HOMILY:13th Sunday In Ordinary Time (B) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

13th Sunday pater

A REFLECTION
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Sunday, 1st July 2018
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READINGS:
First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15;2;23-24
Responsorial Psalm: “I will extol you, Lord, for you have raised me up.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7,9:13-15
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GOSPEL: Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came and when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” So Jesus went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?”
He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. Jesus said to her daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.” While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Jesus allowed no one to follow him. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.
Then Jesus put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about for she was twelve years of age.
At this, they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
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REFLECTION:
Today’s Gospel text presents to us a beautiful literary style of the evangelist St. Mark. Mark gave us two miracle accounts. First, he introduced to us, a prominent figure, Jairus a synagogue official of some kind who came to Jesus to plead for the life of his daughter who was greatly ill and was dying. Then this account is interrupted to relate to us another character, a woman with hemorrhages for twelve years. Then we return to the daughter of the synagogue official. Certainly, this particular literary style of Mark sandwiching the cure of the woman with hemorrhage was done with a purpose. It was as if to prepare Mark’s readers of an even greater miracle that is to come. The woman came to Jesus and Jesus brought healing and peace. As if this account is not amazing enough, it was followed up by an even greater miracle – the raising of Jairus’ daughter. Jairus puts his complete trust in Jesus, and Jesus brought life where there once was death. The raising of Jairus’ daughter reminds us of the raising of Lazarus. It is meant to invite us to reflect on the realities of life and death and life after death. It brings us the necessary hope and joy. For it tells us that there is life after this our present state. It tells us that we are destined to immortality. If there is no life after this one, then life is meaningless. We see life as a journey, a pilgrimage towards our ultimate goal which is heaven. Reflecting on today’s Gospel brings us to the conclusion that in Jesus we experience peace and healing. In him, suffering ends and new life takes the place of death.
When we read in the Scripture the miracle accounts of Jesus, bear in mind that it is not the spectacular element that is important. What is important is the meaning or the message that’s contained in the miracle. In Mark’s Gospel text we see impossible cases. Mark presents to us each case as almost beyond help. For instance, last Sunday, Mark gave us an account of the calming of the storm. The disciples thought they were going to die in the storm (Mk 4:38) but Jesus was able to calm the storm with a simple command – Quiet, be calm! And now we reflect on the healing of the woman suffering for twelve years and the raising of Jairus’ daughter. These accounts tell us that in Jesus there is no such thing as a hopeless case. In Jesus there are no incurables, nothing is impossible in him. But we learn a lot from the example of Jairus and the woman in the Gospel. It was their faith that brought about healing and restoration of life. Today, we have seen two beautiful examples of faith. When the sick woman and Jairus were helpless and hopeless, Jesus was the answer.
The woman had an incredible faith. She was certain that Jesus could heal her. She knew that Jesus was so powerful so that if she could just touch even the hem of his clothes, she would be healed. Certainly, that’s faith.
And Jairus, considering that he was a figure of respect in his town manifested incredible faith also. He was an important man, which is why the crowd gave way enough to let him through. But Jairus set aside his prominence and importance. Here he behaves like a desperate man. Jairus didn’t worry about what other people might say or think about him. So he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and begged. He had only one thing in mind and that’s the well-being of his child. He was not ashamed to ask Jesus for help. His child is dying. Here we see a compassionate Jesus who agreed to come with him to see his child. But before they get very far, they received a disturbing news – “Your daughter is dead…why trouble the teacher any further.” But Jesus said, “Do not fear, only believe!” Jesus was like telling Jairus to have faith. When things, therefore, seem hopeless, come to Jesus. Jesus is full of compassion. He feels and knows our pain for he himself experienced suffering. He longs to help you. He has the power to help when no one else can. You should never be afraid to bring Jesus your needs. But always have faith. Faith is a free gift from the Father. If we are lacking in faith, just ask the Father and he will gladly give you the gift of faith.
Perhaps this story may further enlightened us in our reflection:
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and in which to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he came to see his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened, everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God how could you do this to me!” Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. The weary man asked his rescuers – “How did you know I was here?” They replied: “We saw your smoke signal.”
The lesson: It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we should never lose heart because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Have faith in Jesus like the faith of Jairus and the sick woman. Whatever the circumstances may be, it is important to know that His divine providence will always be there for you and me.
Proverb 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

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Homily:23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time (A) by Rev.Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION (23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – A)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL (Matthew 18:15-20) On Fraternal Correction

Jesus spoke to his disciples, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If he or she listens to you, you have regained your brother or sister. But if the person does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the person refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if that person refuses to listen even to the Church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
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REFLECTION:

(Story) There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father. On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers. (Source unknown)

I find this short story poignant. It tells us a reality that there are so many people out there in need of understanding, forgiveness, and love. There are so many people who are hurting. There are so many broken relationships.
There is no such thing as perfect relationships simply because there are no perfect people. We all have our flaws. We all commit mistakes. In any relationship – be it family relationships, relationships between friends or relationships among people in society, at our work place, at school and even in the Church, there will always be conflicts. No matter how much people try to have peace all the time – arguments, misunderstandings, disagreements, and even fights will always transpire along the way even when you least expect it. Having relationship issues, therefore, are inevitable. Good relationships don’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work to make relationships really work. It takes a lot of patience, humility and the will for people to truly want to build a good relationship.Yes, there are no perfect relationships, it’s how you deal with it that makes a relationship perfect. It means, therefore that a successful relationship is not impossible despite our differences and idiosyncrasies.

But how can we have a successful relationship? Well. this is what this Sunday’s Gospel text is trying to teach us. Jesus in today’s Gospel is teaching us a lesson on what to do every time some issues occur in any relationship. Jesus is teaching us a lesson on fraternal correction. Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” But how do we correct one another? How do we encourage one another to do what is right? As for me, the very first thing to do is to look into our hearts, analyze our actions like whose fault is it really? So many times that we cannot admit our faults. Because of pride at times instead of accepting our own mistakes, we would do anything within our means to prove others wrong. Most of the times, we think we are always right. It is easier for us to judge other people. And even if we realized we’re wrong, apologizing wouldn’t be easy to do. That creates more tensions and more conflicts. Have this always in mind – Something is more important than just being always right and i.e. being compassionate. It’s actually a choice whether we wanna be always right or we wanna be always compassionate.

Since conflicts are inevitable in any relationship. Allow me to share with you some guidelines we should consider in order for us to be able to contribute to creating a successful relationship:

First, Humility. Pope Francis spoke of the importance of humility in order to dialogue with a brother or a sister. Fraternal correction, therefore, should be done in the spirit of humility. A humble person is never judgmental.We can learn a lot of lessons from Pope Francis who said: “Who am I to judge?” Judge not lest we are judged! There is one journey that we as Christians have to make i.e. a journey from pride to humility, from self-centered to Christ-centered.

Second, Forgiveness. Learn to forgive. Find ways to be reconciled and reach out. Pope Francis said that whenever there’s conflict look for peace as soon as possible. Always find a solution. He emphasized the need to build bridges rather than walls, like the one that divided Berlin for so many years. The Pope further says that “even in our heart there is the chance to become the Berlin wall to others. I am afraid of these walls that grow every day and foster resentment. And hate.”

Third, Love. We always have to find ways to love. In any conflict, find ways to love. Even if we feel oppressed, find ways to love. Even if we are hurt or we feel something unjust is done to us, we should find ways to love. True love means not to give up on each other. This would be our identity as Christians i.e LOVE! They’ll know we are Christians by our love. We opted to love, as Christ as our model, despite the fact that in so many cases it is never easy to do so. This is God’s greatest commandment that we should love our fellow men – sinner or saint. But who says loving is easy? Finding love especially to the unlovable is never easy.It is easier said than done. Even among members of our own family. Mother Teresa once said “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

One time, I blessed a couple in their 50th Wedding Anniversary. The husband shared the many challenges in their married life.He said that part of their married life is the many fights, and arguments but they followed the lesson they learned from a passage from the Ephesians 4:26 which says “If you are angry let it be without sin, the sun must not go down on your wrath.” There’s wisdom in it, whenever conflict occurs, do not wait till tomorrow to patch up things

Homily: 22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time (A) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

22nd A4

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION (22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – A)
Matthew 16:21-27 On Jesus’ Passion and Discipleship
3rd September 2017
by REV.FR. ALLEN BACLOR ABADINES
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GOSPEL: MATTHEW 16:21-27

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. 2Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does but as human beings do.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
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REFLECTION:

Does God want us to suffer? Does He enjoy our pain? Of course NOT! But why is it that the world is filled with people who are suffering? Suffering has become a part of human existence. It happens to all of us in life, to have some suffering and pain – like every time we encounter problems, when we are sick, when we are dealing with rebellious sons or daughters, when we are in a financial trouble etc. All these bring us pain and suffering. It could happen to anyone. Every one of us can experience loneliness and suffering. It could happen also to famous, rich and powerful people. Wealth, fame, status in life are never guaranteed to make us happy.Yes, there’s no such thing as suffering-free existence. No one is spared.It’s only how we deal with it that makes the difference. Some people wallow in bitterness, hate, anger and regret while others seek meaning and purpose in it. It is our choice!

In today’s Gospel text, our Lord Jesus was talking about his passion and death. If you still remember last Sunday’s Gospel text, Peter was praised by Jesus for giving the right answer when Jesus asked this question – “Who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Messiah!” But it’s different in today’s Gospel, Peter was rebuked by Jesus because he objected to his prediction of his sufferings (Mt. 16:23) “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Thus Peter was called Satan and an obstacle. Because he is thinking not as God does but as human beings do. Jesus further said, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” This reminds me of a someone’s reaction when one time I was discussing this particular text to a certain group of people, one of them reacted -“Why do we have to take up a cross to follow Jesus?” The question is similar to this “Why do we have to suffer?” “Can we not live our lives free from suffering?” This reminds me of a story. A story is told about a someone who approached Jesus with a question: “Why do you allow sufferings like famine, war, disease, crime, homelessness, despair etc. exist in our world?” To which Jesus replied,”Interesting that you should bring that up as I was about to ask you the exact same question.” Some people thought that “God wills us to suffer!” No, God did not want us to suffer. But suffering in the world is a consequence of man’s sinfulness. When Jesus said “If anyone wants to follow me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me,” our Lord was just being realistic. He knew that following him is not gonna be easy considering that his way is a way of the cross. So why do we need to carry our cross?The question was of course as valid as it is relevant. To answer this -We need to understand the meaning of what true Discipleship is.True Discipleship means “laying something down.” – let him deny himself. Denying oneself means following the examples set forth by Jesus himself.True Discipleship demands of us ‘to pick something up’ – take up your cross. But what do we mean by the Cross? The Cross that Jesus was talking about does not necessarily mean bearing difficulties and pains of life.

There are people who interpret “Cross” as some burden they must carry in their lives, like our hardships, challenges, and struggles in life. But when Jesus was talking about his cross, he was not only talking about hardships and pain. He was actually talking about DEATH! Therefore, when Jesus carried his cross, it was not meant only to carry a burden – but the cross meant only one thing i.e. death. Which means taking up your cross is our willingness to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to oneself”, an ultimate sacrifice and a complete surrender to the will of God.I know the demands are tough but the rewards, in the end, are priceless i.e. eternal bliss and the heavenly glory. Some people want only the reward without the cross. There’s truth in the saying “No pain, no gain!” Suffering, as they say, is a way of purification in order for us to achieve perfection. Yes, following Jesus may not be easy. Following him is easy when life runs smoothly but our true commitment and fidelity to Christ are revealed most especially during trials. Discipleship demands sacrifice. When he invited us to come follow him, he never sugar-coated things. Jesus never hid the cost.But the reward is worth the price.
When we are called to carry our cross, we don’t have to carry it perfectly.In his agony in the garden, Jesus said: “Let this cup pass from me.” And remember Simon of Cyrene, was only forced to carry the cross, he actually didn’t want to help, but he did anyway. On his way to Calvary, Jesus fell several times. But He carried it out of his perfect love and obedience to the Father.Carrying the cross means obeying the will of God. A complete trust in His divine providence and design.Love makes things bearable. Let us, therefore, carry our crosses with LOVE.

 

Homily: Corpus Christi (A) The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (A) CORPUS CHRISTI
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: JOHN 6:51-59

Jesus said to the people: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
The people then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
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The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ
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REFLECTION:

It is sad to know that nowadays some families rarely eat together anymore. Eating together as a family, for me, is an important aspect of family life. This is one particular family activity that strengthens family bonds. It is an opportunity for family members to exchange pleasantries and to some extent get to know each other so well. A healthy conversation among family members is essential to building up of a close family relationship. In the old days, when life and technologies were much simpler, families spent more time together. Members worked, ate, and slept together. But nowadays, even if they find time together at one table, they seemed to be busy doing their own thing. In that case, the chance to get to know each other intimately is destroyed. We need to put back a culture of strong family ties.Where we see parents talking to their children, Children listening to their parents. And siblings sharing jokes, laughter, and stories. And at the dinner table is the best place to start. I really miss those days when we share moments in one table as a family.It is the best place where families could create special memories together. We say the grace together. We share our experiences, some jokes, stories and some of our dreams and aspirations. We create sweet moments that we’ll treasure the rest of our lives.

Probably this is the reason why our Lord Jesus instituted the Eucharist in a form of a meal. Jesus wants us to gather at the Church as a community and as one family.Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst.” Gathering therefore at a Church for our worship is indeed in God’s desire for us. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” There should be no compromise. Sometimes you hear people say,”Why should I go to Church when I see people who are sinners too?” Well, that is exactly the reason why there is a need for us to come to Church i.e. because we are all sinners. We need God’s grace and forgiveness. We also need one another in our spiritual journey. We need the support of the community in our spiritual life. While we are taking care of our own spirituality, we are also building up a Christian community. A community united in the love of Christ. Yes, we are an imperfect community for we are composed of imperfect people. But we go hand in hand as a community of believers towards perfection.This leads me to believe that those people who do not go to Church are only making excuses. For, in the end, the only reason I see is a sloth or perhaps lack or absence of faith. When one is convinced about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, by all means, he will always find time to receive Communion as often as he could. The first time I learned about the real presence of Jesus in the bread, I fell in love instantly in the Eucharist. And I said to myself, “From now on I will never fail to receive Jesus in the Eucharist every week.” I kept that promise. It is one of the reasons why I decided to become a priest.

It is such a profound wisdom why Jesus presented to us himself as a Bread of Life. This Sunday, we are confronted with a Gospel text that deals with the Living Bread and the idea of partaking of it. John 6:51,, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus’ listeners having difficulty in accepting Jesus’ teaching. They argued with one another, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” It was not easy for them to comprehend. Thus they abandoned our Lord Jesus saying “it was a hard teaching.” To this date, we are confronted with the same issue. There are people who expressed their doubts in believing in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. It is not surprising that even among Catholics, there are those who are struggling to accept this teaching. But we could have the same argument presented when we explain the mystery of the Trinity. “It is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist daily will help us grow in our faith and will help us understand the mystery of his presence in the Eucharist. To a man, it may be impossible. But to God everything is possible. He created the universe by just mere word, how can he not make himself present in every Sacred Host.

At the Last Supper, Jesus took the bread, blessed it and said, “This is my body.” Then he took the chalice, gave it to his disciples and said, “This is my blood.” Then he asked us to do this in “Remembrance of Me.” Every time, we celebrate the Mass and we receive Jesus in the Eucharist we celebrate God’s saving act and his love for us. It is a remembrance of God’s eternal love for mankind.

HOMILY: Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (A) by Rev.Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION: SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY (A)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: JOHN 3:16-18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
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REFLECTION:

God wants to establish a personal and intimate relationship with us. This is the reason why he revealed His very nature with us. We do not normally reveal ourselves to a someone we do not personally know. And so when God reveals Himself to us as Trinity, it is a manifestation of God’s desire to enter into a relationship with all of the humanity. That is good news …we have a relationship with God. God calls us His own. Unworthy as we are, the fact still remains i.e. we are loved! Now we could clearly understand why Jesus wants us to call his Father as our Father too. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to call God as our Father.

When I reflect on the Trinity, what comes to my mind is a perfect relationship. A relationship between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. All equal, undivided in unity.God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are co-equal, co-eternal, three distinct persons, yet one God.

So today, the Church invites us to contemplate on the mystery of the Trinity. Today’s Solemnity teaches us that we have but one God with Three Divine persons – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

Not only a few but a lot of people are struggling to accept this teaching of the Church. St. Augustine spent so much in his lifetime unraveling the mystery of the Trinity only to get to the conclusion in the end that we will never get to the bottom of it. It is a mystery! And when we say a mystery, it means that one can never completely comprehend its very nature. Somebody puts it beautifully: the Trinity is “not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” It doesn’t mean however that we will remain totally oblivion of it. In order for us to somehow understand the mystery is to experience it in our lives. Experience the Trinitarian love in our lives. It should be a way of life to us. God should be the ultimate end of man’s journey. St. Augustine says that Man is by nature restless and only in God where a man can find real rest.

The word Trinity is a combination of the Latin words “Trinus” meaning Three and “Unus” meaning One.Nowhere in the Scriptures where you could find the word, Trinity. So how did we know that God is Trinity? Our Lord Jesus revealed to us the Trinitarian nature of God.
For instance, when the teacher of the law approached Jesus and asked him this question: Of all the Commandments which is the greatest: Jesus replied, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Mark 12:28). In the Gospel of John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” In John 14:9 Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” But Jesus replied:“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” It was at the baptism of the Lord when the Trinity is clearly revealed. The heavens opened and the Father spoke: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased’ And the Holy Spirit descended to our Lord Jesus in a form of a dove. That was a perfect revelation of the Trinity.

The question is that: If the Doctrine of the Trinity is beyond human comprehension, how then is it relevant to us today? St. Augustine says that ‘anyone who denies the Trinity loses his salvation.’ At the very heart of our Christian faith is our profession of our belief in the Trinity. God reveals Himself to us in order to save us. Thus, it is summarized in today’s Gospel Text:

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.”

Homily: Sixth Sunday Of Easter (A) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

6th easter

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (A)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*GOSPEL: JOHN 14:15-21Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.

But you know him because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me because I live and you will live.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.

And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
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REFLECTION:

In a Sunday school, the Parish priest was teaching the children about Jesus. He was telling them that Jesus is a loving father. He told them about the so many good qualities of Jesus – like his obedience to the Father, his compassion to the poor, to the sick and needy people and the sacrifice he made for mankind. As he was explaining to them about Jesus, suddenly there was one little boy, his name was Johnny, who said to the pastor: “Father, you are a lot like Jesus.” And the priest gave little Johnny the sweetest smile for to him that was the most wonderful compliment he has ever heard his entire life i.e. to be likened to Jesus.

Our goal here on earth is to imitate Jesus in our lives. We should be an “Alter Christus” or “another Christ.” Imitate Jesus in everything we do and in everyone we encounter. Jesus should always be our model in humility, in generosity, in service, in compassion, in forgiveness, and in love. This is how we could prove our love of him. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We are commanded to love as Jesus loves. Well, it’s not gonna be easy so we need help.We need inspiration and strength to go on. And this is what Jesus promised us – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” Jesus promised us to send the Holy Spirit to be our guide.

We now celebrate the sixth Sunday of Easter.We are near the conclusion of our Easter celebration, The Church continue to invite us to reflect on the Gospel of John. On the sixth Sunday of Easter, the Gospel text is still part of the Farewell discourse of Jesus. Indeed, it is appropriate so that we could prepare now for our reflection on the Ascension Sunday and the Pentecost. It talks about Jesus’ departure as well as the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Last Sunday, in my homily, I said it is not good for us to be alone. There is a need for us to belong to something and to someone. We need a place to stay, we need a home and we need a family.Last Sunday, Jesus promised to prepare a place for us. But while we wait for his return to take us for himself, he is sending us another advocate and that is the Holy Spirit or a Paraclete.

Paraclete comes from the Greek word Parakletos, it refers to “One who consoles or comforts, one who encourages or uplifts and one who intercedes on our behalf.” This is what the Holy Spirit does to us, He encourages, He consoles and He comforts us. He gives us the strength, protection, and care, He refreshes and guides us. Which means that in our journey to our going home to the Father, we are not alone. Jesus wants us to succeed.”I will not leave you orphans.” But there is something he wants us to do – i.e. to keep his commandments.”Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” What are Jesus’ commands? Very clearly in the Scriptures, it is a commandment to Love.

When we were young, our parents used to give us so many restrictions and rules. Most kids didn’t like that. There are times that those rules didn’t really make sense. They rebelled, they protested and they disobeyed. Only when they became adults that they understood that those rules and restrictions were made because they are loved. Parents gave them those rules because they care and because they are for their own good. And so Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandment.” That’s the only way we can prove our love of God.

Maybe it sounds simple. But to love truly and sincerely is never easy. Much more to love as Jesus loves. Jesus commanded us to love even the unlovable, even people who do not deserve our love. He even commanded us to love our enemies. And to love till it hurts. By us alone, things may not be possible. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, our strength, inspiration, and guide-what seem to be impossible would be possible. Then loving would not be a burden but a way of life.

Homily: 4th Sunday Of Easter (A) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

4th easter2

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Fourth Sunday Of Easter (A)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.

Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
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REFLECTION:

They say that the sweetest and most important sound to anyone’s ears is the sound of one’s personal name. This is the reason why it is important to remember people’s names. When we remember and use their names in a conversation, it builds up a personal relationship. It shows we value the person.We give honor. interest and respect by calling him or her particular name.I must confess that I am really bad at names. It could happen at times when I am introduced to a someone for the first time that towards the end of the conversion I already forgot the name of the person. That would be so embarrassing. So I make it a point to always focus on other people’s names. Practice focusing on people’s names all the time makes perfect. But in case, you simply forgot , it is always nice to ask humbly- “I am sorry but I seem to have forgotten your name,” We all have our strength and weaknesses. Some people are good at remembering names. Others maybe struggling. But what is important is to always relate to people with sincerity and honesty.

Having this insights in mind, I feel so fortunate. I realize how important and how valuable are we in the eyes of God. This Sunday’s Gospel text attests to this reality as we reflect on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Every Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Church invites us to reflect on this image of Jesus as the good shepherd. And it tells us that the Good Shepherd knows his sheep or us personally and individually. “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” It is such a privilege to have this personal and intimate relationship with God. Why? Because we are assured of his love. Just us he knows us personally, He also knows what is good for us and he provides for our needs. He knows our thoughts and actions. He knows our joys and pains.He even knows us better than we know ourselves. He cares about you personally.

Part of Dan Schutte song inspired by Psalm 139 says, “.Lord, You have searched my heart,
and You know when I sit and when I stand.
Your hand is upon me protecting me from death,
keeping me from harm.” God therefore relates to us like a loving Father taking care of his children’s needs. To God, you and I matter.

The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is perhaps the most appealing image of Jesus. We picture him as sweet, dedicated Shepherd to us his flock. But have we ever realized it’s most profound message? Part of shepherding are the perils that entail this job. It means that the Good Shepherd should be ready even to sacrifice his life for his sheep. Which our Lord Jesus did in accepting death on the Cross.This reminds me of a story from an unknown author:

THE VISITOR

One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out. Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, “I always park there. You took my place!”
The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!”
The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!”
The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing.
Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.
Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?”
The visitor replied, “I took your place.”

John10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Our Lord shed his blood on the Cross for our salvation. That’s the ultimate expression of love when you are ready to sacrifice even your own life. But it is not enough that we admire this sacrificial offering of our Lord. It also entails responsibility on our part. John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” Our task , therefore, is to always listen to our Shepherd intently and to let his Words guide us in everything we say or do.