Friday, October 2, 2009


Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.

We have not been good stewards of Nature.

We have confused Your command to subdue the Earth.

The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and how we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.

Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.

We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.

We bessech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need. Amen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Epic Flood: A Call for Compassion

THE pictures we see in the newspapers and television screen in these days, after the epic flood brought about by devastating tropical storm “Ondoy” have many stories to tell which are beyond words. Many of the victims of super typhoon Ondoy has a scary experience to narrate.
While we keep in our imagination the pictures that invite our deepest sympathy, and even listen in our hearts to their desperate cries for help, the victims agonizing and angry complaints at the slowness or absence of response from Disaster Preparedness Program, let us see in this situation a call to everyone for compassion. If there were no graft and corruption in our government, our government would be more prepared to respond to such crisis.
Typhoon Ondoy’s destructive path may be the worst flood in more than half a century. Through the ravages of nature in the past, the Filipino sense of compassion, which we also call “bayanihan,” has been called forth. The pictures we have seen in the past few days are pictures of Filipinos responding to the call for compassion, of people willing to “suffer with,” people with the spirit of “bayanihan.”
We pray against typhoons, earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities. But when they do occur, the heroism of the Filipino comes out. We salute, for example, to that 18-year old teen-ager, Muelmar Magallanes, who lost his life after saving more than a dozen neighbors, the last of whom was a six-month old baby.
This one heroic example is an inspiration of our appeal with the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action. The CBCP NASSA has been mobilized to help with its limited resources the victims of the flood. Relief goods have started to be gathered and distributed to the flood-affected provinces around Metro Manila. Caritas Manila has started to respond to the flood victims in Metro Manila. Compassion is drawing many Filipinos to unite with their unfortunate brothers and sisters. Social Action Centers of other Dioceses may join the campaign by sending to CBCP NASSA whatever they may collect. Profound gratitude to the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council and the US Bishops’ Conference – Catholic Relief Services. They were among the first to respond.
Other Institutions like the RED CROSS, have also started to respond to the call for compassion, as we have seen in GMA network and ABS-CBN network in the spirit respectively of “KAPUSO” and “KAPAMILYA.”
We bend our knees in prayer for salvation against natural calamities, but when they do come, we are not so helpless as not to respond with heroism. We have said it before and we say it again “In the Church, no one is so poor as to have nothing to give, and no one is so rich as to have nothing to receive.” We are humbled by the crises that come to us. We pray to God and appeal for our neighbor.

Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
September 29, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009


Panginoon, kami’y nananalangin nawa’y ang Mahal na Birhen ang maging kulandong na bumabalot sa iyong kaparian, at sa pamamagitan niya, sila’y magingmatatag sa kanilang paglilingkod.

Nawa’y si Maria ay maging gabay ng mga pari sa pagsunod sa kanyang mga salita:

“Gawin ninyo ang sasabihin niya sa inyo”(Jn. 2:5)

Nawa’y ang iyong mga pari ay magkaroon ng puso katulad ni San Jose, matuwid na Esposo ni Maria.

Nawa’y ang pusong nasugatan ng Mahal na Ina, ay maging inspirasyon ng mga pari upang yakapin ang lahat na sino mang nagpapakasakit sa paanan ng krus.

Dalangin namin na ang mga pari ay maging banal, puspusin ng apoy ng iyong pagibig na walang hinahangad kundi ang iyong higit na kaluwalhatian at kaligtasan ng mga kaluluwa. Amen

San Juan Maria Vianney, ipanalangin mo kami.

Prayer for Priests

Dear Lord,
we pray that the Blessed Mother
wrap her mantle around your priests
and through her intercession
strengthen them for their ministry.
We pray that Mary will guide your priests
to follow her own words,
“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).
May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph,
Mary’s most chaste spouse.
May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart
inspire them to embrace
all who suffer at the foot of the cross.
May your priests be holy,
filled with the fire of your love
seeking nothing but your greater glory
and the salvation of souls.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Panalangin ng Isang Pari

Amang minamahal,
Pinupuri kita, Minamahal kita, Sinasamba kita,
Isugo mo ang iyong Espiritu upang tanglawan ang aking isipan at akayin tungo sa mga katotohanan ng iyong anak na si Jesus, Pari at Handog.
Sa Espiritung ito, gabayan mo ang aking puso na matulad sa Mahal na Puso ni Jesus, upang panibaguhin sa akin ang marubdob na pagmamahal ng isang pari; na ako rin ay handang maghandog ng sarili sa paglilingkod sa banal mong altar.
Sa Espiritung ito, linisin mo ang aking mga kahalayan at palayain sa aking mga pagsalangsang sa pamamagitan ng Kalis ng kaligtasan. Nawa ang iyong kalooban ang aking tanging masundan.

Ang Mahal na Birhen, Ina ni Hesus, ang siya nawang maging aking kulandong at sanggalang sa lahat ng masama. Gabayan nawa niya ako na gawin lamang ang naisin ni Hesus. Turuan nawa niya ako na magkaroon ng katulad ng puso ni San Jose, na kanyang esposo, na ipagtanggol at pangalagaan ang Simbahan. Nawa ang kanyang pusong nasugatan ang aking maging inspirasyon at tanggapin ito bilang isang anak na handang magpakasakit sa paanan ng krus. Ako’y nagsusumamo na ikaw sana ay maging mapag-ampong Ina sa akin, at tulungang ako’y maging isang mabuting anak.

Panginoon, gawin mo akong isang banal na pari, pag-alabin mo sa apoy ng iyong pag-ibig, na walang hinahangad kundi ang iyong higit na kaluwalhatian at kaligtasan ng mga kaluluwa.

Pakumbabang nanalangin at nagpapasalamat ako sa iyo, aking Ama, sa pamamagitan ng Espiritu Santo, kay Kristo Jesus na iyong anak at aking kapatid. Amen.

O Maria, Ina ng mga pari, ipanalangin mo kami.
San Juan Maria Vianney, ipanalangin mo kami.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Body and Blood of Christ

We have a saying: "You are what you eat!". This means that whatever we take, it somehow becomes part of ourselves. Not only becoming part of ourselves but gives something good within ourselves. Take for example the food we take. It gives nourishment which made us strong. Moreover, when we take something inside ourselves it gives not only something good to us but in fact, does something within us. Take another example when we take medicines or an antibiotic pill. When the pill dissolves, a substance begins to work in order to inhibit or kill microorganism or the virus inside our body. In this way, it makes us feel good and restore our health.

This leads us to think on the food that our Lord Jesus is talking about in the Gospel reading today. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."(Jn 6:51). For the Jews, it was hard for them to imagine taking the very flesh of Christ for their food. But they missed the point of Jesus in saying that He is giving his flesh for the life of the world. This promise finds its fulfillment in the celebration of the Eucharist, as mentioned in the second reading, where the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. This is a real food. And we have to partake of it, as Jesus wished to do so. This happens when we receive the Sacred Host in the Holy Communion. So much so that he really enters into our being and becomes one with us.

But does he make something different within us after we received him in the communion? It should!

I had a chance in seeing and venerating in Lanciano, Italy, the very species of the bread became real flesh and the wine turned into real blood of Christ. What touched me much is the result of the scientific investigation conducted in 1970 by a group of scientists and experts when they found out that the flesh came from the muscular tissue of the heart: the myocardium. This made me conclude that whenever we received the Body of Christ, we also received His Heart, the seat of his unfathomable love. I can imagine love passing through our own veins, mixed with our own blood that supplies our mind, our extremities, our whole being. Indeed, my whole body is full of love.

This finds full meaning at the end of the Mass when the priest says, "Go, the mass is ended!". What is next?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Solemnity of the Pentecost

"Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth!"

These words from the Responsorial Psalm eloquently capture the atmosphere of joy and thanksgiving that characterizes our gathering today. It is the Solemnity of Pentecost, or the descent of the Holy Spirit upon God's People. On this day, we also commemorate the birth of the Church because this very occasion signalled the spreading of the Gospel of Christ among the nations under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost opened a new dimension in the life of the Church. With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles who were assembled with the Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the era of the Church began. The Holy Spirit brought together all humanity and formed them into one body, the Mystical Body of Christ. Likewise, the same Spirit became the guiding principle of the Church into all truth and unity in communion and in service. And through the centuries, the Church continues to exist and journey by the power of the Holy Spirit which bestows different gifts or "charisms" on each and every member of the Church in order to perpetuate the mission entrusted to her by Jesus Christ.

Moreover, Pentecost is also a time of commissioning. Jesus Christ sent by the Father was anointed by the Spirit and fulfilled His mission. But as He returned to the Father He entrusted His disciples with His own mission to continue. So, the disciples too received the Holy Spirit so that they could discharge their mission as Jesus did. Hence, this feast of Pentecost reminds us anew of our apostolic mission to proclaim the Good News of Salvation in words and in deeds. Eventually, this must lead us to the realization of the continual presence of the Holy Spirit not only in the Church but also in each and every one of us, as Christians and as members of the Church. We all know that the Holy Spirit was infused in all of us when we were baptized and especially when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation. This is the reason why we consider the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation as our personal pentecost.

Today, therefore, as we commemorate the day of Pentecost, we need to recall and renew the graces that come to us that moment when we received the Holy Spirit, graces which we perhaps long forgotten, graces which we have not used, and graces which we need today in our disunited and turbulent times.

"Receive the Holy Spirit!" Today, Jesus re-echoes his words to all of us. He offers us the Life-giving Spirit, who is the manifestation of the love between the Father and the Son. And this same Holy Spirit impels each and every one of us to manifest also our love through our sharing in the mission of the Church and our sharing in the communion which is inherent to the life of the Church.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Today we celebrate what is often called the birthday of the Church. We also bring to completion our celebration of the Paschal Mystery - the suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and coming of the Spirit on Jesus’ disciples.

Full of symbols

Most of us are more familiar with the account given in the Acts of the Apostles which is the First Reading of today’s Mass. In this account, the apostles are all gathered in one room at the time of the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which in the Jewish calendar traditionally falls 50 days after the Passover (or Easter in our Christian calendar). What follows is a scene filled with scriptural symbols. First, there is the sound of a mighty wind from heaven filling the whole house. The word in Greek for ’spirit’ and ‘wind’ is the same, so the wind clearly indicates the Spirit of God. Then there appeared tongues of fire which rested on the head of each one present. Again we have a symbol of God’s presence. We remember Moses speaking to God out of the bush which was on fire. We remember that, as the Israelites wandered through the desert, they were accompanied during the night by a pillar of fire - God was with them. All present are then filled with the Spirit. The sign of this presence is their ability to speak in different languages.
A message for all
Immediately, the apostles go out and begin to speak to the crowds of people. Jerusalem is filled with Jewish and convert visitors from all over the Mediterranean, from Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa, even Rome, to celebrate the feast. These people are amazed to hear men, who are clearly relatively unlettered people from the province of Galilee, speaking to them in so many languages. The meaning is clear. What the apostles are preaching is a message destined for the whole world and not just for one people. A long time ago, as described in the book of Genesis, men tried to build a tower right up to heaven. For such arrogance they were punished by having to speak in a myriad of languages unintelligible to others. Humanity became deeply divided.Today, Babel is reversed. All are speaking and hearing the message with full understanding; people are being brought together in unity under God.
Receiving a mission
And then he gives their mission: “As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” Their mission is the same as his; they are to continue doing what he did.Then he breathes on them. Breath symbolizes life. In the creation story, God breathed over the waters. He also breathed on to the clay of the ground and formed the first human being. Today he breathes on his disciples and gives them a new life, making them a new creation, giving them the life of his Spirit, saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Then he goes on to say, “Those whose sins you forgive are forgiven…” This is no mere juridical authority in which people are declared free of guilt. It is much more than that. The disciples are being given the authority to bring people back to God, to reconcile those who have become separated from their God to renew their unity with the Beginning and the End of their lives. They also have the authority to decide which people are not yet ready for reconciliation.
Ultimate mission
This is ultimately the mission of the Church, to bring people to God. It is not primarily to make converts to Christianity or to build up the Church but to work with God in building the Kingdom. The Kingdom realized is the whole world acknowledging the lordship of God our Creator and people directing their lives to be one with him. This was the mission given by Jesus to his disciples and the same mission has been given to each one of us. So, as soon as a person becomes reconciled with God as Lord and Jesus as Savior, that person in turn accepts the obligation to become in turn a reconciler of others.
Special gifts
So, today’s Second Reading speaks of the gifts that the Spirit of God and Jesus gives to each one for this work. We are not all called to the same thing in the same way. “There are all sorts of service to be done but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them.” We all have exactly the same ultimate goal, energized from the same Source, but, with our different qualities of character and ability and depending on the environmental situation in which we find ourselves, we aim at that goal in different ways. Working together in different ways towards a common aim, Paul compares us to a human body. It consists of many parts but each part is ordered to the well-being of the whole. That should be a picture of the Christian community, of our diocese and of each parish and of each community within a parish. We are all equal in dignity - Jew or Greek, slave or citizen, man or woman, cleric or lay - but different in calling and manner of service.
On this feast of Pentecost, as we celebrate the formation and the mission of the whole Christian community, we also need to reflect on the particular role that God has for me, to reflect on the particular contribution that I can make to the corporate mission of the Church and of the particular group with which I am involved.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Have you ever wondered whether Jesus was really with his Church? Or have your ever doubted whether Jesus is indeed present in the Church? For example, when you see some Church leaders failed to live up to the teachings of Jesus, or when you see some members of the Church ignore needy brothers and sisters. Do you ever asked yourselves whether Jesus inspires the faithful to lead lives of love and generosity?

Let me share with you a true story that might help clarify the question about Jesus being with his Church. It is about a seven year-old boy who was taught by his father how to take a bus in going to his school from their house and in going back. One day, the father told his son that he will just accompany him going to the school but in going back to their house, the son would do it alone. So, the father explained very well to his son the route by showing all the landmarks and how may stops there are before arriving the final bus stop. So, when they arrived at the school, the father left him with the final instruction to follow all what he instructed.

The whole morning was for the boy full of worries, he has been thinking of how to go home all by himself. When the time came to go for home, the little boy took the bus, with some question in his mind whether if it was the right bus or not. But he continued, looking for all the landmarks and counting all thebus stops. But as the trip continues, the heart of the boy beats faster, especially when sometimes the bus took turns and he was not able to see the landmarks and was confused in his counting of the bus stops. Until he recognized familiar streets and buildings, and finally he reached the right stop. The boy stepped off the bus and he was so proud and happy. He had actually made it home all by himself.

What the boy didn't know, however, was that his father was also riding at the back seat of the same bus watching over him all the way. He had been with him every foot of the trip just in case he needed help.

The story somehow resemblances the story about Jesus and his Church. Before departing on the day of Ascension, Jesus gave his Church all the directions we needed to journey through life to our heavenly home and final destination. Like the little boy, however, we sometimes notice the Church taking unexpected twists and turns. When this happens, we should recall the promise of Jesus to be with us always. Even though we can't see him, we know he is there, ready to help us, just in case the need arises.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where there is love, there is God

St. John says, “Wherever there is love, there is God”. He does not say, “Wherever there are Christians, there is God” or “Wherever there is a Christian church, there is God”. But, wherever there is a person filled with real agape-love for others, God is there. That is the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan. He was called “good” not because he was a religious person but because he reached out in compassionate love for someone who was supposed to be his enemy. Wherever in the world there is truth, compassion, justice, true freedom and peace, God is certainly there.
Jesus gives us just one commandment. He does not say, “Love Jesus or love God as I have loved you”. No, he says, “If you want to be my disciple, then you must love one another, as I have loved you.” If we really love our brothers and sisters, including strangers and even enemies, we do not have to worry if we love God. But, if we do not love everyone unconditionally, then there is no other way I can claim to love Jesus. I need to love those God loves (with agape) and God loves every single person without exception, even the most wicked.
In practice, of course, it is not always so easy. We need to learn slowly how to love people unconditionally. Our lower instincts and the prevailing culture around us think differently. Yet, we need to learn that the way of Jesus is in fact more in tune with our deeper nature. It is more human to be loving than hating (yet we often excuse our outbursts or anger or hatred as being “only human”). Deep down, we all want to love people. We do not like to hate people and hating does terrible things to our minds and our bodies. We like people to be our friends and do not like them to be our enemies.
Love is not a question of keeping rules and commandments. Love is a way of life. It is an internal attitude which influences every single thing we do and say and think.
The love of a Christian needs to be unconditional. Sometimes people will love us back; sometimes they will not. Sometimes, even though we want to love people, they may reject us. If they do reject us, we need not necessarily think that we have done wrong. When people cannot return genuine love, it is they who have the problem. Sad to say, not everyone is capable of loving. All the more reason why we need to reach out to them. People often learn to love by being loved.
The most important thing is that I am someone who really loves. When I genuinely love others, there will always be some who cannot love me back but there will be others who will really respond in love. And it may be that my love has empowered them to be loving too.
To be able to reach out in love and to experience being loved is God’s greatest grace.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love in Action

Love is shown in ACTION, in DEEDS. Only when we are loving in deed can we know that Jesus lives in us.

For me to experience God’s love, others have to experience mine. And I cannot make an exception of even one person, because God doesn’t. And that is how we become “good”. We are good because God’s love and goodness is acting in and through us. We usually put it the other way: if I am first good, then God will love me. But God always loves me, whether I am good or bad. When I am good, it is because I allow his love to act in me; when I am bad, it is because I have blocked off his love.

We must abandon entirely the idea that we “earn” God’s love by our “good deeds”. God does not love me because I am good; I am good because God’s love is working in and through me to others.

Monday, April 27, 2009


What is swine flu?
Swine flu is a respiratory disease normally found in pigs and caused by type A influenza viruses. While outbreaks of this type of flu are common in pigs, human cases of swine flu do happen. In the past, reports of human swine flu have been rare—approximately one infection every one to two years in the U.S. From December 2005 through February 2009, only 12 cases of human infection were documented.

How is it spread?
Humans with direct exposure to pigs are those most commonly infected with swine flu. Yet, human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented, however it's not known how easily the spread occurs. Just as the common flu is passed along, swine flu is thought to be spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching something with the viruses on it.
If infected, a person may be able to infect another person one day before symptoms develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick. Thus, a person is able to pass the flu on before they know they are sick. Those with swine flu should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are demonstrating symptoms and up to seven days longer from the onset of their illness. Children might be contagious for longer periods of time.

Can I catch swine flu from eating pork?
No. The CDC says that swine flu viruses are not transmitted by food. Properly cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills all bacteria and viruses.

What are the symptoms of swine flu?
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of a regular flu: fever and chills, sore throat, cough, headache, body aches, and fatigue. Diarrhea and vomiting can also be present. Without a specific lab test, it is impossible to know whether you may be suffering from swine flu or another flu strain.

What precautionary measures should I take?
The same everyday precautions that you take to prevent other contagious viruses should be used to protect yourself against swine flu. "The best current advice is for individuals to practice good hand hygiene. Periodic hand washing with soap and water, or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible, is a good preventive measure. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can more easily gain entrance into your body through those areas," suggests
Dr. Rob Danoff. Covering your mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough and sneeze is also a good practice.
The CDC recommends avoiding contact with sick people and keeping your own good health in check with adequate sleep, exercise, and a nutritious diet.

What should you do if you think you are sick with swine flu?
Contact your health care professional, inform them of your symptoms, and ask whether you should be tested for swine flu. Be prepared to give details on how long you've been feeling ill and about any recent travels. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. If you feel sick, but are not sure what illness you may have, stay home until you have been diagnosed properly to avoid spreading any infection.

Watch for these symptoms in children. Seek emergency medical care if your child experiences any of the following warning signs:
Fever with a rash
Fast breathing
Bluish skin coloration
Slow to wake or sluggish interaction
Flu-like symptoms improve, but then return and cough worsens
Severe irritability

For adults, emergency medical care is needed if you experience these warning signs:
Difficulty breathing
Severe or persistent vomiting
Pain/pressure in the chest or stomach
Remember that the symptoms for swine flu are almost identical to those you might experience with the regular flu. Only your doctor can give you the correct diagnosis.

Are there medicines effective in treating swine flu in humans?
The swine flu responds to the use of
oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for those infected. For treatment, these antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

Monday, April 6, 2009



In the Gospel we had just read, we learned that Mary Magdalene was so surprised when she saw that the stone that covered the tomb where Jesus' body was lain had been moved away. The Gospel of Saint Matthew related that she and other women met an angel who announced to them: "You are looking for Jesus the crucified, but he is not here. He has been raised, exactly as he promised"(Mt. 28:5-6). Then, they hurried away from the tomb half-overjoyed and half-fearful, and ran to carry the good news to his disciples.

When Peter and John received the news about the empty tomb, they immediately ran toward the tomb. John arrived first but did not enter instead bent down to peer in, and saw the wrappings lying on the ground. He waited for Peter and together they entered the tomb. This is because according to the Jewish Law the testimony of two witnesses is juridically valid. Since both Peter and John went in together, their verification constituted a valid account. They saw that the wrappings were "rolled up in a place by itself." No thief would have gone through the trouble of removing the bandages just to leave them there; it would have been more logical for the thief to have taken away the body wrapped in bandages. This is to refute the theory of the chief priests that the body of Jesus was stolen by the disciples.

In the light of the foregoing, factual evidence of Christ's resurrection as shown by the empty tomb is not an invention of the early Christians. In fact, Christ Himself made sure that His followers would believe in the reality of His resurrection. He stayed on earth for forty days more after His resurrection to appear before His disciples - to Simon Peter, to the Twelve and to more than five hundred brethren (cf. 1 Cor 15:6). The number of eyewitnesses is more than enough to establish the truthfulness of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

Christ is risen! These words express a truth that has been handed down to us by the Apostles. They remind us that Christ's resurrection is a historical fact. The New Testament tells us how the Apostles experienced the Risen Lord, who was only seen by them, but was perceived by touch and by every form of communication and perception man is capable of. Our faith, my dear brothers and sisters, rests on these eyewitnesses of the apparition of our risen Lord. "If Christ had not been raised", says St. Paul, "our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too" (1 Cor 15:14).

There are many reasons for celebrating this beautiful and unparalleled event. For one, without Christ's resurrection, we will still be slaves of Satan; without His resurrection, we are still dead to sin. But because Christ rise from the dead, we have been freed from the clutches of the devil. In the words of last night's Easter praises, we continue to proclaim joyfully that "the power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride."

With Christ's resurrection, we are given the hope that we shall also have a similar resurrection. We shall raise up with Him. Therefore, Christ's resurrection is also ours. In this regard, St. Paul tells us that "if we have been united with Him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a like resurrection"(Rom 6:5). These words inspire hope, create encouragement and produce joy. They also challenge us to prove our oneness with Christ in His resurrection by the life we live. "Since you have been raise up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God's right hand"(Col 3:1).

St. Paul once again reminds us: "When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery"(Gal. 5:1). To be really free is to live the resurrection experience by rising our defeats and spurning with out lives the creeping postures of death. Faith in the resurrection leads us to a renewed hope in the preponderance of possibilities of a new life. We rediscover our real identity as persons whose vocation is to be in union with God and with others. We leave behind the tombs of isolation, selfishness, hatred, and sin to be God's servants of life. We emerge as re-created persons reaching out in communion with one another, celebrating the communal faith in the Risen Christ. Simply to say, we have to undertake a life that is new - that which follows the teachings of the Gospel. Then will our actions ring the joyous notes of an Easter allelluia song, and we shall become a living proof of Christ's resurrection.

Another reason for us to be joyful on this day is because Christ's resurrection gives a rich meaning to our Sunday Eucharistic celebration. In fact, the early Christian Jews changed their time-honored last day of the week observance of the Sabbath to the first day of the week and called it the Lord's Day. That is why, Sunday is a special day of gathering for us as a community of believers; we celebrate the Mass and collectively proclaim the mystery of our faith: "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."


Easter Sunday Homily
Gospel: Jn 20:1-9
Theme: We know that Jesus is alive and risen because we can feel his risen power at work in our lives.



A small boy and his grandfather were fying a kite on a hill. The kite soared into the sky, then suddenly a low cloud hid it from their sight. The granfather said to the boy, "Bobby, maybe some thief up in that cloud stole your kite!" The boy shook his head in disagreement. "But Bobby," said the grandfather, "how can you be sure that the kite is still at the end of your string?" The boy replied, "Because I can feel something you can't feel. I can feel the kite tug at my string."

That story illustrates whu many people who were not privileged to see Jesus after His resurrection were sure, nonetheless, that he had risen from the dead. They were sure for the same reason the boy was sure that no one had stolen his kite. They felt the tug of Jesus in their lives. In other words, they experienced the power of the risen Christ at work in their hearts.

* * *

Before Easter Sunday many people were filled with doubt. They had seen Jesus die a terrible death on Good Friday. They had seen Jesus nailed on a cross and had watched their dreams die before their eyes. But then came Easter Sunday morning. News spread throughout Jerusalem that the rock that sealed the tomb had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. The Jewish authorities told the guards at the tomb to say that someone had stolen the body while they dozed during the night (cf. Mt. 28:13).

At first people wondered about the guard's story. Was it really true? Did someone steal the body of Jesus? But as time passed, the people became sure beyond doubt that the body had not been stolen. Jesus had, indeed, risen!

And the reason the people were sure is the same reason that the little boy was sure that no one had stolen his kite. They felt the tug of Jesus in their lives. They felt the power of Jesus at work in their lives.

* * *

Transformed by this power, the people went forth to tell the good news to all the world. No amount of persecution could stop them. Eventually, some of them were crucified, like their master. Others were ripped apart by wild beasts in the Roman Collosseum. Still others were burned alive at the stake. But their belief in Jesus never wavered. The lives of these early Christians changed the course of history.

Today, 2,000 years later, modern Christians still feel the tug of Jesus. They still feel the power of Jesus at work in their hearts. An example is a missionary who for years has been working among the poor. In spite of all his efforts, he saw absolutely no progress. He says: "I became despondent... I finally reached the breaking point one night... I was beaten... When I went to bed, I didn't know how could I continue." The next morning, shortly after he awoke, something strange happened to him. It was as though Jesus himself said to him, "Can you not trust my plan for you? He writes: Then I realized that I did not have to see the plan, I only had to trust Him. I arose from my bed a different person... My encounter with the living Christ changed me from a broken defeated person into a person with unshakeable hope and faith." Today, the missionary's work among the poor is bearing remakable fruit.

That story is what Easter all about. It is the good news that Jesus is risen and in our midst. It is the good news that Jesus has a plan for each one of us. And nothing can interfere with that plan is we don't let it - not pain, not sorrow, not rejection, not sin, not even death.

* * *

Easter invites us to let Jesus help us trust again after we've lost our ability to trust.
It invites us to let Jesus help us love again after we've lost our ability to love.
It invites us to let Jesus help us hope again after we've lost our ability to hope.
It invites us to let Jesus help us pick up the broken pieces of our lives and start over again after we've given up.

* * *

Easter is the good news that Jesus has triumph over sin and evil; and so will we, if we but open our hearts to His Easter power.
It is the good news that Jesus is ready to work miracles in us, if we but open our hearts to His Easter power.
It is the good news that every Good Friday in our lives can be turned into an Easter Sunday, if we but open our hearts to His Easter power.


Friday, April 3, 2009


(Mt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34)

Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo naman ako’y pinabayaan? Panaghoy ng isang nilalang na waring pinabayaan ng Diyos; ng isang tao na ang hinaing ay hindi napakinggan o ang kanyang panalangin ay hindi nabigyan-pansin. Isang sigaw ng nagpapahiwatig ng damdamin ng kawalang-halaga, ng itinakwil, ng nag-iisa, ng binale-wala, ng kawalang-pag-asa.

Subalit, teka; hindi ba’t mula sa bibig ni Jesus, ang mahal na Anak ng Diyos, nagmula ang mga katagang ito? Hindi maaaring mangyari ito! Paano pababayaan ng Ama ang kanyang anak na maraming beses na nagsabi: “Ako at ang Ama ay iisa”. “Ako ay sumasa-Ama at ang Ama ay sumasa-akin”. Bakit nga ba nasambit ni Jesus ang ganitong mga kataga? Bahagi ba ito ng misteryo ng Kanyang pagiging tao, o talagang matindi ang kanyang dinaranas na paghihirap.

Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan? Sa ganitong mga salita, si Jesus ay tunay na tao! Siya ngayon ay nakararanas ng matinding paghihirap na siya ring dinaranas ng tao. Hindi ba’t ganito rin ang panaghoy ng mga tao, makasalanan man o banal?

Sa Lumang Tipan, si Haring David ay ganito ang panambitan sa Salmo 22: “vO Diyos ko! Diyos ko! Bakit mo ako pinabayaan? Sumisigaw ako ng saklolo, ngunit bakit di mo ako tinutulungan? Araw-gabi'y tumatawag ako sa iyo, O Diyos, di ako mapanatag, di ka man lang sumasagot.”

Gayundin din ang butihing si Job. Sa kabila ng kanyang pagiging mabuti sa paningin ng Diyos ay dumanas pa rin ng maraming trahedya sa buhay; nawala ang kanyang lupain, mga alagang hayop, ang kanyang anak at asawa, nawala ang lahat sa kanya. Tunay na pinabayaan na siya ng Diyos. At dapat lang na magalit si Job sa Diyos: "Ako'y nagsasawa na sa buhay kong ito, sasabihin ko nang lahat, mapapait kong reklamo. Aking Diyos, huwag n'yo muna akong hatulan, sabihin ninyo sa akin ang inyong paratang. Tama ba namang iyong pagmalupitan, parusahan at itakwil ang likha ng iyong kamay? At ang gawain ba ng masamang tao ang iyong magugustuhan? (Job 10:1-3).

Ilan beses na rin ba nating narinig sa tao: Diyos ko, bakit po ba nangyari ang mga bagay na ito? Diyos, bakit naman kami’y iyong pinabayaan?

Kapag may mga kalamidad, tulad ng baha, bagyo, sunog, lindol: bakit iyon pang maliliit na bahay ang nasisira, mga mahihirap ang unang nagiging biktima. Bakit sila pa, Panginoon?

Sa loob ng mga hospital, kung saan ang isang mabuting magulang o asawa o anak pa ang magkakaroon ng kanser o malubhang karamdaman. It’s unfair, Lord!

Ang mga masisipag at matitiyagang manggagawa, mga tatay na maagang gumigising upang mag trabaho, ay siya pang unang tatanggalin sa trabaho.

Ang mga kabataang nalalason ng droga, bisyo at pita ng laman, bakit pinapayagan ito ng Diyos, na lubos na nagmamahal sa mga musmos, sapagkat katulad nila ang paghahari ng Diyos.

Ang mga naparatangan ng isang krimen na hindi naman nila ginawa, mga nabilanggo dahil sa kahirapan, mga bata na iniwan ng mga magulang, nasaan ba ang iyong katarungan, Panginoon?

Masasabi nating nararanasan ng tao ang ganitong waring pagpapabaya ng Diyos dahil na rin sa kasalanan! May mga trahedya sa buhay ng tao dahil sa kasalanang kanyang nagawa. Subalit sa kabila ng pagiging makasalanan ng tao, isang ang tiyak na masasabi ko: Mahal pa rin ng Diyos ang tao!

Subalit si Jesus ay walang kasalanan. Bakit kailangang pabayaan rin siya ng Ama? Ipinaliwanag ni San Pablo sa kanya Sulat sa mga taga Corinto: “Hindi nagkasala si Cristo, ngunit dahil sa atin, siya'y itinuring na makasalanan upang sa pamamagitan niya ay maging matuwid tayo sa harap ng Diyos” (2 Cor 5: 21). Sa madaling sabi, waring pinabayaan ng Ama si Jesus sapagkat inako niya sa sarili ang kaparusahan sa kasalanan ng tao! Nakiisa si Jesus sa tao sa pamamagitan ng pagpasan sa kasalanan ng tao at kasama na rin nito paghihirap na bunga ng pagkakasala.

Samakatuwid, maari rin natin sabihin na: Pinabayaan ng Ama na magdanas ng kahirapan ang kanyang Mahal na Anak na si Jesukristo, ng dahil na rin sa tao, para sa kaligtasan ng lahat. Napakadakilang pag-ibig: “vSapagkat gayon na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sangkatauhan, kaya't ibinigay niya ang kanyang kaisa-isang Anak, upang ang sinumang sumampalataya sa kanya ay hindi mapahamak, kundi magkaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan”(Jn. 3:16). Tiniis ng Ama na pabayaan ang Kanyang Anak, upang isigaw ang mga katagang: Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?, upang sa pamamagitan na rin ni Jesus, marinig ang hinaing ng tao! Napagtanto ba natin, na kailangang pabayaan ng Ama si Jesus, upang tayong tao ay huwag niyang pabayaan? (Have you taken time to consider that Jesus was abandoned by the Father so that you might not be?)

Nakikiisa si Jesus sa bawat sigaw ng tao upang humingi ng tulog sa Diyos. Kung kaya nga’t ang sigaw ni Jesus na “Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?”, ay sigaw na puno ng pananampalataya sa Ama, sigaw ng pag-asa, sigaw na puno ng pagtitiwala sa Diyos! Hindi ba’t ang sigaw na ito ay isang panalangin: “Diyos ko, Diyos ko!”

Sa katunayan ang Salmo 22 ay nagtatapos sa mga salitang: “Mga ginawa mo'y ihahayag ko sa aking mga kababayan, sa gitna ng kapulungan ika'y papupurihan. Kayong lingkod ni Yahweh, siya'y inyong purihin! Kayong lahi ni Jacob, siya'y inyong dakilain, bayan ng Israel, luwalhatiin siya't sambahin! Mga dukha'y di niya pinababayaan at hinahamak, hindi siya umiiwas sa humihingi ng paglingap; sinasagot niya agad ang mga kapus-palad” (Ps. 22:22-24).

Kailanman ay hindi itinatago ng Diyos ang kanyang mukha sa sino mang dumadaing sa Kanya. Kanyang dinirinig ang bawat panaghoy ng mga dukha. Sapagkat, ang mga panaghoy na ito ay siya ring panaghoy ni Jesus. Nakiisa si Jesus sa ating pagkatao.

Kung nakiisa si Jesus sa ating pagkatao, hindi ba nararapat na makiisa rin tayo kay Kristo? Isanib natin an gating sarili kay Kristo, na naunang magpasya na isanib ang kanyang Sarili sa ating pagkatao, upang tayo ay maging katulad niya, na maging mga anak ng Diyos.

Sumigaw na kasama ni Kristo. Pakinggan ang sigaw na kasama ang Diyos! Paano natin ito gagawin? Madali ang sumigaw kasama ni Kristo, sapagkat karaniwan na nating itong ginagawa sa tuwing mga hinanaing sa Diyos sa ating mga panalangin. Ang mahirap ay ang makinig sa hinaing ng iba kasama ang Diyos.

Ang makinig sa hinaing ng mga dukha kasama ang Diyos ay nangangahulugan ng pakikiisa sa kanilang pagkaduhagi, pakikiramdam sa kanilang gutom at paghihikahos. Pagpapakasakit upang ang iba ay maibsan kahit man lamang konti ang paghihirap. Ang tayo’y mamatay sa pagiging makasarili, ang pagtatakwil ng ating sarili, ang magpaubaya ng sarili, upang punuin ang buhay ng iba tulad ng ginawa ni Jesus sa krus. Ang mga halimbawa nito ay: ang mga sakripisyo ng mga magulang sa kanilang mga anak; sakripisyo ng mga anak para sa mga magulang at mga kapatid; ang pagtitimpi na huwag kumain ng masasarap at sa halip ay ibigay sa walang kakain ngayon, ang pagiimpok ng salapi hindi para sa sariling pangangailan kundi para sa mga matitinding pangangailan ng mga kapus-palad, ang unahin ang kapakanan ng iba keysa sa sariling layaw. Ang mamatay ng dahil sa minamahal at sa hindi nagmamahal!

Ang mamatay sa sarili ay ang pagkamatay sa ating pagiging makasalanan. Ayon sa Ebanghelyo: “vAng nag-iingat ng kanyang buhay ay siyang mawawalan nito, at ang nawawalan ng kanyang buhay dahil sa akin ay magkakamit nito"(Mt. 10:39). Kaya’t paalaala ni San Pablo sa taga Roma: “Kaya dapat din ninyong ituring ang inyong sarili bilang patay na sa kasalanan ngunit buhay naman dahil sa Diyos, sapagkat kayo'y nakipag-isa na kay Cristo Jesus.”(Roma 6: 11). Dahil sa binyag, namatay tayong kasama ni Kristo at dinamtan ng pagkatao ni Kristo. Kaya meron na tayong kakayahan na mamuhay tulad ni Kristo sapagkat may buhay na tayo ng pagiging mga anak ng Diyos at kapatid ni Kristo!

Ang pakikipagkaisa kay Kristo ay ang ating pakikipagka-isa sa Kanyang Katawan Mistiko – ang Simbahan, ang Sambayanan. Sa pakikipagkaisang ito ay pakikiisa sa pakikinig sa mga panaghoy, panambitan, mithiin, panaginip, ninaharap na mga pagsubok, mga kinababalisan ng sambayanan. Ang pakikisangkot ni Kristo sa sambayanan ay tunay na pakikisangkot ko!

Isang tao ang minsa’y nanalangin at nagreklamo sa Diyos: “Panginoon ko, bakit wala po kayong ginagawa sa mga sunod-sunod na problema sa mundo? Wala po kayong gagawin sa mga ito? At ang Diyos ay sumagot: “Iyan nga ang dahilan kung ikaw ay nilikha ko!”

“Diyos ko, Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?” Panaghoy ni Jesus sa krus!

“Panginoong Jesus, narito ako! Katuwang mo ako upang pakinggan ang mga panaghoy mo! Amen.”
(To be delivered during the Siete Palabras, Good Friday at St. John the Baptist Parish, Daet, CN)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Christian Paradoxes

If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.

Do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Unang Linggo ng Kuwaresma

Nagsimula na tayong maglakbay sa panahon ng kuwaresma. Tayo ba ay naghanda? Tayo ba ay nagdala ng sapat na baon?

Sa Ebanghelyo, si Jesus ay ipinakikilala na sa tanang buhay niya ay handang suungin ang paglalakbay patungong Jerusalem upang harapin ang kanyang paghihirap at pagkamatay upang matupad and Misteryo Pascual. Sa katunayan, bago niya simulan ang kanyang hayag na buhay ng ministeryo, siya muna ay pumunta sa disyerto sa loob ng 40 araw at gabi upang maghanda sa kanyang espiritwal na paglalakbay. 40 araw at gabi ng panalangin at pag-aayuno.

Sa disyerto, si Jesus ay napasailalim sa tukso ng demonyo. Isang karanasan na laging nakakasalamuha ng ordinaryong tao. Napagtagumpayan ni Hesus ang tukso kung kaya nga’t ito rin ang nais niyang ituro sa sinumang nais maglakbay sa panahon ng kuwaresma.

Sa paglalakbay, dapat nating dalhin ang mga bagay na kailangan lamang. Paano ito ginawa ni Jesus? Sa unang tukso, iwinaksi ni Hesus ang pagiging makasarili! Sabi ng demonyo: “Dahil ikaw ay makapangyarihan, gawin mong tinapay ang batong ito.” Isang tukso na gamitin ang kapangyarihan sa sariling kapakanan, sa sariling kaginhawahan, sa makasariling motibo. Subalit si Jesus ay hindi nadala bagkus mapagpasinsyang naghintay hanggang sa pagkakataon gawing tinapay, hindi ang bato, kundi ang kanyang mismong katawan, upang maging pagkain, hindi para busugin ang kanyang sarili, kundi ibigay sa lahat upang maging tunay na pagkain sa ikaliligtas ng marami.

Ikalawa, ang tukso ng pagsamba kay Satanas. Ang tukso ng pagsamba sa mga bagay na magpapalayo sa tunay na pagsamba sa Diyos. Ang sabi ng demonyo: “Sambahin mo lamang ako at ibibigay ko sa’yo ang lahat ng kaharian ng mundo.” Ano ang kahariang makamundo? Hindi ba’t ang materialismo! Subalit handa si Jesus ng iwaksi ang kahariang makamundo, sapagkat handa siyang ipahayag ang isang kaharian, hindi ang kaharian ni Satanas, bagkus ang kaharian ng Diyos, isang kaharian kung saan ang pagmamahalan, kapayapaan at katarungan ang namamayani.

Ikatlo, ang tukso ng pagmamataas (pride). Sinabi ng demonyo: Magpatinhulog ka sa templo sapagkat hindi ka mapapahamak sapagkat aalalayan ka ng mga anghel. Subalit ang motibo ng demonyo ay upang makita ng maraming tao, na sa pagkakataong iyon ay natitipon sa templo, nang sa gayon ay maging sikat siya at palakpalakan sa isang spectacular na palabas. Hayagang iwinaksi ni Jesus ang anumang anyo ng pagmamataas, sa halip ay handa siyang magturo tunggkol sa kapakumbabaan, isang payak na pamumuhay at lahat ng mga katangiang katulad ng mga malilit na bata.

Ito ang tatlong bagay na itapon natin sa paglalakbay sa panahon ng kuwaresma: pagmakasarili, materialismo at pagmamataas! Dalhin natin ang mga bunga ng Espiritu Santo, na sa totoo nga’y ipinagkaloob na sa atin noong tayo’y binyagan at kumpilan. Dalhin natin ang mga katangian ng pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, tunay na paghanap sa Kaharian ng Diyos, at ang papapakumbaba.

Ang panahon ng kuwaresma ay isang magandang pagkakataon upang piliin ang mga bagay na dadalhin natin sa patuloy na paglalakbay dito sa lupa. Gusto mo bang magdala ng mga bagay na junk o bulok, o iyong bagay lamang na mabubuti at kaaya-aya sa Panginoon? Magdala tayo ng baon at iyon din ang ating handog sa Panginoon pagkatapos ng ating paglalakbay patungo sa Ama!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We heared about the case of a kid who became a father at the age of 13 years old with a 15-year old girl in London.
The news became an alibi for some of our lawmakers to pursue the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Congress. Sabi nila: "Kailangan na daw maipasa ang RH Bill para hindi matulad ang ating mga kabataan na magka-anak din sa murang edad tulad ng nangyari sa London!"
Wow naman nga pareng Congress! Do you think London Parliament have not yet pass any law on reproductive health care? Do you think there was no sex education in the elementary schools in UK? I don't think so. Or probably, nasobrahan ng sex education ang mga bata kaya ayon laging ng practicum ng bahay-bahayan.
RH Bill is not the answer to aviod early pregnancy for the young. Sex education at the very early age is not a safeguard of not being pregnant. I may say, sex education among the children (as the RH Bill is encouraging) would make the young curious about sex and would certainly lead to promiscuity!
What will make our young people handle sex with care is their VALUES! On how they regard sex as sacred! On seeing sex as a participation in the creative power of God.
These values, esp. christian values, are best transmitted by the parents themselves and not by the State! (RH Bill is saying, the State a shall be the one to impart sex education to your children. Just simply making all the contraceptives available to them, or if the unexpected happened, pagnatesbun, abortion is also made available!
Now tell me, will this Reproductive Health Act an answer to our young people not to get buntis. Mas maganda pa, let us preserve our christian catholic values. Mas effective pa yata para wag tayo matulad sa batang-batang Englishboy Dad.
Ano say nu, mga katiwala at kapanalig?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


1. What is Stewardship o Buhay Katiwala?

Stewardship is not all about money or raising fund for the parish. Or others may say: secular fundraising in sheep's clothing! It is not a gimmick or strategy to increase the collections in the Church or to secure financial stability of a parish!
Stewardship is above all, A WAY OF LIFE! a SPIRITUALITY! Isang landas ng pagpapabanal bilang isang katiwala. isang BUHAY KATIWALA!
In short, stewardship is a way of life, a spirituality; not just an activity nor a parish program, nor a practice. It covers all aspects of our life, not just our money. It's about my whole life, my whole self, my time, talent and treasure!
Stewardship encompasses everything: my life, my time, my talents, my possessions & money, my faith, the environment, my vocation/profession and social status/position, my capabilities & opportunities!
Stewardship is the ability to share one’s gifts of life, time, talents, and resources with others with no strings attached and no conditions.

2. What is Spirituality of Stewardship or Daan ng Pagpapabanal sa buhay Katiwala?

Spirituality of Stewardship is a way of life chosen by a person who decided to follow the way of Christ. It's a disciple's response! A response to Jesus' invitation to the young rich man mentioned in the Gospel (cf. Mt. 19: 16-30).

This way of life is also a way of discipleship! Why? Because: a) Mature disciples make a conscious decision to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost; b) Christian disciples experience conversion - life-shaping changes of mind and heart - and commit their very selves to the Lord; c) Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to be a disciple. Stewardship has the power to shape and mold our understanding of our lives and the way in which we live; and d) Jesus' disciples and Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, giver of freedom, and source of all things. They are grateful for the gifts they received and are eager to use them to show the love for God and for one another.

Spirituality of Stewardship will lead a disciple to a deeper realization that she/he is:
a) a God’s creature with a mission (true to her/his identity as a child of God);
b) being lead to reverence and awe: an attitude of profound respect – seeing God in all and all in God;
c) expressing a sign of gratitude to God;
d) called to trust God;
e) called to love God above all things, as part of the dynamics of love.

Two important signposts of Spirituality of Stewardship or Buhay Katiwala:

1) Our Connectedness to the Father. A good steward has a "puso sa pusong ugnayan" with the source of all life. We are connected because we are made in the image of God and responsible for all of creation - this is our common heritage and identity. As a an image of God and Steward of Creation "kawangis ng Diyos at katiwala", our lives vibrate with the 4 core values of a) identity as image of God (kawangis ng Panginoon); b) sense of gratitude (may utang na loob, marunong magpasalamat); c) sense of trust (may pagtitiwala at mapagkakatiwalaan) and sacrificial love (may malasakit sa kapwa at kalikasan, may pag-ibig na mapagpalaya). A good steward has a "puso sa pusong ugnayan sa Diyos", a person who honors and nurtures this realtionship by receiving all of God;s gifts gratefully, and shares these gifts out of justice and love to all, esp. the poorest of the poor!

2) Our Life is ready to be poured out for the Kingdom. A good steward heeds Jesus' call to build the Kingdom of God which is "a new heaven and a new earth" marked by justice, peace and integrity of creation. This Kingdom-building is more than just a call to a new inner more pious life, but also a demand to transform the world. This Kingdom that a good steward is called to pour his/her life is not the kingdom in the next life, it is the kingdom "here and now", the kingdom here on earth, the earth we live in, "ang pangarap nating langit dito sa lupa".
3. What are the qualities of a good steward?
a) A good steward is one who is grateful, thanking God daily for the blessing he or she has received. A good steward never stops saying “thank you”.
b) A good steward is one who is responsible and accountable with the blessings that God has bestowed, not only using them prudently, but also making sure that they do not atrophy.
c) A good steward is one who shares God’s gifts out of a sense of love and justice. A good steward knows that it is better to give than to receive, for in giving we receive far more than we could ever have imagined (cf. Acts 20:35).
d) A good steward is one who makes a return to the Lord with increase. Remember the parable of the stewards to whom the master had entrusted the silver pieces? They had to render an account of their stewardship. One day you and I will have to stand in accountability before the judgment seat of God. And God will ask: “What did you do with all the time that you had? What did you do with all the gifts that I gave you? What did you do with your life?”
4. How do we live out this spirituality of stewardship in our daily lives?

One can live out the spirituality of stewardship through the famous stewardship triptych: time, talent and treasure!

a) Stewardship of Time: helping people to look at their lives as an opportunity to serve the Lord and to build up God’s kingdom. Stewardship of time is about paying attention to the three most important things in our life:
Making sure that we are connecting with the Lord through faithful prayer and regular participation in the sacraments of the Church.
Making sure that we are spending time with our families/loved ones.
Making sure that our lives are anchored firmly in our community of faith by allowing our lives to revolve around the worship of the Lord and the activity of the parish.

b) Stewardship of Talent: helping the people in bringing their passion to all that they do in order to make a difference. We can’t think of stewardship of talent only in terms of what we can do to help out around the parish. Talent is the passion that people have for doing what is good. Think of people that you know who are passionate about the cause of the poor, who are passionate about pro-life issues. In bringing their passion to all that they do, they make a difference. Remember that Jesus warned in a parable about the temptation of burying our talents because we think of them as insignificant. Don’t give in to that temptation. Realize that God has blessed you with unique talents, meant to be invested in the lives of those around you.

c) Stewardship of Treasure: helping people realize that stewardship is not about giving to a need, but rather a need to give, a need to make sure that material possessions do not dominate our lives. In the Gospel, Jesus praised the widow who gave what little she had, declaring that she had given more than all the others. Realize that in giving of your “treasure,” what you have to offer is of great value in the Kingdom of God.
· A good steward of treasure purchase goods and services prudently and knows the difference between needs and wants.
· A good steward sets aside part of his or her income for the Church and makes a gift to the Lord that is prayerful, proportionate, planned, and sacrificial.
· The faithful steward gives in a significant way, all in gratitude for the Lord’s magnanimous gift upon the Cross. To be sure, God will not be outdone in generosity.

Stewardship of time teaches us to give in a manner proportionate to how we have been blessed. It teaches us make our gift sacrificial. To give to the Lord a gift that is meaningful to us, a gift that we are proud to present to the Lord as a means of giving thanks for all that He has done for us.

Thursday, January 29, 2009



Approaches in addressing the political crisis:
"The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of the citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate." (Centesimus Annus, # 46)

"As bishops, we believe that at the bottom of our political chaos is a crisis of moral values, a crisis of truth and justice, of unity and solidarity for the sake of the common good and genuine peace. Truth has become a victim of political partisanship as well as of transactional politics. Moral accountability and justice for crimes, such as the killings of journalists and labor leaders, are yet to be realized." (CBCP, January 2006)

To promote a spirituality of public service, integrity and stewardship among public servants and citizens groups alike. These forms of social spirituality should counteract the persistent evils of gambling, drug-pushing, usury, destruction of our environment, and corruption in public office."(CBCP, January 2006)

(Renewing Politics through Gospel ValuesPCP II, 351)


Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance"TINIG SA ILANG"
Movement for a Concerned Citizenry


  • "Tinig sa Ilang" points out to the person of St. John the Baptist.
    "I am, as Isaiah prophesied,: a voice that cries in the wilderness: make straight way for the Lord" (John 1:23; cf. Is. 40:3).
    St. John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of Daet, capital town of Camarines Norte.
  • TINIG will always be a VOICE that echoes in the "wilderness" of our society.
    "ILANG" (wilderness) will stand for:
    I - Illegal activities
    L – Life Issues/Labor Issues
    A –Anomalies & Corruptions
    N – Environmental Concerns
    G – Good Governance

Purpose of TINIG SA ILANG:
Bishop Almoneda envisions the inception of a movement composed of Lay Catholic Faithful who will champion the promotion of human development through advocacy on social issues prevalent to our province and in our country in general. TINIG will represent citizens’ voice on

  • I – ISSUES affecting the
  • L – LOCAL
  • A – AND

Advocacy against:
1.ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES like jueteng and any form of illegal gambling; illegal fishing, illegal logging, etc

Promotion related to:
2. LIFE ISSUES – promotion of culture of life vs. culture of death; advocacy on pro-life issues; promotion of human dignity and human rights and duties
LABOR ISSUES – dignity of human labor, protection of workers’ rights.

Advocacy against any forms of:

Protection of

Advocacy on

Features of TINIG SA ILANG:
1. TINIG is a Catholic Lay Movement coming from different sectors of our society.
2. TINIG works for political education and electoral reforms. Each one’s vote is sacred.
3. TINIG provides a neutral forum for all candidates and parties to present their platforms.
4. TINIG monitors winning candidates who are expected to report every quarter.
5. TINIG works towards the new politics of "principles, party platforms and people’s participation."

Possible Learnings from TINIG experience:
1. A small, committed group of citizens can make a difference in elections.
2. Vote-buying is diminished.
3. Public officials become aware that they are being monitored and accountable for their actions.
4. Separation of the institutional Church and State is observed.
5. Post-election activities take the form of regular social auditing and engage citizens up to the next elections.

"The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified with any political community nor found by ties to any political system. It is at once the sign and the safeguard of the transcendental dimension of the human person."
(Church in the Modern World, no. 76)

50 and something


1. Focus on enjoying people, not on indulging in or accumulating material things.

2. Plan to spend whatever you have saved. You deserve to enjoy it and the few healthy years you have left. Travel if you can afford it. Don't leave anything for your children or loved ones to quarrel about. By leaving anything, you may even cause more trouble when you are gone.

3. Live in the here and now, not in the yesterdays and tomorrows. It is onlytoday that you can handle. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not even happen.

4. Enjoy your grandchildren (if you are blessed with any) but don't be their full time baby sitter. You have no moral obligation to take care of them. Don't have any guilt about refusing to baby sit anyone's kids, including your own grandkids. Your parental obligation is to your children. After you have raised them into responsible adults, your duties of child-rearing and babysitting are finished. Let your children raise their own offsprings.

5. Accept physical weakness, sickness and other physical pains. It is a part of the aging process. Enjoy whatever your health can allow.

6. Enjoy what you are and what you have right now. Stop working hard for what you do not have. If you do not have them, it's probably too late.

7. Just enjoy your life with your spouse, children, grandchildren and friends. People, who truly love you, love you for yourself, not for what you have. Anyone who loves you for what you have will just give you misery.

8. Forgive and accept forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others. Enjoy peace of mind and peace of soul.

9. Befriend death. It's a natural part of the life cycle. Don't be afraid of it. Death is the beginning of a new and better life. So, prepare yourself not for death but for a new life with the Almighty.

10. Be at peace with your Creator. For... He is all you have after you leave this life.