Get Adobe Flash player

18th Sunday C


Lk.12: 13-21

Look Beyond Ourselves, Look Beyond this World

“Take care to guard against all greed for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Lk.12: 15).

 

A man asked God, “What is a million years like to you?” God responded, “Like one second.” Again the man asked, “What is a million dollars like to you?” And God replied, “Like a penny.” The man begged, “Can I have a penny?” God said, “Just a second.”

We value our time and treasure, but it seems these do not matter to God. While there is nothing wrong in using our time to work hard and acquire some wealth to live a more convenient life, let us not however, forget that we work in order to live and not live in order to work. There are two Filipino words for work, trabaho (job) and hanap-buhay, which literally translated means looking for ways to sustain one’s life. I believe the latter captures the essence of why we work - to sustain our life. But when we desire to become rich that our works become our life then we have a problem. 

Jesus told a parable about a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He did not have enough space to store them. He torn down his barns and built larger ones. Then he said to himself, “Now as for you, you have many good things stored up for many years rest, eat, drink, and be merry!” But God said to him, “You fool, this night your life will be demanded for you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” (lk.12:16-20). In this parable Jesus is teaching us what our attitude towards material things should be. The sin of the man is not actually in being rich but in not figuring out a more generous way to handle his riches. There are two things that stand out about this man. First, he never saw beyond himself. In spite of his abundance, it never got into his head to give some away, but his attitude was always how to get more. Second, he never saw beyond this world. All his plans were made on the basis of life here.

If we do not notice how our values and priorities become disproportionate, that as our insecurities in life increase, our propensity to be happy decreases; if we become discontent with what we have; obsessed in swelling our bank accounts, crave for a more affluent life, and aspire for higher positions; if most of our time is spent in pursuit of our desire to be rich; if we start to forget the people around us and we can no longer appreciate the simple joys of life, our greed makes us blind that we cannot see beyond ourselves.

If we cannot remember that there is life after this life. If our focus is only in this world that we lose sight of heaven, if we become rich with material wealth but impoverished with spiritual treasures, our greed makes us blind that we cannot see beyond our world.

        

Jesus tells us that there is no security in material riches. In the Gospel, true riches is consist of not how much we possess, but how much we are willing to give for the love of God in the service of our neighbor. The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “The measure of our generosity is not how much we give but how much is left to us” William Barclay told a story about John Wesley’s rule of life which was to save all he could and give all he could. When he was at Oxford he has an income of £30 a year. He lived on £28 and gave £2 away. When his income increased to £60, £90, and £120 a year, he still lived on £28 and gave the balance away. The Accountant–General for Household Plate demanded a return from him. His reply was “I have two silver tea spoons at London and two at Bristol. This is all the plate which I have at present; and I shall not buy anymore, while so many around me want bread.”

 

Let us learn to look beyond ourselves. Even in own poverty, we still have something to share. Let us learn to look beyond this world. Life does not end here. Let us not forget heaven.

 

 

Rev. Fr. Clod V. Bagabaldo

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lk.11:1-13

What if God Does not Answer our Prayer?

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened”(Lk.11:9-10).

 

We are grateful and happy when the Lord answered our prayers but what if He does not? There was a young man with a clubfoot who hated his deformity since childhood. When he discovered Christianity, he thought he found a quick way to get rid of it. He prayed to God to heal his foot and make him normal. Yet his repeated prayer was not granted. He felt his faith had been invalidated, and he lost interest in God. How often this unfortunate drama is reenacted in our own faith experience? It seems that every believer had the experience of praying for something that God appeared not to grant.  Does it mean to say that Jesus is not true to His words, “Ask and you will receive…?” Or does He overrate the providential love of the Father for us when He said, “How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who asked Him?” Jesus was telling the story about a man who went to his friend at midnight and asked him to lend him three loaves of bread. But the friend replied from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything”(Lk.11:7). Jesus stressed that even if the friend does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. It is easy to misinterpret the story of Jesus about the persistent visitor and say that we can wear God down with our pleas until we finally compel Him to give us what we want.  But if God gives what we demand in every instance, what kind of world do you think this would be? We will be lucky as Christians because we are going to outlive the nonbelievers. We would not suffer any sickness like a cancer. We would be successful in our business, pass all our exams, and have the best of everything that life can offer. However, the relationship between God and humankind would be undermined. People would befriend God in order to gain the fringe benefits rather than responding to His love with a contrite, loving, faithful, hopeful, and trustful heart.      

Thus, Jesus’ point is not that we must be tenacious in our prayer and batter at God’s door until He gives us what we want. Rather, He wants us to remember that when we pray, we are praying to a God who knows our needs better than ourselves and whose love toward us is coming from His generous heart. We can ask Him confidently because we know He is eager to give. We can knock at His door because we know He is eager to open for us.  And when we do not receive what we pray for, it is not because God refuses to give it rather, He wants to give something better to us. There is no such thing as unanswered prayer. God answers our prayer maybe not in the way we desire or expect but one thing for sure He answers it according to His love and wisdom.

Let me share with you this beautiful prayer:

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”

 

 

Rev. Fr. Clod V. Bagabaldo

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Waiting on the Lord

 

 

Readings:

Genesis 18:1-10

Psalm 15:2-5

Colossians 1:24-28

Luke 10:38-42

 

 

God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately - as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham’s tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha.

 

By his hospitality in this week’s First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Hebrews 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in this week’s Gospel.

 

Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself - “Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself…Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).

 

Our Lord comes to us, not to be served but to serve (see Matthew 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the “better part” which is life in the fellowship of God.

 

Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham’s visitors (see Matthew 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time, made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Genesis 17:19,21; Romans 4:16-17, 19-21).

 

The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls “the mystery hidden for ages.”

 

As once He came to Abraham, Mary and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament. As we sing in this week’s Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep His Word and practice justice (see also John 14:23).

 

If we do these things we will not be anxious or disturbed, will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, who told Abraham and tells each of us: “I will surely return to you.”

 

 

 

 

Yours in Christ,

 

 

 

Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

The World Is Entrusted to Christ's Disciples


Lectio Divina: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

By Monsignor Francesco Follo

PARIS, July 05, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Only God has words of everlasting life

Realism is the opposite of pessimism

To whom does Jesus entrust the duty of taking the joyful word of peace to the world that is waiting for it? To the ones that then and now like Saint Peter ask: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God" (as we read in today's Gospel of the Ambrosian Rite, Jh 6:68-69).

Our experience is that all human beings have an attraction towards good, great things and excellence (for example in work, in the studies, in sports, in literature and so on). Saint Paul wrote to the Philippians, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Ph 4:8)

The greatest thing for which we can strive is love. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was so sure that the "greatest thing" for which we have been created is love (= "to love and to be loved") that she became a Missionary of Charity. She did nothing but to repeat with her words and with her life Christ's invitation to be joyful missionaries of truth and charity because our name is written in God's heart (see the ending sentence of today's Gospel of the Roman Rite, Lk: 10:20)

Unfortunately this "push" toward high is contrasted by the "push against" our sin, which removes us from the vocation to be loved and to take this true love to the harvest of the world, which aims to live in everlasting and serene peace.

Today the world searches for peace more than freedom and the only sure peace is in the love of Christ, whose yoke is sweet. To the ones who think that Christ is the prophet of the poor, the disciples of that time and of today take a Gospel that makes the suppressed greater than kings. To the ones that maintain that His religion is the religion of an ill and dying people, we must show that Christ heals the ill ones and resurrects the" sleeping ones". To the ones who say that He is against life, we announce that He conquers death. The Son of God is not the God of unhappiness. He encourages his people to be happy and to his friends promises an eternal banquet of joy.

It is required to know love[1]

Christ invites to pray that the Father send workers for the ripe harvest. We can say everything about Jesus but not that He was not a realist. Certainly He was not deluded or disappointed; He was looking at the world in a divine way. It is not enough to have this positive look to be his disciples. To be disciples that go into the houses and in the outskirts of the world (as Pope Francis often says) it is necessary that we know what love is so that we can discern true love from untrue love. It is necessary to be aware of how every one of us knows to love in the circumstances of his own life and in the there and now of our ordinary daily life.

Every definition is incomplete when we speak of love and there is always something more that we can say. We understand love and we learn it better when we encounter it. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, missionary of peace and charity, teaches: "To love is not to speak, to love is to live. One can speak about love all day long and not love even once". I had the gift of meeting her quite often and I can testify to her love and her example. Once during an interview she was asked: "Could you tell us what in truth love is?" Mother Teresa promptly answered: "To love is to donate. God has so much loved the world that He gave His Son. Jesus has loved so much the world, He has loved so much you, He has loved so much me that He gave His life for us. He wants that we love as He loved. And so now we must love until it hurts. True love is to give, to give until it hurts". Once I asked a humble nun of Mother Teresa: "Sister is it true that like the Mother, you do everything for love?" The nun turned the palm of her right hand towards the sky as to say with a humble act: "It is obvious". And with her mouth she added: "It is natural," and carried on her apostolate peeling potatoes for the soup kitchen.

Blessed John Paul II, whom I regards as a spiritual brother to Mother Teresa[2], spoke of the "law of gift" written in our human nature: human realization and happiness are reached living this "law" as he said" to be in giving ourselves".

It is a paradox ingrained in our life, if we turn to God and to our neighbor then the results are our realization and happiness. If we focus on our happiness and realization (in a selfish way, "me first") only, then we'll never reach neither happiness nor self-realization. 

Mother Teresa expressed this concept in an excellent way: "Love is one way. It distances from oneself towards the other. Love is the final gift of oneself to the other. When we stop giving, we stop loving; when we stop loving, we stop growing and only in growing we reach personal realization. If we do not love, we will never open ourselves to welcome God's life. It is through love that we meet God".

The practice of charity (the apostolic activity, the missionary activity) is within everyone's reach in all phases of life. It is the priestly and "pastoral" vocation of every Christian man and woman. Every one of us has the mission to be a carrier of Christ's love. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say: "God loves the world so much that he gave me and gave you to love the world, to be his love, His compassion. It is a wonderful thought and a certainty that you and I can be that love and that compassion". In a substantial way Mother Teresa pointed out that the ones that have more hunger and thirst for God and for His love and the ones to whom we own more … are the ones closer to us. "How can we love Jesus in today's world? Loving Him in my husband, in my wife, in the children, in my neighbor, in the poor". In fact the ones with whom we live are the ones that need Him more. Then the open circle of our love for God and our family welcomes all the ones that God gives us as neighbors.

The ones that live in a particular way this "open circle" of God's love are the consecrated Virgins. The "appellation" of virgin more than a physical integrity expresses the completeness of a donation to God (cf Rite of Consecration of Virgins, Concluding Rite, N°36 = the Bishop says : The almighty Father has poured into your hearts the desire to live a life of holy virginity. May he keep you safe under his protection). They don't possess anything. They don't have children of flesh. They live only donating themselves and to donate. With their lives they show that it is possible to live a life free from the inevitability of the instinct. Like Mary they become ostensories and tabernacles of Christ.

For them the virtue of chastity is not a discipline that makes them owners of themselves. It is not only a physical virginity, but also a spiritual virginity that rejects every thought, every memory and affection that is not for Him: all our being consumes itself in an act of love that unites us to our divine Groom. Not only purity, not only simplicity but also humility. When one lives in the divine light it is like when at midday one wants to see the stars and cannot see them. In the light of God  I don't see myself anymore, I've lost myself, I'm nothing, only He is, only He is the Loved One.

This virtue has a face, that one of the beaming Christ that illuminates them and through them illuminates the world. 

They are evangelizers chosen not for their look but for their heart: 'God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart" (1 Sam 16:7).

CONCLUDING RITE of Consecration of Virgins SOLEMN BLESSING

36. When the prayer after communion has been said, those newly consecrated stand before the altar. The bishop faces them and sings or says one of the following:

Let's pray the Lord that He can help us to "know" love as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux taught "The measure for loving God is to love Him without measure", and to" lift the love for the neighbor to the value of perfect justice, whose condition is to love him only in God".

More Articles...

IMNO NI STO. TOMAS

STO. TOMAS ON KINDNESS TO SINNERS: Let them ask if Augustine or John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop drunkenness and blasphemy.
– Saint Thomas of Villanova after being cricized for his gentleness with sinners

Announcements

FOR REFLECTIONS AND PRAYER,

YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT

FR. RAMIL’S BLOG  AT

                                   www.ourparishpriest.

                                       blogspot.com

 

FIRST FRIDAY HOLY HOUR AT DEVOTION

 

SA APRIL 4, 2014 AY FIRST FRIDAY. 

 

DUMALO TAYO SA MISA,

 

HOLY HOUR AT PARISH RECOLLECTION

SIMULA 6 PM,

 

KUNG SAAN MARIRINIG NATIN ANG MENSAHE

 

NG SACRED HEART PARA SA ATIN SA BUWANG ITO.

 

MAYROON DING PAGPAPAHID NG LANGIS SA

 

KARANGALAN NI STO TOMAS.

 

MAGKITA-KITA PO TAYO!

 

 

PAANYAYA PARA SA MGA KABATAAN

kabataan,

MAGING malapit sa diyos at DAGDAGAN ANG KAIBIGAN AT BARKADA! 

dumalo sa parish youth ministry,

ang kilusan ng mga kabataan ng ating parokya. 

magkita-kita tayo sa parish hall tuwing sabado

simula alas-7 ng gabi

para sa kwentuhan, pagdarasal,

pakikipag-kaibigan sa diyos at sa isat-isa. 

ISAMA ANG LAHAT NG mga TROPA!

 IBA ANG SAYA KASAMA SI KRISTO!!! 

PAANYAYA PARA SA LOVE OFFERING SA PANGINOON

ANG MGA LOVE-OFFERING ENVELOPES NA IPINAMIMIGAY SA ATIN SA HARAP O PINTO NG SIMBAHAN AY MALAKING TULONG NINYO PARA SA MGA GAWAIN NG ATING SIMBAHAN.  UGALIIN NATIN NA SUPORTAHAN AT TULUNGAN ANG ATING PAROKYA.  BAGAMAT ITO AY HINDI SAPILITAN, SANA’Y MAUNAWAAN NATIN NA ANG ATING SIMBAHAN AY PANANAGUTAN NATIN NA ITAGUYOD SA KANYANG MGA PROYEKTO, MAINTENANCE AT MGA PLANO PARA SA IKADARAKILA NG DIYOS.  MAAARING IBALIK SA OPISINA O KAYA’Y IALAY SA OFFERTORY PROCESSION NG MISA ANG ATING MGA LOVE OFFERING.    ANG BUKAS-PALAD SA DIYOS AY PINAGPAPALA NIYANG LUBOS.  SALAMAT PO.

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.  

Facebook Share

Share on facebook

Facebook Page

Who's Online

We have 10 guests online

Number of Hits

233320 Page Views