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My Gospel Reflections for the Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday December 26: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

My Reflections:
There are many more depressing family situations that will make us cry and cringe in disappointment for parents who
abdicate their family responsibilities.

Today we celebrate the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph unlike the two depressing stories that I’ve
mentioned this family is solid as a rock. They stayed together through severe trials and persecution.

Saint Joseph is the model head of the family, he is obedient to the will of God unlike my first example Saint Joseph had
no other family he was obedient to the will of God. He was also faithful to the Blessed Mother he took care of her and
the baby Jesus.

Let us be reminded that parents are the driver of the family where the parents goes so is the family. If the parents are
irresponsible there’s a big chance that children will be so also when they have their own families too. Our own
families are our domestic church this is where children are taught about the basics of faith, morals, and manners.

What will happen to your children if you don’t even take time to nurture them, if you don’t bring them to church for
Holy Mass? If you don’t teach them about the basics of the faith? If you don’t teach them how to pray the Rosary
which to me is one of the basic family prayer? …
Do we have sometimes this feeling that we look for God, we hunger for Him yet we cannot find Him?

Those who are mature in their faith can easily find God because God resides in their hearts they have this certain
intimacy with Him. Observe them when they lead prayers then they close their eyes and say prayers that touches our
hearts.

But before God resides in our hearts we must do the following:


1. Always find time to be present in the celebration of the Holy Mass.
2. Have a daily habit of prayer at least twice a day, preferably upon waking-up in the morning and before retiring at
night.
3. Have a daily habit of planned reading the Holy Bible: Start with the first four gospels of the New Testament.
4. Discover the beauty of praying the Holy Rosary.
5. Have that hunger for the Sacrament of Confession.

Try doing this and feel the presence of the resurrected Jesus in your heart. …
Parents play a very vital role in the formation of values of their child, where the parents go so does their child.

For example, if the parents seldom brings to church for Mass their children it is a cinch that when they grow-up they
will also rarely go to church for Mass. If parents do not lead worthy lives there’s a big chance that children will be also.
In other words the fruit will almost be the same with the tree.

In our gospel, Mary and Joseph both devoted to their Jewish upbringing brought the child Jesus to the temple in
compliance with their Jewish law. They were leading by example on how it is to be faithful to the laws of God; they
were forming the child Jesus to be like them.

It always pays to be good parents and it always pays to be Godly parents like Joseph and Mary. …

January 2, 2011
The Epiphany of the Lord

January 2, 2011
My Gospel Reflections for Epiphany of the Lord, January 4, Sunday:Matthew 2:1-12 (Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany)

Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them
where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you,
Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my
people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to
Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him
homage. After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it
came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the
child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of
gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another
way.

My Reflections:
I would like to focus my reflection on the Magi and Herod. The Magi came from distant lands in search of the newly born Jesus. Their
guiding light in their search for Jesus was the Star that would eventually guide them to Jesus.

We would see that the Magi or Wise Men were very persistent on their search they never gave-up until they found Him. Then, upon
locating Him in a very simple dwelling with His mother Mary they offered their reverence and gifts.

On the other hand there’s Herod who was greatly troubled upon hearing that Jesus was born because he knew based on prophecy that
this newly born Jesus is a threat to his kingship.

Relating these events with our lives: We too should be very continual with our hunger for God. The Holy Spirit (Star) is always there to
lead us to Jesus. Every morning when we wake-up is a gift from God. Every morning also is a new dawn in our search for God. we
grow in faith when we continuously walk with God, we grow in faith when we continuously search for God and for our faith to have
meaning it should always be dynamically shared with others. It should not be enclosed inside the walls of our churches.

Like herod who was troubled upon hearing the birth of Jesus, there are those that seems uneasy whenever they hear the name of
Jesus, I wonder why? Maybe they don’t have time, maybe they’re afraid that if they listen they will be jolted out of their comfort zones.

The Epiphany of the Lord, His manifestation to everyone. Recently, I’ve seen attempts of some group of people in
undermining His historical facticity or reality. Some agnostics and atheists claim his story is only a myth or a fantasy. This
has been the story for the past 2000 years and until now, they can’t deny the fact His existence.

For me, this Sunday asks us to re-awaken our knowledge and alliance with Him, and manifest His love and life to all
through our actions and ultimately, our lives. That is our calling and mission, regardless of denomination or church we
belong; Jesus’ message should be heard in our daily actions and life as His followers. Tough call isn’t it? All the more in
today’s world, where knowledge reigns supreme and individual tend to go their own ways just to survive and have
identities. To know Jesus is not enough, neither to own Him alone, His life and message is not only meaningful to some
and excluding others, but rather it is an all-embracing love regardless of color and creed.

Matthew 2: 1 - 12
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,
2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the
East, and have come to worship him."
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them
where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
6 `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers
of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time
the star appeared;
8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and
when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."
9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had
seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child
was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;
11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down
and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and
frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own
country by another way.

My Gospel Reflections The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Sunday January 9: Matthew 3:13-17
My Reflections:
A deeply spiritual or religious person would always seek the blessing of a priest or simply visit their church to pray
before he embarks on a major journey in his life. For example a soldier who will be assigned to a dangerous
assignment would first visit his church to seek the blessing of their priest/pastor or attend the celebration of Holy Mass
or to spend time in the Adoration chapel. A person who is set to travel to the other side of the globe will do the same.
In other words a deeply religious/spiritual person would always find time for God first before doing that important
decision in his life.

Are we like that? Do we ask the blessing of God first before doing important decisions in our lives?

Jesus just did that! Before starting his three years public ministry he first went to John the Baptist to be baptized by
him. At first John was not inclined to do it for he knew who Jesus was but Jesus insisted. After His baptism the Holy
Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove to affirm and say to Jesus that you can now go and start your salvific
mission.

Nowadays before doing or making important decisions in our lives many of us are not anymore conscious of the
importance of a priest’s blessing. Of having that heart to heart talk with Jesus who is in the tabernacle of our church
and of visiting Jesus who is exposed in our church’s Adoration chapel.

This baptism of the Lord reminds us also of our own baptism, we were not just baptized because our parents want us
to be or for the sake of us being baptized. There’s an important responsibility attached with our baptism: Like Jesus we
must also spread the good news of our salvation, like Jesus we must also teach and live our faith.

Now that we are old enough we must know that our baptism in the church is not just a ritual that we must go through.
It is a Sacrament that we must live and share. …

My Gospel Reflections for Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 16: John 1:29-34
My Reflections:
When John was asked by the priest and Levites to confirm if he was the messiah he instead said: “I am not the
messiah” (John 1:20). It never came to the thought of John to assume and pretend that he was the messiah. From the
very start John knew his role in the salvation history, that he was just the precursor. That’s why he said: “I must
decrease and He must increase” (John 3:30).

Let us take a closer look at the life of John, he lived a simple life, he shunned publicity, he was humble, he never took
credit of the things that was attributed to him. He instead always pointed to Jesus.

John was the epitome of a self-assured humble man who was content to do the role that was given to him by God.
Fame, power even fortune was within his reach but never reached for it; let us learn form him on how focused he was
on his mission to prepare the way for Jesus.

By virtue of our baptism each and everyone of us especially those who know something about Christianity are called
by God to be like John. To let God shine in our personality at all times, and never tempted to up-end God for our own
personal agendas.

We must not use the church or God for us to become popular and powerful for true service for God and His people is
not about popularity nor about power. True service for God is all about humility and simplicity it’s has nothing to do
with power neither popularity.

John chose humility, simplicity and he was faithful to the role that God had blessed him.

My Gospel Reflections for Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 23: Matthew 4:12-23
My Reflections:
During the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday the environs of the church is in darkness until the start of Mass
ceremony wherein the Pascal candle is lighted with a fire from a bonfire. Then as the faithful enters the church the
Paschal candle is put in the Sanctuary after which the faithful light their candles from the fire of the Paschal candle.

The fire of the Paschal candle symbolizes Jesus as our light, the light that is always in the midst of His believers.

After the arrest of John his followers was in darkness as to who will lead them until Jesus took the mantle of leadership.
Then John’s followers who were in darkness suddenly had seen a great light on Jesus. The prophet Isaiah in the first
reading prophesied this when he said: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who
dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone (Isaiah 9:1).

Then afterwards Jesus called the first four disciples who were all fishermen.

There will be moments of darkness too in our lives regardless whoever we are, no one is exempt from this darkness
moment. We may be rich, we may be poor but we will still be passing thru this darkness moment.

In the middle of this darkness there’s always Jesus who’s always ready to step into our lives to give us light. The light
that He gives will give us hope, will give us strength to pick-up the shattered pieces of our lives. …