Wednesday, April 19, 2017

IKALAWANG LINGGO NG PAGKABUHAY, A – LINGGO NG DAKILANG HABAG

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MATINDING ALINLANGAN, MATINDING PAPURI





Ano ba ang kakaiba kay Tomas? Siya lang naman ang apostol na hindi “funny” o hindi “paniwalain,” hindi madaling makumbinsi (Jn 11:16; 14:5). At dahil wala siya sa unang pagpapakita ni Hesus, ayaw niyang maniwala kahit balitaan siya ng iba.



Sobrang mapagduda si Tomas na meron pa siyang mga kundisyon para maniwala talaga: dapat kong makita! Dapat kong mahawakan! Nagduda din naman ang ibang mga apostol noong una, pero si Tomas ang talagang kinarir sa buhay ang salitang “duda.”



Pero nang lumitaw muli ang Panginoon, matapos niyang batiin ang lahat, hinarap niya si Tomas at kinausap. Inanyayahan ng Panginoong Hesus si Tomas na usisain siya; na hawakan ang mga sugat niya. Sobrang gulat tiyak ni Tomas na nabasa ng Panginoon ang kanyang isipan at narinig ang kanyang sinabi noong una.



Kaya malamang, hindi naman nahawakan ni Tomas ang mga sugat ni Hesus. Malaking insulto ito kung gagawin pa niya ito sa harap ng Kristong Nabuhay na Muli. Eto na siya at kitang kita niya ang mukha na kanyang minamahal. Eto na at dinig na dinig niya ang boses na kay dalas niyang pakinggan. Muling nagbalik ang pananampalataya!



At ang katawa-tawa, kung sino pa ang sobrang nagduda, siya naman ngayon nagpahayag ng pinakamalalim na pananalig: Panginoon ko at Diyos ko!



Mahirap ba sa atin na maniwala sa pagmamahal at awa ng Diyos kung walang mga himala sa buhay natin? Dapat ba talagang ang Diyos pa ang susunod sa kundisyones natin? Ang makita Siya ay sapat na para sa tunay na alagad. Ang marinig Siya ay sapat na para sa isang Kristiyano. At dito sa Eukaristiya, nakikita natin ang Panginoon sa Tinapay at Alak; naririnig natin Siya sa kanyang mga Salita. “Mapalad ang mga naniwala kahit hindi nila nakita.”


2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER, A – DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

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THE MOST DOUBT, THE GREATEST PRAISE





What is unique about Thomas? He was the disciple who could not be persuaded easily (Jn 11:16, 14:5). And so because he was absent when Jesus first appeared to the apostles, this time, he did not easily believe the testimony of the others.



So unbelieving Thomas was that he even set a condition for his faith: to see is to believe; to touch is to believe! Other disciples entertained doubt at first too, but only Thomas embodied that doubt so personally in his life.



But when Jesus appeared, after greeting the disciples, he turned to Thomas and addressed him. The Lord invited Thomas to see him and to touch his wounds. Surely Jesus knew the conditions Thomas stated earlier. Thomas must have been so surprised that the one he did not believe was risen actually knew what was in his heart.



So probably, Thomas never really came forward to dare to touch the wounds of Jesus. If he had done so in the presence of the Risen Lord that would have been a real insult to the apparition before him. Seeing the face of the Master again and hearing the voice so familiar to his ears, Thomas let go of his unbelief.



The irony here is that the disciple who exhibited the most doubt later on expressed the greatest praise in all of the gospels: My Lord and my God!



Is it hard for us to believe in the love and mercy of God if we cannot find miracles happening around us? Do we really think that God has to follow our conditions so that we in turn will put our faith and trust in him? To see the Lord is enough for the Christian. To hear his voice is convincing proof enough for him. In the Eucharist we see the Lord in Bread and Wine; in the Eucharist we hear his words calling us to continue trusting him. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”




Saturday, April 15, 2017

DAKILANG KAPISTAHAN NG PAGKABUHAY NG PANGINOON A

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WALANG MAS HIHIGIT PANG KAPANGYARIHAN



Ang pagsasaad ng mabuting balita tuwing Pasko ng Pagkabuhay ay halos laging nagsisimula sa mga babaeng dumalaw sa libingan upang matagpuan na wala na si Hesus doon. Nagulat sila at humanga dahil ang libingang may bangkay ngayon ay libingang walang laman at maluwalhati. Ganyan taun-taon tuwing binabasa natin ang mabuting balita ng Pagkabuhay



Sa mabuting balita ayon kay Mateo, may kakaibang paglalahad. Pagkatapos ilibing si Hesus at bago ang tagpo ng mga babae, si Mateo ay bumalik sa tema ng mga punong pari at mga lider Hudyo na nagpapatay sa Panginoon. Kahit matagumpay nilang naipapatay ang Panginoon, inaalala ni Mateo ang kanilang galit at poot kay Hesus. Kung sa pagsilang ni Hesus nais nila siyang ipapatay, ngayon sa kamatayan ni Hesus, ayaw nilang may maiwang anumang bahid ng impluwesya niya sa lupa.



Nakipagsabwatan sila sa mga awtoridad upang maglagay ng mga kawal sa labas ng puntod. Nilagyan din nila ang mahigpit na saraduhan ang libingan para walang makapasok upang kunin o tangayin ang bangkay at magkuwento na ito ay muling nabuhay. Bakit tila takot sila sa isang bangkay lamang?



Pero hindi mapipigil ng kapangyarihan ng tao ang kapangyarihan ng Diyos. Sa huli, si Hesus ang matagumpay! Walang kadena na makakapigil sa Pagkabuhay. Walang kawal na makakahadlang sa pag-ibig ng Diyos  sa kanyang bayan.



Hindi ba nakalulugod ito sa atin? Hindi na malaking inspirasyon ang nangyari? Minsan kasi nawawalan tayo ng loob kapag tila nagtatagumpay ang mga masasaang tao para gawing magulo ang ating buhay. Minsan akala natin natalo na tayo kahit ang tiwala natin ay sa Diyos lamang.



Ang tagpong ito kay Mateo ay magandang pagnilayan ngayong Pasko ng Pagkabuhay, kahit wala ito sa ating pagbasa. Walang kapangyarihan ang mundo na higit sa Diyos. Walang talino ang tao na mas mabisa pa sa pagmamahal at habag ng Ama. Ngayong Pasko ng Pagkabuhay, ipahayag ang kapangyarihan ng Diyos sa iyong buhay. Ipahayag ang tagumpay ni Hesus na kayang buhayin pati ang tila patay na at matamlay. Ipahayag na si Hesus ay buhay at maluwalhati!






EASTER SUNDAY A

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NO POWER GREATER THAN GOD’S



The presentation of the Easter gospels almost always starts with the women who visit the tomb and find that the body of Jesus is no longer there. They stand in awe at the unexpected spectacle of a tomb that was occupied but now is empty and glorious!  This is how every year the Easter gospel speaks of the Resurrection of the Lord.



In Matthew’s gospel, there is a unique Easter presentation. After the burial and before the women get in the area of the tomb, Matthew returns to the chief priests and Jewish leaders who plotted the death of the Lord. Even after the burial of Jesus, Matthew reminds us that these enemies of Jesus continue their hostility, their anger and hatred against Jesus. As they wanted to kill Jesus as an infant, now they want to eliminate every trace of Jesus and his influence on the earth after his death.



Plotting with the authorities the chief priests and rulers of Israel placed guards outside the tomb of Jesus. They sealed the tomb so that no one can enter, carry off or steal the body and then claim a miraculous resurrection. Why are they afraid of a dead man’s body?



But God will frustrate the power of men, even if they are fully equipped and fully armed. In the end, the Jesus emerges victorious! No seal can prevent the Resurrection. No guards can obstruct the plan of God for his beloved people.



Isn’t this encouraging for us? Isn’t this inspiring? Sometimes we are disheartened because it seems people with evil intentions succeed in making our lives miserable. We think that we are defeated even if we put all our trust in the Lord.



Matthew’s unique episode reminds us of God’s power. No earthly power is greater. No human craftiness is more effective than God’s uncontrollable love and mercy.  This Easter, proclaim the power of God at work in your life. Proclaim the victory of Jesus that is able to bring to life even what already seems dead and lifeless. Proclaim Jesus risen and glorious!




Friday, April 14, 2017

HOLY THURSDAY

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DIE A SERVANT


After celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, I had a brief adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I realized how Jesus spent the night before he died was so different from how most people would like to spend the last moments before their death, if they ever knew when it would come.



Just a few months ago, I watched  a film titled “Die Beautiful,” in which the actor (portraying a transgender woman) planned his death to the littlest detail. He told his friends to make sure that in death, he was stunning and gorgeous as when he was alive. approaching death, and thinking of how he would still impress others.



How different Jesus was! On the night of his Passion, he thought only of others, not about himself. At the Last Supper, it seemed he did not really enjoy the feast. While the others were enjoying the Jewish holiday, all he could think of was to get a towel and a basin and kneel before each of his disciples, who he now claimed as friends, to wash their dirty feet. He talked about loving others, not self, and he demonstrated how it should be done – in the maner of a servant, in the way of humility, in the way of perfect love.



After the supper, he went to the Garden, and yes, he thought of what would happen to him soon after he was betrayed. He trembled at the suffering he would endure, but look at him rise up and face his death courageously, inspired by love for his Father and his love for all of us, his brothers and sisters.



This evening is the time to silently witness the unfolding of so great a love, of the greatest love the world would forever remember and celebrate. I thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me in the last supper and loving me tonight in the garden. And yes, for loving me up to the Cross.



For me, this evening is also the moment to thank Jesus for the people who follow his example of love. I remember the faces of people through whose eyes, voice, smile, prayer and support, I continue to experience and encounter Jesus’ act of perfect love. And though I miss these same people this evening, I can only pray for them and unite myself with them spiritually.



May the Lord’s love descend on us with peace and protection now and forever. Amen. A Blessed Triduum and a truly Happy Easter!




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

LINGGO NG PALASPAS A

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MISTERYO NG TAHIMIK NA DIYOS





Sa bago at napakagandang pelikulang “Silence” ni Martin Scorsese, batay sa nobelang ganito rin ang pamagat, ang bida ay isang misyonero mula sa Europa. Nagdusa siya dahil nakita niya ang paghihirap ng pinag-uusig na mga mahihirap, mahihina at walang kalaban-labang mga Kristiyano sa Japan. Sa puso niya nabuo ang isang tunggalian. Alam niyang mapagmahal ang Diyos pero bakit tila hindi niya tinutulungan ang kanyang mga anak? Bakit kapag nagdarasal siya, walang ibang tugon kundi “katahimikan” lamang?



Ngayong mga Mahal na Araw ito siguro ang tanong din sa puso natin. Nagdasal si Hesus sa Getsemane. Di tulad sa dasal niya noong dati, mabigat at madilim ang panalangin sa hardin. Hiniling niyang alisin sa kanya ang kopa ng paghihirap pero walang sagot sa kanyang panalangin.



Sa krus, habang nakapako, ang isip ni Hesus ay nakatuon sa isa lamang – sa Ama. Ililigtas kaya siya? Tutulungan kaya siya? “Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?” Tulad sa Getsemane, isa lang ang tugon – katahimikan.



Ano kaya ang naglalaro noon sa isip ni Hesus? Humiling na iligtas pero lalong ipinahamak ng mga kaaway. Humingi ng konting lugod pero ang napala ay pagpapako sa krus? Naghanap ng kakampi pero nagdusa, naghirap mag-isa, iniwan ng mga alagad, at tila iniwan din ng Ama.



Ito rin siguro ang tanong sa puso natin. Ilang beses ba tayong iniwan gayung nagdasal tayo ng suporta? Ilang beses ba tayong umiyak sa gabi at walang dumamay sa atin? Gaano katagal tayo lumuhod sa altar at umuwing walang sagot na dala maliban sa katahimikan?



Pero pagmasdan nating mabuti si Hesus upang maunawaan ang misteryo ng katahimikan. Sa Getsemane, nagdasal siyang maligtas pero walang sagot. Noong bandang huli, hindi ba’t tumayo siyang malakas ang loob at hinarap ang mga kaaway pati ang kamatayan? Sa krus, nag-iisa nga siya pero hindi ba ang sigaw niya ay “Diyos KO,” “Ama KO?” Kahit sa gitna ng katahimikan ng Ama, sa puso ni Hesus, nag-umapaw ang tiwala sa Ama. Misteryo ang katahimikan ng Diyos pero misteryo din ang tiwala sa puso ni Hesus.



Ngayong mga Mahal na Araw, kumuha tayo ng lakas sa halimbawa ng Panginoon. Maaaring kalaban natin ang buong mundo, at tila pati Diyos iniwan na tayo. Pero sa gitna ng lahat, ilabas nating todo-todo ang tiwala sa ating puso para tulad ni Hesus, patuloy tayong maniwala at umasa sa Ama. Pagkatapos ng Krus darating ang Pagkabuhay!