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Tuesday, June 02, 2015
9th Week in Ordinary Time
 1st Reading: Tb 2:9–14; 3:1

 Gospel: Mk 12:1317

Jewish leaders sent to Jesus some Pharisees with members of Herod’s party, with the purpose of trapping him in his own words. They came and said to Jesus, “Master, we know that you are true; you are not influenced by anyone, and your answers do not vary according to who is listening to you but you truly teach God’s way. Tell us, is it against the Law to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them or not?”

But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a silver coin and let me see it.” They brought him one and Jesus asked, “Whose head is this, and whose name?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said, “Return to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” And they were greatly astonished.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus’ adversaries were always on the lookout for occasions to force him to take a dangerous position. In today’s Gospel reading they used a taxation issue to pin him down. They asked: “Is it against the law to pay taxes to Caesar?” (Mark 12:15). A yes answer would have jeopardized Jesus’ public standing because the Jews resented the payment of taxes to Rome. A no answer would have hastened Jesus’ Passion and Death because taxation was a sensitive issue to the Romans. Campaigning against it was considered inciting people to rebellion. Jesus escaped the trap by taking the conversation to the spiritual level. “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” was a very wise answer because it took the conversation from the political realm to the spiritual. In effect Jesus was saying that they should observe both duties to an earthly king and the heavenly king.

This, notwithstanding, Jesus was still charged later before Pontius Pilate for inciting people not to pay taxes. From Luke’s Gospel we read: “They began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ/Messiah, a king.” (Luke 23:1-4). Hearing this, Pilate may have remembered earlier reports about how Jesus convinced key tax collectors to quit their jobs. He did call Matthew away from his tax collector’s post. Zaccheus did not only leave his post to follow him but also compensated the people he had defrauded.  Pilate had reasons to suspect that Jesus was working underground against the Roman government by winning tax collectors over to his side so that no Jew would ever collect duties for this foreign rule.  Of course that was not Jesus’ motive in winning over tax collectors to his side. Nonetheless, Pilate washed his hands, leaving Jesus’ fate to an angry mob. – 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, as we strive to live as good citizens, may we also become good members of your family by religiously observing our duties towards you and towards our fellowmen. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: MARCELLINUS AND PETER were among a group of Christians martyred at Rome (304), during the persecution of Diocletian. Marcellinus was a priest and Peter probably an exorcist.  Sometime later in the century, the emperor Constantine the Great built a church over the tomb of the martyrs, and his mother, Saint Helena, was buried there.

Monday, June 01, 2015
9th Week in Ordinary Time

 1st Reading: Tb 1:1ad,2a,3,17; 2:1a–8

 Gospel: Mk 12:112

Using parables, Jesus went on to say, “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a hole for the wine press and built a watch tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenants and went abroad.
“In due time he sent a servant to receive from the tenants his share of the fruit. But they seized the servant, struck him and sent him back empty-handed. Again the man sent another servant. They also struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent another and they killed him. In the same way they treated many others; some they struck and others they killed. One was still left, his beloved son. And so, last of all, he sent him to the tenants, for he said: ‘They will respect my son.’
“But those tenants said to one another: ‘This is the one who is to inherit the vineyard. Let’s kill him and the property will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. Now, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
And Jesus added, “Have you not read this text of the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing; and we marvel at it.”
They wanted to arrest him for they realized that Jesus meant this parable for them, but they were afraid of the crowd. So they left him and went away.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus used parables and allegories to package his message. Both are stories with moral lessons. The difference is that parables are to be taken as a whole because their details carry no individual hidden meanings. On the other hand, the objects, persons, and actions in an allegory are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.

Today’s Gospel reading is an allegory. Several elements of this story carry hidden meanings. The vineyard stands for Israel, the owner for God, the tenant for the leaders of Israel, the beloved Son for Jesus, and the servants for God’s messengers. Taken according to the symbolisms of the objects, persons and actions in the narrative the story turns out to be about the leaders of Israel who killed the messengers of God and the prophets. It is also about God who, determined to claim back Israel, sent his only Son after the messengers he had sent ahead were killed.

The story must have been very familiar to the listeners because the practice of leasing out vineyards by absentee owners was common in Palestine in those days. Although Jesus rarely used allegories because he often used parables, this allegory was equally a powerful tool in the hands of Jesus. The familiarity of the allegory moved the Jews to follow the story until the end. Only later they realized that it was an attack on their hardheartedness.     – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day: God our Father, imbue us with your wisdom so that we may put you at the center of our lives. Grant this through Christ our Lor., Amen.

  CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: HANNIBAL DI FRANCIA, was born in Italy in 1851 and was ordained a Catholic priest. He is called the Apostle of Prayer for Vocations because he centered all his works and attention for the salvation of he many poor youth whom he learned to love with a tender and divine affection. He founded two religious congregations, namely the Rogationists and the Daughters of Divine Zeal to carry out and propagate the prayer for vocations.

May 31, 2015
Sunday

Trinity Sunday

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
2nd Reading: Romans 8:14-17
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

The Eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before him, although some doubted.
Then Jesus approached them and said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded you. I am with you always until the end of this world.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

In his “Essays”, Michael de Montaigne wrote: “Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen”. A mite is any of numerous tiny arachnids that are often parasitic on animals and plants. No matter how tiny and insignificant a mite is, man cannot create anything like it. In this regard, man is  most real. But look how he ambitiously creates for himself so many gods. He worships money, career, power, reputation, clout and influence. He even makes god out of his belly (Philippians 3:19). But far from displaying the fullness of his might, this merely highlights his imperfection.

Today’s Gospel makes a reference to the “eleven disciples”. The number calls to mind the tragic event of the betrayal of Judas who would have brought their number to twelve. The fact that Judas managed to infiltrate their group in the first place already defined the quality of membership the group had. Judas’ falling out from the group exposed their imperfection not just as individuals but even as a group. Now “The Twelve” could not even live up to their number. To this imperfect group was given the mission of baptizing which was to be dispensed in the perfect name of Father, Son and Spirit. Can an imperfect group carry out satisfactorily orders coming from a perfect being? Before God’s perfection, what can imperfect mortals brag about?

When we stand before The Holy Trinity, a contrast is established between human imperfection and divine perfection. The imperfection inspires humility on the part of the imperfect being, while the perfection inspires compassion on the part of the Perfect One. In that encounter with the Perfect, the imperfect bows low in humility. Since grace like water seeks its own level, God’s grace flows down to the level of the humble imperfect being. Thus, in humility, we get to the level of God, though not by our own power but by the power of God’s grace.

Baptism is one great encounter where we appear incomplete before God. Through this sacrament we are grafted to Christ and given the gift of adoption. Through baptism we gain access to the relationship enjoyed by Father, Son and Spirit.

It is in standing before God’s presence that we are reminded of our insufficiencies. The farther we go away from God, the more we are left with no option but trust in the dozens of gods we have surrounded ourselves with. We are better off standing always before God’s presence and dedicating our lives to the mission. But we can only do so if we humbly make a mite of ourselves!   – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, help us worship you, one God in three Persons by proclaiming and living our faith in humility. Grant this though Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

FEAST OF THE DAY: THE VISITATION was instituted by Urban VI in 1389 after the Franciscans celebrated it on July 2 from 1263 on. Sixtus IV (1471-1484) had a new Mass composed for it. This is celebrated three weeks before the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24). Theme: “Sharing feelings of joy by praising God”.

May 30, 2015
Saturday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Sirach 51:12-20

 Gospel: Mark 11:27-33


Jesus and his disciples were once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the elders came to him and asked, “What authority do you have to act like this? Who gave you authority to do the things you do?”
Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one, and if you give me an answer, then I will tell you what authority I have to act like this. Was John’s preaching and baptism a work of God, or was it merely something human? Answer me.”
And they kept arguing among themselves, “If we answer that it was a work of God, he will say: ‘Why then did you not believe him?’” But neither could they answer before the people that the baptism of John was merely something human, for everyone regarded John as a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know,” and Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”

 

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

When asked for his credentials as cleanser of the Temple Jesus didn’t show the Pharisees any until he had checked on their level of faith. If they had no faith to speak of in the first place, why bother to establish his authority? They’d only accuse him of blasphemy, as in fact they did. To a man who believes no explanation is needed; to one who does not believe, no explanation is possible.

In checking the status of their faith Jesus asked them to evaluate first the ministry of John the Baptist who preceded him.  This caught them off guard because they never believed in the ministry of John the Baptist. But they had to keep this unbelief to themselves out of fear of public scrutiny since people held John the Baptist a great prophet. They had no choice but to give this default denial: “We do not know”.

You see, they couldn’t even stand for their own conviction that John the Baptist was a charlatan! This exposed the status of their faith. Jesus thus found no use telling them the truth about his divine credentials. And so He told them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”

Faith is necessary in order to recognize the power of Jesus. Poor status of faith, or the absence of it, explains why some person’s major decisions are executed without consideration for the teachings of Jesus. Why factor in Jesus’ teachings when in the first place they do not recognize Jesus’ authority because they do not have faith in him?

In situations like this, Jesus will leave us where we are. He will not even bother to convince us of the legitimacy of his authority because he respects our freedom.  To a man of faith Jesus’ power shines forth; from a man without faith, Jesus shies away. Let us strive then to deepen our faith and open our lives fully to the power of Jesus. –  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the grace that deepens our faith so that we may submit ourselves totally to the power of Christ who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. JOAN OF ARC, was born to pious French peasants in January 6, 1412 at the village of Dohremy in France. At a very young age she heard voices from St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, giving her personal or general messages. But in May, 1428 the voice told Joan to see the King of France and help him re-conquer his kingdom. She was 17 when with a small army she merged victorious in the siege of Orleans. More Victories followed and King Charles was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with St. Joan at his side. In May, 1430 she was captured by the Burgandians who sold her to the English. King Charles and the French did nothing to save her. She was imprisoned, tried, and was condemned to death. Thirty years after she was declared innocent of all the accusations that caused her martyrdom.     

May 29, 2015

 Friday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Sirach 44:1, 9-13

Gospel: Mark 11:11-25

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. And after he had looked all around, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day, when they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. In the distance he noticed a fig tree covered with leaves, so he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. Then Jesus said to the fig tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit!” And his disciples heard these words.
When they reached Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive away all the people he saw buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the stools of those who sold pigeons. And he would not let anyone carry anything through the Temple area.
Jesus then taught the people, “Does not God say in the Scriptures: My house will be called a House of Prayer for all the nations? But you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, and they tried to find a way to destroy him. They were afraid of him because all the people were captivated in his teaching.
When evening came, Jesus left the city.
Early next morning, as they walked along the road, the disciples saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter then said to him, “Master, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.”
And Jesus replied, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, if you say to this mountain: ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea,’ and have no doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be done for you. And when you stand to pray, forgive whatever you may hold against anyone, so that your heavenly Father may also forgive your sins.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The juxtaposition of the cleansing of the Temple with the story of the barren fig tree is instructive of how Jesus saw Temple worship in those days. Like the fig tree that produced so much leaves but remiss in producing fruits, Temple worship had to be cleansed because it was becoming more of a show (so much leaves to show) than a tool to deepen relationship with Yahweh.

Today the same must be done to our life of worship. In the same way that all those green leaves are necessary to a tree for photosynthesis, rituals are also necessary to direct our worship towards a fruitful moment with the Lord. But people can be ritualistic. They observe minutest details at the expense of charity. How do we know if we are already ritualistic? We become so when our act of worship leaves us empty instead of drawing us closer to God. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day: God our Father, send us the fire of your Spirit so that every act of worship we celebrate as a community may draw us closer to you. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHURCH BULLETIN

SAINT OF THE DAY: Richard Thirkeld, Martyr. He was born in England and was educated in Oxford before he was called to the priesthood at a very late age. He completed his studies for the priesthood in France. After ordination he performed his priestly duties around the York area in England. His visit of a prisoner at night time aroused suspicion and his admission that he was a priest led to his arrest and later his imprisonment. He was tried for having heard confession and he was condemned to die, but he still ministered to the other prisoners before their execution. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered but it was done in secret because he was greatly venerated by the people. He was martyred in 1583 and beatified in 1886.

May 28, 2015

Thursday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time
 1st Reading: Sir 42:15-25

  Gospel: Mk 10:4652

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth passing by, he began to call out, “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!” Many people scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man saying, “Take heart. Get up, he is calling you.” He immediately threw aside his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus.
Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Master, let me see again!” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” And immediately he could see, and he followed Jesus along the road.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

When  the disciples called Bartimaeus over at the instruction of Jesus, “he immediately threw aside his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus” (verse 50). This is not the first time we read about cloaks in St. Mark’s Gospel. In Mark 2:21, the word cloak appears in Jesus’ teaching about the impropriety of sewing a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. In Mark 5:25-30 a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years got cured after she touched the cloak of Jesus. In Mark 6:56 people begged Jesus to allow them to touch even just the fringe of his cloak. At the Transfiguration (Mark 9:3) the cloak of Jesus became dashingly white, and at Jesus entry to Jerusalem (Mark 11:7-8) people spread their cloaks on the road for him. Mark 13:16 is an apocalyptic advice for a man in the fields not to turn back to fetch his cloak. During the Passion (Mark15:20) soldiers removed the purple cloak from Jesus and clothed him in his own clothes. At the foot of the cross (Mark 15:24) Roman soldiers drew lots over Jesus’ cloak.

His cloak took special significance in the hands of Bartimaeus when he set it aside when Jesus called for him. The act was a fitting symbol of setting aside the old man. The circumstance of blindness reinforced the symbolism of that spiritual encounter where Bartimaeus saw Jesus with the eyes of faith. Faith empowered him to proclaim Jesus as “Son of David.” The spiritual vision of Bartimaeus stood in stark contrast with the ‘blindness’ of the Apostles who were still preoccupied with where to sit in the kingdom of heaven even while escorting Jesus to Jerusalem to die.

Like Jesus’ followers of old we too ‘see’ him in the Eucharist we celebrate. Are we willing to set aside our old selves as Bartimaeus did when he symbolically set aside his cloak? Unless we set aside our old selves, our discipleship will always be conditioned by what we can get in return for following Jesus. That would be blindness worse that Bartimaeus’!  – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day: God our Father, open our eyes so that we may see you and so resolutely abandon our old selves. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: MARGARET POLE was born of noble origin in 1471 in England.  In 1491, she married Sir Richard Pole. Unfortunately, her husband passed away and she was left to care for their five children. King Henry VIII was very fond of her and appointed her Countess of Salisbury. Upon learning of the King’s intention to marry Anne Boleyn, she expressed her disapproval and thus incurred the ire of the king. Her son, Reginald Cardinal Pole, wrote against the act of Supremacy which further enraged King Henry VIII.  He had her imprisoned in the Tower of London. She was accused of having participated in the rebellion. Margaret, who was already seventy years old, was beheaded without a trial during another revolution in April 1541. Pope Leo XIII beatified her in 1886.

May 27, 2015

Wednesday,8th Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Sirach 36:1-2,5-6,13-22

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45

Jesus and his disciples were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead. The Twelve were anxious and those who followed were afraid. (…)

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Master, we want you to grant us what we are going to ask of you.” And he said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They answered, “Grant us to sit one at your right and one at your left when you come in your glory.”

But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized in the way I am baptized?” They answered, “We can.” And Jesus told them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized in the way I am baptized. But to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to grant. It has been prepared for others.”

On hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John; Jesus then called them to him and said, “As you know, the so-called rulers of the nations act as tyrants and their great ones oppress them. But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you shall make himself slave of all. Think of the Son of Man who has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life to redeem many.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus showed to Peter, James and John his divinity shining through his humanity when he was transfigured at Mt. Tabor (Mk. 9:2). These three were also the same disciples Jesus chose to keep him company at the garden of Gethsemane (Mk. 14:33). Being his frequent companions, we can safely conclude that they had better knowledge of Jesus’ person and his teachings. They should have known Jesus’ dislike for self promotion and power play.

Surprisingly, two of them, James and John shamelessly they asked for reserved positions in heaven. They told Jesus: “Grant us to sit one at your right and one at your left when you come in your glory.” They were eyeing the day when Jesus would sit in his throne as judge of humanity. They wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be lining up among those to be judged. They wanted to share Jesus’ power of judging.

Jesus’ reaction was diplomatic. He merely asked them if they could bear the consequence of drinking from the same cup of suffering he was to drink (Mk. 14:23). “Yes we can”, they quickly replied. This quick response mirrors the intensity of their quest for power. They could have said yes to anything, anyway! It was like saying, “we will cross that bridge when we get there, just grant us the power now”.

This Gospel episode tells us that being close to Jesus is not a guarantee that a disciple has internalized Jesus’ teachings.   – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (dan.delosangeles@gmail.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org).

Prayer for the day:  God our Father, cleanse our hearts of all inordinate attachments to prestige and power so that we may worship you alone as the only God of our lives. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 CHURCH BULLETIN:

SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. AGUSTIN OF CANTERBURY, the first Bishop of Canterbury, was a monk of St. Andrew Monastery in Rome. In 596, he was sent by Pope St. Gregory the Great to evangelize England with 30 companions. When they landed in the country of Kent, King Ethelbert received them under an oak, for fear they might use spells and magic, which were held to be powerless in the open air. Being convinced of their good intention, the king gave them a piece of land at Canterbury and permission to preach wherever they wanted to.  The king himself was baptized.

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