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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

15th Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Is 7:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

Jesus began to denounce the cities in which he had performed most of his miracles, because the people there did not change their ways, “Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I assure you, for Tyre and Sidon it will be more bearable on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead! For if the miracles which were performed in you had taken place in Sodom, it would still be there today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The more you have invested time in knowing a friend, the more painful it is to realize that after all, you have no space in that friend’s heart. Jesus must have realized how futile his efforts had been to win the hearts of the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Of these places He said: “If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago…”

There is so much frustration between the lines that Jesus said. He felt so powerless over the indifference of people. Our God happens to be a “weak” God before man’s exercise of his freedom. Man’s free exercise of freedom ties God’s hands. Man’s freedom is God’s weakness.

Like the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida, we too have received so many blessings not given to unbelievers. Some may rebut this by citing their experience of poverty. But poverty is relative. When you think you’re so poor, someone down there looks up to you for being better off. Human beings always think it is greener on the other side of the fence. But by reflecting on the miseries of others one realizes that he really has blessings that others covet.

The reason why we are not as grateful as we should is that we are slow in spotting these blessings. A movement called Pietism cropped up in the Lutheran Church in Germany in the 17th century.  Popularized by that movement was this maxim:  “Denken ist danken” (to think is to thank).  This maxim helps us understand why hearts are slow in thanking God. 

St. Paul advises us to thank God all the time for his indescribable gifts (2 Cor (9:15). This we can hardly do unless we keep counting our blessings. Today’s Gospel reading warns us in effect that by remaining unmoved and ungrateful we call upon ourselves this biblical rebuke:  “Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.- Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.

Prayer for the day: God our Father, our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness but makes us grow in your love and grace. Accept our prayer of gratitude which we lift to you though Christ our Lord. Amen.  

CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, born in Italy in 1218. He joined the Franciscans at the age of 22 and when sent to complete his studies, became an intimate friend of St. Thomas Aquinas. At 35, Bonaventure was chosen General of the Franciscans and healed the division caused by the different interoperations of the vow of poverty. Bonaventure died in 1274 while attending the Second Council of Lyons in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 14, 2014
Monday

15th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading:  Is 1:10-7

 Gospel: Mt 10:34—11:1

Jesus said to his apostles, “Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and daughter against her mother; a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies those of one’s own family.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not cross and come after me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his worthy of me. One who wants to benefit from his life will lose it; one who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes him who sent me. The one who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man because he is a just man will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is a disciple of mine, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”
When Jesus had giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there finished  to teach and to proclaim his message in their towns.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

A joke is told of an accused cross-examined in court whether or not he really committed the theft. The prosecutor asked: “Did you really steal the television set, money, et-coetera?” The accused thought for a while and said, “I confess I stole the television set and the money, but please do not accuse me of stealing the et-coetera. I do not even know what it is.”

The abbreviated word “etc.” is borrowed from the Latin “et coetra” which means “and all the others”. It is only a three letter abbreviation but it can mean everything else we don’t find important to enumerate. Unfortunately God is not spared, for many shelve him to the world of the “et coetera”. Even the mention of his name irks some. Others want God out of their business transactions. God is an appendix to the life of most people.

 But in today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that God should be above all else. Even when it should come to the point of choosing between God and parents, God should be the right choice. In this context it makes sense that Jesus did not come to establish peace on earth. He said, “For I have come to set a man against his father and daughter against her mother; a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies those of one’s own family.” The Lord accepts no compromises when it comes to morality. He said,
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not cross and come after me is not worthy of me.” – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of faith so that we may love you above everything else in this world through Christ our Lord. Amen.   

CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: Today is the feast of ST. CAMILLUS DE LELLIS, Priest, Patron of Hospitals (1550-1614). In his youth he entered the army and became a vicious person. At 25, he lost everything  in gambling and was forced to work in a Capuchin Convent. Eventually he decided to offer himself to God. But the Capuchins did not accept him because of a leg disease.

He went to the Hospital of San Giacomo in Rome. The people running that hospital were so ruthless that many dying patients were buried even before they actually died. Camillus served the sick there with such charity that soon he was appointed superintendent. After his ordination, Camillus founded the Camillians to serve the sick as if they were serving the Lord himself.  He died in Rome in 1614, and was declared Parton of the sick by Pope Leo XIII.

 

 

 

 

July 13, 2014
Sunday

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

  1st Reading: Is 55:10–11

  2nd Reading: Rom 8:18–23
  Gospel: Mt 13:1–23 (or Mt 13:1–9)

Jesus left the house and sat down by the lakeside. As many people gathered around him, he got in a boat. There he sat while the whole crowd stood on the shore, and he spoke to them in parables about many things.
Jesus said, “The sower went out to sow and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was not deep.  But as soon the sun rose the plants were scorched and withered because they had no roots. Again other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants. Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop; some produced a hundredfold, others sixty and others thirty. If you have ears, then hear!”
Then his disciples came to him with the question, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has, will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand.
In them the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: Much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive.
For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back and I would heal them.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not, and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear it.
Now listen to the parable of the sower.
When a person hears the message of the Kingdom but without taking it to himself, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath.
The seed that fell on rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word and accepts it at once with joy. But such a person has no roots. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, than he gives up.
The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word, but then the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word, and it does not bear fruit.
As for the seed that fell on good soil it is the one who hears the word and understands it; this bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

 If we persevere in sowing good seeds, one day some of these will fall on good soil. Sometimes we feel that the good we do seem to be a drop disappearing in an ocean of evil. Why is there so much evil in the world? St. Pope John Paul II explained in his “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”   that it is because God cannot violate man when he insists on his freedom. But we should not lose hope. In the end God’s grace will triumph.  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us to persevere in hope so that we may hold on to your promise of immortality, through Christ our Lord. Amen.      

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY:  ST. HENRY, EMPEROR, born in 973. He succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria and was crowned Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII. Henry fostered missionary activity. He wished to become a monk, and by virtue of his power he ordered the Abbot of Verdun to accept him. Whereupon, the Abbot ordered him, by virtue of the vows he had professed, to continue administering the empire. Henry fulfilled his duties in the spirit of humble service, convinced that temporal power comes from God. He died childless in 1024 and therefore, was the last of the Saxon dynasty of German rulers. 

 

Denying God

July 12, 2014
Saturday

14th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Is 6:1-8
 Gospel: Mt 10:24–33

Jesus said to his apostles, “A student is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. A student should be glad to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If the head of the family has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of the family! So, do not be afraid of them.
“There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. What I am telling you in the dark, you must speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather be afraid of him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For only a few cents you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, every hair of your head has been counted. So do not be afraid: you are worth much more than many sparrows.
Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever rejects me before others I will reject before my Father in heaven.”

 D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

While few in this world deny that there is a God taking care of this world not a few transact their affairs as if God did not exist. Though they do not categorically say it, their life is a grand denial of God’s existence. The way they live is an indirect proclamation that either God is not in control of this world or that God is under the control of the world. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus said, “But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” Tit for tat? No, that will never happen because God’s nature is to love and forgive, not to retaliate. This is not about getting even or taking revenge but about God’s respect for human freedom. If we choose in freedom to deny God before our fellowmen, God will rather respect that choice than drag us out of our dark hideouts and lock us up in heaven. Heaven won’t be heaven to people who are not free. For as long as we exercise human freedom God stays on the side lines.

So we should be wary about how we handle ourselves. The way we transact our affairs may send God the signal that he is a persona non grata in our lives. With great respect he will quietly leave us alone. That would leave so much power to the devil over us. Alone and without God only the devil takes interest in us, not for our own good but for our destruction. And when we will be so used to living without a God, our pattern of thinking and acting will bear no trace of God’s mark. Our whole life will soon become a grand denial of God’s existence.  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

Prayer for the day: God our Father, may we never deny you before our fellowmen but acknowledge you instead in the way we conduct our affairs with honor. We lift this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: St. John Gualbert, Abbot. He met the killer of his only brother on a Good Friday and was about to kill him. But the enemy begged him by the Passion of Jesus Christ to spare his life. He was moved and pardoned him. He made great progress in virtue when he entered the Order of St. Benedict.

 

 

 

 

July 11, 2014
Friday

14th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Hos 14:2-10
 

 Gospel: Mt 10:16–23

Jesus said to his disciples, “Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. Be on your guard with respect to people, for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans. “But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say and how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you.
“Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. For sure, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

 Jesus commissioned the disciples to go and preach the good news with the following instructions: “You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves” (Mt. 10:16). This calls to mind Luke’s parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:8ff) where the master commended the manager for being shrewd. Jesus does not want his evangelizers to stay naïve and gullible. However their shrewdness should only be in aid of furthering the kingdom of God and not of promoting evil. As St. Paul told the Romans we must be “wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil” (Rom. 16:19). To the Corinthians he also wrote: “In regard to evil, be infants, but in your thinking, be adults” (1 Cor14:20). 

Jesus also warned them about persecutions. “Be on your guard with respect to people,” Jesus said, “for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans.” This is a warning to Evangelizers that opposition from enemies can include infliction of physical harm. Jesus himself suffered beyond human imagining. Evangelizers should understand that they cannot expect any better treatment .

As Jesus never compromised his ministry so evangelizers should persevere in their mission amidst strong opposition. Anyhow Jesus gave this assurance of support: “When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it is not you who will speak; but it will be the Spirit of your Father in you”.

We too are called to be evangelizers. We can pass biblical messages via text messaging, support religious radio programs, or volunteer as catechists. There is always something we can; finding one is part of being wise!  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

Prayer for the day: God our Father, send more laborers to your vineyard and strengthen them especially in times of persecutions. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY:   ST. BENEDICT, Patriarch of Western monks, born in Norcia, Italy in 480. Shocked by the degenerate life in Rome, he withdrew to the mountain of Subiaco. One day, the devil brought before his imagination a beautiful woman. Benedict stripped off his clothes and rolled into a thorn-bush until his body was lacerated. Through the wounds of the body he cured the wounds of his soul. He founded the Abbey in Monte Cassino

 

July 10, 2014
Thursday

14th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Hos 11: 1-4, 8-9
 

 Gospel: Mt 10:7–15

Jesus said to his disciples, “Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not carry a traveler’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking stick: workers deserve their living. “When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person and stay there until you leave. “As you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you. “And if you are not welcomed and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than it will for the people of that town.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

 A story is told of a penitent who surprised a priest by confessing he had just killed 20 people. “Why did you kill them?” inquired the shocked priest. “Because they said they believed in God”, replied the killer. There was a brief silence. Then the penitent asked: “Father, do you really believe that God exists?” The priest stammered and said: “I used to but now, I think I have my doubts”. The moral is: Faith is not tested until it is challenged.

 One loses nothing by believing in God when nothing is at stake. But when believing in God demands one’s life, the shock comes like lightning that brings forth from the ground very healthy and nutritious mushrooms. Gold is tested in fire. Faith similarly tested is the kind of faith that perpetuates God’s kingdom on earth.

  In today’s Gospel the Lord said that the kingdom of heaven is near. Is it nearer in the Philippines because we are 90% Catholics? If majority of the Catholics are like the confessor in our story who was quick to set aside his faith when challenged, we answer in the negative. Actually, one Catholic is enough to make one feel the nearness of God’s kingdom. When faith is translated into action, sick people experience healing, those who have died unloved come back to life, evil spirits scram and the poor live better lives. These are manifestations of the presence of God’s kingdom.  

The sick receive healing when we make this world less stressful. The “living dead” come back to life when we actively campaign against the drugs that nip our young people in the bud. “Lepers” get healing when the outcasts receive their dignity back. Demons scram when we fight against corruption by choosing God-fearing political leaders.   Let those who have the faith take the challenge of making the kingdom within reach to everyone.  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

 

Prayer of the day: God our Father, as we thank you for the gift of salvation, we ask you for the gift of faith so that we may contribute to the birth of your kingdom here on earth, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

   CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY:  ST. ULRIC (890-973), Bishop of Ausburg, born in 890 in Germany. He was a chamberlain before he became a priest and eventually made a Bishop. When the Magyars attacked again in 955 and Augsburg triumphed the people attributed this victory to their holy Bishop. He died in 973.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 9, 2014
Wednesday

14th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12

 Gospel: Mt 10:1–7

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority over the unclean spirits to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon, the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, the man who would betray him. Jesus sent these twelve on mission with the instruction: “Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. “Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

While resting from work late in the afternoon, five government workers saw a beautiful lady walking on the road they were repairing. They whistled at her like enamored gentlemen but she pretended not to hear. Instead she continued walking, this time with more grace to be more attractive and captivating. Finally the men shouted: “Keep off the pavement, the cement is still wet!

This anecdote helps us go deeper in our reflection on God’s call. Without a relationship with God, a person is not responsive to God’s call. He may hear God calling but he misinterprets the call and ends up destroying God’s plan just the same. There is no resonance in values and no synchrony of wills. The ears hear God’s call but the mind interprets the call with a worldly paradigm. Aberration in perception results and the person responds in a manner prejudicial to God’s master plan.  The Apostles were responsive to Jesus’ voice calling them to the mission. It was kind of scary because Jesus did not allow them to bring necessary provisions for their survival. Yet in faith they responded. That was because of that pre-existing disciple-Master relationship. Judas betrayed Jesus precisely because he was a thief and his relationship with Jesus was skin-deep. 

   Jesus too is calling us by name – the name carved on the palm of his hands (Isaiah 49) with the nails of crucifixion. God calls us for so many reasons: to tell us how much he loves us, to give meaning to our sufferings, to share with us bountiful blessings, and to invite us to become blessings to others. The first is about election (he calls us to love us), the second vision (he calls us to give meaning to our sufferings), the third adoption (he calls us to impart bountiful blessings upon us), and the last is mission (he calls us to become blessings to others).

Whether the call is in view of such election, vision, adoption or mission, we must strive to cultivate deep relationship with Him in order to respond appropriately to his call.     – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.  

Prayer for the day: God our Father grant us profound faith so that we may be attentive to the voice within us calling us to a deeper relationship with you. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: VERONICA GIULIANI, born in Italy in 1660. After she pronounced her vows at the Poor Claires, she started to have visions of Christ’s sufferings. She wrote the Diary of the Passion. She died in 1727.

 

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