Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I was browsing the Internet for a good definition of FAMILY.
One said, "It is the basic unit of society."
Another: "A Group of People coming together by reason of consanguinity, friendship and a common goal, etc.."
Still another said, poetically: "It is where I Belong."
But the best definition I saw said: "FAMILY-is FAther, Mother, and all the children and parents saying to one another I LOVE YOU."
As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family
We remember today our own family
we acknowledge how it is a special gift given to us, to have a family, to have love ones and friends near us and a family where we belong.
It is what made our Christmas celebration complete and meaningful, having our family around us. It completes our Life.
It is a precious gift, Let us love our family.
It is sad to hear how some would easily break their family for personal reasons and how they won't fight and defend their family and how they allow attack against the family.
Our Family is worth fighting for and worth keeping.
Sometimes we become too idealistic about our family. How we would like to have a perfect family, perfect dad, perfect mom, perfect kids, even in our parish family we also expect perfect parishioners and perfect priest or pastor.
But human and created as we are, we are never perfect, with our imperfections it is just too much to achieve a perfect one.
But one thing is clear though, as long as there is Love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, we can still have a Happy Family and a"perfect" Family.
Create a family that is close to God, close to each other, and close to others or Neighbors..it is a secret to a Happy and Holy Family just like the family Of Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
3 "O" needed to achieve a Holy Family
O bedience - Like Joseph and Mary
O ffering - Like the Holy Family going to the temple for the Presentation.
O remus - Like Joseph, Mary and Jesus Praying to the Heavenly Father
Family is very important
It is where we are formed. It is where the kids stay most of the time and learn a lot.
Not even the school, the media or church could equal what the kids learn at home from their parents.
It is where we have received our faith.
We are here now in church because in the past a love one or a member of the family taught us about the value of prayer and church and faith.
And I wonder what will the future look like for kids now who are never formed at home with their faith because some parents believe they respect what they want to believe and to practice in the future.
We pronounce PARENT like "Pay Rent"
Maybe because that's really what parents are suppose to do, like a pay back for what they themselves received from their parents.
and so we give back by being examples and models to other.
Today we pray that PEACE, HAPPINESS, UNITY, and SUCCESS will reign in our FAMILIES, Amen.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tonight we receive The Greatest Gift of all: JESUS CHRIST Our Savior.
A Gift offered to us by the Heavenly Father flowing out of His abundant Generosity and Kindness.
A Gift we don't even deserve because of our unworthiness.
A Gift that is totally unexpected, just like what Santa Claus could give us.
Notice how in life we often receive unexpected gifts and gifts that we don't even deserve.
Notice how often we are blessed unexpectedly by God even if we didn't ask for it.
And we realize that Christmas is always happening the whole year through in our lives not only this Christmas or this season but every moment of our lives.
There are always Christmas Moments.
December 17, I celebrated my Birthday.
A very special, one of a kind Birthday and memorable for me.
I had picture taking with Santa Claus.
I received Gifts and special Birthday song from parishioners after the mass.
The School Cheerleaders gave me a surprise Birthday Cheer in front of many watching basketball that day.
Then Friends gave me a party in the evening.
But what really made my day complete was when after the party towards midnight I was going home and I received a sick call.
I went to give a dieing person absolution and the last rite.
As I celebrated my Birthday I was praying for a person who was completing his life here on earth and was about to go.
After the family Thank me and I went home
In the middle of the night, at the end of the day
I felt the greatest feeling of Happiness and Contentment that really made my day complete.
I said This really is my special day.
What should we do this Christmas?
In the Sunday readings, John was asked by the people "What should we do?"
The context of the question was the uncertainty and confusion of the people in the time of John and Jesus.
The question was asked because they wanted to know more about following Jesus
and the question also had something to do with asking what should we do this advent season?
I was asked the same question by the family and the wife of a person by the name Joseph who just died and I was there comforting the family and blessed the remains. Joseph left his wife with two very young children.
They asked me that same question on that third Sunday of advent: what should we do, father?
I was so speechless and very sad that I didn't know what right words to say in those difficult times.
I asked my self what do you say to families about Christmas in times like this. In times of death, suffering and loneliness and poverty.
A Friend came to me and asked:
Father what shall I do?
These days I feel I am lost
I don't feel well
I am unhappy and I feel nothing right is going on in my life.
I don't know what to do and I dread and worry thinking of how long will this "desert experience" last.
I guess this is really what Christmas is telling us.
Christ coming to us as a Child and now He lies on the crib looking so helpless and powerless and looking with an uncertain future.
"God becoming Man" I guess must be "like being lost"
But take courage and journey with Jesus, I said.
With Him there is a promise of Hope and better tomorrow.
Some I observed would really like to take Christ away from Christmas.
A friend, working at a call center, told me that they were asked not to greet Merry Christmas to clients but just say: Happy Holidays.
I heard at the Philippine airport, workers were asked not to greet passengers and balikbayans with a Merry Christmas, saying that it connotes asking for gifts.
Others would just prefer to greet Seasons Greetings.
But I still believe that the Best way to greet others is to say MERRY CHRISTMAS
After the midnight mass
I saw the people who came to church went home and I heard many would be with their love ones and together they will celebrate Christmas.
I went home and ALONE I prepared myself a peanut butter sandwich with a diet coke.
As I ate alone I thought of the families celebrating.
I felt at peace also when I thought that I was being one with those who were alone and have nothing for Christmas and I know there were many.
I was one with those who did not have their families and love ones
And it was made more meaningful when I thought that I guess this was really How the First Christmas was, so simple, so peaceful but very contented.
I went to bed that night with the JOY of Christmas in my heart
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Today I express my sincerest Joy.
For The Almighty has done great things for me.
He has given me my Family who formed me and prepared me to succeed in this world.
He has given my my Friends and Love ones who are always there to protect me and keep me away from harm and helping me live life meaningfully.
He has given me the chance to be His instrument to bring others closer to Him and to proclaim His message of Love and Peace.
He has given me the Faithful around me whom I serve in my own little way making my mission complete.
He has blessed me with Good Health and contentment.
Above all He has given me my precious Life, and at the age of 42 I am still going.
For all these I say Thank You to the Almighty Father
I am filled with Joy and this Advent Season,
I am Truly an Advent Boy.
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Third Sunday of advent is called Gaudete Sunday.
It is called "Rejoicing Sunday" or Joyful Sunday and notice we lighted the pink candle today.
I feel great today because for ones "I am allowed to wear PINK."
JOY is the theme of our celebration.
We hear today from the readings that joy comes in many forms.
In the book of Zephaniah, Joy comes because of the absence of fear and worries and of enemies and it is something celebrated with festivities.
Be Happy This Christmas and celebrate.
Don't allow the gloom and dark clouds in life overwhelm us.
Celebrate even simply and celebrate with prayer, with the Eucharist.
Paul, in the second reading speaks of joy as something in our own being, in our hearts.
He use words like honor, trust and graciousness.
It is something we achieve when we are at peace. That's the reason why we ask for forgiveness for our failures and we also forgive those who have wronged us.
Then in Gospel, John was asked what should we do? And Joy takes a new form..he said "whoever has two cloaks and food share it to those who are in need..joy now is achieved when we give, when we help others.
joy is achieved when we share.
Someone observed that, for joy to be completely achieved when you share follow the right order.
the order is J O Y, Jesus, Others and You..for joy to be complete we must have time , and be able to share to Jesus, others and oneself. In the right order and making an effort to consider all: Jesus, others and oneself.
Let us pray for true joy in our hearts and lives and in the Family and the world this Christmas and all the days of our lives. Amen.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception,
As we honor today our Blessed Virgin Mary this Advent Season, when we prepare for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Three Special Gifts are promised to you and me.
1. The Gift of Purity of Heart and Forgiveness.
We may not be conceived without sin and Immaculate but The Blessed Virgin is given to us as our model reminding us that we too can strive to attain purity of heart and soul and that we can be forgiven by God.
We ask for forgiveness and go to confession , we use the words "I'm sorry", and we also use the words "I forgive" to those who have wronged us.
2. The gift of Joy and Peace.
Happiness and Peace in our hearts, in the family and in our community.
When Elizabeth heard the voice of Mary..the baby leaped with joy in her womb
and Elizabeth declared with joy "Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you..."
Yes, even if life is difficult and our times hard, we can still be at peace and experience true joy and contentment if we are at peace with God and with others.
3.The Gift of Hope.
" For nothing is impossible with God."
I know each one of us would like to receive a special gift..pray and believe that Jesus will give you and me that gift we need.
May our Blessed Virgin Mary today help us attain purity of heart and soul, true joy and Peace in our hearts and in the family and Hope for a better Life.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A - Awaiting for the Coming of Jesus Christ: His Birthday, His
coming to us through Grace and when He comes back in Glory.
(Wait for Jesus.. Not for Santa Claus or for gifts or for Bonuses..)
D - Do Good. It is a Time to Give, to Share, to Help others. When
we do good we make ourselves pleasing to God.
V - Vigilant. Stay awake and watch for we know not when He is
coming. Watch and See Oneself, what others Need and What God wants you to do.
E - EUCHARIST. The Holy Mass should be important in all our
schedules these season. It is a Time to Pray. A time to be Spiritual.
N - NO to Sin and vices and bad habits. Say Sorry and use the word
I Forgive you often.
T - THANKSGIVING. Say Thank you to Jesus for your Life and the many
Blessings and Love He showered upon you and your Family.
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.