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THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT

THIRD SUNDAY (Gaudete “Rejoice” Sunday)

A: Is 35:1–6a, 10; Jas 5:7–10; Mt 11:2–11

B: Is 61:1–2a, 10–11; 1 Thes 5:16–24; Jn 1:6–8, 19–28

C: Zep 3:14–18a; Phil 4:4–7; Lk 3:10–18

What Next?

What might John the Baptist answer us if we asked, “What then should we do?” Are we “filled with expectation” as Luke describes the crowds? Or are we too bored, numb, busy?

 

MONDAY: Nm 24:2–7, 15–17a; Mt 21:23–27

Blessing, Not Curse

The pagan ruler Balak, threatened by the Israelites, wants his prophet Balaam to curse them. But Balaam speaks only as God directs. He blesses the tents, comparing the Hebrew encampment to gardens, cedars, and wells. In the same way, God’s coming as Jesus is announced as blessing, not terror or dread. We have nothing to fear from our God who delights in us.

 

TUESDAY: Zep 3:1–2, 9–13; Mt 21:28–32

Not the “Holy Souls”

Zephaniah proclaims, “You will not be ashamed of all your deeds.” He foretells a Jesus who’s unimpressed by the braggart, pleasing son who eventually does nothing, but is impressed by the son who gives the wrong answer—and by extension those who don’t fit the narrow parameters of virtue, the despised of his society. This God, surprisingly, welcome even us.

 

WEDNESDAY: Is 45:6c–8, 18, 21b–25; Lk 7:18b–23

His Work Continues

Imagine the places where Jesus’ work happens today: in optometrists’ and audiologists’ offices, rehabilitation centers, drug-treatment facilities, ESL classrooms, grief-counseling groups, hospitals. As in Isaiah, the gentle rain still falls; the buds of justice open.

 

THURSDAY: Is 54:1–10; Lk 7:24–30

A Quiet Island in the Jollity

To those who mourn or feel lonely, God offers the deepest assurance: “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back” (Is 54:7). It’s a lovely promise to repeat while falling asleep.

 

FRIDAY: Is 56:1–3a, 6–8; Jn 5:33–36

Glad Reunions

At this time of year, parents anticipate visits from adult children and grandchildren; siblings await each other; lovers yearn for reunions. Jesus is also a long-desired meeting point: the human and divine intersecting. All the obstacles, rules, and hoop-jumping of earlier attempts to placate an angry, distant God end with Christ coming sweetly and simply as an infant.

SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT

SECOND SUNDAY

A: Is 11:1–10; Rom 15:4–9; Mt 3:1–12

B: Is 40:1–5, 9–11; 2 Pt 3:8–14; Mk 1:1–8

C: Bar 5:1–9; Phil 1:4–6, 8–11; Lk 3:1–6

Like Us

Scholars think John the Baptist mentored Jesus. In contrast to John, Jesus seems so ordinary—no weird clothes, no unusual diet, and generally not calling people “a brood of vipers.” Jesus is one with us. We try to place him on a pedestal, but he enters the flawed world of humanity and nestles beside us.

 

MONDAY: Is 35:1–10; Lk 5:17–26

Carried to Jesus

When we were “paralyzed” by grief or illness, what friends brought us to Jesus? Can we look back on such an experience with gratitude and astonishment? Can we “pay it forward” by helping someone else? If so, then the desert blooms.

 

TUESDAY: Is 40:1–11; Mt 18:12–14

Bedraggled. Beloved.

Today’s Advent calendar surprise might be a sheep, looking lost and forlorn. And if one word appeared, it would be comfort. Our God is crazy with love, seeking us even in thorny brambles.

 

WEDNESDAY: Is 40:25–31; Mt 11:28–30

Achingly Tired

The teenager wearing the T-shirt labeled “Cleaning Crew,” the weary waitress boarding the night bus—how gratefully they might hear “I will give you rest” or “they will soar on eagles’ wings . . . run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Is 40:31).

 

THURSDAY: Is 41:13–20; Mt 11:11–15

Welcome Relief

In the 14th century, when people were described with the disparaging terms from Isaiah’s reading today, The Cloud of Unknowing offered beauty instead: “God’s . . . grace made you and redeemed you and gave you this work, which is love.”

 

FRIDAY: Is 48:17–19; Mt 11:16–19

Fingers Stuck in Our Ears?

Do we ever act like the children Jesus describes today, ignoring the music and refusing to dance? If so, we miss the chance to turn minds and hearts toward wonder and beauty.

 

SATURDAY: Sir 48:1–4, 9–11; Mt 17:9a, 10–13

Rubber and Road

After the Transfiguration account, we see the gritty reality of a boy whose own father calls him a lunatic. As we approach Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, it’s good to remember that much of the uplifting Scripture we read came from pain, turmoil, and bloodshed in Israel’s history. We’re not the only ones to face crises at Christmas!

MENSAHE NG ATING OBISPO BISHOP MYLO VERGARA, DD

MENSAHE SA ADBIYENTO AT PASKO 2013

 

Mga Minamahal na Kapatid Kay Kristo,

 

Kapayapaan mula Kay Hesus, Prinsipe ng Kapayapaan!

 

Muling nalalanghap ang simoy ng Pasko sa ating paligid. Anuman ang nangyari sa buong taon, patuloy ang pananabik ng bawat Kristiyano sa natatanging panahong ito. Tunay na walang kupas at laging masigla ang diwang Pasko sa puso nating lahat.

 

Ngayong taon, may kahalong malaking pagsubok sa ating pagdiriwang ng Pasko. Ang pagsilang ng Panginoon Hesukristo ay pinangunahan ng mga kaganapang nakabibigla, nakalulungkot at nakababagbag-damdamin.

 

Sino ang hindi apektado sa mga larawan ng pagkawasak dulot ng lindol at mga larawan ng kawalan na dulot ng bagyong Yolanda sa ating mga kapatid? Paano na nga ba ang ating pagdiriwang ng Pasko ngayon?

 

Bilang mga Kristiyano, bilang mga Katoliko, dito umuusbong ang tunay na diwa ng kapistahan natin. Dito natin mas malinaw na mapapansin ang  mensaheng ibinubunyag ng Kapaskuhan.

 

Ang Diyos mismo ay nakiisa sa kanyang nilikha.  Ang Diyos ay sadyang naghubad ng kanyang karangyaan upang danasin ang kapighatian nating kanyang minamahal. Ang Diyos, kay Hesus, ay nagkatawang-tao at nakipamuhay sa bawat nilalang na naghahanap ng pag-ibig at pagkalinga. “Naging tao ang Salita at siya’y nanirahan sa piling natin…” (Juan 1:14). Naparito siya upang magbigay ng galak.

 

Ang mensaheng ito ang mag-aakay sa atin sa simple ngunit makabuluhan, sa tahimik ngunit maligayang Pasko para sa lahat. Tayo ay magdiriwang pa rin sa gitna ng pagsubok.  At ang ating pagdiriwang ay lalahukan natin ng ibayong awa at pag-ibig sa ating mga nasalantang kababayan.  Gagawin nating matingkad ang ating pakikipag-kapatiran sa ating kapwa.  Dadamahin natin ang ligaya ng pagbibigay na sisira sa pagkamaka-sarili. Paano man tayo magpasya na magdiwang na may puso para sa iba, sigurado tayong ang Espiritu Santo mismo ang gumagabay sa atin.

 

Kaysarap ng Paskong malapit sa tunay na pangyayari sa sabsaban sa Belen. Kasama ni Maria at Jose, halina at ihandog ang ating puso sa Sanggol na bukal ng pag-asa, pagbabago at pagbangon ng bawat isa, ng Simbahan at ng bayan.

 

Ngayon pa lang, sa paghahanda natin sa maluwalhating pagdating ng Panginoon sa ating mga puso, lalo na sa mga kababayan nating nasalanta ng mga matitinding kalamidad na dumaan sa ating bansa ngayong taong ito, at para bang naranasan ang matigas na sabsabang pinagsilangan ng ating Mesias, binabati ko na kayo ng Mapagpalang Pasko at Mapayapang Bagong Taon,

 

Mahal ko po kayong lahat

 

+Mylo Hubert C. Vergara

Obispo ng Pasig

 

ADVENT DAY BY DAY: OPENING DOORS TO JOY

BY: KATHY COFFEY

 

 

Advent calendars help us enter into the season’s delight. With each day’s reading and reflection, we advance on a path that culminates with the celebration of Christ’s birth. Let’s open the first “door.”

 

Sunday readings vary according to each year’s cycle—A, B, or C. Weekday readings are the same every Advent.

 

FIRST SUNDAY

A: Is 2:1–5; Rom 13:11–14; Mt 24:37–44

B: Is 63:16b–17, 19b; 64:2–7; 1 Cor 1:3–9; Mk 13:33–37

C: Jer 33:14–16; 1 Thes 3:12—4:2; Lk 21:25–28, 34–36

The Good News Begins

As days shortened, our ancestors feared the sun might never return. We too rejoice when Jesus promises tender leaves, signs of spring. We await One so good, so full of compassion, that we stand tall, heads high, eager to see him enfleshed.

 

MONDAY: A: Is 4:2–6; B and C: Is 2:1–5; A, B, C: Mt 8:5–11

When Will It Ever Happen?

We hear Isaiah’s image of swords turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, yet wars still rage. All are one in the Body of Christ, yet still we harm the Christ in the other, his likeness obscured by differences of nationality or religion.

 

TUESDAY: Is 11:1–10; Lk 10:21–24

Through a Child’s Eyes

What a relief when Jesus praises the childlike—not those set in smug certainties but those as wobbly as calves. God became a human infant to see the world with a child’s fresh wonder. A baby has no ego or accomplishment to protect but simply trusts that what is given is good. That’s all God wants us to do.

 

WEDNESDAY: Is 25:6–10a; Mt 15:29–37

Promise and Reality

Hunger and death are countered by Isaiah’s promise. Jesus wiped away tears by curing disease and deformity. His pity for the crowd’s hunger led to a feast of loaves and fishes. For people who hadn’t eaten in three days, that meal must have tasted like “juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines” (Is 25:6).

 

THURSDAY: Is 26:1–6; Mt 7:21, 24–27

Gold at the Bottom of the Barrel

We can identify with Isaiah’s condemnation of “those in high places” (26:5). As Jesus taught and lived, we learn more from failure than success. By losing a little life, we gain a larger one. What have you learned from failure or disappointment?

 

FRIDAY: Is 29:17–24; Mt 9:27–31

No Instant, Microwave Gratification

“A very little while” (Is 29:17) can seem like an eternity. Our speed-obsessed culture has lost the art of waiting. How many dark days did the blind men endure before they met Jesus? Maybe their long wait, yearning for light, helped them answer, “Yes, Lord” to “Do you believe that I can do this?” (Mt 9:28). For what do you long? Has your long wait ever sweetened the fulfillment of a desire?

 

SATURDAY: Is 30:19–21, 23–26; Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6–8

What If?

Imagine a Jesus who condemns, punishes, and predicts fiery damnation. In contrast, consider how people welcome him who teaches, cures, forgives, and has pity. We, too, are sent to serve from a kingdom perspective and a brightness within.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++

ADVENT FEASTS OF MARY

 

12/8: Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Gn 3:9–15, 20; Eph 1:3–6, 11–12; Lk 1:26–38

Ephesians reminds us that we are chosen just as Mary was. At some level, we should know clearly “The Lord is with you.” What does that certainty mean in your daily life?

 

12/12: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Zec 2:14–17 or Rv 11:19; 12:1–6, 10; Lk 1:26–38 or 1:39–47

Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego restored life to an indigenous people so brutally colonized they had a collective death wish. Advent is a good time to look at our own yearnings. What do we most fear? For what do we most long?

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IMNO NI STO. TOMAS

STO. TOMAS ON THE BLESSED MOTHER: Great was the love that Mary possessed. So great indeed that it gave rise to that perfect beauty by which she captivated the Heart of her God!" - Saint Thomas of Villanova

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SCHEDULE OF LITURGICAL SERVICES
HOLY MASS:

SUNDAYS        6:00 AM         

8:00 AM         10:00 AM
4:00 PM           5:00 PM

6:30 PM

MONDAYS    6:00 PM

TUESDAYS
    6:00 PM

WEDNESDAYS
   6:00 AM and 6:00PM

followed by Perpetual Help Novena

THURSDAYS
    6:00 PM

FRIDAYS          6:00 PM

followed by Sto. Tomas Devotion

1st FRIDAYS     6:00 PM

followed by Holy Hour and Parish Recollection                      

SATURDAYS    6:00 AM and
5:30 PM ANTICIPATED MASS

PANALANGIN NG PAROKYA NI STO. TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA

 

AMANG MAPAGMAHAL

TUNGHAYAN MO PO AT KAAWAAN

ANG IYONG MGA ANAK

SA DELA PAZ AT SANTOLAN

NA BUMUBUO SA PAROKYA

NI STO TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA.

NAWAY MAG-UMAPAW

ANG PAGKAKAISA, PAGMAMAHAL

AT PAGLILINGKOD SA AMING LAHAT

KAUGNAY NG AMING OBISPO, KURA PAROKO

AT MGA PARING LINGKOD.

MARANASAN NAWA NG BAWAT

PAMILYA AT PAMAYANAN

ANG IYONG PAGGABAY AT

PAGPAPALANG MATERYAL AT ESPIRITWAL.

ITAGUYOD NAWA NAMIN

ANG MISYON NG SIMBAHAN

NA MAY MALASAKIT SA AMING KAPWA

AT TUNAY NA PAGBIBIGAYAN.

SALAMAT PO SA PAROKYA

NAMING ITO NA SIYANG

TAHANAN NG AMING PUSO

AT BUONG PAGKATAO.

SA PAMAMAGITAN NI KRISTO

KASAMA NG ESPIRITU SANTO

MAGPASAWALANG HANGGAN.  AMEN.

STO. TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA,

IPANALANGIN MO KAMI.  

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