Sunday, November 30, 2014

First Sunday of Advent - Sunday, November 30, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7
16 You, Lord, are our father, our redeemer you are named forever.17 Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. 19 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, 64: while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him. Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful; all of us have become like unclean people, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt. Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.
P S A L M - Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
R: Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken, from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth. Rouse your power, and come to save us. (R) 15 Once again, O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, 16 and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong. (R) 18 May your help be with the man of your right hand, with the son of man whom you yourself made strong. 19 Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Brothers and sisters: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Show us, Lord, your love: and grant us your salvation.
Mark 13:33-37
33 Jesus said to his disciples: Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. 35Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. 36 May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’


I’ve joined some guided tours in various countries. Part of such tours is always a visit to some factory where they produce handcrafted goods. But there were times I enjoyed such a visit somewhere in France, and another one closer to home in Quezon Province, where they do potteries and ceramics.

    I liked their finished products. But I liked more the process that produced everything on display that were all temptingly beautiful. But in this age of limited baggages at airlines all over the world, one’s decision making has become less difficult. Just don’t add more weight. Period.

       This past week, everything we reflected on seemed to gradually build up to today, the first Sunday of Advent. We talked about endings as much as beginnings — the end times, the final judgment, the Second Coming. Yesterday, we even talked about night being no more, fading into the background, where the light of Christ’s coming comes to the fore.

       Watching the potters’ expert hands mold the once-ugly and dirty clay into something beautiful comes to mind as we begin Advent in earnest. We are worse off than clay, according to Isaiah. We are “sinful; all of us have become like unclean people; all our good deeds are like polluted rags.”

       But the Divine Potter chose to lift us up from the muck, selected us from the mire, on no merit of our own, to make of us something beautiful for Him and for others. But unlike sculpture, where the artist takes away by chipping slowly until the desired shape is achieved, we are not chipped off. We are molded and shaped and enriched until we become what the potter envisioned. How about thanking God today, “for the grace God bestowed on [us] in Christ Jesus, that in him [we] were enriched in every way … so that [we] are not lacking in any spiritual gift?”

       Time now to stop being mere clay. Time now to be molded by the Potter. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you allow yourself to be molded and shaped by God through your sufferings and trials, as well as through your joys and victories?
Thank You, Lord, that You do not throw me away when I displease You. Thank You for patiently shaping me and molding me according to Your design for my life.

St. Andrew, Apostle, pray for us.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Most Merciful Lord, gathering for this meal of thanksgiving
we offer you, as our Creator, our thanks and praise
You who teach us to love without limit
You who teach us to forgive without counting the cost
You who teach us to give without seeking return

May we honor You through our words and actions
every day, every moment.
May we worship You through our lives with others,
live with kindness and tender care.

May we fully realize what St. Faustina came to know:
that in our thankfulness, true earthly joy resides
that in Your love for us we find the heavenly harvest
that strenghtens our souls, until we reside in you forever.

Praise and glory to You, Merciful Lord,
Now and forever.  Amen

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Prayer for Healing


You invite all who are burdened to come to you.  Allow Your healing Hand to heal me.  Touch my soul with Your compassion for others; Touch my heart  with Your courage and infinite Love for all; touch my mind with Your wisdom, and may my mouth always proclaim You praise.  Teach me to reach to You in all my needs, and help me to lead others to You by my example.

Most loving heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strenght.  Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Solemnity of Christ the King - Sunday, November 23, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. 12 As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. 15 I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God. 16 The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly. 17 As for you, my sheep, says the Lord God, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.

P S A L M - Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose. (R) Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. (R) You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (R) Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (R)

2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, 23 but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; 24 then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 28 When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

Matthew 25:31- 46
31 Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44Then they will answer and say,  ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”



Today’s feast is reminiscent of the first part of the Palm Sundayliturgy. The crowds welcomed the Lord excitedly. Today, we gather to acclaim Him as King of the universe, as Lord of all Lords, and as the fulfillment of the promised Kingdom of our father David.

       But this kingship and His kingdom have nothing to do with pomposity and power, but about humble service and solicitude: seeking out the lost, bringing back the strayed, binding up the injured, healing the sick — what He, too, is calling us to do, to shepherd His people rightly.

       How did He do all this? St. Paul speaks in terms of “destroying every sovereignty and every authority and power,” along with “putting all his enemies under his feet.” The high point of this victorious feat is about destroying the last enemy, which is death.

       The Gospel passage from Matthew offers us a passing glimpse of the glory associated with the Son of Man. But all three readings say precious little of the glories that are due to Him. Instead, they devote many more words to what the glorious Son of Man will do at the end of time. He will “separate the sheep from the goats.” But what criteria will the King use? This is where things get really interesting. We will all be judged on the basis of whether we have shepherded others rightly or not. Right shepherding has to do with loving care and solicitude for others, like what Ezekiel told us: feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.

       Honoring the King does not end with joining a procession and acclaiming His glories at Mass. They are important, but authentic devotion has to pave the way to humble service and solicitude for others. This, the Lord did, as can be gleaned from the readings.

       Today, let us honor Christ the King by resolving to become exactly like Him who did His Kingly role by shepherding others rightly. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you shepherding rightly the people God has put under your care?

Form me into a good shepherd, Lord. May my heart be as compassionate as Yours.

St. Clement I, pope and martyr, pray for us.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Anti-Catholic: 500 years of world history

"History is a set of lies agreed upon,"
said Napoleon.  

More lies have been aimed at destroying the good
name and holy work of our Roman Catholic Church
than any other institution in the world.

Even most Catholics believe the lies they were
taught in high school or have seen on television.

Do you know—and are you able to—
defend the true history of our Catholic Church?

Here's a test . . .

Is this really how Cortez and other Catholic
Spaniards treated the Aztecs?

Do you know why Galileo really 
faced the Inquisition?

Europe was once united.
Do you know what event led to divisions,
revolutions, and even to modernist thinking?

Do you know which democratic revolutionaries were
considered to be the enemies of the Church?

*       *       *

Many books have been written about the
history of the Catholic Church.

But few history books have been
written from a Catholic perspective.

That is, until now:

Here is an unabashedly Catholic history that documents
scores of assaults on our Catholic Faith these past five
centuries—and it delineates our Church's
brave response to each one.

For 500 years, wave after wave of cynical anti-Catholic men
and movements have wrought havoc on the Faith—men like
Luther, Marx, Darwin, Hitler, and Rousseau.

Together, they ripped the heart from our culture’s
chest, leaving our once noble Christendom a ruined city,
devastated politically and spiritually, morally and intellectually.

Celebrated Catholic historian Diane Moczar counters
here with an unflinching sketch of these five woeful centuries
with sound reasons for hope, for even after 500 years of
sustained persecution, our Church has not merely survived,
but continues in many places to flourish.

Almost 2,000 years ago, Tertullian noted that
the “blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,”
a truth borne out these past 500 years.

Time-after-time, as Moczar shows, persecution has not
snuffed out the Faith, but brought forth great saints whose
brave examples gave strength to our besieged Church. 

These pages will convince you that
the Church is, indeed, Christ acting in the world.

And this book will convince you that no matter how
strong or ruthless or vicious her opponents, Christ's Church
will not be vanquished, but will endure to the end of time.

Order online

Save 35% when you order the set:

The Church Under Attack
The Church Ascending
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Celebrated author and veteran historian Diane Moczar takes you on a fast-paced and provocative ride through the development of Christian civilization from its emergence within the Roman Empire through its medieval springtime and summer.

Indeed, within five hundred years of Nero’s persecutions of the first disciples, Christian civilization permeated every aspect of European culture with kings and commoners alike paying allegiance to the Catholic Church.

A master storyteller with an entertaining and evocative style, Dr. Moczar introduces you to the celebrated intellectuals and mystics, the magnificent artists and writers, and the greatest heroes and villains who forever changed Christianity and the West.

You’ll also explore the dreadful heresies and sinful practices—both inside the Church and out—that developed cracks that would become great fissures, leading to the bitter autumn that followed a most glorious age.

Most of all, these pages will increase your love of God—who is the source of all truth—through a deeper understanding of Catholic history. And they will renew your confidence that the Church is indeed Christ acting in the world and that no matter how many Neros are sent her way by Satan, she will not be defeated but will endure until the end of time.


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