Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Brave at last


I have just discovered there is some sense of liberation in being able to hold back tears, halfway completing to numb emotions and shutting down the mind. I have always been a very emotional person, at least the way I know myself. I pour my mind and emotions at anything, dissect almost everything, from the slightest hint of indifference to why the sun didn’t rise today. It doesn’t show most of the time though. I wear masks and I am so good at it. Today was different. I didn’t put on mask. But I boxed everything inside me. I sorted them away somewhere where they can’t bother me. At least for now. It was challenging but I was able to prove to myself it can be possible.  It is like a new survival skill I have learned along the way as I course through this forest where wolves and dark knights sometimes overcome me.  

Before I called it “putting up a face” and the effects on me were negative. Self-pity, despair, apathy, to name a few. It gave my heart the impression that it has to bear something really heavy. Right now it’s no longer trying to be brave. It’s being brave. There is a world of difference between them. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Zombies

The past days I’ve been so amazed to find out zombies are real. And even more amazed to know a lot of these zombies are in my circle. They talk with a monotonous tone of voice, sometimes it becomes icy it brings chills down your spine, and they shriek when you get in their way. They walk around lifeless but alive, bruised and bloody but don’t seem to care. They got their gaze fixed onward, staring blankly ahead. They don’t recognize you, when you stop to say hi or how are you they don’t hear you at all. It is getting scarier around here. The place seems to be plagued with them. I gotta go lest they make me one of them.


When I became Peter, and sometimes Judas

'Lay down your life for me?' answered Jesus. 'In all truth I tell you, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.' –John 13:38


Indeed I have disowned Jesus too many times in my life, I cannot count them anymore how often. I have disowned him when I failed to bless others with my actions, I have disowned him when I chose to nurse hatred, resentment, anger. I have disowned him when I failed to die in myself in order to live for others. I have disowned him when instead of sharing about his love to others, I myself question his existence.  How really do I lay down my life for the Lord? When I cannot even manage to go through a day without complaining? How do I really lay down my life for him when I panic at simple problems concerning my survival. I cannot say I could lay down my life for him when I am too focused on what I should attain for myself, when I am too preoccupied in surviving, when I would rather want to make sure I am in a better position than others seem to be already.  Today’s reading reminded me how I become Peter every once in a while, denying him to save my life, how I become Judas every once in a while, betraying him by my selfish actions. And yet, I can only try again and again, to get up and start again and maybe at the day of Crucifixion, I can be that thief beside him on the cross, with the privilege to ask him could I be with him in heaven. 




Daily Reading for Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6


1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, distant peoples. Yahweh called me when I was in the womb, before my birth he had pronounced my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, 'Israel, you are my servant, through whom I shall manifest my glory.'
4 But I said, 'My toil has been futile, I have exhausted myself for nothing, to no purpose.' Yet all the while my cause was with Yahweh and my reward with my God.
5 And now Yahweh has spoken, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and to re-unite Israel to him;-I shall be honoured in Yahweh's eyes, and my God has been my strength.-
6 He said, 'It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.'


Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17


1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put to shame.
2 In your saving justice rescue me, deliver me, listen to me and save me.
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you have determined to save me, for you are my rock, my fortress.
4 My God, rescue me from the clutches of the wicked, from the grasp of the rogue and the ruthless.
5 For you are my hope, Lord, my trust, Yahweh, since boyhood.
6 On you I have relied since my birth, since my mother's womb you have been my portion, the constant theme of my praise.
15 My lips shall proclaim your saving justice, your saving power all day long.
17 God, you have taught me from boyhood, and I am still proclaiming your marvels.


Gospel, John 13:21-33, 36-38


21 Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and declared, 'In all truth I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.'
22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he meant.
23 The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus;
24 Simon Peter signed to him and said, 'Ask who it is he means,'
25 so leaning back close to Jesus' chest he said, 'Who is it, Lord?'
26 Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I give the piece of bread that I dip in the dish.' And when he had dipped the piece of bread he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.
27 At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, 'What you are going to do, do quickly.'
28 None of the others at table understood why he said this.
29 Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, 'Buy what we need for the festival,' or telling him to give something to the poor.
30 As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. It was night.
31 When he had gone, Jesus said: Now has the Son of man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified.
32 If God has been glorified in him, God will in turn glorify him in himself, and will glorify him very soon.
33 Little children, I shall be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come.
36 Simon Peter said, 'Lord, where are you going?' Jesus replied, 'Now you cannot follow me where I am going, but later you shall follow me.'
37 Peter said to him, 'Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.'
38 'Lay down your life for me?' answered Jesus. 'In all truth I tell you, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.'

Monday, March 31, 2014

"Try me," says the Lord.


'Unless you see signs and portents you will not believe!'

'Unless you see signs and portents you will not believe!'  When Jesus told this to a father desperate for his son to be well, the father kept insisting telling Jesus, “Come down, before my child dies.” I can relate so much to the man’s persistence, I can feel the kind of desperation in his voice that I too have experienced too many times. Jesus for sure was frustrated when he said this to the father, but still in that instance, he performed the miracle and made the man’s son well. In that instance.  In spite of his frustrations about our human misgivings and faults. Too many times in my life, I feel ashamed and even embarrassed to be kneeling down in front of God and asking him for something. Who am I to ask anything from him? Who am I to demand anything from him? But every time these prayers are answered, I hear God telling me, “You are my daughter and I am your father.”  Just like any parent, God gives in to us when we want something so desperately. And that thought gives me so much comfort in this precarious journey.  I have a father who takes care of me, no matter what.



Reading 1, Isaiah 65:17-21

17 For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and willcome no more to mind.
18 Rather be joyful, be glad for ever at what I am creating, for look, I am creating Jerusalem to be 'Joy' and my people to be 'Gladness'.
19 I shall be joyful in Jerusalem and I shall rejoice in my people. No more will the sound of weeping be heard there, nor the sound of a shriek;
20 never again will there be an infant there who lives only a few days, nor an old man who does not run his full course; for the youngest will die at a hundred, and at a hundred the sinner will be accursed.
21 They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-13

2 Yahweh, my God, I cried to you for help and you healed me.
4 Make music for Yahweh, all you who are faithful to him, praise his unforgettable holiness.
5 His anger lasts but a moment, his favour through life; In the evening come tears, but with dawn cries of joy.
6 Carefree, I used to think, 'Nothing can ever shake me!'
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have stripped off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
12 So my heart will sing to you unceasingly, Yahweh, my God, I shall praise you for ever.

Gospel, John 4:43-54

43 When the two days were over Jesus left for Galilee.
44 He himself had declared that a prophet is not honoured in his own home town.
45 On his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the festival which they too had attended.
46 He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. And there was a royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum;
47 hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son, as he was at the point of death.
48 Jesus said to him, 'Unless you see signs and portents you will not believe!'
49 'Sir,' answered the official, 'come down before my child dies.'
50 'Go home,' said Jesus, 'your son will live.' The man believed what Jesus had said and went on his way home;
51 and while he was still on the way his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive.
52 He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. They replied, 'The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.'
53 The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, 'Your son will live'; and he and all his household believed.
54 This new sign, the second, Jesus performed on his return from Judaea to Galilee.


Friday, March 28, 2014

When love is magic and real




Love is magical, but it is also real. The magic can come first, for some it comes a little bit later, and yet for others it comes in between moments when there is a struggle between disillusionment and hope. I used to believe love was simply a magic not everybody is able to experience, but having undergone so many changes in my life lately, I am starting to believe that love is free for everybody. It is not a happy-ever-after story in some fairy tale books. Well, it is, like I said first is magic. But it is also real. Cinderella and her prince got married, lived to have children, struggled with domestic problems like who to look after the kids when nanny is sick. Love is real in a sense that people are real. We all have emotions, we all have fears and doubts, we all have insecurities. But I guess, by nature, love indeed, is magical. And it is this same magic that will keep the lovers glued on the reality of pain and suffering, of hope and aspirations, of life and even death. Only its kind of magic can sustain the one that believes in what love truly is.

"God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

"God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

There is nothing that I can take pride in myself. There is nothing that I have actually accomplished by myself. There is nothing I own, not at all. All I have is my sin. And I keep doing it everyday. I keep sinning. I keeping repeating all the things, both venial and otherwise. But I am not without any hope. Because God came for sinners, he came for me. In my life, I have screwed up badly. I am now far from the ideal which I have worked so hard to be. So much has changed. So much have happened in my journey. Yes, I have changed a lot. No one in my circle will ever believe that things that I have been doing. Too many times I walk in the streets with my head bowed down, fearing people will see me and talk to me about what has become of my life. 



And yet I keep living. I keep on with my journey, because I know God doesn't give up on me. I know that doesn't change the way that he looks at me. He may be sad, damn, I know how much I have made him sad, broke his heart to pieces. But I know he likes me better clinging to him bruised and shamed, than running away over and over again. I am not running away anymore. Not ever again. He came for me, that I know and understand so much now. I am not some spoiled brat doing things that I do simply because I know God will always love me. I am a sinner, but a believer. I believe in him, the living one true God. And I believe in his mercy, in his healing hands, in his power to restore things. God be merciful to me, a sinner. 

Daily Reading for Saturday, March 29th, 2014


Reading 1, Hosea 6:1-6

1 Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has rent us and he will heal us; he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds;
2 after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence.
3 Let us know, let us strive to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like a shower, like the rain of springtime to the earth.
4 What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah? For your love is like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears.
5 This is why I have hacked them to pieces by means of the prophets, why I have killed them with words from my mouth, why my sentence will blaze forth like the dawn-
6 for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21

3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in mind.
4 Against you, you alone, I have sinned, I have done what you see to be wrong, that you may show your savingjustice when you pass sentence, and your victory may appear when you give judgement,
18 In your graciousness do good to Zion, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in upright sacrifices,-burnt offerings and whole oblations -- and young bulls will be offered on your altar.

Gospel, Luke 18:9-14

9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being upright and despised everyone else,
10 'Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, "I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like everyone else, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here.
12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get."
13 The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner."
14 This man, I tell you, went home again justified; the other did not. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.'

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What do you know about abortion?

This woman simply doesn't clearly know and understand what she is fighting for.


 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Writer's block


There are times 
when I feel neglected
by words and rhymes 
that often define me. 
I have this perrenial need 
to be alone 
and be with whatever
I can write about. 

They keep me company
they make me feel 
understood and accepted. 
And when I can't find anything
not a syllable to 
start my lines, 
I grope and seek desperately
not wanting to be alone.

My own thoughts 
keep me company
on the occasions 
when I'd rather be misunderstood
than prove myself right. 

And right now, I am alone.
It's happening again
as it's happened
many times before. 
I am deserted, 
void of eloquence, 
drained of  blood 
that drips me ink...

What God requires of us

'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.'

 GOSPEL READING, MARCH 17, 2014

How can we love those who are unlovable? How can we love those who annoy us and even those who point their finger on us? How can we love those who have wronged us? And yet, what is the weight of loving those who are already lovable, of loving those who do good to us? Christ came for the sinners, not the blameless. He hung out with tax collectors, with Mary Magdalene, with thieves. All of us have sinned. All of us are sinners. Not one of is blameless. I guess in all the very long list of sins we all possibly could commit, being quick to judge is the number one.

I struggle with it. Too many times. It's easier to hate the enemies, it is easier to resent those who have wronged me, it is easier to harbor resentment against those who look down on me. Oftentimes when I am angry, I tell myself, "I don't owe anybody anything."  It is easy to feel you are better than the others especially when you do not do what they do. But come to think of it, we all sin in different ways. The other person may be committing adultery, but how is it different from you using the name of the Lord in vain?

Today's Gospel reminds me there is one very important thing that I owe my family, my friends, even my enemies, even complete strangers. I am required to love them. I am required to forgive. I am required to be compassionate.



Reading 1, Daniel 9:4-10

4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this confession: 'O my Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and show faithful love towards those who love you and who observe your commandments:
5 we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and rulings and turned away from them.
6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our chief men, our ancestors and all people of the country.
7 Saving justice, Lord, is yours; we have only the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treachery we have committed against you.
8 To us, our kings, our chief men and our ancestors, belongs the look of shame, O Yahweh, since we have sinned against you.
9 And it is for the Lord our God to have mercy and to pardon, since we have betrayed him,
10 and have not listened to the voice of Yahweh our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13

8 Do not count against us the guilt of former generations, in your tenderness come quickly to meet us, for we are utterly weakened;
9 help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name; Yahweh, wipe away our sins, rescue us for the sake of your name.
11 May the groans of the captive reach you, by your great strength save those who are condemned to death!
13 And we, your people, the flock that you pasture, will thank you for ever, will recite your praises from age to age.

Gospel, Luke 6:36-38

36 'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38 Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.'