Father,

Grant to us your protection and guidance. Assure us with your power so that “even though we walk in dark valley we will fear no evil for you will be at our side.” Amen

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pentecost Sunday


We celebrate Pentecost Sunday today
It’s a great feast considering that it’s the birthday of the church, the beginning of the church. When Christ ascended into heaven, he did not leave us orphaned. He sent His Holy Spirit, the advocate to remind us of everything he did and taught, made us faithful and without fear.
"Pente" means 50-50 days after Passover, after Easter.
It’s the end of Easter, we will be extinguishing the Easter candle after today.

Its should be a joyous and a meaningful celebration for all us

Personally for me, its very meaningful, 15 years ago today, on a Sunday. May 30, 1993. I celebrated my first mass, on a Pentecost Sunday.
I remember then how I was so afraid, unsure of what will happen to me as priest, I even described myself then as a seed being planted and corrupted on the ground. And now look at me. I am big. I am happy I am still a priest,

It should be joyous and meaningful also for you brothers and sisters.

The sending of the holy Spirit should make us alive and hopeful and encouraged, as a person and as a Christian.

It was
Fulton J. Sheen who once said about the church that even though we are God's chosen people, we often behave more like God's frozen people. God's frozen people indeed: frozen in our prayer life, frozen in the way we relate with one another, frozen in the way we celebrate our faith. We don't seem to be happy to be in God's house; we are always in a hurry to get it over and done with as soon as possible. Today is a great day to ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in us the spirit of new life and enthusiasm, the fire of God's love. Let us ask the Power of the Holy Spirit for this gift. In our Life and in our faith we should be encourage.

It should also give us courage and strength
We all have fears and worries in life. What will happen next, worries about members of the family, fear of death and worries about our health, financial problems and many more.
Pentecost reminds us that there is such thing as being hopeful and taking courage believing that there is a God whom we can go and rely on, believing that with God nothing is impossible and nothing could ever go wrong.

In the words of Pope John Paul II, “Non Abbiate Paura.”

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Your Love. Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Wonder: Why Run for Office?


The recent elections in the Philippines saw thousands running for office from all walks of life, all wanting very much to win an office with a common purpose: So that they could serve others, their kababayans, serve the Philippines.
We saw lawyers, businessmen, entertainers, overseas worker, a boxer, pastors and yes even priests all with a common cry so that they can become of service to the Filipino people..

I just wonder, when they say they wanted to serve and do good to their constituents. Does one always need to be in office just to serve?
I really feel that there seem to be a misunderstanding of the whole idea of serving and doing good for others here.
I even have the tendency to believe that, there maybe other reasons behind their running aside from serving.

These people, many of them spent a lot running for office.
They could have just spent the whole amount helping others and doing good.

I look at Jesus and I realize, He even took the form of a slave, an ordinary man to reach out to others and to serve. There was no need of an office.

I wonder why is this so. I wonder why these people came to have these kind of ideas in their minds. Funny, isn’t it?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Return to Rome: A "Leap of Faith" experience

My Return to Rome: A “Leap of Faith”

March 26, 2007 I went back to Rome full of fear and anxiety, unsure of what will happen and devoid of any plans.
I was returning with only a “recivuta.” Unsure of being accepted back to Italy.
I was worried of my mother who just went out of the hospital and was bidding farewell as though it would be our last of seeing each other.
I had no money and above all with no Borsa-No Scholarship for my studies.
I was worried whatever happens; I didn’t even have the means of going back to the Philippines.

To make things worse, when I went to the Questura, upon arrival to verify my papers, though I had an appointment, and a call from the office. my file was no where to be found and they seem not eager to help me or find it.

It was an experience of helplessness, discouragement and to some extent hopelessness. I was really down and out and it was Holy Week 2007.
It was one of those times you call a very sad state. As If you were at the edge of the cliff and you do not now what will happen and what to do.

I remember how in those times, How often I silently raised my voice to the Lord, to our Blessed Virgin in supplication … “asking to show me the way.”

It was Good Friday, While I was meditating on the Passion of Jesus on TV. At that point when Jesus was crucified with the 2 thieves and one asked Him to remember them and Jesus answered.. “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It touched me so intensely that even made me cry alone in my room, while at that time I was feeling sorry for myself for the state I was in, and there where those words of Jesus, which where words of assurance.

It was a time of realization, I was reminded to Trust in the Lord, I was reminded to continue hoping and never loose faith and confidence. Make the act of Faith


The next days. For the record, were all BLESSINGS,

I became busy again with my community in Bologna and Bescovio
My Mother assured me that she was feeling better and she celebrated her 81st birthday happily and successfully last May 14.
One fine day, last April 17. I received a letter, a letter that I opened inside the church in front of the blessed Mother and the Blessed Sacrament. And lo and behold, it was the approval of my scholarship asking me to get the check.

a week later,I received a call from the questura for finger printing. They finally found my file and my papers were okey .
Then I received a call from my Pastor from the US asking me to come early for my pastoral work.

Blessings were pouring the next 3 weeks.

A reminder once again How Jesus and Mama Mary Loves me and will never abandon me.
It was like after Good Friday came Easter and resurrection
Like After winter, came springtime and new life.

Thank you very much Dear Lord Jesus and mama Mary

Today I am leaving for the US, for Bayville where I will be staying and working and writing my thesis for the next 5 months.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

MESSAGE; BOLOGNA


HOMILY
10th Anniversary of Bologna Cell Group
El Shaddai Community, April 29, 2007

After 10 years of loving and serving El Shaddai, Our Lord Jesus, and Mama Mary. I hope that your “Love is tested and tried”…..based on the story of a couple who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and the husband gave a speech and said in the end..’My Love for you my dear is tried and tested…when the wife was also called to give the response…since she could not hear clearly due to a hearing problem. .she answered back angrily..”I am tired of you too.”
…………………….

EL SHADDAI in Bologna



My Bologna Community
A city in Northern Italy, well known for its Universities and the “Due Torre” The twin towers, their Patron Saint San Petronio and the Home of the Madonna de San Luca .
I was sent by the rector of Philippine College Msgr. Ruperto Santos to a small community of El Shaddai to serve, to help.
This was where I encountered the Filipino migrants in Bologna. So hungry for Gods word in the Eucharist, left unattended in a foreign land as if sheep without a shepherd.
These are ordinary Filipinos, and yes! many of them do menial jobs as house helps, babysitters, serving signoras and signores, some are working as porters, street cleaners, housekeepers, also others in business institutions and a minority as nurses and secretaries.
Simple jobs. But hey are happy, contented, hardworking Filipinos living with dignity in a foreign land.

They have their struggles, just like the flight of other Filipino migrants in other countries like being separated from members of the family, broken marriages, worries of parents of the of their children left back home, overworking so as to meet the needs of the family.

There is also the growing number of conflicts among Filipinos, “siraan”-destroying one another, the tendency of regionalism “families, place of origin and barkadas.” and the prolifiration of gambling- get together, to pass the time in “tong-itans” and “inuman” for the boys.
They have their struggles but they continue trying to live happily, Peacefully and with Dignity.

These Filipino Migrants in Bologna are loving, caring, generous and with Faith so strong for our Lord Jesus, for our Mama Mary, for El Shaddai.

This is my community, This is where I serve.
This is a site of "Leaps of Faith" experiences and reflections. Be it Philosophical, Theological, Practical or Personal. It is also a site of Biblical reflections. But Above all, This is a site for YOU and ME.

"Leaps of Faith"

"LEAPS OF FAITH" Can be a religious movement of a person, an inner movement of belief, of trust on the greatest power of all, The Supreme being..Our Creator and Maker..Our God. They can be resolutions of a person everyday in his life to move forward, to be a better person, and to start a new life. They can be decisions of a person in times of great uncertainties, when he is not sure of what will come or happen and he makes a leap of faith. They can be steps, difficult steps that a person makes on his way to change or to start anew. Or they can simply be a persons resolve to fly, to travel..to widen his horizons, to learn more about life and to grow. These are Leaps of faith we make everyday and in great moments of our lives and they are worth considering and reflecting.