Saturday, August 23, 2014


It's that moment in your life when there is nothing but total darkness. Everything seems not to work out right. Every one seems to hate you. No one to trust. No one to hold on to. No one to talk. It's suffering after suffering. It's humiliation after humiliation. It's heartache after heartache. It's complete loneliness, where you are lost in the middle of the road, and there's no signpost, no passing cars or strangers to ask for help. It's just you. And then you fall on your knees and endure the pain, the scare of being alone and lost, and the sense of hopelessness just by looking at the strange road that doesn't seem to end. I have just understood that this moment in our life is called Kenosis moment.  In Christian theologykenosis is the concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. It is used both as an explanation of the Incarnation, and an indication of the nature of God's activity and will. Mystical theologian John of the Cross' work "Dark Night of the Soul" is a particularly lucid explanation of God's process of transforming the believer into the icon or "likeness of Christ". (wikipedia) Simply put, a Kenosis moment is not something entirely unpleasant of hopeless. It's not something close to death. Instead, it is a passageway to life, if only one is able to go through it and overcome it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Bebang!

Forty colors of happy
That brings to life the gloom
Any color close to dark
Can’t take up so much room.

Strength of spirit, and courage,
You are everything that it means.
Grace, honor and beauty
They surely will not wean.

Forty colors of freedom
You celebrate each type of hue
The good, the bad, the ugly
I celebrate the victor, that’s you. 

Gabriel and I made 40 loom bands of different colors for you. You may use them or not, depending on your mood, you may hang it on your wall just to remind you of how much love we put into these bracelets and how excited we are for your 40th year of being a dreamer, an achiever, a great motivator, a thoughtful and caring soul. All these things and more remind us of so much colors in your life that bring wonder and amazement at how gracefully you wade through the waters of life that sometimes bring all the different surprises and challenges. We love you and miss you to bits...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time

How can I be a child once again and be pure in all my ways? I have strayed so much ever since I have grown into an adult. Sins, mistakes, wrong motives... I cannot count them anymore. I wish I can just feel a love so unconditional I don't have to worry about the mistakes I've done, just to be loved and accepted for who I am. And yet this is all just the result of my own decisions, of the choices that I made. I cannot go back to when I was small, innocent and pure. I can only try to do the things which a child can do, like never having to worry about anything but just leave it all to God in complete trust and surrender. Lord, here is my broken doll. Please fix it. I surrender it to you. 

Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time 

Book of Ezekiel 18:1-10.13b.30-32. 
Thus the word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
what is the meaning of this proverb that you recite in the land of Israel: "Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children's teeth are on edge"?
As I live, says the Lord GOD: I swear that there shall no longer be anyone among you who will repeat this proverb in Israel.
For all lives are mine; the life of the father is like the life of the son, both are mine; only the one who sins shall die.
If a man is virtuous--if he does what is right and just,
if he does not eat on the mountains, nor raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel; if he does not defile his neighbor's wife, nor have relations with a woman in her menstrual period;
if he oppresses no one, gives back the pledge received for a debt, commits no robbery; if he gives food to the hungry and clothes the naked;
if he does not lend at interest nor exact usury; if he holds off from evildoing, judges fairly between a man and his opponent;
if he lives by my statutes and is careful to observe my ordinances, that man is virtuous--he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.
But if he begets a son who is a thief, a murderer, or who does any of these things
lends at interest and exacts usury--this son certainly shall not live. Because he practiced all these abominations, he shall surely die; his death shall be his own fault.
Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Turn and be converted from all your crimes, that they may be no cause of guilt for you.
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, O house of Israel?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the Lord GOD. Return and live!

Psalms 51(50):12-13.14-15.18-19. 
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 19:13-15. 
Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,
but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What are we here for?

"Go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel."

Who are we if we are here just for ourselves? What are we if we are here just to ensure our own survival, just to make sure we have what we want, and need? If we have everything we need right now, who are we? If everything in our life is about comfort and survival, what are we? Who are we? What gives meaning to our existence? Say we have everything this world can offer. Then what? Life doesn't end there. Life doesn't end in possessing all the things that we think could make us feel happy and secure. Life doesn't end where there is nothing left to want or need. 

Nothing can be too boring than living a life only for one's self. We are here for others, we are here to be there for others so that we will feel we are alive. Is there someone who has actually shared himself/herself with others be it their time, their money, their house, and not feel something beautiful stirring their most innermost of heart? When you share yourself with others, when you deny yourself for others, you live again. You find it inside you your own strengths, your own gifts, you get to know yourself and you rediscover how privileged you are. At the end of the day, it is still all about you, come to think of it. It is all about how you will learn and grow and become better as a person. 

Daily Reading for Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Reading 1, Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12

1 Israel was a luxuriant vine yielding plenty of fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; the richer his land became, the richer he made the sacred pillars.
2 Theirs is a divided heart; now they will have to pay for it. He himself will hack down their altars and wreck their sacred pillars.
3 Then they will say, 'We have no king because we have not feared Yahweh, but what could the king do for us?'
7 Samaria has had her day. Her king is like a straw drifting on the water.
8 The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; thorns and thistles will grow over their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, 'Cover us!' and to the hills, 'Fall on us!'
12 Sow saving justice for yourselves, reap a harvest of faithful love; break up your fallow ground: it is time to seek out Yahweh until he comes to rain saving justice down on you.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

2 Sing to him, make music for him, recount all his wonders!
3 Glory in his holy name, let the hearts that seek Yahweh rejoice!
4 Seek Yahweh and his strength, tirelessly seek his presence!
5 Remember the marvels he has done, his wonders, the judgements he has spoken.
6 Stock of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob whom he chose!
7 He is Yahweh our God, his judgements touch the whole world.

Gospel, Matthew 10:1-7

1 He summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to drive them out and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who was also his betrayer.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: 'Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town;
6 go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
7 And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Te ang Martial Law ya?

A supporter crowns former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos with flowers during a traditional birthday ritual as she celebrates her 85th birthday in Batac 

 Ilusyon ka nga reyna ka samtang kadamo sang nag antos kag sige pa antos tungod sang pagka baghak mo. Wala ka na nahuya sa kalag mo. Kaya mo pa ayhan mag atubang sa istrusa mo sa espeho? Ang linibo nga nag kalamatay tungod sa imo kag sa imo bana nga utro man. Hoy, ebalik sa tawo ang gin pang kawat nyo. Ngaa haw, madala nyo na sa inyo lubong? Ikaw, dali ka na lang mapatay. Wala ka gid miskin gamay lang nga tiempo mamalandong? Ga pinsar ka man ayhan kon diin ka makadto kon patay ka na? Mga fans mo utro man nga mga aling-aling sagay sunod sunod sa imo nga daw mga ido nga gutom. San-o pa ma papas sa kalibutan ang mga lahi nyo nga halit sa katawhan.Ang natingalahan ko lang kon ngaa asta subong wala pa kamo sa prisuhan, kon ngaa asta subong, wala gid kamo napamatud-an sa inyo gin panghimo nga syado ka klaro sa mata sang tawo. Pagkatapos sang tanan nga eskandalo, ebedensya kag mga testigo, ara man kamo gyapon ga pakalipay sa inyo kabuhi. Samtang ang bilog nga pumuluyo sang Pilipinas naga sige antos pa sang resulta sang Martial Law.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


What makes people immortal are the things that they do while they’re still here, alive and privileged enough to be given the opportunity to inspire others by their works and their deeds. What have you done so far, that you think can make you immortal? Does it matter for you at all to be remembered and emulated? What defines your existence if there is nothing in your life right now that holds enough meaning to be remembered and treasured by others? If what other people think about you doesn’t matter to you at all, then that is not just arrogance, but indifference and utter disrespect for life and to the one who blessed you with it. You are not here by some freak accident. You are here for a reason, a purpose that is not for your sole benefit but for others, too. You are not here so you will live and do as you please and then die and vanish to forever. You are here because there is something that you have to do to fulfill your mission. What have you done so far?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What Comes After Dusk

Marvin is 11 years old, but looks like he is only eight. His hands are riddled with bruises and marks which tell of his long days under the heat of the sun, toiling on the farm. He was wearing an old, almost worn-out, shirt and oversized pants that nearly reached his ankles. As soon as I asked him my first question, he hung his head and tears fell on his knotted fingers. It wasn’t easy to go ahead with my carefully lined up questions. They got all jumbled up inside my head, as I struggled not to cry with this little man, who needed all the encouragement he could get. Yes, ‘little man’, for all the burdens that his small frame carries, for the heart he has, brave and courageous amidst all the hardships, pains and uncertainties in life that he has to face each day.
‘Where do you live?’ I asked, careful not to intimidate him. ‘I live with my grandfather’, he answered meekly, still looking down, trying to stifle his tears. ‘You don’t live with your parents?’ I inquired. ‘My mother left me with my grandfather after she gave birth to me and she ran away with a man. I never saw or got to know her’. For a moment I was lost for words, feeling all the anguish his tears meant. His father also left to live with another woman and Marvin never got to know him either. His two older siblings live in other towns.

Marvin with his notebooks and a seedling to be planted in their backyard. Part of Kwaderno's advocacy is teaching the children how to care of Mother Earth. 

He hasn’t been to any place outside Barangay Sanke. ‘How would you like the idea of going to see Bacolod City?’ I asked him, hoping to see some sunrise in his eyes that tell mostly of the dusk that mirrors what his future looks like to him. He shrugged and said, ‘It depends on whether my grandfather will let me’. My heart sank. The tone of resignation in his voice tugged at my heart. How can this little man give up dreaming when he is still a child? He has a million possibilities.

I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up and he answered, ‘I want to find a job with a high salary’. His dreams aren’t clear to him. He doesn’t know exactly what he wants to be, what course to take. The only thing in his mind is to be able to work and get paid well. He said his favorite subject was Mathematics. In my attempt to lighten his mood I quipped, ‘You could be an engineer!’ That brought a weak smile to his handsome face and he nodded shyly as if considering what I had just said.

Marvin's smile was very noticeable the following day after our interview.

Kwaderno is about bringing hope to children who do not know that dreaming is the first step to a life they rightfully deserve. Marvin is one of the recipients of the 4,504 notebooks we bought, having successfully raised enough money in only two weeks. How the donors flocked, more than eager, and so happy to be able to share is something that still leaves me lost for words. ‘Only God can do that,’ I keep saying. ‘Only love can do that.'

My own childhood wasn’t an easy one. I had to go to school with hand-me-down uniforms if there were any, and worn-out sandals that had holes in their soles. I would bring candies to sell to my classmates during recess so that I could buy some snacks with my little earnings. But I am blessed with parents who took care of me and my four siblings, discussing with us our dreams and what we wanted to be when we would be older, and telling us that we had what it took to reach them. In spite of our poverty it was clear to us that each dawn offered great possibilities. I believe God let me grow up with this kind of love and affirmation from my parents so that today I can be there for Marvin and the rest of the children that our group is now committed to share our lives with.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The kind of love that never fails

"But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you."   It’s when I go to my room, close the door, and pray to the Father in secret when I feel most secure and assured of a relationship with someone so powerful yet loves me enough to want to spend time with me. Such great favor. Such great privilege.  Outside, where the world is basking in all the possibilities life brings, I feel so tiny and so little. People expect me to be certain ways, think, feel, behave, talk, respond in ways that this world finds acceptable. But too many times what the world believes nowadays confuses me with what I really want to keep believing. Maybe that's why God want's us to talk to him in the quiet, privacy and silence. Where we can hear him better. So here in the comfort of my room, I kneel down and cry out to God everything that hurts me. Things that I've done, things that others have done to me, things that I still hope to do. I kneel and cry out to him because when all else fails, his love doesn't. I can always count on that. 

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 367

Reading 12 KGS 2:1, 6-14

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

Responsorial Psalm PS 31:20, 21, 24

R. (25) Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.
R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Gospel MT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Are you a Pharisee?

"For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven." Ano bala ang mga Pharesiyo? Sino bala sila? Sila ang mga tikalon, ma tina-as taason, feeling pure, feeling the best for who they are. They have the habit of looking down so easily on those who they think do not dress like them, do not speak like them, do not behave like them. The Pharisees equate their faith simply by sticking to what they read and understand what is written on the Law. Their righteousness is not based on love but based simply on what they believe is in accordance with the Law. In effect, it makes them less human. They lack the greater understanding of what it means to be truly love, what humility really means, and the miracles that our faith can show us. Today's Gospel has reminded me how much I have become one of these Pharisees so many times in my life when I fail to acknowledge God's mercy to the sinners. I judge too often simply because others do not think like me, do not act the way I do and do not believe in the things that I believe in. My own indifference to those who are not like me is arrogance and blatant rejection of God’s message of love. I want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, I want it so badly. In spite of all the pains and suffering my present life challenges me once in a while, I take consolation in the thought that I can still be deserving heaven... if only I stop acting like I’m a Pharisee.

Reading 1, First Kings 18:41-46

41 Elijah said to Ahab, 'Go back now, eat and drink; for I hear the approaching sound of rain.'
42 While Ahab went back to eat and drink, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel and bowed down to the ground, putting his face between his knees.
43 'Now go up', he told his servant, 'and look out to sea.' He went up and looked. 'There is nothing at all,' he said. Seven times Elijah told him to go back.
44 The seventh time, the servant said, 'Now there is a cloud, small as a man's hand, rising from the sea.' Elijah said, 'Go and say to Ahab, "Harness the chariot and go down before the rain stops you." '
45 And with that the sky grew dark with cloud and storm, and rain fell in torrents. Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel.
46 But the hand of Yahweh had come on Elijah and, hitching up his clothes, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 65:10, 10-11, 12-13

10 you water its furrows abundantly, level its ridges, soften it with showers and bless its shoots.
11 You crown the year with your generosity, richness seeps from your tracks,
12 the pastures of the desert grow moist, the hillsides are wrapped in joy,
13 the meadows are covered with flocks, the valleys clothed with wheat; they shout and sing for joy.

Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26

20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven.
21 'You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court.
22 But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother "Fool" will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him "Traitor" will answer for it in hell fire.
23 So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.
25 Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and youwill be thrown into prison.
26 In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FEATURED POETRY: Inday ug Dodong

This poetry is not just entertaining to read but will really make you reflect on each line and agree and how much reality the writer is trying to remind the readers. As a parent myself, I share the same frustrations observing how the youth of today deliberately screw up their values and never running out of justifications for it. As much as I believe, yes rather strongly,  that the root cause of all of this is lousy parenting, still I can say the same things with regard to how the youth of today is behaving. Once again, such an amazing job weaving your words, Ken. 

By: Anonymously Ken

Unsa ka himsog ang gugma sa lalaki kung kini siya usa pa ka estudyante?
Kini siya mag sige ug diskarte aron mahubuan ka Inday sa imong panty!
Ug unsa ka tarung ba ang iyang paghigugma nga dili man gali siya kahan-ay sa iyang pag eskwela
Hahaaay, Inday, ayaw gyud tawn padala sa iyang pagkabutbot ug mga isturya.

Gwapo man siya o maabilidad pero palihug, Inday, ayaw gyud bilangkad
Ampingi gyud ang imong integridad, ang bandera ayaw gyud iladlad.
Maikog ka sa imong pamilya, ikaw giatiman ug gitarung amuma
Kanang lakiha, walay kasiguruhan nga kana gyud siya ang imong maminyuan.

Kanang mga BURAK nimong mga amiga, nangamong lang na sila sa ilang kagaga
Muingon sila nga sila "liberada", pero angay nga kahibaw ka kay ikaw mas edukada
AYAW, Inday, kuyog sa lalaki sa ngitngit, kay sa iyang atubangan ikaw masangit
Imong kaugmaon maoy pag antus kung kalit ka lang, Inday, mamabdus.

Asa man nimo pangitaon kanang lakiha, kay kung mabuntis ka, mawala na ang iyang gugma
Maski aso, wa kay makaplagan, kung imo siyang makit-an kusog kaayo siya mudagan.
Ug Inday, ikaw dapat masayod nga dili ka mulambo anang kiyud-kiyod
Unaha ang Utok Bag-o Oten (UBO) para di ka ma anay nga naay baktin

Pinangga nga Inday ayaw kahibulong nganong ikaw karon akong gibadlong
Ang kinabuhi usa ka gasa, ayaw intawn ni ug abusuha.
Respeto na lang sa kaugalingon silbi ang imong piriming atimanon
Pasagdii ang lalaki nga magsige ug burit, siguradoha ra gyud nga ikaw mu gradwit.

Kanang muabot na ka sa saktong panahon, maski baboy ug kanding pwede na nimong uyabon
Apan karon Inday ayaw gyud na ihatag, kanang imong lawas ug ang imong kalag
Sa lalaking nagpasalig sa iyang gugma, pangplete panguli sakto ra gyud ang iyang kwarta.
Ipakita sa tanan nag ikaw makatarungan, ug dili ka kabayo sa imong uyab nga tang-an.
Ang pagbuhi kanimo agas dugo singot ug kung pwede lang ibaligya apil panuhot

Ikaw man pud Dodong imong hunahunaon ang pagbuhi sa anak dili dali buhaton
Dili pasakitan, dili papaakan ug lamok, apan sa imong biga, igo ra ka mubukbok!
Kung naa kay kaikog sa imong inahan, kanang mga babaye dili nimo duwaan
Kini silang tanan pareha nimong tawo nanginahanglan pud sila sa imong pag respeto.

Dili tanang buhat mulipay sa imong oten, importanteng pamatasan, makat-unan sa kindergarten
Ayaw pud ko ug ingna nga baboy imong pamilya, bastos ug kulisaw, mahadlok pa ang satanista
Ikaw, Dodong, lihok tiwasa ang pag eskwela unya na na ang biga intawn huna-hunaa
Kanang imong uyab naningkamot nga mamaayo, ayaw himoag iro, ayaw siya ikabayo!

Kung tinuod imong gugma sa usa ka babaye, ampingi siya ug tarung ug ayaw pakaulawi
Dili sya burikat nga imo lang pabuthan, sa imong pagkababoy ug pagkaulagan!
Mga Inday, Dodong, pagpaminaw mog maayo, kining akong gisulti dili kataw-anan sa radyo
Respetohi na lang ang inyong kaugalingon, kay dako kaayo mo sa sosyodad ug tulubagon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Learning and Changing

I have just learned that sometimes we have to learn to let go of some things in our life, not because we need to move on, but because we need to make quicker steps to where we will be better. When we are kind to our self we try not to let others abuse this kindness. As I grow old, there are things in my journey that keep surprising me. I do surprise myself, too. I guess it also means that yes, sometimes people do change. I have changed. I am still changing. I change as I learn. Like when I learn to stand up for myself and stop others from hurting me some more, I realized why not stay away or avoid dragging myself into the situation where people deem it right to insult me with their arrogance. There will always be reasons for our lack of capacity to be kinder than we already think we are. And so I change. 

And go ahead with my journey that does not promise any paradise, but only fulfillment if I learn to live for others, and not for myself. I change, and choose to be more careful who to shake hands with in the future. This world is filled with people lost in their own misery they forget their real purpose why they are here in the first place. Life is not just about survival, it is about living. And yes, that is for the same reason that I have changed. I want to be enriched by those who, like me, live for others. It is much better than be dragged by those who live to survive. They will just suck the life out of me.. And yet, for them, that too is arrogance.

Let love define you

Don't define love, let love define you. What do I really mean by this? Most of the time, most people think that love can be defined according to what one sees it. But in the process of trying to survive from my greatest disillusionment, I was convinced that love is a force that drives people in just one direction. It has a universal language and by that I mean those who get to experience it speak the same truth. And it makes them want the same thing. It is not love when people become the worst that they are. Love is everything good and beautiful. In spite of the pains that it requires, love is everything that conquers what is ugly. If you are becoming an ugly person out of the relationship you are right now in, then that is not love. That is purely surviving. Love is about living, not surviving. Love is life. They have to go together. Those who live love, speak life, not death.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Paul's story of conversion is one of the stories in the Bible that really got me. How could someone so ruthless transform into God's servant who didn't mind risking his life to preach about God's truth of love and salvation? It can never be possible with the human heart and understanding. Indeed God's power transcends through all that is possible and impossible, through all that is good and that is bad, through all that is past and what is to come ahead. Today's reading gives me hope with what I have been praying for a few individuals on my list. There is nothing impossible about the way they look at God right now. Just like what he did to Paul, even it would mean maiming their sight for a while, still in the end they will get to know no one else but the one who gave them life. And they will celebrate it by sharing it with everyone they meet in their journey.

Reading 1, Acts 9:1-20

1 Meanwhile Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he might find.
3 It happened that while he was travelling to Damascus and approaching the city, suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him.
4 He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
5 'Who are you, Lord?' he asked, and the answer came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.'
7 The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one.
8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand.
9 For three days he was without his sight and took neither food nor drink.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus called Ananias, and he had a vision in which the Lord said to him, 'Ananias!' When he replied, 'Here I am, Lord,'
11 the Lord said, 'Get up and go to Straight Street and ask at the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying,
12 and has seen a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.'
13 But in response, Ananias said, 'Lord, I have heard from many people about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14 He has come here with a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.'
15 The Lord replied, 'Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;
16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for my name.'
17 Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and laid his hands on Saul and said, 'Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'
18 It was as though scales fell away from his eyes and immediately he was able to see again. So he got up and was baptised,
19 and after taking some food he regained his strength. After he had spent only a few days with the disciples in Damascus,
20 he began preaching in the synagogues, 'Jesus is the Son of God.'

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2

1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all peoples,
2 for his faithful love is strong and his constancy never-ending.

Gospel, John 6:52-59

52 Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'
53 Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.
57 As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.
58 This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.
59 This is what he taught at Capernaum in the synagogue.