Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lord, Teach me to Pray


I was sharing one day to a friend how I was tired and burdened by problems and how it was stressful.
And he said “maybe father Archie you had not prayed enough.”
Not prayed enough? I say mass everyday sometimes three times a day and pray the rosary and many more devotions and you say I did not prayed enough?
I was about to react with protest, but it came to me, I thought that he may have a point.
That I have not really prayed enough, rightly and truly.

I pray “ your will be done” and yet I insist on what I want to receive.
my prayers sometimes is a long list of petitions and I forget to thank God.
I pray often with my heart still laden with hatred and anger and sin.

The Apostles in the gospel today asked the Lord: “Teach us to pray.”
I ask the Lord also to teach me to pray rightly, sincerely and truly. AMEN

Monday, September 22, 2008

Prayer for Workers


A Prayer for Workers
O glorious Joseph! Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons, especially entrusted to you.

You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother. Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God. Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls. Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil. Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did. Amen. By Pope John XXIII

Sunday, September 7, 2008

23 Sunday Ord. Time A (Heaven)


The Lord always cares for us
He wants us to live meaningful and fruitful lives
And it is His wish that at the end of time we will be with him in his kingdom in heaven.
“I am going to prepare a place for you…so that where I am you will also be.”

And so in the gospel he gives us guidelines
Teaching us the right path to take
And the right thing to do.

1. He reminds us about how the good we do in our life time can help us enter heaven.
“whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heave,…..”

2. He gives us prayers as a way of keeping in touch with him.
Becoming closer to him and knowing him personally is a big help when we stand before him at the judgment seat at the end time.

3. He reminds us also about fraternal correction and helping others be on the right path here on earth.
When someone commits mistakes we have the duty to help and correct them.
Tell them the truth even though truth hurts
For in the end it will be the truth that will set us free and save us.

4. He also gives us the commandment as the summary of how we should conduct ourselves in this world. Loving God and neighbor.

These are Jesus’ words for our salvation
And “If today you here His words. Harden not your hearts.”

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Missing the Point


When the Lord Jesus asked “who do you say that I am?”
The apostles came up with different answers.
They missed the real point, the real answer
And it was Peter who got it right when he professed:
“You are the Messiah the Son of the Living God.

When we approach Jesus, when we pray, may we not miss the real point that
He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, The Almighty,
The All Powerful who knows and sees everything we need
and who knows what is best for us.

In our relationships may we not take for granted others and their real need.
That when we help it should be for the others good
That we may always be aware of what is truly needed and what is best to share
Otherwise we miss the point.

May we not deviate from our real point of destination which is heaven
That our lifetime should be a preparation to be with God someday
May we not miss our target in the end which is HEAVEN

Yet even if we miss the point.
Remember! The Lord will never fail us and will never miss the point of helping, protecting us and saving us.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mothers


The Canaanite woman
A Mother with her great Love and concern for her child.
Reminds us of our Mother in Heaven, The Blessed Virgin Mary
Who will never forsake us.
She reminds us also about our Mothers here on earth as we acknowledge them and pray for them.
(Just Like michael Phelps kissed her mom after winning his 8th gold medal).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin mary


These days we witness how young men and women-athletes in the Beijing Olympics 2008,
Give their best in their sports and are victorious and in the end are honored with medals.

Today the Blessed Virgin Mary is also being honored.
She said YES to be the mother of our Lord at that time she never knew what it entailed and how it will bring her so much sorrow at the foot of the cross.
She fulfilled that YES
And today as we celebrate the feast of the Assumption
We are reminded how in the end she was assumed body and soul to heaven.

Just Like the blessed Virgin
We too can excel and do our best in our own fields in life.
In our own little way we can be the best parent, the best friend, the best public servant. We can excel at work or in school or in the community.
By offering our Love and acts of goodness to others.
How to do it so that it will be the best?
Just do it with love and with sincerity.
It may not look much but whatever is done with Love always matters and is meaningful
and it will be the best and our Lord will surely appreciate it.

The reward may not be right away here on earth
though I believe some would receive them in their lifetime
But it will be in the end when the good we have done will be rewarded in heaven
Just like Mary was assumed to heaven we too can be with her in heaven.

Let us pray that we will grow in our love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin
That we will learn from her and make her our model
That we will be blessed through her intercessions as we offer our needs and prayers
And that in the end with her help we can enter heaven. Amen.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Sea of Life



The waters, the sea that surrounds Bayville
Is what makes Bayville beautiful and famous to visitors.

These same waters we know are at times so calm and peaceful and we love to go out sailing.
but there are times when it is rough with big waves, difficult and chaotic.
.

Our Life, our relationships, even our family or community here on earth can be compared to the sea, to the waters.
There are times when it is calm and peaceful when we are happy and contented, at peace
And we love those days and how we wish sometimes that it stays that way

But we know just like the sea.. There are storms and strong waves.
That life and relationships can be chaotic and problematic
The calmness can be disturbed at times by death of a love one, sickness, unfaithfulness or betrayal.
That’s Life brothers and sisters.
As uncle vinnie would always say: “questa la vita.”

In the Gospel today, we are reminded that when these things happen
Let us not forget that we have Jesus our lord whom we can go to
He can walk through the rough sees
He can overcome it for us
And for all of us who are walking on the rough waters these days
he Is telling us come walk through it.
Yes Peter come walk through the waters.
Don’t run away or hide from it.
Walk through it.

Jesus can save us, He can help us
He saved peter though he had little faith

Allow Jesus to reach his hand and save you
Allow Jesus to touch your heart help you to learn to forgive
Allow Jesus to give you strength to carry your cross ad to walk the rough sees
And do not be afraid He says for it is I
He is our Lord and savior.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds


Once again Jesus use parables to impart to us his message
Today we have the parable of the wheat and weeds.
1. First it tells us about the reality of the world we live in
That in this world, there is good but there is also the absence of good that is evil.
We all desire to live well, happy, contented and at peace
But every now and then we are awaken or shaken with the reality of sorrow, pain, sickness and troubles.
We are reminded about these realities so that we will know how to face them,
That we wont get discourage but trying ones best to overcome them.
In another scripture reading the lord reminds us to bear these crosses and carry them with Him.

2. The parable also reminds us about sowing good seed.
Doing good in life. Sharing an act of love and kindness to others.
They are not useless even sometimes nobody gets to know the good we do
For every good we do will merit us good.
Whatever you sow is what you will reap.
What you do to others, others normally will do it to you
Sow good seed and it will bear fruit abundantly,
do not sow bad seeds otherwise you will have weeds.

3. In the end it is God who will judge us on how we conducted ourselves in this world,
how we tried to be of help to others and how we loved.
Brothers and sisters the good we do in this world will never go unnoticed for God knows and sees everything.
and the parable tells us, there will be judgment in the end.
Gather the wheat and put them in the barn, while gather the weeds and burn them.
We don’t have to judge others or even at times bring them to justice
God and even nature will have a way of giving justice
Some people even say that even here on earth there are some who are paying already for the wrong they have done.
God will judge us in the end.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hope of the Seed


The Parable of the Seed and the Sower
Offers us many points of reflection today for these are symbols rich in meaning.
1. The Gospel tells us that Jesus is the sower and the seeds are His Words which He offers to us as truths as paths to peace and happiness and even salvation.
And He invites us to be a Good Soil
To accept His Words of Life, allow it to nourish us and shape us
To overcome obstacles of selfishness and even hardheadedness that could choke up the seeds of life.
Be open to the Jesus, have time for Him and accept Him in our lives.
So that in the end our life can bear fruit a hundredfold.

2. The Seed is something insignificant, small and ordinary but ones planted it can grow and become a big tree that could give shelter and food to animals and birds and even man. It is something that could become extraordinary.
The Seed can be an act of love or a simple act of goodness that when offered from the heart can mean a lot to others.
The seed can be an small offering for the poor, though nothing compared to what others can give but could help a lot those who are in need.
It can even be a simple smile for a neighbor that could brighten their day.
The seed can be an hour for the Lord today, it may look not much but surely can please the Lord and could merit us blessings.

3. The Seed can grow and be transformed. It can change
The seed could be ourselves. When sometimes we say I am hopeless and could never change
But given the right desire and grace from God. Surely we can start all over again, start a new Life.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I will give you rest


We all have our own burdens in life.
Crosses that we carry.
Some we share and ask for help but others we keep to ourselves and carry it alone.
Our burdens could be others, a neighbor or even a husband or a wife or kids and our burden can even be ourselves.
It can be a guilt or a sin that we keep.
Or something we failed to fulfill in life.
It can even be the one we all share these days-the burden of ever-rising energy cost and cost of goods.
Many are tired.
And there are many burdens, crosses that weighs us down.

Today, Let us be comforted and encouraged by the words of Jesus: who said: “ Come to me all you who are tired and find life burdensome. And I will refresh you. I'll give you rest, true peace and happiness.”

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Peter and Paul


Apostles Peter and Paul
Two great saints, considered after Christ, as the cornerstone of our Faith.
In St. Peter’s basilica their statues stand tall at both sides of the entrance telling us that indeed they are the pillars of the church.
Two great men, chosen from among us, ordinary men with their weakness and strength.
Remember: Peter He denied the Lord three times, he was the man of “little faith.”
Paul was a persecutor of Christians.
But when they were transformed and when they were converted..
Both Lived their faith and died fighting for the faith as martyrs.
Peter crucified upside down and Paul beheaded.

Today may we realize that our faith is a Gift from the Lord
That this Faith was preserved through the Love and Blood of many saints and martyrs starting with Peter and Paul.
That as a gift we need to treasure it.
That we need to Live our Faith
And in the end pass it on to the next generation.

In the end may we say like Paul said: “I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith;”

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Fear




Someone noticed that in the papers and television- we often get “Breaking news or alerts,” these days. They said it is being in a crisis mode. And that this is the state of and condition of our times. Often worried and living in fear.

A deeper study of who we are.( specially in Philosophy) One desiring and wanting to achieve what is good and happiness will tell us how fear and the positive which is courage is a reality.
We all have our own fears.

Fear can be positive in a way when it protects us from harm.

But fear can become an instrument of the devil
When it becomes an obstacle to live our faith fully. When it hinders many and silence many to say what is right and true, when works of love and of God are not shared because of fear.

We live in a time when because of popular opinions, its difficult to say same sex marriage is wrong, also abortion and many more.
It is even difficult for some to make the sign of the cross in public
Now that some would even like to remove the word God from paper bills and put away the need of prayer even in schools.

This is the message of the Lord today. To avoid these instances when because of fear love and good works are paralyzed.

The Lord invites us to learn to surrender everything to Him, to trust Him

“Do not be Afraid”
Words used by The Angels to call Joseph and Mary and the Saints and Prophets.
Words used by Pope John Paul II “Non Habete Paura.” Encouraging us in the modern times.
Words said to St Gertrude’s by the Lord when she had a vision.
These words are even repeated more tan 365 times in the Gospel
And Jesus Himself tells us 3 times in the Gospel “Do not be Afraid.”

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pray to the Lord of Harvest


With all our troubles and problems in life
the crisis going on these difficult times
when almost all are complaining about prices of gas and food going up and with no end in sight.- we are just like the crowd in the gospel dejected and harassed like sheep without a shepherd.

But one thing is encouraging. We have a Lord who watches over us . Who feels sorry for us. And he said: “PRAY, ask the Lord of harvest to send laborers to his harvest.”

The Lord is reminding us today not to underestimate the power and importance of PRAYER.
That in our troubles and crosses raise your voices to God in Prayer to ask for help.

Someone said if you are weary and could not sleep try counting sheep.
A Christmas carol even changed it by saying not only count sheep but count your blessings instead. But the best advice is the one which says when you are weary and cannot sleep and troubled instead of counting the sheep or blessings, try talking to the Shepherd instead. (Moments)

Pray to the Good Shepherd Jesus.

In St. Francis church in Brooklyn a sign is posted saying: Keep them coming in “God will always answer those knee mails.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

St. Gertrude's Feast 2008


At the Feast
Beyond those flickering, colorful and bright lights were the Love and friendship and laughter shared by those who came to show their support and those who served for its success

Beyond the 'saltiness' of the surrounding since we were by the sea-were the sacrifice and hard work offered by many men and women of the parish. Not only those whom we saw but above all those who were silently working at the background.

I believe those were real instances when we tried to live up to that call of Jesus to be the "light of the world and the salt of the earth."

And may this be true not only at the feast but also everyday. Amen

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Speak Lord, your servant is listening"


At Jones Manor, a lady patient approached me as I entered the door and asked me to say a prayer and bless her and hold her face because she was suffering from a toothache. As I blessed her she said “I believe , Fr. Archie. This is the Lord’s way of telling me stop cursing and not to say bad words anymore when I get upset.”

These are simple events in our lives when The Lord speaks to us.
Personal experiences of the Lord inviting us to do His will.
Special moments of the Lord ‘CALLING.’ us.

Like Mathew in the Gospel today let us be open to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him, to serve and to Love.
In the words of the child Sammuel let us also say: “Speak Lord, your servant is Listening.”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Be Strong and Have Faith


After the devastating earthquake in southern china recently that took away so many lives, a few days later an article came out on our newspaper in Long Island about what added to the destruction. where how the buildings were not properly constructed and how low quality materials where used on those buildings and the foundations where not really that strong.
For Buildings it matters when the foundations are strong so that when storms and earthquakes come it will endure.
And so also in Life and in our Faith in Jesus and Love.
It matters, if great is our faith and trust.
For there will always be storms in life and “earthquakes” that will rock us every now and then.
Our strength and faith can help us persevere and withstand the trials and hardships.
The Lord says "Be strong and have Faith in me and you can be saved."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Leap of Faith


Fifteen years ago today on a Saturday afternoon,May 29,1993 the late Archbishop Francisco R. Cruces, D.D. imposed his hands on me and ordained me Priest of Jesus Christ.
It was a special day that I made my LEAP OF FAITH in Life.
A leap that have gone through different times of ups and downs
at times has been exciting, terrifying, nurturing, comforting, but always challenging.
I am Thankful to the Lord for giving me this precious gift of Priesthood and also for helping and protecting me through these 15 years and the years to come.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Prayer


Almighty Father
Source of all Goodness and Love, we come to offer our praise and thanksgiving to you today, As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Bless the men and women, who have offered their lives at the service of our country receive them and protect them in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and presence.
We pray also for those who have died serving our country. Receive them in your Kingdom.
We also remember the families of our troops, and ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes and grant them your peace, protection and strength to fill their lives.
May the members of our armed forces be filled with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.
We ask this through the Intercession of our Blessed Lady, through Christ our Lord, Amen

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Mom's Love of the EUCHARIST

I am a witness to my Mother’s Love of the EUCHARIST. I remember how when I was a kid my mom would encourage everyone at home on Sundays to go to the village chapel and there attend the Liturgy of the Word, since in our place where I grew up at that time the priest could only visit ones a year. But the community gathered every Sunday for the “mass.” Later when we transferred to the City my mom would wake up very early in the morning and would attend and serve mass at our Parish. As a catechist I saw here many times teaching children and preparing them for First Communion. Now at 83, on Sundays she hears masses on TV from EWTN and other Local channels. That’s an example of an undying Love for the Eucharist. A Love for the Lord. A model and reminder for you and me as we celebrate CORPUS CHRISTI.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Sunday


A very special occasion in the life of the church.
For some it is like the “birthday of the Church” because it was on this day everything in the life of the church started and was made possible.
Christ gave us the power, the gift of the Holy Spirit- the Power, the force that strengthened, protected the Church. It kept us going through ups and down all these two thousand years.
Someone said. No matter what scandal or troubles will rock the church It will persist because it is protected and founded on the power of the Holy Spirit.

For me it is also special because on this day I said my first mass 16 years ago and I believe it is the power of the Holy Spirit that has kept me a going on, a priest.
We ask today what difference can the celebration of Pentecost have in our lives today.
Allow me to share three things.
1. We can ask for strength and the power or “the push” we need in life. To change or to start anew if ever we have gone astray or have done wrong. He can be our energy and life to stand up again if we are down.
Surely in life, in our relationship with one another and with God, there will always be times
When its difficult. The Power of the Holy Spirit can be our help.

2. We ask for Peace also today. These were the words of Jesus at Pentecost. “Peace be with you.“
We look around us and there is so much hatred, conflicts, quarrels and war.
Among countries, at home and even in our lives sometimes we experience the absence of Peace. Let us ask Jesus, the Prince of Peace to bless us with this needed Peace.

3. Forgiveness. We can ask the Lord to teach us for we know how difficult it is.

Let us ask the Power of the Holy Spirit to come upon us, fill our hearts and enkindle in us the fire of love and that we will receive strength, peace and power to forgive and be renewed. Amen

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jesus and Suffering


Jesus speaks of the reality of Suffering in the Gospel today.
It is said “to live is to suffer.” That it is part of human nature, in as much as we are not perfect and so is the world we live in, Pain and suffering would always be part of us.
During our lifetime the experience of pain and suffering is inevitable.

We all have our troubles, burdens and problems in life. Our share of pain and suffering.
And in the world around us where we live the troubles are overwhelming also. We have crisis all over. Too much suffering.

But let us learn from Jesus today.
In the readings first we have Jesus and the 12 apostles and those close to him, they all went to the upper room to PRAY.
Let us not waver in our faith. Let us not loose hope. We can always raise our eyes to heaven and pray. That prayer is still powerful if we want to overcome the pains and sufferings in life. Yes, prayer can still help a lot. There maybe other ways to solve the crisis around us but Jesus reminds us about the power and strength there is when we come together and pray.

Jesus also tells us: There is suffering, yes. But never fail to see and taste the Light and the Goodness of the Lord. That we are still blessed and that we can still count on our blessings.
Never fail to see the goodness of Lord even amidst pain and suffering.

Even if there is the cross we are still blessed and should never forget to say Thank you to Lord.

Looking at the cross we see pain and suffering but Jesus’ body and arms and the cross shows the letter T. and Y. meaning Thank You.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

EASTER: "Time for me to Fly."


Easter means Life as Jesus was victorious over suffering and death. He has risen and is alive.
It means not being afraid. It signifies Light and Truth, and Goodness has won over darkness.
It also means starting anew. As it coincides with Spring when nature blooms anew.

For me. “It is a time to Fly.” A Time to be back, a time start anew.

I was on vacation back home with my family and love ones. I had more than enough time for myself and now I am ready to go on Loving and Serving.
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.