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Ready to Go! (Pentecost 2018)

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052018-mass-during-day.cfm) reminds me that God equips us as we do his work. 

Before athletes join competition, they train hard. They practice hard. And the bigger the competition, the harder and the longer they practice. For Olympics, we hear of countries that constantly prepare years before. They devote time and resources to prepare their athletes. This is something similar to what God wants us to do. 
We should prepare ourselves so it will be easier for God to equip and use us. 
In the gospel, we see Jesus appearing to his disciples and greeting them with peace. He then told them that he is sending them out to do his work. But before that, he breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit to be with them as they do God's work. And in the first reading, we see this the disciples actually doing God's task and we see the mighty effect of God's blessing working through them. People heard them speak in their own languages.…
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You Follow Me

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051918.cfm) reminds me that God wants me to focus on Him as I serve Him. 

It is said that John was the favorite of Jesus, or at least that he was special to Jesus. Probably he knew that he would eventually entrust his earthly mother to John, that’s why he was special. John was referred to as “the disciple that Jesus loved,” and in the gospel today, we see Peter asking Jesus what will happen to John. This was after Jesus told Peter that he would suffer for Christ. 
Siguro medyo takot si Peter. Kaya tinanong nya si Jesus what will happen to John. Mahihirapan din ba si John parang ako? He was probably thinking.
The Jesus said to him: "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me."
They thought John would not die, although of course, this was not the case. He died too.  But more than answering what will happen to John, Jesus wants to make a point – It is not your concern. You follow me.
S…

Rebanse

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051818.cfm) reminds me that God will always give us an opportunity to redeem ourselves and get right with Him. 

In Philippine street basketball, the term "rebanse" means that a losing team will be given a chance to redeem themselves. It means that the losing team will play another ballgame with the winners - a rematch to allow them to redeem themselves or take "revenge" for their loss. 
This is similar to what Jesus gave Peter in the gospel. 
When Jesus was arrested, Peter denied him three times, just as Jesus predicted. He left Jesus and denied him during the time Jesus needed his support the most. And after that, Peter felt so bad for what he did to Jesus.  So when Jesus rose again, he did not just tell Peter he is forgiven and asked him to work for God's kingdom. He first gave him a chance to redeem himself, to tell Jesus "I love you" three times, one for every time he denied Jesus. Then he was t…

Take Courage

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051718.cfm) reminds me that God wants me to take courage and continue doing his work despite the challenges I face. 

Some people say that when you get closer to God, life seems to be more challenging. It seems that God is allowing you to be tested and pruned. This is true. God's ways are not our ways. While Children are usually rewarded for doing good - some parents give toys, food or something the child wants to make him or her feel rewarded for doing good, for studying well, for acting properly; God does not always act that way. We see in the first reading that God wants us to continue doing good even if he might not immediately reward us for the good we are doing.
Serving God does not stop after one good deed.
After Paul gave a testimony to the people, which could have caused him his life, God appeared to him. However, unlike a parent rewarding the child with something happy and nice, God did not tell him to rest first. Inste…

Blessed to Give

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051618.cfm) reminds me that it is a huge blessing to be able to give to others, especially in God’s name. 

Many people, if not all, like to receive gifts. It is a great feeling to be reminded that someone cares enough and remembers to give you something. More than the actual gift, it is the thought that someone considered you special and important. That is why on birthdays and special occasions, we look forward to receiving gifts. However, do we feel the same way when giving gifts?
The first reading shows us Paul quoting Jesus in saying “It is better to give than to receive.” Is this true? Well, most probably those who have been serving God can attest to this that it is more blessed to give, to be on the giving end and be used by God to reach out to people. In our community, those who have served and sponsored during a retreat can attest how more blessed it is to be on the giving end, to be serving others, than it is to receive the…

Gave It All

The WORD today (see http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051518.cfm) reminds me that if I give it all for God, there will be no regrets. 

My uncle tells me of a picture he keeps with him. it’s not a fancy picture taken by an artist using the state of the art camera, but by a normal camera taken by a normal person. It is a picture of me taking free throw while playing basketball in grade school. He does not even remember if the shot went in, but what stuck to him was what I told him after the game– “I gave this my best shot
I believe God is like this as well. He wont care about the result as much as he does with the process of us obtaining the result. God cares if we give him our best shot, in whatever we do, and not just with the output of the game.
Why? Because God deserves our best. God deserves our all. 

This is what Paul did. In the first reading, we see that he is being called to go somewhere else and he probably would not see the people again. But he has confidence as he is about to…