2nd Sunday-Lent-C March 13, 2022

Radiating Light from Within

Malcolm Muggeridge and a British TV crew were making a documentary film on Mother Teresa. They wanted to film her and her sisters at work at the Home for the Dying in Calcutta. But the cameramen said it would be impossible to get a picture because the light was too dim. They decided to try anyway. To their surprise the footage was spectacular. It was bathed in a mysterious, warm light. Muggeridge, who was not Christian at the time, is “absolutely convinced” the light came from the loving people in the home. He said, “This love is luminous, like the haloes artists have seen and made visible round the heads of the saints. I find it not at all surprising that the luminosity should register on a photographic film.”

A similar light must have radiated from Jesus during his transfiguration. Something like this happens to Jesus in today’s gospel. During his transfiguration, Jesuses disciples saw him in a whole new way. For the first time, they saw from the outside what he is on the inside: the glorious, beautiful Son of God. The disciples saw the glory of who Jesus really was. And the transfiguration was a promise of glory to Jesus by the Father. Because Jesus was and has always been obedient and faithful to the will of the Father.


1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean?

The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans*- (“across”) and figura**(“form, shape”). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.

This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious.

Before looking at the Transfiguration itself, it’s important that we look at what happened immediately before it in Luke’s Gospel.

2. What happened right before the Transfiguration?

In Luke 9:27, at the end of a speech to the twelve apostles, Jesus adds, enigmatically: “There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” This has often been taken as a prophecy that the end of the world would occur before the first generation of Christians died out. The phrase “kingdom of God” can also refer to other things, though, including the Church–the outward expression of God’s invisible kingdom. The kingdom is embodied in Christ himself and thus might be “seen” if Christ were to manifest it in an unusual way, even in his own earthly life.

3. Did such a manifestation occur?

Yes, and it is the very next thing that Luke relates: the Transfiguration. Pope Benedict states that it has been convincingly argued that the placing of this saying immediately before the Transfiguration clearly relates it to this event.

Some—that is to say, the three disciples who accompany Jesus up the mountain—are promised that they will personally witness the coming of the Kingdom of God ‘in power.’

On the mountain the three of them see the glory of God’s Kingdom shining out of Jesus. On the mountain they are overshadowed by God’s holy cloud. On the mountain—in the conversation of the transfigured Jesus with the Law and the Prophets—they realize that the true Feast of Tabernacles has come. On the mountain they learn that Jesus himself is the living Torah, the complete Word of God. On the mountain they see the ‘power’ (dynamis) of the Kingdom that is coming in Christ” (Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 1, p. 317).

We thus may have the key to understanding Jesus’ mysterious statement just before the Transfiguration. He wasn’t talking about the end of the world. He was talking about this. In fact, Luke notes that the Transfiguration took place “about eight days after these sayings,” thus stressing its proximity to them and suggesting that it was the fulfillment of this *saying, concerning the fact that some of them would see the kingdom of God. Mark gives a different number of days, saying it was “after six days” (Mk. 9:2), but these both approximate a week.

4. Who witnessed the Transfiguration?

The three who are privileged to witness the event are Peter, James, and John, the three core disciples. (Andrew was not there or not included.)

The fact that Jesus only allowed three of his disciples to witness the event may have sparked the discussion which swiftly ensued about which of the disciples was the greatest (Luke 9:46).

Click here to watch a video about how Jesus answered this question.

5. Where did the Transfiguration take place?

Luke states that Jesus took the three “on the mountain to pray.”

This mountain is often thought to be Mt. Tabor in Israel, but none of the gospels identify it precisely.

Click here to learn more about Mt. Tabor*(though be aware that the gospels do not actually say which mountain it was).

6. Why did the Transfiguration take place?

The Catechism explains it this way:

Christ’s Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles’ faith in anticipation of his Passion: the ascent onto the ‘high mountain’ prepares for the ascent to Calvary.

Christ, Head of the Church, manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: ‘the hope of glory’ [CCC 568].

7. What does Luke–in particular–tell us about this event?

Luke mentions several details about the event that the other evangelists do not: a) He notes that this happened while Jesus was praying. b) He mentions that Peter and his companions “were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.” c)He mentions that Peter made his suggestion to put up booths as Moses and Elijah were departing.

8. Why do Moses and Elijah appear on the mountain?

Moses and Elijah represent the two principal components of the Old Testament: the Law and the Prophets. Moses was the giver of the Law, and Elijah was considered the greatest of the prophets. The fact that these two figures “spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem” illustrates that the Law and the Prophets point forward to the Messiah and his sufferings. This foreshadows Jesus’ own explanation, on the road to Emmaus, of the Scriptures pointing to himself (cf. Lk. 24:27, 32).

9. Why was Peter’s suggestion misguided?

The fact that Peter’s suggestion occurs when Moses and Elijah are preparing to depart reveals a desire to prolong the experience of glory. This means Peter is focusing on the wrong thing.

The experience of the Transfiguration is meant to point forward to the sufferings Jesus is about to experience. It is meant to strengthen the disciples faith, revealing to them in a powerful way the divine hand that is at work in the events Jesus will undergo. This is why Moses and Elijah have been speaking “about his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Peter misses the point and wants to stay on the mountain, contrary to the message the two heavenly visitors have been expounding. As a seeming rebuke of this, a theophany occurs: “A cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’”

10. What can we learn from this event?

The Transfiguration was a special event in which God allowed certain apostles to have a privileged spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would later endure. But it was only a temporary event. It was not meant to be permanent.

In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may give certain members of the faithful (not all of the faithful, all the time), special experiences of his grace that strengthen their faith.

We should welcome these experiences for the graces they are, but we should not expect them to continue indefinitely, nor should we be afraid or resentful when they cease. They may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life, to help strengthen us on the road that will–ultimately–bring us into the infinite and endless joy of heaven.


This foretaste of Christ’s glory gave hope to the dis­ciples when their Teacher and Master died on the cross. It was this transfiguration which brought strength to them when it was their time to suffer and die. It is with that same hope that we should carry on our own struggles and our crosses. Under the guidance of Christ’s Spirit, we will not only overcome, but we will one day shine in glory as he did. Let us pray that we can help in sharing that hope, the light on Mount Tabor, in this world of tears and pain. Let it shine among us and in the men around us. By the lives we live, let us proclaim that Christ’s death was not useless.♥



Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13

1º Know & Love the Word of God. Today’s Gospel speaks of the temptation of Jesus after his forty days’ fast in the desert. After you go to Mass, discuss this reading with your children, emphasizing that temptation itself is not a sin, but we must use the Word of God to combat it, as Christ did. Believe it or not, demons step away from a person shielded by God’s Word.

2º Beware of the Prince of Lies. Satan’s lies are traps designed to “steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). Lahat ng kasalanan ay nagsisimula sa kasinungalingan. (All sins start with lies.) Beware even of so-called innocent lies or so-called white lies. A lie is a lie is a lie no matter what color it is.

3º Beware of Satan’s Arena: Split-second thoughts. Satan is impatient. Why? Because he knows his days are numbered. God’s gift of eternity/ timelessness of time is Satan’s cause of envy. So, he tries to steal away this gift by manipulating man through idle time and split-second thoughts. Bantayan ang pag-gamit ng iyong panahon. Ang favorite ni Satan? Yung medaling mataranta and the procrastinators! So, guard your thoughts, especially your split-second thoughts.”Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”(2 Cor 10:5).

4º Pray. I know, this sounds like spiritualizing a very real thing as temptation. Good news! It IS spiritual! It’s a spiritual battle we need to win through spiritual training and practice. If split-second thoughts and human impulses are the arenas of demons, prayer is the Christian’s arena of victory. If you are losing ground in your thoughts, the temptations will find greater resistance when you take them before God in prayer.

5º Develop accountability in your life. Do not be anonymous in your Church and Community. The Spirit of God works powerfully through others to help us. Talk and pray with others about the areas where you struggle.

6º Control Your Impulses. Aside from having a Godly disposition, i.e., a deep awareness of God’s presence in one’s life, a very practical way to fight temptations is through “impulse control.” But this needs practice. Some personality types (like those with artisan temperament – “spring loaded” to act on impulse) may need more time for practice.  To master this, you will need to use a time piece or just a simple common sense of time for practice. Train your mind to wait longer before you do something – like before deciding on something or just before your impulses & negative feelings push you to react negatively or sinfully against a person, an event, on a thought, due to fear or any negative emotion. During this micro pause, guess, preview, anticipate and take into account the consequences of your perceived action, behavior, word, etc.

7º   Okay, practice na tayo!

7th Sunday in OT-C-February 20, 2022




Research # 1

According to a 2001 study of 1,423 adults by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research:

52 percent of those surveyed have forgiven others for past transgressions

75 percent believe they have been forgiven by God for their mistakes

43 percent have asked others to forgive them of past offenses

63 percent have let themselves off the hook

women are more forgiving than men

middle-agers and older adults are more likely to forgive others than younger adults are

forgiveness may be an antidote to anger, but asking for forgiveness can raise stress levels*

Research # 2

 Marcia Hootman and Patt Perkins’ book How to Forgive Your Ex-Husband mentions a research on the anger of divorced women. Two conclusions of the research were: a ) phenomenal energy and money are wasted by women trying to get even with their ex-husbands; and b) these women are hurt far more by their anger than they were by their ex-spouses.

It would seem from the foregoing that you can’t win whether you forgive or pursue anger, i.e., you either raise your stress levels or be more hurting.

An understanding and appreciation of Christian forgiving hopefully will make us see that forgiving is the only win-win step to take. A Christian forgiver is a winner because he/she is a Lover. Forgiving is not just one of the options: it is the Fundamental Option.


√ Excusing (explaining a fault or offense)

    A father explained to his young children why he has been unfaithful to their mother: “She has not taken care of me. Although she has been a good mother, she was not a good wife.” And that was the closest he could get to asking forgiveness – explaining his fault. He quips years after the breakup, “They understood me. They’re now grown-ups. They have forgiven me.”

Yes, forgiveness may come easy with understanding. But it is not just understanding.  In fact, heroic Christian forgiveness will often forego understanding . Jesus demonstrated this when He said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34)

√ Pardoning (releasing a person from punishment)  JP II went to his assailant’s cell to communicate God’s healing and forgiveness. But it would be foolish to think that the

criminal, soon after being forgiven, could plead for a release from the punishment of imprisonment. No sir, I may be freed from eternal punishment  but not from the temporal effects of my sins, for example, the inevitability of contracting AIDS due my past promiscuous lifestyle. A good understanding of this aspect of Divine Mercy can prevent many souls from doubting God’ forgiveness as soon as they experience the “temporal punishment” effected by their past sins. They should remember that God’s Divine Mercy also gives them strength to face these “temporary” sufferings and turn them into “eternal” sacrifices for the salvation of oneself and others.

√ Similar to Trusting again

“Akala ko ba pinatawad mo na ako? Bakit hindi ka pa rin nagtitiwala sa akin?” An oft-repeated post-forgiveness refrain indeed. Remember that forgiveness is grace; it is freely given. Trust is something earned. I may have forgiven you for stealing money from my office but that does not mean that I will have to entrust my money again to you as my cashier!

√ Simply Forgetting the Misdeeds

“Forgive and Forget, ” says one song.Sorry, guys; that’s magical thinking. It just doesn’t work in real life. Forget? Hello? Our brains do not even possess a tiny bit of gland created for that purpose, I think. Forgetting is even a disease of the brain. So why forget? The opposite is true: Forgive and Remember! Remember how, on your own capacity, you yourself  are unable to forgive; that it is God who forgives the other through you! Syempre, ang presupposition ‘dyan ay tumatanggap ka rin ng forgiveness of God. And don’t forget that! St. Peter reminds us to put on virtues in order to remember! He says, “Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins.” (2 Pt 1:9) So to forget is not virtuous really, because no fruitful effort could be involved here; you are just at the mercy of the passing time! Malilimutan mo rin yun!  But “not to remember” is something else!  It is wilful and deliberate. Remembering is a particular motif in the scriptures appearing 162 times. Not to remember something is to remember instead some other thing; it means to re-focus attention. That is what we mean by forgive and remember. Forgive and re-focus your attention on how God forgives you and others!

√ Indifference Towards the Offense nor the Offender

“Huwag n’yo na lang pansinin ang tatay n’yo para walang gulo,” advises a battered wife and mother to her kids. Again, a wrong notion that by simply being indifferent to the offense, an atmosphere of peace will be magically achieved. This is borne from the previous myth of “forgive and forget.” The sooner you ignore the offenses the easier the forgetting comes. The more you forget, the more forgiveness comes by easily. Then, there is peace. We can live happily ever after! S’ya nga ba?

      Shalom is not just the absence of conflict. It is the presence of wholeness and strong relationships too. It is the presence of healing!

      At alam ba ninyo na kaya nagwawagi ang kasamaan sa mundo ay dahil sa mga taong indifferent sa kasamaan!

√ A One-Act Play.

“O sige, bati na kayo ni kuya. Kiss and make up na kayo ha!” a temporary ceasefire agreement among siblings for the sake of the grown-ups; something we were asked to do when we were kids just so to please our parents. Forgiveness is not a rite. It is not a show or “palabas.” In fact, it is a “paloob.” It demands introspection; it demands our “kalooban.” After all, if forgiveness is grace (kaloob) it deserves nothing less than our “kalooban.”


A Choice, a Decision of Faith 

It is impossible to have the virtue of faith without the grace of forgiveness.

A Conscious act of Will

It is  a free and wilful  act  and not just passive waiting for “time to heal” till one forgets.

√ Being Responsible For My Responses/ Reactions It is borne of a proactive mind-set and attitude reflecting one’s being a child

of God. Forgiveness stops the blaming game. Only mature people can truly forgive as God does.

√ Giving up the right to hurt someone back

√ Choosing instead to do what’s best for that person

√ Overcoming evil with good (Rom. 12:21) & Reversing the Law of  Revenge.

√ Always in the context of Christian love, if it were to be genuine and lasting.

Therefore, it goes without saying that the highest thing love can do is to forgive everyone, even one’s enemies. For a Christian, any love short of forgiveness is only a noisy gong.

Can I recall a time when I did something loving toward an enemy or prayed for someone who mistreated me?

Remember, “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.” (Joseph Joubert)

*Source: Van Morris, “Research about Forgiveness,” PreachingToday.com (emphases mine).

6th Sunday OT-C February 13, 2022

Blessed Are the Poor

Theme Blessed are they who realize they can’t depend on material things for happiness and, as a result, put all their trust in God.

Years ago, there was a movie called Quo Vadis. It starred Deborah Kerr and dealt with the persecution of Christians in ancient Rome. One day, after a dangerous filming session, a newspaper reporter asked Deborah Kerr, “Weren’t you frightened when the lions rushed toward you in the arena?” Deborah replied, “Not at all! I’d read the script, and I knew I’d be rescued!”

Deborah Kerr’s childlike trust in the stunt men assigned to protect her is a good illustration of the childlike trust that poor people had in God in biblical times.

To understand why Jesus dared to call these “poor” people blessed, we need to understand who Jesus had in mind when he referred to the “poor” in his Sermon on the Mount.

When ancient Jews used the word poor, they used it in a variety of ways and, hence, in different senses than we use it today.

We use it to refer to someone who is destitute. We use it to refer to someone who has no material wealth.

This kind of poverty—material poverty— is not a good thing. It’s an evil thing. It’s the kind of thing that every Christian ought to be trying to eradicate from our midst.

Jesus never intended to call material poverty blessed. He never intended to approve of the poverty that we see in the slums of our cities, and that he also saw in the cities of his time.

Who and what did Jesus have in mind, then, when he said, “Blessed are you who are poor”?

The Hebrew word for “poor” that Jesus used was the word ani. This word had an interesting history. It went through four stages of development before reaching the meaning that Jesus had in mind when he used it in the Sermon on the Mount.

In other words, the word poor in biblical times could be used in four different ways.

First, the word could be used as we use it: to refer to those people who were without material wealth.

Second, because these people were without material wealth, they were also without influence and power. They were without clout. And this gave rise to a second way that the word could be used. It could be used to refer to those people who were helpless and without influence.

Third, because these people were helpless, they were often oppressed and exploited. This led to a third meaning of the word poor. It could also be used to refer to the exploited people.

Fourth, because these people were without wealth, without help, and without protection, many of them put all their trust in God. This gave rise to the fourth and final meaning of the word poor. It described those persons who put their total trust in God.

And this is what Jesus meant in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.”

In other words, Jesus was referring to those people without wealth, without influence, and without protection, who put all their hope and trust in God.

Thus, the poor whom Jesus called blessed were those people who had come to realize that they couldn’t depend on the things of this world for happiness.

So, they sought their happiness in God alone. God meant everything to them. Material things meant next to nothing to them. These people, as Jesus said, were truly blessed.

And so, to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are you who are poor,” we might reword his statement this way: “Blessed are they who realize that they can’t depend on the things of this world for happiness and put all their trust in God.”

In other words, they are the people who find themselves in the same position in which Deborah Kerr found herself during the shooting of the dangerous scene in the movie Quo Vadis.

She knew that she was totally helpless. She knew that she couldn’t protect herself. So, she stopped worrying and simply placed all her trust in the stunt men assigned to rescue her.

In the same way, many of the poor in Jesus’ day stopped worrying and simply placed all their trust in God.

The childlike trust that these helpless people placed in God is like the trust that Jesus held out as a model to his disciples when he said:

“Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan?

“If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? …’

“Your Father knows that you need [these things]. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides … For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Luke 12:25-26, 30-31, 34

Let’s close with a story. It illustrates in a down-to-earth, concrete way what today’s gospel invites each one of us to do.

Lois Olson contracted polio at the age of ten. The entire lower part of her body was in a cast.

One night a tornado struck. She felt the bed and the entire house tremble. A feeling of utter helplessness swept over her. All she could do was lie there.

Just then her father appeared at the door. He took her in his arms, heavy cast and all, and carried her down the steps to the basement.

She said she can still see the beads of sweat form on his forehead and the blood vessels bulge out of his temples as he struggled under the heavy burden.

God is like that. He is always ready to help us, especially when we are powerless to help ourselves.

St Augustine expressed the trust we should have in God in these words:

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to his love, and the future to his providence.”♥

(Source: Mark Link, SJ)

5th Sunday in OT-C February 6, 2022


Part 1: Into the Deep

In his Apostolic Letter “Novo Millennio Inuente,” JP II in recalling the gospel coined a clarion call for this new stage of journey for the church: “Duc in altum!” “Put out into the deep for a catch! “(Lk 5:4). Let us, for a while, dive into the deep and see for ourselves what we could catch. Then see for ourselves what we could learn from these precious creatures.

    Our catch will come from about 4 kms deep. You will be encountering the fish you are about to see for the first time: legendary fish never appearing on the surface.

Grenadier Fish

The Grenadier Fish. It is about 50 cms long. It travels long distances on the sea bed.

    Its aim is to collect dead fish or dead products sinking down from the surface. In this way, it meets its food needs but also keeps the ocean floor clean. From it we learn Industry and Productive Work.

Tripod Fish

The Tripod Fish. It appears to stand on three legs, hence, a tripod. It stands for hours on the sea bed, patiently waiting for something to eat to pass by. Why? Because it has tiny eyes that are almost completely blind. Because of this blindness, it has two antennas that make it very sensitive to its surroundings. From it we learn Patience and Sensitivity.

Flying Octopus Dumbo

The Flying Octopus Dumbo. The fins on either side of its head resemble elephant ears. It floats through the deep so gently and gracefully like a flying elephant. Even amidst turbulent currents, it consistently exhibits its serene calculated movements. From it we learn Gentleness and Grace.

Angler Fish

The Angler Fish. A light emitting rod protrude above the head of this clever fisher of fish. This light looks like a tiny fish that attracts its prey like a fisherman’s bait. From it we learn Creative Ingenuity.

Malacosteid Fish

The Malacosteid Fish. Beneath its eyes come forth red lights which other fish do not see. An invisible light, as it were, that the Malacosteid Fish puts into good use as its night vision. From it we learn Resourcefulness: using the invisible spiritual graces we already possess into good use.

Part 2: Go F.I.S.H. Cycle

Here is the cycle of Dynamic Love Relationships. While we apply this in our own Relationship with God, let us examine our human relationships too using these guide. The cycle also follows the different stages/ types of love.

I. PAGHAHANGAD: Paghahanap-Paglapit-Pakikisama.

Eros: Need Love – Companionship

All relationships start in this stage.

1º First I Seek Him.

This first stage is PAG-LAPIT. Why is this important?

because He first seeks for me. This is the heart of His Incarnation, His Passion, Death and Resurrection: He is God-with-us because He is God-seeking-for-us.

Do you desire for God, at least, in the way you desire to be with your loved one?

Do you thirst for His Love and Mercy?

Lumalapit ka ba sa simbahan? O naghihintay kang lapitan ng simbahan o ng pari?

II. PAG-MAMAHAL: Pag-tingin-Pag-kilala-Pag-papahalaga.

Philia: Common Friendship

While pag-mamahal is generally used to refer to love, the Tagalog word conveys the nuance of putting value (mahal-aga, matimbang, precious) on the person and the values or virtues the person stands for.

It is in this context when we say Mahal Ko ang Diyos. What He values, I value. Simon was in this stage yet, in the gospel we heard (Lk 5:1-11). He cast his nets because he valued Jesus’ words.

2º Find the “I” in the Savior’s Heart.

After getting close to the Beloved one is invited into Friendship.

√One does not only need; one values the Beloved. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:2-3) 

√It is important to find our true value hidden in the very heart of God. God reminds us in Isaiah, See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name; – Is 49:16  Here we regard, favour and observe the values and virtues of our ideal. A student studying to be a doctor is making real his/ her ideal. Then as he/ she progresses in the studies he/ she learns to appraise and observe the essential virtues attached to the ideal doctor. We say, unti-unti niyang pinahahalagahan ang mabubuting katangian ng isang ganap na doctor.

Finding the “I” in the Savior’s Heart you cannot but catch the Forgiveness In the Savior’s Heart!

Have you received this empowerment that comes from God’s mercy?

Have you gone to the Sacrament of Confession lately?

III. PAG-IBIG: Pag-ako – Pag-tugon – Pag-babago.

Pre-Agape: Sacramental Friendship

3º Foster Integrity, Seek Holiness.

Here, you say,I don’t only value your virtues and goodness, I also make them my own! This Friendship heals me, makes me holy.” Remember that integrity is unity, purity, virtue, honesty, innocence, soundness, completeness, wholeness.

√We take on a new personality. Finding ourselves in God, we cannot but become new persons with a new attitude, new behaviours, new likes, and dislikes.

√As soon as Simon was confronted with his inadequacy / unworthiness he begs, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” ButJesus did not depart from him nor was he rebuked. He was instead forgiven, healed and empowered, “Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men.” So was Isaiah treated likewise before being called to the prophetic ministry, purified and empowered.

√The mandate to seek holiness: But, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct. – 1 Pt 1:15

√ May pag-ako ka ba sa Pag-ibig ng Diyos sa iyo?

√Ina-ako mo ba ang kaniyang kabanalan?

IV. PAKIKI-ISA: Pakikipag-kapwa – Pag-aalay.

Agape: Communion & Mission

There is communion:

√when friends decide to walk down the aisle and tie the knot in matrimony

√when even in anonymity one is faithful

√ when one achieves his/her ideals

√ when human will embraces God’s will

4º Fellowship In Search of Him

St. Paul beautifully expresses this Agape Communion love for God when he says, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me”  – Gal 2:20.

Agape stage is when the “I” become conformed to the Image of Christ in morality: we must be in a right (i.e., moral) relationship with God and with other humans, using our authority to serve God and our fellow humans.

This leads us back to the first stage of paghahangad, this time the fellowship seeking Him, then, ever deepening pag-mamahal and pag-big in the relationship.Do you ever wonder why some teenage kids love to be together than be with their parents and siblings at home?

Go figure! Go fish! ♥

4th Sunday in OT-C – January 30, 2022



  1. Chester Carlson: Xerox. “ Who wants to copy a document on plain paper?” This was included in one of the 20 rejection letters Chester Carlson received for his invention—the Xerox machine. After six years of rejections, the Haloid Company bought his idea in 1944. The first copier was sold in 1950, and Carlson made over $150 million in his lifetime.
  2. Debbie Fields: Mrs. Fields. “A cookie store is a bad idea. America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” Debbi Fields ignored this investor’s advice and started Mrs. Fields’ Cookies in 1977. There are now more than 400 of her cookie stands around the world.
  3. The Beatles. “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.” Dick Rowe of the British music label Decca Records said this in 1962 to a young rock group. The group signed with EMI Records instead. The band?
  4. Anne Frank: The Diary. “The girl doesn’t have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.” A book editor said that about The Diary of Anne Frank. Since 1952, the book has sold 25 million copies and has been trans­lated into 60 languages.
  5. Felix Hoffman: Bayer Aspirin. “The product is worthless.” Bayer pharmaceuticals’ 1897 rejection of Felix Hoffman‘s formula for aspirin. (They eventually accepted it in 1899.)
  6. Dr. Seuss. “Too different from other juvenile titles on the market to warrant its selling.” One book publisher said this in 1937 about And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, the first children’s book by Dr. Seuss. In fact, 27 publishers rejected it before Vanguard Press accepted. Dr. Seuss went on to write over 40 children’s books that sold nearly half a billion copies.
  7. W. Shakespeare. “The most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life.” Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys wrote this diary entry after seeing William Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1662.
  8. Stephen King. “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative Utopias. They do not sell.” This was said to Stephen King in the early 1970s about his first novel, Carrie. The book went on to become the first of dozens of bestsellers for King, the top-selling horror author of all time.
  9. Fred Astaire. “Balding, skinny, can dance a little.” Paramount Pictures made this assessment after an early audi­tion by Fred Astaire. He signed with RKO Studios instead.
  10. Ludwig van Beethoven.”Hopeless.” A music teacher’s opinion of his student’s composing ability. The student: Beethoven.
  11. Michael Jordan. “Cut from the high school basketball team…” He went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.
  12. Thomas Edison. “Too stupid to learn anything” a teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything, and he should go into a field where he might succeed, by virtue of his pleasant personality.
  13. Walt Disney. “Lacking imagination” Fired from a news paper because he lacked imagination and had no original ideas.

If you gave up every time you failed, you’d never succeed. These people got rejected, but they didn’t give up—and the rest of us benefited.


1. Commitment Starts in the Heart.* It is said that in Kentucky Derby, the winning horse effectively runs out of oxygen after the first half mile, and he goes the rest of the way on heart. Christians who make a difference in other people’s lives have committed hearts, hearts entirely dedicated to God and His will. (The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States.)

2.  Commitment Is Tested by Action. It’s one thing to talk about commitment. It’s another to do something about it. The only real measure of  commitment is action. Arthur Gordon acknowledged, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them day after day.”

3.  Commitment Opens the Door to Empowerment. As a Christian, you will face plenty of obstacles and opposition—if you don’t already. And there will be times when commitment is the only thing that carries you forward. Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you are knocked down.

(*Excerpts from The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John C. Maxwell)


1. Know: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.” (Jer 1:5) You are not a loser! God assures  His children, “They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.” (Jer 1:19)

2. Strive for Love: “Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts”. – 1 Cor 12:31 Strive to put love in your heart.

3. Stand Up For What You Believe In: “Stand up and tell them all that I command you.” – Jer 1: 17

4. Remember: a) “Love never fails.” – 1 Cor 13:8 God never fails. He is faithful. b) “No prophet is accepted in his own native place.” – Lk 4:24 Even Jesus was rejected. No matter who you are or were, all face rejection sometime. You may not even want to admit that you were rejected, yet you were. Even Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah was rejected. Joseph in the O. T. was rejected by his brothers. He acknowledged that and kept going. c) Find security in God’s Acceptance. Others may reject us, yet God is faithful to love and accept us. Acceptance comes primarily from God’s mercy. Christians who experience rejection have the opportunity to experience God’s indescribable acceptance. The psalmist acclaims, “You are my hope, Lord; my trust, GOD, from my youth.” – Ps 71:5 6.

5. Walk Away. Decide to put what happened behind you and look forward to the future. For St. Paul this means “forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 3:13b-14

6. Keep Going: “But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.” – Lk 4:30 Jesus kept going. If we are rejected in our employment, rejected by friends or family, overcome the tough and bear the situation by moving ahead. Head toward the goals in life that God set before you. Rejection is a lesson in learning how to be strong and keep going. Know that rejections come repeatedly in life. So keep going. Stand up for what you believe in despite the rejection.

God bless you! ♥

3rd Sunday in OT-C- January 23, 2022

The Power of Words

Lessons  in Motion to Understand the Power of God’s Word

    Within our words an unseen power is set in motion. The tongue is a small thing but like a tiny spark  can set a great forest on fire. Once spoken our words begin  blazing in trail to the hearts and lives of those around us.

    One kind word can demolish guilt. It can inspire hope. But the same words  have also embraced hatred and executed innocence.

    Once spoken, our words scorch with feelings and emotions on a level that only  they can produce.

Your words set up a train of events beyond your control and which you will never have.  One word can destroy beliefs, harden hearts or cultivate hatred. 

     But they can also demonstrate FAITH, display FORGIVENESS and nurture LOVE.

    The Power of Life and Death lies in a single Word.

And WE, the Image of God, have this Power in ONE WORD.

Let us submit ourselves to the Power of this Word.


Masaru Emoto (江本勝, Emoto Masaru, born July 22, 1943) is a Japanese author known for his claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water.

    Based on his work, he has published a collection of photographs, entitled “Messages from Water”.

    He says, “I learned that no two snowflakes were identical. So, I thought, Oh, snowflakes. Snow is water. If snow has crystals, then water should have too, when it’s frozen.”

    Some of the water they examined in the institute showed no crystal formation whatsoever. One such example was tap water.

    From what was observed, beautiful crystals were a rarity when it came to tap waters of Japan. This was also the case in certain cities outside of Japan. Unlike tap water, water from natural sources, produces a variety of beautiful crystal structures captivating our eyes. This is water – revealing another side of its self.

    Dr. Emoto observes, “Everything in existence vibrates. Physics cannot deny this. Vibration is just another word for energy. So how does vibration travel? Through water, I believe. And the hexagonal crystals represent the life force of Mother Nature. Therefore, the absence of hexagonal crystals can be seen as a sign that the life forces in that area have been compromised energetically.”

    Water & Music

After exposing water to beautiful music, like Mozart’s, Emoto discovered that beautiful crystalline formations emerged from the frozen water.

    Water & Thoughts

Emoto conducted another experiment, one that involved projecting thoughts on to water. Four groups of parents and their children participated. In this experiment we used 2 glasses of tap water taken from Tokyo. We should note here that crystal formation has always eluded the waters of Tokyo. To one glass, all of the participants expressed Gratitude, first, out loud, then with their eyes closed.

Water in bottle labeled with name Mother Teresa revealed this beautiful crystal formation!

Three hours later, the frozen water  is ready for observation. It was observed that there was a total lack of beautiful crystal formation in the tap water from Tokyo. But the water that received Gratitude showed sudden emersions of a single crystal, clear and simple – as if to epitomize the thoughts of the people who have gathered. In response to the words and thoughts of the participants, the tap water from Tokyo produced a beautifully balanced crystal.

     Criticism& Publication

    Cautionary note: Commentators have criticized Emoto for insufficient experimental controls, and for not sharing enough details of his approach with the scientific community. In addition, Emoto has been criticized for designing his experiments in ways that leave them open to human error influencing his findings.

    In 2006, Emoto published a paper together with Dean Radin and others in the peer-reviewed Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing (of which Radin was co-editor-in-chief). They describe that in a double blind test approximately 2000 people in Tokyo could increase the aesthetic appeal of water stored in a room in California, compared to water in another room, solely through their positive intentions.

I agree. But I present these so that you also know about these and be the judge of the truth beyond these expositions, the spiritual truth beyond these experiments.


Place cooked rice in 3 jars. Label the 1st jar “I Love You.” Label the 2nd jar “You FOOL!”Do not label the third jar. Cover the jars tightly. Take pictures of the jars. Everyday for 30 days say the words on the jars to each one. Totally ignore the one without the label. Record what you did, the date you did it, and take pictures once a week.


The power of the word is real whether or not you are conscious of it. Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Behind every word flows energy.

If thoughts expressed in words or other media can do that to water, just imagine what your thoughts & words can do to yourself, others and to the world! Remember, up to 70 % of our body is water! Muscle:  75 % water; Fat: 50 % water; Bones: 50 % water.

These amazing lessons should encourage us:

1) Read the Word of God! Expose ourselves to God’s Powerful Word. If good affirming words already have a tremendous effect on matter such as water, how much more the Powerful Word of God on our Souls/ Spirits!

2) Watch our Thoughts & Words. Let us be sensitive from now on to the possible effects of the words we utter, especially those that come with strong negative emotions like anger and frustrations. Be proactive and be affirming!

3) and mean the Blessings we call upon on ourselves and others. Remember, behind every prayer you say flows grace/ energy. So please Pray! Pray daily as much as you can!

Let us submit ourselves always, immediately & with joy to the Power of The Word Made Flesh.♥

FEAST OF STO. NIÑO- January 16, 2022


The Power of The One Child

  It takes One Child to divide time. One Child to scatter the proud, and lift up the lowly. One Child to change the world forever. One Child to forgive every wrong thing we have ever done.

    One Child to make others do as He did. It takes One Child to make us a world of One Family. One Child to make us Believe, to inspire us to Love, to make us live with Hope.

    One Child to inspire every soul on earth, to live a life of commitment. It takes One Child, to embolden us to live and die for our Faith.

    It takes One Child, to hold this World together.

That is the Power of this One Child.

    And His One Life Story is repeated and mirrored in various ways in the lives of different Children of different races in different circumstances.

    Such is the amazing power of this One Child!

In this lecturette, we hope to demonstrate the Power of the One Story of the Holy Child on our Individual stories. We shall show that children can have the capacity to pattern their personal life stories after this One Story of Jesus. Let us be inspired, challenged and renewed by the Power of One.


The Power of this Holy Child empowers us to Thank God and Forgive our Enemies.

Namrata Nayak is a 10-year-old Dalit from the village of Sahi Panchayat, near Raikia (district of Kandhamal, Orissa).

 At the outbreak of violence against the Christians, the little girl’s face was disfigured by a bomb thrown by Hindu extremists. After 45 days in the hospital, she has healed, and is happy. Namrata says she’s thanking Jesus for giving her life. Just a fourth-grader, Namrata, told UCA News she forgives her attackers and wants to be a preacher to preach Jesus to her enemies, not just her friends. “It was our enemies who made me courageous and committed,” she explained.

Can you be thankful and forgiving, too, like Namrata, amidst your problems and difficulties in your young life?  Yes, you can! But Only In The Power Of One.


The Power of this Holy Child empowers us to be Witnesses of Jesus and Suffer and Die for Him

James Jeda, 10

Islamic soldiers forced James Jeda, a 10 year old boy and a Christian, to gather wood for a fire. The soldiers pressure him to convert to Islam. When he refuses, he is thrown to the burning wood he collected and left to die. He narrates, “They told me I would be released if I became a Muslim. I told them that was not possible. I am a Christian. So they threw me on the fire.” He escapes but the scars remain. A reminder of his sacrifice.

Rikka, a teenager, goes to Bible Camp. On the second day, the students are attacked. One of the attackers secures her hands behind her back while another holds a piece of broken glass to her stomach. She’s told to deny Christ. She narrates, “I did not answer him, so he pressed the glass harder against me. Do you believe your God can help you? I said, Yes!” Gripped with fear, she cries out, “Help me, Lord, I do not want to deny you!”

Rikka, Indonesia

    Every day, thousands of Christians are persecuted, for their faith. In over 40 nations around the globe our family is assaulted for their testimony of Jesus Christ. In most instances, the persecution could have been averted if they simply denied Christ. But they didn’t. And they won’t.

In Sudan, an Islamic army is set on Jihad, or Holy War. It has systematically targeted Christians. Most of them, children and young people, scarred for life, for Jesus.

Just look at these brave Pakistani Christian children. This photo was taken right after the October 8, 2005, earthquake in Pakistan.

    They were in prayer vigil for the victims. AsiaNews reports in their website that 2005, was the worst year for Pakistani Christians. These children were so brave and joyful, they were not afraid to be killed for their faith!

Are you ready to face persecution, like James Jeda of Sudan, and Rikka of Indonesia? Can you be joyful amidst trials like these children? Can you still hold out your Light amidst the darkness of the world? Yes, you can. But Only In The Power Of One.


The Power of this Holy Child empowers us to Act on His Word Now

Bilaal Rajan

Bilaal Rajan (born September 7, 1996, in Toronto, Canada) is a fundraiser, motivational speaker, author, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Canada’s child ambassador, and founder of the Making Change

Now organization. Rajan began fundraising when he was four years old, selling clementines (oranges) door-to-door in his neighborhood to raise C$350 in funds for the victims of the earthquakes in the Gujarat province of India in 2001. He later sold handmade plastic plates to raise $1,200 for HIV/Aids orphans, sold cookie boxes to raise over $6,000 for the affected people and children of Hurricane-devastated Haiti, raised $50,000 for the victims of the tsunami in south-east Asia, and more than $50,000 for the World Partnership Walk. In 2004, Rajan launched the Canada Kids Earthquake Challenge for the Canadian National Committee, raising the total funds for tsunami relief to around $1.8 million. To date, he has raised over $5 million for various causes, and in March 2005 he was chosen as an official ambassador for UNICEF. Websites: http://bilaalrajan.com; http://makingchangenow.com

Kung kaya nila, kaya mo rin!

Kaya natin! Anak yata tayo ng Diyos!

God bless you! ♥

BAPTISM OF THE LORD- OT- C  January 9, 2022


Welcome to our lessons in motion. Our baptismal journey will take us to different times and places, around the globe. In the hope that, after these travels, we may see, the bigger picture of our Baptismal Calling.


Our reflections for this Feast of the Lord’s Baptism will first bring us to India. Here, we shall try to look into why Jesus had to be baptized. The year, 1947. India was just granted independence from British rule. Their leader, Mahatma Gandhi, a man of faith, a writer, a politician and a pacifist.

By means of fasting from food, long vigils of prayer, marches, protests and civil disobedience, Gandhi persuaded the British to grant independence to India.

Even though a civil war between the Muslims and Hindus of India followed, and even though Gandhi himself was assassinated in 1948, he nevertheless began an immense movement toward freedom, peace and justice.

One of the reasons why Gandhi put on a loincloth, and fasted from food, almost to the point of death, was to show solidarity with his Indian people, and to identify with them in their suffering.

This is one of the reasons why Jesus was baptized in today’s gospel, to show solidarity with us and to identify more deeply with us.

No, Jesus did not need to be washed clean from Original Sin. Jesus had himself baptized not for personal reasons. His baptism affirmed His Public Calling. Not only did He identify with us, in our need for forgiveness. He also went public, empowering us, who received Baptism in His Name, to do the same: Dare to go public with your Baptismal Calling!


From South Asia, we fly now to an ancient civilization, a multinational entity extending over a large area in East Asia, China. The years, 2007-2010. In this village, in the North of China, people work in agriculture. They are poor. Water is precious. Houses have no heating nor sanitary facilities.

Fr. Peter spends his life travelling from one village to another. He has no house of his own. In 23 villages, families host him for a night or two. And everything he owns, he carries in one bag. He says, “Every day I go to celebrate mass. I hear confessions and I visit the sick. I spend 1 or 2 days in each village. On a Sunday, there are 3 or 4 masses in places we’ve selected so that many people can attend.”

Fr. Peter has been a Catholic priest for 12 years. 4 of them he spent in this parish. People look forward to his visits. In this house, he’s considered part of the family. But what he is doing is “illegal”. He is a priest of the “Underground Church”.

“We are suffering persecution. The freedom of the Church in China is still very far away. But we have to trust, because Jesus told us, ‘Do not be afraid!’”, Fr. Peter says. “The Church in Rome was persecuted for 300 years. And in the end, she obtained freedom,” he continues.

So far, the Chinese Government tolerates religion only under the strict control of so-called Patriotic Associations. Their purpose is to ensure that religious beliefs do not threaten the party line. And it’s a question of loyalty not only for priests.

“Joseph”, Chinese labourer in the Underground Church, says, “I was baptized in the patriotic church. Then, later I found out that there were 2 churches: the patriotic church & the underground church. So, I began to pray – asking God to make me understand which one is the real church.”

Christians who do not surrender their faith to government directives are driven underground. They are in danger of being arrested at any moment. Mass is celebrated in secret since makeshift churches can be torn down by local authorities from one day to the next.

“Teresa”, another Chinese labourer in the Underground Church, says, “I was baptized as a child. During the Cultural Revolution Catholics were persecuted; they beat me up and I abandoned the faith. During those years, I did not give glory to God. But even if I have not always been faithful, I believe God is the real God.”

This first leg of our stop-over in China inspires us the be brave to go public with our Catholic baptism. Catholics in China have lived through fears, persecutions and many unimaginable trials! Through their journey they have only lived and believed in the God of Faithfulness and His encouragement, “Do not be afraid!” Wow!

We have not, thankfully, experienced their lot in the Philippines, which somehow enjoy “religious freedom.” But are we standing up for our beliefs? Or is our faith an underground faith still? Let us dare to go public!


The second leg of our journey to China brings us to the depths of the earth. Behind this expanse of stone & mortar a reign of unimaginable brutality & persecution is imposed on Christians in China.

Testified by one who had been jailed and tortured, “I was not arrested because I committed a crime; I was taken to jail because I am a Christian – but that’s alright- because I understand that when we suffer the Lord is glorified…because His people stand up for Him.”

Despite these horrendous conditions Christians are standing firm and the underground church is flourishing under God’s protective cover. Hidden places of worship are all over China.

At then end of this tunnel is a cave never before visited by anyone from the outside world. It lies approximately 30 ft. underground dug entirely by hand. It has no structural support & little in the way of clean air. By the grace of God it has served as a seminary for more than 20 yrs. It has never been discovered.

A woman teacher in this seminary relates, “I’m teacher in the underground Bible School. During the year I only see the sun for 6 days… when we have a break from the training. Every 6 months we teach 80 to 100 students. The training is intensive. Everyday from 5:30am to 10pm non-stop. The underground room is about 15′ x 15′, only 2 meals a day, we have no money as the Church is very poor. Many times we eat the food for feeding pigs. When we are sick we have no money and it’s very risky to see a doctor we are just praying for healing from our Lord.”

And what maybe equally as unbelievable is the JOY these Chinese believers experience in their suffering. Their testimonies are riveting. A Christian believer says, “Why is it so difficult to become a Christian and an evangelist in China? I do not have the answer. But the Holy Spirit works on me…and encourages me. I am not afraid of being arrested or suffering in prison. I am committed to serve the Lord even though that I may have to die.”

A Christian who spent 6 years in jail says, “Suffering helps me to grow spiritually. It is beneficial to me and to the Church. It is my ‘wealth of the heart as I do not have money & other things.”

Pls. remember the Underground Church in China which is enduring great persecution while carrying the cross behind the wall. An appeal from a an Underground Christian, “I heard that U.S. have religious freedom. We want to be like you. We suffer much in China for the Lord. And if you do not need to suffer, you should work hard to proclaim the Gospel, love the Lord more and read the Bible more. Spending more time serving the Lord is important. And the Lord will reward you. Pls. pray hard for the Christians in the Underground Church in China. We have a price to pay to follow Jesus: suffering & persecution.”

A beautiful Prayer from the Heart of an Underground Christian who spent 23 years in Jail:

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for allowing us to suffer for your glory.

That Your Name be glorified. Thank You for setting up a good example for us to follow. We will bear Your cross to follow You everyday no matter where You go, we will follow. The way of the Cross leads us to victory.

Thank You, Lord. Amen.


Are we living up to the Name and Baptism we carry? Let us not be worthless Christians.

Let us take to heart Jesus’ words: “Do not be afraid!”

From our brethren in Underground China:

  • to work hard to proclaim the Gospel
  • to love the Lord more
  • to read the Bible more &
  • to spend more time serving the Lord.

God bless you in your life of Witnessing!♥

Epiphany – Jan 2, 2022

Three Wise Gifts

Wise men, really, not Kings. Why wise? Because they knew what to look for in life. They asked, “Where is the new-born king of the Jews?” They were looking for Jesus. Do you know what to look for in life? What are you looking for?

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” St. Augustine

Three Wise Gifts

1º CHARACTER. To look for Jesus is to develop our CHARACTER. To know how to look for what we ought to, and to be ready to do and to suffer anything and everything to get what should matter most to us and that is to develop a life of faith and virtue. In our Personal P.E.A.C.E. Plan we have vowed to Pray daily, Seek God in Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and become Affirming persons. Commit yourself to these steps and give God the gift of Character.

2º CAPACITY. To look for Jesus is to summon all the internal and external resources that God gives so that we may succeed in our quest.  It is to summon the inner strength which the Lord endowed them with. They did not say, “The journey will be too difficult” or “The journey has been too long.” In our Personal P.E.A.C.E. Plan we have vowed to Educate ourselves in the Faith. This enlarges our Capacity.

3º COMMUNITY. Wise people do not journey alone. They journey together. God wants us to be a community in our search and pilgrimage to his Son. God wants us to build a loving, affirming and serving community. In our Personal P.E.A.C.E. Plan we have vowed to Commit ourselves to selfless service and Enlarge our sphere of interaction. The community/ church we build with Him is our Gift of Community.

Let us strive to give God our wisest gift: Our ALL!

God bless you!