Friday, February 12, 2016

 

13 February 2016

13 February 2016 

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Violet.       

 

Is 58: 9b – 14 / Lk 5: 27 – 32.

 

From the 1st Reading: Is 58:9b – 12

If you remove from your midst the yoke, the clenched fist and the wicked word, if you share your food with the hungry and give relief to the oppressed, then your light will rise in the dark, your light will be like noon.

 

Yahweh will guide you always and give you relief in desert places.  He will strengthen your bone; he will make you a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail.  Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt, the age-old foundations will be raised. You will be called the Breach-mender, and the Restorer of ruined houses.

 

Gospel Reading: Lk 5: 27- 32

After this Jesus went out, and as he noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax-office, he said to him, "Follow me." So Levi, leaving everything, got up and followed Jesus.

 

Levi gave a great feast for Jesus, and many tax collectors came to his house and took their place at table with the other people. Then the Pharisees and their fellow teachers complained to Jesus' disciples, "How is it that you eat and drink with tax collectors and other sinners?" But Jesus spoke up, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. I have come to call to repentance; I call sinners, not the righteous."

 

Reflection

In a normal scenario, we don't expect a righteous person to be "mingling" with seemingly shady people, those with not a very good reputation.   The Gospel seems to lump the tax collectors and sinners together.   It gives us the impression that the tax collectors were people who imposed a heavy burden on the people.   And therefore generally disliked, if not hated.   

 

So when Jesus calls out Levi by name – and asks him to follow him, this raises a lot of eyebrows!  And the surprising thing is that Levi left everything and followed Christ! Of course many felt that this was unfair and unbecoming, and yet the mind of Jesus is not the mind of man.   

 

Christ has compassion for all, and all means every single human being.   It means that there is always hope for everyone.   And this call is especially precious for those who need Christ.  

 

Everyone needs God, even if we won't admit it, whether we are "near" to the Church or not.   This is a basic need, to reach out to our Creator and see our finite and weak limitations.  This prompts and propels us to seek the true meaning of our existence and our need to be filled with the love of God.  God has come not to condemn us, but to save us.  God has found everyone deserving of His salvation, so Christ shows this when he calls out the tax collectors and sinners.   He does not exclude anyone, which means we are included too!

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Arsenio Sze Alianan

     Regina David

     Jasper Tiu

     Eliana Lauren Castillo Meoli

 

IN MEMORIAM (+)

     Tan Ai Le Tong

     Virginia Lim (Mar 28, 1935 – Feb 13, 2014)

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

 

Our Lady of Lourdes

11 February 2016

Thursday after Ash Wednesday 

Our Lady of Lourdes

Violet.       

 

Dt 30:13 – 20 / Lk 9:22 – 25

 

11 February marks the first of eighteen apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes to fourteen-year old St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844 – 1879) in 1858. In one of the apparitions, the Blessed Virgin proclaimed herself "the Immaculate Conception," which dogma had been defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854.

 

From the 1st Reading: Dt 30:14 – 16 

On the contrary, my word is very near you; it is already in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can put it into practice.

 

See, I set before you on this day life and good, evil and death.  I command you to love Yahweh, your God, and follow his ways.  Observe his commandments, his norms and his laws, and you will live and increase, and Yahweh will give you his blessing in the land you are going to possess. 

 

Gospel  Reading: Lk 9: 22 - 25 

Jesus added, "The Son of Man must suffer many things.  He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teacher of the Law, and put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life."

 

Jesus also said to all the people, "If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me.  For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it.  What does it profit you to gain the whole world while you destroy or damage yourself?" 

 

Reflection

In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses, before he dies, reminds the Israelites to keep God's commands and to live according to their covenant with their God and "Yahweh will give them his blessing in the land they are going to possess."  Moses also reminds them that his instructions about following God's law are well known by them:  "my word is very near you; it is already in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can put it into practice."

 

Indeed God's law and commandments arise from our very nature as creatures of God with responsibility for one another and God's world which he has entrusted to us.

 

In the Gospel reading, Jesus stresses that to follow him is to follow him as he is, as the suffering Servant prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah, "If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me." In the same way that Jesus took up his cross and gave up his life on the cross for our salvation, his followers must accept and take up their crosses in their lives in imitation of the Lord.  The follower, the disciple, must follow and be like his/her master.

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Ralph Dixel B. Garro

 

WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

     Edward & Jennifer Inocentes

     Gerald & Geraldine Dy Sy

     Jerome & Sally Lim Gotamco

 

IN MEMORIAM (+)

     Lucia C. Tiu

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

 

Ash Wednesday

10 February 2016

Ash Wednesday

(Fast and abstinence)

Violet.       

 

Jl 2: 12 – 18 / 2 Cor 5: 20 – 6: 2 / Mt 6:1– 6, 16 – 18.

 

From the 1st Reading: Jl 2: 12 – 17

Yahweh says, "Yet even now, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning.  Rend your heart, not your garment.  Return to Yahweh, your God, gracious and compassionate.

 

"Yahweh is slow to anger, full of kindness, and he repents of having punished. . . .  Blow the trumpet in Zion, proclaim a sacred fast, and call a solemn assembly.  Gather the people, sanctify the community, and bring together the elders, even the children and infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his bed, and his bride her room. 

 

"Between the vestibule and the altar, let the priests, Yahweh's ministers, weep and say: Spare you people, Yahweh.  Do not humble them or make them an object of scorn among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples: Where is their God?"

 

From the 2nd Reading: 2 Cor 5:20 

So we present ourselves as ambassador in the name of Christ, as if God himself makes an appeal to you through us.  Let God reconcile you:  this we ask in the name of Christ.  He had no sin, but God made him bear our sin, so that in him we might share the holiness of God. 

 

Gospel Reading: Mt 6:1 – 6 

Jesus said, "Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people.  If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven.

 

"When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets in order to be praised by the people.  I assure you, they have already been paid in full.

 

"If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what you right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you.

 

"When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen b everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.  When you pray, do into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you."  

 

Reflection

Why should I give up my favorite pork sisig today, Ash Wednesday, on Good Friday and on the Fridays of Lent?  Why fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?

 

Of the three Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, fasting seems to be the most impractical, useless and maybe even absurd for us today. Why do we fast?

 

Fasting is deeply based in hundreds, even thousands, of years of spiritual practice and wisdom: when you tame the body, you tame the soul.

 

Paul writes to the Church in Corinth: "Christ died for our sins."  (1 Cor 15: 3)   Most of our sins are rooted in our failure to tame our appetites – for food, drink, sex, comfort, affection, prestige, honors.  We seek pleasure and avoid pain, even when this may destroy us and others.  We are helplessly enslaved by many addictions:  "In fact I do not do the good I want, but the evil I hate."  (Rom 7: 19)

 

In many cases, through fasting and abstinence in food or giving up on other areas – drink, recreation, movies, TV and the Internet, we increase our capacity for sacrifice which is the essence of all love.

 

And so this Lent I will fast and abstain from food, drink and other areas I enjoy, taming my body to tame my soul, expressing my love for Christ by my sacrifice.  And I will not complain 

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Atty. Jun Nario Jr.

     Catrina Ever L. Ngo

     Joel Labii

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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Monday, February 08, 2016

 

09 February 2016

09 February 2016

Tuesday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

Green.        

 

1 Kgs 8:22 -23, 27–30 / Mk 7:1 – 13.

 

From the Gospel Reading: Mk 7:2 – 13.

The Pharisees noticed that some of his disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. Now the Pharisees, and in fact all the Jews, never eat without washing their hands, for they follow the tradition received from their ancestors. Nor do they eat anything, when they come from the market, without first washing themselves. And there are many other traditions they observe; for example, the ritual washing of cups, pots and plates.

 

So the Pharisees and the teachers of the law asked him, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands?"

 

Jesus answered, "You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition."

 

And Jesus commented, "You have a fine way of disregarding the commandments of God in order to enforce your own traditions! For example, Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and:  Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death. But according to you, someone could say to his father or mother, 'I already declared Corban (which means "offered to God") what you could have expected from me.'  In this case, you no longer require him to do anything for his father or mother; and so you nullify the word of God through the tradition you have handed on. And you do many other things like that."

 

Reflection  

In life, man has the natural tendency to seek order, familiarity and continuity. He establishes and implements rules in an attempt to avoid chaos. Oftentimes however, because of all too human imperfections, his zealousness and his over-emphasis on processes rather than purpose, lead him to forget the rationale for the creation of laws in the first place. 

 

Jesus was well aware of this annoying predilection hence his frustration with the Pharisees and teachers of the law when they gave more importance to rituals even before considering what motivated the disciples of Jesus to act the way they did.

 

Jesus wanted to keep things simple. He taught us the "The Lord's Prayer," the perfect guide on how to talk with Him. Obey the Ten Commandments as the way to conduct our lives. He gave us the Eucharist as the highest form of worship and bonding with God. 

 

Jesus did not suggest that we disregard proper laws, rituals and practices. Far from it. He insisted on being baptized by John the Baptist. He admonished people to pay the appropriate taxes to Caesar. Even if it meant His own death, Jesus respected Pilate's responsibility as Roman Procurator.

 

His message is clear: Rules should not distract us from what is true and right. Let us pray that we be blessed with clarity of mind and heart in our daily struggles to be good and holy people. 

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Carlos M. Borromeo

     Angela Narciso-Torres

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

 

08 February 2016

08 February 2016 

Monday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time 

St. Jerome Emiliani, Priest;

St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin

Green. 

           

1 Kgs 8:1–7 / Mk 6: 53–56.     

 

Born in Venice, St. Jerome Emiliani (1486 – 1537) founded the Company of Servants of the Poor, clerks regular approved by Pope Paul III in 1540.  Pope Pius IX named him patron of orphans and abandoned infants.

 

Born a Sudanese slave and eventually given her freedom by an Italian Consul, St. Josephine Bahkita (1869 – 1947) became a religious of the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa and lived a quiet life in humble services at her religious congregation.

  

Gospel Reading: Mk 6: 53 – 56

Having crossed the lake, they came ashore at Gennesaret where they tied up the boat.  As soon as they landed, people recognized Jesus and ran to spread the news throughout the countryside.  Wherever he was they brought to him the sick lying on their mats. And wherever he went, to villages, towns or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplace and begged him to let them touch just the fringe of his cloak.  And all who touched him were cured.

 

Reflection

Jesus preached the coming of the kingdom not only through his teaching and parables but also through healing the sick and expelling evil spirits. Towards the beginning of his public ministry he had proclaimed his task as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah: "'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.  He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord's year of mercy.' Then he said to them, 'Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen.'" (Lk 4: 18 – 21)

 

We see all the people with illnesses crowding to be with him, "to touch just the fringe of his cloak" and be cured.  "And all who touched him were cured."

 

People came in crowds to listen to him; the Pharisees and the Jewish teachers of the Law came to find fault with him:  "Who is this but Joseph's son?"  (Lk 4: 22) "How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles?" (Mk 6:2) 

 

When he "violated" the sabbath, "the ruler of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had performed this healing on the sabbath day and he said to the people, 'There are six days in which to work; come on those days to be healed and not on the sabbath.'" (Lk 13: 14)

 

When Jesus seemed friendly to a public sinner, the Pharisee Simon was scandalized, "If this man were a prophet, he would know what sort of woman is touching him; isn't this woman a sinner?" (Lk 7: 35) When he forgave sinners, "How can he speak like this insulting God? Who can forgive sins except God?"  (Mk 2: 6)

 

Where do we encounter Jesus in our lives?  Where do we hear him?  Where do we see him?  

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Peter Tiu

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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Saturday, February 06, 2016

 

5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

07 February 2016 

5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 

Green. 

      

Is 6:1– 2a, 3 – 8 / 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 / Lk 5: 1 –11.     

 

From the 1st Reading: Is 6: 1 – 2a, 6 - 8

In the year of that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted; the train of his robe filled the Temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings. . . .  

 

Then one of the seraphs flew to me; in his hands was a live coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  He touched my mouth with it and said, "See, this had touched your lips; your guilt is taken away from you and your sin is forgiven." Then I heard the voice of the Lord, "Whom shall I send? And who will go with us?"  I answered, "Here I am, Send me!"

 

From the 2nd Reading: 1 Cor 15: 1 – 3, 7 - 11

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the Good News that I preached to you and which you have received and on which you stand firm.  By that Gospel you are saved, provided that you hold to it as I preached it.  Otherwise you will have believed in vain. 

 

In the first place, I have passed on to you what I myself received:  that Christ died for our sins, as Scripture says. . . Then he appeared to James and after that to all the apostles.  And last of all he appeared to the most despicable of them, this is to me. For I am the last of the apostles, and I do not even deserve to be called an apostle because I persecuted the Church of God. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been without fruit.  Far from it, I have toiled more than all of them, although not I, rather the grace of God in me.

 

Gospel Reading: Lk 5:  1 - 11. 

One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him and listening to the word of God, he caught sight of two boats left at the water's edge by the fishermen now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore.  There he sat and continued to teach the crowd.

 

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch."  Simon replied, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing.  But if you say so, I will lower the nets."  This they did and caught such a great number of fish that their nets began to break. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats almost to the point of sinking,

 

Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus' knees, saying, "Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made and so were Simon's partners, James and John, Zebedee's sons.

 

Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on."  So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.

 

Reflection

The Mass readings tell us about the people called by God to serve him in special ways.  An angel touched Isaiah's mouth with an ember to purify the words that he will speak. Paul in the second reading promises God upon his conversion from persecuting Christians to be the defender of Christ among the Gentiles. In the Gospel reading Simon and the brothers James and John leave their boats and nets to follow Jesus.  The Mass readings are vocation stories of people who followed the call of God.

 

Vocation is a call, to be answered "yes" or "no."  A call came to us at our baptism, the call to holiness in life, to living a life centered on God and his son Jesus Christ.

 

Some are called to the ordained ministry in the Church; others to religious life as vowed men or women living in community.  The call to holiness motivates their lives and their commitment.

 

Most people live out their vocation in married life, working hard to make God the center of their lives. They live out their married life by being faithful to their marriage vows and their commitment to their spouses and for their children.

 

Some are called to be unmarried or the single blessedness.  They lead a life with their personal commitments and able to draw closer to God through service, people around them.

 

Everyone is called to holiness, be it in the ordained ministry, the religious life, and the married or unmarried states.  As long as we try our best to be faithful to our call or commitment to put God in the center of our lives, God will always be there to give us all the help and support we need to live out our call to holiness.

 

Today we reflect how Isaiah, Paul and the first disciples of Jesus were called and answered the call to serve God.  To whichever life we have been called, how are we doing?  Are we faithful to God's call or  are deaf and not faithful followers to God's call?  It is never too late to answer God's call: to cast the net on the other side and be amazed at the great catch of fish. It can happen to us, as we follow the Lord.

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Delly Joson Lim

     Jomar M. Salvador

     Rey Liao

 

IN MEMORIAM (+)

     Ong Su Khun

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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Friday, February 05, 2016

 

St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

05 February 2016 

Friday, 4th Week in Ordinary Time

St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr 

Memorial. Red.      

 

Sir 47:2 – 11 / Mk 6:14 – 29

 

St. Agatha (231  - 251) was martyred in Sicily during the time of Decius. 

 

From the Gospel Reading: Mk 6: 17b - 28

Herod had ordered John to be arrested and had him bound and put in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. Herod had married her and John had told him, "It is not right for you to live with your brother's wife." So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she could not because Herod respected John. He knew John to be an upright and holy man and kept him safe. And he liked listening to him, although he became very disturbed whenever he heard him.

 

On that occasion [Herod's birthday] the daughter of Herodias came in and danced; and she delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want and I will give it to you." And he went so far as to say with many oaths, "I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom." She went out to consult her mother, "What shall I ask for?" The mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist." The girl hurried to the king and made her request: "I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist, here and now, on a dish." 

 

The king was very displeased, but he would not refuse in front of his guests because of his oaths. So he sent one of the bodyguards with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded John in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl. And the girl gave it to her mother. 

 

Reflection

Who is John the Baptist?  He is the Precursor, the cousin of Jesus who announced the coming of the Lord and Messiah.  He exhorted the people to reform their lives and turn to God.  Yet because of this, he was imprisoned and beheaded. Many prophets before him also suffered the same fate.  

 

When are we called to be John the Baptists?   It is when we have to tell the truth to other people who are living in sin or doing injustice to their neighbor.  Even if we will be ridiculed or suffer physical harm for doing so, we must speak out in order to protect others and bring the sin into the light.  The prophet has an unenviable task – to tell the truth of God's Word.  Sometimes we have to go against family and friends, to correct them and stop them from doing wrong.  We do these things not out of hatred or revenge, but out of love, and in order to save their souls from damnation.  Really good people don't enjoy correcting others.  They suffer when they have to remind others to do what is right, especially  in order to guide them to salvation.  Yet they do so out of love for them.

 

 

WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:

 

BIRTHDAY

     Veronica Lim Gatamco

 

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

 

Have a good day!

 

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   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the

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