April 30, 2015

Thursday, 4th Week of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 13:13–25

Gospel: Jn 13:16–20

After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples he said. “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice.

“I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says, The one who shared my table has risen against me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.

“Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

One who is sent represents the sender. The more he assumes the spirit and charism of the sender the more he becomes true to that representation. The best representative even goes to the extent of sacrificing his personal identity if only to perfect the representation. He becomes the ideal messenger. But when he pursues his own motives, he throws the monkey wrench into the whole mission. For this reason a representative must be selfless and capable of self abnegation for the sake of the mission. It follows, then that a proud person cannot be a messenger for long. Humility is the outstanding characteristic of one who is sent.

The same virtue stands out among Jesus’ representatives on earth. The Pope who stands in the long line of successors of St. Peter, the rock foundation of Christ’s Church, exercises this virtue by being “Servus Servorum Dei” (Servant of the servants of God).  It was Pope St. Gregory (590-604) who first used this title to distinguish himself from John the Faster, the Archbishop of Constantinople, who declared himself as the “Ecumenical Patriarch”. This title which John the Faster assumed was a title of superiority intended to overshadow the Bishop of Rome. The use of the more humble title by St. Gregory was supposed to be a lesson on humility for John the Faster.

The Church, admittedly, has not always shown a good example in the exercise of humility. This has been the source of many abuses in the hierarchy. This weakness humbles the church that has remained human albeit holy, catholic and apostolic. The good news is that in her weakness the Church has always enjoyed God’s abiding presence as promised by Jesus when he said, ‘I will be with you until the end of time” (Matthew 28:20).

But while it is true that Christ supplies for the inadequacy of his Church leaders, this is no cause for those leaders to continue lording it over the flock. They must cultivate the virtue of humility, or face severe sanctions in the afterlife for throwing the monkey wrench into God’s mission. – 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, teach us to be humble so that we may fulfill our solemn duty of building your kingdom on earth by our love and concern for one another. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Pius V, Pope. He was the initiator of the feast of the Holy Rosary. Born near Tortona, Italy, in 1504, this zealous Dominican vigorously implemented the reform of the church. Following the decrees of the council of Trent, he instructed bishops to reside their diocese, and parish priest to teach catechism to the youth. After removing corruption and nepotism from the Roman Curia, he cleansed the Papal state from brigands and prostitutes. It was during his pontificate that the new breviary, missal and catechism, were published. The Pope’s greatest success was the Naval Battle of Lepanto, fought off the coast of Greece on October 7,1571 with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose aid was invoked through the rosary. In commemoration of that event, Pius V instituted on October 7 the feast of Out Lady of the Rosary and inserted the title Help of Christian in the Litany of the Virgin Mary. He died in 1572, and was canonized in 1712.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4th Week of Easter

  1st Reading: Acts 12:24–13:5  

 Gospel: Jn 12:44–50

Jesus had said, and even cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me, sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

“If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him; for I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me, and does not receive my word, already has a judge: the very word I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.

“For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has instructed me in what to say and how to speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life, and that is why the message I give, I give as the Father instructed me.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Why do children love the freedom of light while adults love the secrecy of darkness? The reason is perhaps because children have many things to reveal while adults have many things to hide. When darkness and light are taken as symbols of evil and good respectively, we understand why Jesus preferred to be associated with light.

We shouldn’t worry about children being so afraid of the dark but about grown-ups being so scared of the light. When adults prefer darkness over light it is usually because they have something evil to do. (Incidentally the word “adult” is associated with things responsible parents cannot afford to show to their children).

We were all children ones. How have we learned to love the deeds of darkness? At baptism our parents and sponsors lighted candles for us to mark the day we became children of the light. Where have all those candles gone? We do not even know what happened to those candles after the baptismal rite. Had our parents and godparents kept them for us we would have in our possession a romantic souvenir to prick our conscience each time we fail to shine as good Christians. In any case, the failure to keep us walking along the path of light is the bigger act of omission of our parents and godparents.

We are told in science that light is the presence of all colors. There’s got to be a lot of harmony in there, otherwise the hodgepodge of all colors would result to a dark mixture. As children of the light we are supposed to live in harmony, a life of synergy resulting from a lifestyle structured according to the values of Christ. Just as the spectrum of light is so arranged from red to violet projecting an awe-inspiring rainbow of colors, so our life structured according to the values of Christ will paint joy in the canvass of the daily grind. We become bearers of that joy and lead others to the source of it all – Jesus the risen Christ flooding the world with the light of the resurrection.  – 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 live in the light of Christ and so become light for others leading them to the way that leads to eternal life – Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY:  ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA was born in 1347 of a rich family in Italy. Although she died when she was only 33 years old, she’s one of the few women to be declared Doctor of the Church.

Tuesday, APRIL 28, 2015

4TH Week of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 11:19-26

Gospel: John 10:22-30.

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.  It was winter.  And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The Jews asked Jesus to tell them with finality who he really was. “How long will you keep us in suspense?” They asked. Then they demanded: “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus was surprised when they asked how long he’d keep them in suspense because he was always open to them about his origins. To Jesus the problem was not that he was keeping them in suspense. The real question was what was keeping them in suspense! In Jesus’ analysis, it was their lack of faith that kept them in that state. “But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep,” Jesus said. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Jesus’ statement cuts us to the quick. It pierces our hearts because we too fail to listen to him on many occasions even as we claim to be Christians.  There are various reasons as there are many such occasions. Among these could be the voices in the world competing with the voice of the Shepherd. One example is the voice of pro-contraceptives trying to sway our value system from the moral to the practical. Another is the voice of politicians luring us to sell our votes.  There are many similar voices in the world that drown the faint voice of the Shepherd within us.

If the examples given above are among those voices distracting us from the faint voice of the Shepherd, something could be done at the personal and community level. At the community level we can intensify our loyalty to the Church and strengthen our unity as a community in defense of faith and morals. At the personal level we can cultivate inner silence by forming the habit of meditation. In that inner silence the Shepherd can speak to our soul. If we really belong to the flock, we won’t find it hard to recognize the voice of Jesus as the Shepherd.  For Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow 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 inner silence so that we may recognize the voice of our Shepherd speaking to us through our conscience. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. PETER CHANEL, Priest and Martyr. He was born in France in 1803. His intelligence and piety were noticed by the local parish priest, who helped him enter the seminary. After ordination, he was appointed for three years to the rural parish of Crozet, where he brought about a great religious revival. In 1831 he joined the Marists who were involved in missions abroad. In 1836 he landed on the island of Futuna in the Pacific Ocean, where the name of Christ had never been preached before. By his preaching he destroyed the cult of the evil spirits, which the chieftains of the Futunians encouraged in order to keep the tribe under their rule. In 1841, they sent a band of native warriors who killed him with clubs and hatchets.

Monday, April 27, 2015

4th Week of Easter

 1st Reading: Acts 11:1–18  

Gospel: Jn 10:1–10s

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, rather they will run away from him because they don’t recognize a stranger’s voice.”

Jesus used this comparison, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.  So Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food.

“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The Church in the Philippines should find better metaphors in its understanding of Jesus’ pastoral concern for His people. At present the Church uses the metaphor of shepherd on Jesus in relation to his people. But this word is foreign to Filipinos because we are not a sheep country. The metaphor does not elicit the idea of responsibility as powerfully as the word shepherd does to Palestinians.

It does not help that we have translated to word “Shepherd” to our different dialects. “Pastol” (for the Tagalogs) sounds Protestant. “Magbalantay” (for the Cebuanos) sounds too generic because Cebuanos use the term both for tending animals and attending to one’s properties. The Cebuano term “Bakero” would have been the better term because it is the kind of animal-tending where the care-taker accompanies the animal while grazing in the field, sometimes riding on the animal’s back, at other times just sitting under the shade watching the grazing animal. “Bakero”, however, sounds Spanish.

While we hope that our local Church finds a better term, let us celebrate the grace of having a good Shepherd by taking up his challenge to become shepherds to one another. At the Last Supper while washing the feet of the Apostles, he told them, “love one another as I have loved you”.

We are called to become shepherds to one another. The government is shepherd to the people; parents are shepherds to their children. Children too are called to become shepherds to one another: the manong and manang (eldest child) to the mano and mana (second child); the mano and mana to the ingko and insi (third child), the ingko and insi to the undo and inday (youngest).

The right term will not really matter if all become responsible for one another.  – 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, give us true love for one another so that as shepherds we may lead our brothers and sisters to the green meadow where Jesus is Lord forever and ever. Amen.  .


ST.PETER ARMINGOL, was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1238 and as a young boy he was with bandits who roamed and plundered the countryside. However he decided to change after his group almost plundered his father’s entourage. He begged for forgiveness, entered the Order of Mercedarians, and devoted himself to the redemption of captives. He was faithful to a life of prayer and repentance and on one occasion when there was insufficient money to redeem 18 young boys from slavery, he offered himself to the Moors. He was hanged but was discovered still alive when his body was taken down. He remained with the Mercedarians until his death in 1304.

April 26, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Easter

 1st Reading: Acts 4:8–12

2nd Reading: 1 Jn 3:1–2

Gospel: Jn 10:11–18

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Not so the hired hand or any other person who is not the shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong. They abandon the sheep as soon as they see the wolf coming; then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. This is because the hired hand works for pay and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Because of this I give my life for my sheep. “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. These I have to lead as well, and they shall listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock since there is one Shepherd. “The Father loves me because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down freely. It is mine to lay down and to take up again: this mission I received from my Father.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

The Philippine Daily Inquirer carried this news item in one of its issues in 2003: “Australia offered to give away 57,000 live sheep to an unnamed country in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia rejected the shipment on health grounds. Animal rights activists had demanded that the sheep be put down, claiming 3,400 of them had died after being stranded for 5 weeks in searing temperatures on the vessel dubbed as ship of death. Saudi Arabia refused to take the sheep after veterinarians found 6 % of the sheep were suffering from the disease scabby mouth.”

This news item easily leads us to the core message of today’s Gospel reading. Saudi Arabia rejected the whole flock, although only 6% of the sheep were found suffering from the scabby mouth disease. Would Saudi Arabia have accepted the flock if only one sheep were sick? With Saudi Arabia’s refusal to take chances on the flock even if only 6% of the sheep were sick, we can safely conclude that there was no way to convince it to accept the flock even if only one sheep were sick.

The contrary perfectly describes Jesus’ disposition towards his flock.  As the Gospel tells us, Jesus is willing to leave the 99 in search for one lost sheep. But how pathetic that even as Jesus is willing to reach out to the “rejects”, the sheep themselves belonging to that same flock may be rejecting each other. This attitude can spoil the work of grace because it can dampen the healing effects of Jesus’ embrace on the lost one. In most communities there are members who are quick to condemn, slow to forgive and reluctant in helping erring members during the re-integration process. Now who are the real fallen ones? These are those belonging to the 99 who think that God owes them something for being good. They are the shadows of the elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son who was too self-righteous to accept his repentant brother back. What then do they need a savior for?

The Good Shepherd ushers lost sheep back to our community every day. May we not render Christ’s compassion and mercy nugatory by standing in the way! – 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 thank you for sending us Jesus as our Good Shepherd, we ask you to give us forgiving hearts so that we may become shepherds to one another like Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. FRANCA VISALTA was only 7 years old when she was placed in a Benedictine convent and was 14 when she made her religious profession. Her position as abbess was short-lived. Because of the strictness of her rule she was deposed, although she continued to live in the convent suffering willingly the humiliation resulting from her ouster. But there were many others who were inspired by her austere life. Carentia who entered the Cistercian novitiate, was one of her followers. When a Cistercian house was built by Carentia’s parents, St. Franca was invited to become its abbess.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
St. Mark, Evangelist

 1st Reading: 1 P 5:5b–14     

  Gospel: Mk 16:15–20s

Jesus told his disciples, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes and, if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will be healed.”

“So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs which accompanied them.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Because people embrace hard truths through evidences that are unimpeachable, Jesus gave each disciple extraordinary powers to evangelize all people. He gave them powers to heal, to cast out demons and even to take poisonous drink unharmed, so that they may establish their authority on powers that could only come from God.

None among us today can perform these powers with credibility. Yet the mission to evangelize is handed down to us to exercise with the same alacrity. Spectacular powers were indispensable then, but no longer now because the Church is already well established from within. We can trace our history back to Jesus through the hierarchy; there is no need to establish our identity as evangelizers through the extraordinary.  What is needed is witnessing to the words that we say. May our preaching stand solidly on concrete acts of charity!

This is not to discard miraculous powers as irrelevant. Such powers, if available, can convert the defiant. Miraculous healers are marvelous to behold; they bring back a lot of people to God’s fold. There is danger, however, with most miracles; they attract instant adherers from curious peoples.  Like anything instant, depth is wanting and their hearts remain distant.

A priest newly assigned to a parish quite remote had this story of a crying statue to promote. A fellow priest remarked in jest hoping he’d desist: “the statue is just missing the former parish priest.” Attendance at Mass was high as many people wanted to see the statue cry. When the euphoria subsided, the attendance graph at Mass also glided.

Let us perform our duty to evangelize all peoples even without the power to perform miracles. Greater is the miracle really if people know we are the first doers of what we say. The spectacular may generate faith but cannot sustain it. Let’s go for a life of charity so people can feel it. When they do, faith in them will grow even stronger than the spectacular can brew.  – 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 grace to become credible witnesses to the world by our concrete works of charity. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Mark, the 2nd Evangelist, was the son of a certain Mary and the cousin of Barnabas. He was probably converted to Christianity by St. Peter, and his house in Jerusalem served as the, meeting place for Christians in the time of persecution (Acts 12:12). During the 1st missionary journey, Barnabas and Mark sailed to Cyprus. Thereafter, Mark acted as secretary and interpreter of Peter, who used to call him son (1Peter 5:13). Mark accompanied Peter to Rome, where he also reconciled with Paul, who was taken there as a prisoner. According to tradition, Mark wrote the Gospel, basing it on Peter’s teachings. Having finished it, he went to Alexandria in Egypt, where he preached the Gospel and founded the church. Afterwards, he was arrested for his faith in Christ and tortured.

April 24, 2015

Friday, 3rd Week of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 9:1–20

Gospel: Jn 6:52–59

The Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood live with eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day.

“My flesh is really food and my blood is drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, live in me and I in them. Just as the Father, who is life, sent me and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats me will have life from me. This is the bread which came from heaven; unlike that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”


(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

     Those who heard Jesus offering his body as real food and his blood as real drink were provoked. They thought he was either talking figuratively or cracking a big joke. If he was talking figuratively, they could have taken his statements lightly. But even this they could not do; they walked out of the conversation, they just felt they had to. The offering of one’s body as food in public, was too disgusting even as a “by the way” topic. The culture of the Jews frowned upon contact with blood as unclean. “Out of his mind” Jesus appeared to all of them. Despite the big walk out, however, Jesus stood by the literal meaning of his words and did not flip over.

This same teaching is the basis our Catholic faith in the Eucharist. The species become Christ at the words pronounced by the priest. Yes their appearances remain earthly and not divine; bread looks real bread and wine looks real wine. From the practical side we see wisdom in this arrangement. The contrary would have put human beings in serious predicament. If the externals of wine and bread should change too, civilized people would consider lining up for communion a big taboo.

There are two facets of change that can happen at the realm of earthly reality. A thing can either change substantially or accidentally. When you were small you were cute and likeable. As a grown up person you have become “acute” and “like-a-ball”. But the change is only accidental. You are still substantially you even if you now look like your favorite pet animal.

The species consecrated at Mass change substantially. The substance of bread gives way to the substance of Christ’s body. Similarly the substance of wine gives way to the substance of Christ’s blood divine. In this “transubstantiation”, the sacred species cease to be what we see. It becomes Jesus spiritually nourishing you and me.  To an unbeliever this is too good to be true – God within reach of ordinary humans like me and you. But God had ordained it to be so. He wants to be there wherever we go.- 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, increase our faith in the Holy Eucharist so that nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ we may grow in love for one another, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


SAINT OF THE DAY:  St. Benedict Menni was Born in Milan, Italy on March 11, 1841. He decided to enter the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God in 1860 through four interventions: a spiritual retreat when he was 17 years old, the advice of a hermit of Milan , his daily prayer before a picture of our Lady, and the example of the Brothers of St. John of God caring  for the wounded soldiers.  In 1866, he was ordained a priest. He began restoring the extinct Hospitaller order in Spain.  He had created 22 large centers like homes for needy people, general hospitals, and psychiatric hospitals. He died in 1914 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1999.


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