Feeds:
Posts
Comments

God is love

May 14, 2015

Thursday, 6th Week of Easter

St. Matthias, Apostle

 1st Reading: Acts 1:15–17, 20–26     

Gospel: Jn 15:9–17

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.

“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.

“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is my command, that you love one another.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

People in Portugal say ‘obrigado’ for ‘thank you’. How strange that gratitude in that part of the country should sound so similar to the English “obligation”. Gratitude, being the language of love, should not come any closer to the concept of obligation. If one follows this line of thinking today’s Gospel comes as a surprise. Jesus said, “This is my commandment: love one another…” (John 15:12). How could Jesus have raised love to the level of a commandment?

This is an issue central to “Deus Caritas Est”, the first encyclical written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He explains: “Love is not a commandment but ‘a sweet response when we reflect on the fact that it was God who first loved us (1 John 4:10)’”. Thus, although Jesus gave love as a commandment, we embrace it not as an obligation but as expression of gratitude to the God who loved us first. It is consistent with the classic maxim “amor con amor se paga”. Love deserves no less than love for its recompense.

Our gratitude to God seeks to do more than just loving Him directly. It leaves no stone unturned until all avenues where God can be loved are explored. Since Jesus has manifested his desire to take it personally what a person does to his fellowmen (Matt. 25:40), the person grateful to God wouldn’t mind loving even the most unlovable. This teaching finds ample support in the Bible. In the First Letter of John, for example, we read that anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

A person who is grateful to God will not look at loving the neighbor as an obligation. Not even a Portuguese saying “obrigado” to God would feel obliged to love his fellowmen. He’d embrace the other in a free and spontaneous act of gratitude to the God who had loved humanity first. – 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 us your Spirit to be the fire that sustains us in loving one another. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Matthias, Apostle. He was Jesus’ disciple from the day of His baptism until his ascension into heaven. He was the one who substituted Judas in the ranks of the twelve apostles.  He preached from Judea to the Caspian Sea. He was remarkable for his insistence on the necessity of mortifying the flesh. After enduring persecution from the savage people he evangelized, he suffered martyrdom at Colchis.

May 13, 2015

Wednesday, 6th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 17:15, 22–18:1    

Gospel: Jn 16:12–15

Jesus said to his disciples, “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into the whole truth.     “He has nothing to say of himself but he will speak of what he hears, and he will tell you of the things to come. He will take what is mine and make it known to you; in doing this, he will glorify me. All that the Father has is mine; because of this I have just told you, that the Spirit will take what is mine and make it known to you.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus’ identity as teacher shines in today’s Gospel reading as he revealed he still had many things to teach his disciples. The historical Jesus was primarily a teacher; he came with a message, or better, he came as the message. He himself admitted and claimed in another Gospel passage being the only Teacher and Master (Matthew 23:1-12).

Fr. Raneiro Cantalamessa, the Capuchin household preacher of Pope John Paul II, commenting on Jesus’ role as teacher, wrote that the master-disciple relationship was “very important in Jesus’ time   when there were no books, and all wisdom was transmitted orally.”

There were many other teachers in the time of Jesus called Rabbi. Most of them had their students pay for their studies by serving them as masters. They would do small jobs for these Rabbis and render to them services that a young person can do to the elderly such as washing their feet. Jesus did the opposite. Instead of his disciples serving him, he served them instead. It was him who washed the feet of his disciples. Of the many teachers in those days, only Jesus had the authority to say “Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29). He practiced what he preached.

How blessed are we to have known this teacher! We have everything to learn from him because he himself is the truth. To know who the Father is, we only need to know Jesus the Son, for he is the Father’s revelation.     Those who want to learn the art of obedience can learn how Jesus did it at the Garden of Gethsemane. It was in that garden where Jesus submitted himself totally to the Will of his Father saying, “Take away this cup of suffering from me, yet not my will but yours be done”.

We live in an era of relativism that denies existence of any absolute truth. Jesus, being the absolute truth, becomes non-existent under this philosophy of relativism. Against this tide of relativism Jesus stands in our midst as reliable teacher of absolute truths. Let us not withdraw our gaze from him because he is the only reliable guide as we sail over the rough seas of erroneous opinions.    – 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, as we look forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit help us remain loyal to the teachings of the Church. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

FEAST OF THE DAY:  OUR LADY OF FATIMA; The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima resulted from apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Lucia and her cousins Francisca and Jacinta in the village of Fatima, Portugal. In the all these appearances Mother Mary repeatedly requested the conversion of sinners, a great deal of prayer and sacrifices, a devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the daily Holy Rosary, and a life of the sacraments especially Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Many sanctuaries in honor of Our Lady of Fatima have been built all over the world. In the Philippines, countless Catholics continue their devotion to Our Blessed Lady and lead lives of prayer, sacrifice, and penance. She is especially honored on October 13, her feast day.

May 12, 2015

Tuesday, 6th Week of Easter

 1st Reading: Acts 16:22–34    

Gospel: Jn 16:5–11

Jesus said to his disciples, “But now I am going to the One who sent me and none of you asks me where I am going; instead you are overcome with grief because of what I have said.

“Indeed believe me: It is better for you that I go away, because as long as I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go away, it is to send him to you, and when he comes, he will vindicate the truth in face of the world with regard to sin, to the way of righteousness, and to the Judgment.

“What has been the sin? They did not believe in me. What is the way of righteousness? I am on the way to the Father; meanwhile you will not see me. What Judgment? The Ruler of this world has himself been condemned.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

A story is told of a pastor who boarded an airplane to take the first flight he had ever flown. As they were about to take off, the flight attendant noticed his clerical garb and also his panicky look. She walked over to the pastor and said, “Sir, I’m surprised at you. You are obviously a man of faith – you should not be so nervous about flying. Don’t you have faith in God?” The cleric opened his bible, looked at her and pointed out: “Look, young lady, the promise in Scripture is, ‘LO, I am with you always to the end of time’. It doesn’t say anything about HIGH’” (Michael Hodgin).

 The cleric was quoting from Jesus’ pre-departure message on Ascension Day: “Lo, I am with you always to the end of time” (Matthew 28: 20). To soften the impact of his departure he told his disciples that it was necessary for him to go so that the Holy Spirit could descend and be of help to his people. This, however, failed to console his disciples. They were too caught up with Jesus’ departure that they missed the joy of the promise of the Holy Spirit.

They also missed the excitement over that big homecoming which the angels must have anticipated with exuberant jubilation. Seen from another perspective, the Ascension of Jesus was a reunion of Son and Father. The big bang resulting from this reunion was to be so powerful as to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit upon humankind. As such it was supposed to be one big source of joy to reckon with. But the disciples just couldn’t disengage themselves from the sorrow of Jesus’ departure.

In our spiritual warfare we tend to focus on the negative too. We look at the cross as something negative (-) when in truth, the cross (+) is as positive as the sign it uses. It could look like an X when laid on one’s shoulder. But once planted on Calvary it assumes the positive sign as it stands erect pointing heavenwards.

Without an optimistic attitude, Christian life will always be negative, notwithstanding Jesus’ assurance when he said, “Lo, I am with you until the end of time”.  – 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, fill us with hope so that we may look at life in the spirit of hope for the things to come, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: Today is the Feast of St. Nereus and Achilleus, two valiant praetorian soldiers of the first century. They were converted to Christianity and started to live a life of prayer and penance. To devote more time for the Lord, they refused to remain in the Roman Army. For this they were exiled and eventually died of persecution during the reign  of Trajan.

May 11, 2015
Monday

6th Week of Easter

 1st Reading: Acts 16:11–15
  Gospel: Jn 15:26—16:4

Jesus said to his disciples, “From the Father, I will send you the Spirit of truth. When this Helper has come from the Father, he will be my witness, and you, too, will be my witnesses for you have been with me from the beginning.
“I tell you all this to keep you from stumbling and falling away. They will put you out of the Jewish communities. Still more, the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will claim to be serving God; they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. I tell you all these things now so that when the time comes you may remember that I told you.
“I did not tell you about this in the beginning because I was with you.”
D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

A story is told of a pope who wanted to take over the steering wheel from his driver. “Well, to tell you the truth,” says the Pope to the driver, “they never let me drive at the Vatican, and I’d really like to drive today.” Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Supreme Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 105 km/ph. “Please slow down, Your Holiness!” pleads the worried driver. But the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches. But the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio. “I need to talk to the Chief,” he says to the dispatcher. The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he’s stopped a limo going a hundred and five. “I don’t think we want to apprehend him, he is really important,” said the cop. The Chief then asked, “Who ya got there, the Mayor?” Cop: “Bigger.” Chief: “Governor?” Cop: “Bigger.” “Well,” said the Chief, “Who is it?” Cop: “I think it’s God!” Chief: “What makes you think it’s God?” Cop: “He’s got the Pope for a limo driver!” (From the internet).

The funny story helps us understand that the status of the driver takes the status of the master to higher levels because no servant is greater than the master. The cop reasons out that if the limo driver is the pope, the person at the passenger’s seat must be God!  Now, what does this make of us after God sent no less than the Holy Spirit to be our helper? If our helper is the Holy Spirit, then we must be what?

We have been raised to higher levels, not necessarily higher than the Holy Spirit but at least to a level equal in dignity with the gods. With the Psalmist we exclaim: What is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you should care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a God, with glory and honor you crowned him, gave him power over the works of your hands and put all things under his feet”.  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email:dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: www.frdan.org.

Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of discernment so that in everything that we do we may live according to your Will. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI was born in Italy in 1701. He was the second of nine children and his family was very poor. During his early years he worked in the fields but entered the Capuchin monastery when he reached 20. He worked as a lay brother in the monastery weaving room and for the last forty years of his life he was doing the job of begging from door to door and in the streets. He died in 1781.

May 10, 2015

6th Sunday of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 10:25–26, 34–35, 44–48    

2nd Reading: 1 Jn 4:7–10

Gospel: Jn 15:9–17

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.

“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.

“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
“This is my command, that you love one another.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Several years ago, a pop singer caught the ire of patriotic citizens for singing the Philippine National Anthem stylistically at the start of one of the most viewed fights of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. The fuss over how this song should be sung may indicate patriotism. But we do not know how many have gone into deeper scrutiny of the core value which the song expresses. The last verse “ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘yo” (to give up my life for you) even comes closest to the highest form of love today’s Gospel is talking about. Jesus said, “No greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13).

Allow me to bring in two OPMs for better appreciation of this core value – the songs “Dahil sa ‘yo”, and  “Habang may buhay”. While the National Anthem talks about dying for others, these two songs talk about living for others. These three take us into deeper reflection on the highest form of love.  To love the way Jesus wants us to love is to lay down our life for others. We can do so by dying (ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘iyo), or by living for the beloved (“Habang may buhay sa ‘yo’y ibibigay”).

Is living for others easier than dying for them? So it appears. But a deeper reflection affirms the contrary. Dying is a one-shot deal while living for others requires consistency, constancy and the willingness to suffer indefinitely for the sake of the beloved. While dying is the measure of the loftiness of one’s love, living for others is the measure of its depth. The height that love can ascend to is endless, but its depth is equally bottomless.

Whether love takes us to living or dying for others, the call is the same: to love without measure. Wow, if this is the kind of love required to procure salvation, who can be saved? The objection is valid if we consider loving as a burden. Loving is not a burden to those who have fallen in love with God. They spontaneously embrace it as a life program because the God they have fallen in love with is love par excellence.  They can do the seemingly impossible feat of loving without measure because “with God nothing is impossible” (Lk. 1:37). – 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 remain in Jesus and so remain in you by living out the commandment of love. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: St. John of Avila, also known as Apostle of Andalusia was born in 1499 in Toledo, Spain, to a wealthy Castilian family. He studied law at the University of Salamanca from age 14 and became a lawyer and a Priest. Following the death of his parents, he liquidated most of his large fortune, and gave it to the poor. Travelling as a preacher, he evangelized  Andalusia. He was the spiritual director of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint John of God, and Saint Louis of Granada.

May 09, 2015
Saturday, 5th Week of Easter

 1st Reading: Acts 16:1–10
   Gospel: Jn 15:18–21
Jesus said to his disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own. But you are not of the world since I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you.
“Remember what I told you: the servant is not greater than his master; if they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too. Have they kept my teaching? Will they then keep yours? All this they will do to you for the sake of my name because they do not know the One who sent me.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

In the light of the merits of Christ’s Death and Resurrection, sufferings are salvific. Here are a five of the meritorious benefits one can draw from sufferings. The capitalized key words are arranged to form the word ‘blest”. God makes use of sufferings to BUILD you up. Problems can be character builders. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems… they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady” (Romans 5:3-4).
God uses sufferings to LEAD you. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving.”Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  He can also use sufferings to EXAMINE your worth. People are like tea bags… if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience” (James 1:2-3).
In most cases God allows you to suffer in order to SPARE you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it bailed him out from conviction of a crime a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20). God also permits you to suffer in order to TEACH you and important lesson. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:72).
A caveat is in order: Sufferings that stem from our own vices are not meritorious. The better thing to do is stop the vice and live according to God’s Will.  – 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, help us see the value of sufferings in our spiritual life and so come to the kingdom you promise through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

  SAINT OF THE DAY : St. Gregory of Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople.  Born in Turkey in 379, he abandoned a promising teaching career to embrace the monastic and priestly life. In 375, he was elected bishop of Constantinople, a city dominated by the Arians for forty years. When he made his entrance he was ill received by the people, because he was poorly dressed and bald. Later, however, his sermons on the Trinity aroused great admiration. He died in 390.

May 08, 2015

Friday, 5th Week of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 15:22–31    

Gospel: Jn 15:12–17
Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you.
“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is my command, that you love one another.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The various expressions of the Church in history highlight three constitutive elements of Church life as identified by St. Luke, namely, the kyregma, the koinonia, and the liturgia.  ‘Kyregma’ is fidelity to the teachings of the Apostles, ‘Koinonia’ is communion (cf. Acts 2:44ff.), and ‘Liturgia’ is the breaking of the bread (cf. Acts 2:42). At the heart of these three elements is the kind of communion that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI refers to in his Encyclical ‘Deus Caritas Est’ as ‘love that gives no room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life”.

We find these three constitutive elements of Church life well defined in the way the Church started to express herself at the turn of the millennium. Expressing herself as BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities), the Church revisited the old structure of the Church where “all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-5). At the practical level BEC attempted to group parishes into small cells of believers that gather weekly for “kyregma” to read the Word, reflect on it vis-à-vis human experience, draw out plans to concretize realizations, and pray together as a community (“liturgia”). This weekly activity empowered many BEC cells to come up with income-generating projects to help one another live decently (“koinonia”).

In an effort to hasten the clustering of their parishes into small BEC cells, some parish priests denied the sacraments to non-BEC members. The unpopularity of the manner of implementation and the difficulty of clustering trans-parochial people stalled the complete implementation of its programs. If these problems cannot be addressed at macro level, the Church must shift to other efficient ways of expression.

But by whatsoever means the Church finds appropriate to express herself, she must always heed Pope Francis’ invitation to exercise mercy and compassion because the God she believes in is the God of love.   – 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 us your Spirit to be the fire that moves us to love so that no one among us will ever be denied of anything needed for a dignified life. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHURCH BULLETIN:

  SAINT OF THE DAY: Magdalene of Canossa was born on March 1, 1774 in Verona, Italy to a noble family. When her mother remarried, she and her siblings were left to the care of a governess. Magdalene the Marchioness left a life of comfort she would have been entitled to and founded the Institute of the Daughters of Charity (Canossian Sisters) in Venice in 1831. She died on April 10, 1835 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 2, 1988.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers