Homily: 25th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION: Twenty-fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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READINGS:
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FIRST READING: AMOS 8:4-7
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!
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The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 113

Response: PRAISE THE LORD WHO LIFTS UP THE NEEDY
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R/ Praise the Lord who lifts up the needy.
*
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R/ Praise the Lord who lifts up the needy.
*
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R/ Praise the Lord who lifts up the needy.
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SECOND READING: 1 TIMOTHY 2:1-7
Beloved:
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
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The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
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GOSPEL ACCLAMATION:
Alleluia. Alleluia. Though Jesus Christ was rich, yet he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
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GOSPEL: LUKE 16:1-13
Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
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REFLECTION:

This Sunday’s Scriptural Readings enlighten us with what should be our outlook with regards material possessions. They also encourage us to care for the poor and the needy. Like in today’s First Reading, the prophet Amos manifested great compassion for the poor. We have seen here a prophet condemning the sad and unjust plight of the poor and the needy. He exposed the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich have always their surplus while the poor died of hunger. The Responsorial Psalm lifted up the poor. It says , Praise the Lord who lifts up the needy. In the Second Reading , however, St. Paul in his letter to Timothy urged us to pray for Kings, ruler and all people in authority that they may not fall to corruption in governing the land. This is still true to this date because corruptions in the government are rampant everywhere in the world. Corrupt leaders exchange honest and truthful service over material wealth because of their greed. Thus the Second Reading serves as a warning against corruption. And today’s Gospel relates to us the parable of the dishonest steward. It tells us that there is something more important than material possessions. The Manager was dishonest to the point that he forgot that there are things more important in acquiring wealth here on earth. Our dignity as children of God is of more value than any material possessions. Jesus said , “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches.” ” No slaves can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and wealth” Our money can only have meaning when it is used wisely. It is of greater value when it is extended in helping the poor and the needy. In short today’s Readings in one hand , condemns corruption, dishonesty and greed. And on the other hand, God wants us to cultivate our love of the poor.
However, dealing with the poor and the needy could mean different things to different people, It requires one to make some sacrifices, big or small. There are times that we feel some kind of apprehension in extending help to a somebody. Experience tells us that there are abusive people who simply take advantage of one’s kindness and generosity. Several times I was approached by a someone who looked more capable of working than I am. In such situation a careful discernment is necessary if the need was legitimate. However, in case of doubt , the best thing to do is to always go to the side of charity so as not to miss an opportunity to imitate our Lord. Developing our sense of empathy and compassion towards the poor can help us discern on how we can extend a helping hand towards them. This is the beauty and the mystery why we are not equal when it comes to blessings. Apparently, there are people who seemed to be more blessed than others. Some people are more wealthy, others maybe more intelligent , still others are blessed with so many skills. Yes, we may not be equal in our qualifications, but we are equal in our capacity to love. Saint John Paul 11 says “No one is so poor that they cannot give something and nobody is so rich that he has nothing to receive.”
The manager was not praised because of his dishonesty. He was praised because of his being so wise as to have some kind of a foresight that made him prepare for his future. Although he use such quality in the wrong manner. Just like the manager, our Lord Jesus wants us to have the same foresight and prudence but in a good way. We do not settle for less. Our attention should be the Kingdom of God, our greatest treasure.
The question maybe this, “Is it wrong to even care about material things for ourselves or for others? Not at all! But let us bear in mind that material possessions should not be our end. They are means to an end. They are something we use to achieve our goals, which is to be more like Christ. We should therefore not be possessed by material possessions. It is foolishness to spend all our attention towards accumulating them only to displace our love of God with the love of mammon.
*
Story (from Frank Mihalic’s The Next 500 Stories)
There was this businessman whose only interest in life was to play the stock market. He studied the financial pages of the newspapers greedily everyday. He became so obsessed with finances that one day he said aloud to himself, “I would give anything to see the paper one year from now.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth, than there was a puff of smoke in the room and a little genie handed him a newspaper and then disappeared. As soon as he got over his shock, he realized that his wish had been granted. The paper in his hand dated for next year. Feverishly he found the financial page and then his eyes bulged when he saw how the market had developed. He wrote down the stocks that had jumped highest and won the most money in that time.
He got into his car and went down to his stockbroker with his latest information. He took the newspaper along and was browsing through it before he started off. Then suddenly he noticed his name in the obituary page. It described the cause of his death and the funeral arrangement.
*
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21)
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HOMILY: 23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION:Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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READINGS:

FIRST READING: WISDOM 9:13-18B

Who can know God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.
For the corruptible body burdens the soul
and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?
Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
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RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14-17

Response: LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR DWELLING PLACE IN ALL GENERATIONS.
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You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R/ Lord, You have been our dwelling pace in all generations.
*
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R/ Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
*
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R/ Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
*
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R/ Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

*

SECOND READING: PHILEMON 9-10,12-17

I, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment;
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave
but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

*
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (Psalm 119,135)
Alleluia. Alleluia. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. Alleluia.
*

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GOSPEL: LUKE 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.

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REFLECTION:

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
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We are again confronted with a challenge this Sunday. Our Lord is inviting us to follow him. But following him is never easy. Following him means giving up the things that we love the most. Giving them up could be the hardest thing to do for we have so many attachments. Many people are attached to material possessions . Some of us are attached to people (relationships). Others are attached to their own ambitions and dreams. But Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel to choose him and put him first in our lives.
“Unless you give up all those possessions you think you can not live without, you can never be Jesus’ disciple.” The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel may not be easy to accept. One should reflect deeply in order to get to the bottom of what Jesus’ meant by such strong words – “Whoever comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even their life itself , cannot be my disciple.” Was our Lord Jesus teaching us to hate our parents, or spouse , and or brothers and sisters and even ourselves? No, not at all! We do not interpret this particular text literally. Our Lord Jesus was just trying to make a strong statement. He wanted to shock his listeners that he maybe able to get their attention. His words were not in conflict with his admonition to love our parents, our brothers and sisters , our friends and neighbors as well as oneself. The use of the word ‘hate’ here was just a metaphor. ‘ Hate’ here means only to detach oneself. It means not to take it as a sole priority. He wants us to assess our level of commitment. When one chooses Jesus, it should be a full commitment. One should never allow any other commitments to take priority. Following Jesus should be first before all others. It tells us therefore that following Jesus is never easy. It entails hardships, pain, sacrifices. And yes the cost of discipleship is the Cross. “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus’ demand was a full commitment , a complete giving of oneself. It is understandable indeed for when he committed himself to the will of the Father it was a complete obedience. When he gave his love for us, it was a complete giving, it was without reservation to the extent of accepting death on the Cross. And it is but fitting also that when we decide to follow him, it should be a full commitment even if following him demands sacrifice.
In my ministry as a priest , my role is to preach the good news. Preaching the good news means speaking the truth. When we speak the truth , it is inevitable that some people may get hurt , for truth really hurts. I never water down the Gospel message no matter how strong Jesus’ message may be. But in the process some people may tend to harass and even malign the messenger by their harsh reactions and comments. As for me that is part of my commitment to follow Jesus. The hurts , pains and hardships are but signs indeed of being in the right track, for Jesus’ way is the road to Calvary.
STORY: (Author unknown)
One day in a certain barn, the chicken and the cow was discussing with each other. “Our master is sick , we should do something for him, ” proposed the chicken. “Sure, but how?” asked the cow. To which the chicken replied, “Let’s take care of his breakfast, I will supply him with eggs,and you supply the meat.” The cow felt sad for he knew that it would mean a total sacrifice. It means death for the cow but it’s total commitment and the ultimate giving of oneself.
We may find Jesus’ idea of discipleship too demanding for us. Others may find it not only difficult but impossible. But whenever we reflect deeply on the Cross and the sacrifice of Christ then we would understand that Jesus was not asking of us that he has not done himself. By our constant contemplation of his Cross will make us understand fully what discipleship really means and what it truly constitutes. Then following him will never be a burden but an act of love to him who is the author of that greatest LOVE

Homily: 21st Sunday In Ordinary Time (year C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION: 21st Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: ISAIAH 66:18-21

Thus says the LORD:
I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory.
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 117:1-2

RESPONSE: GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS.
or Alleluia.

Praise the LORD all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R/ Go into all the world and proclaim the good news.
or:
R. Alleluia.

For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R/ Go into all the world and proclaim the good news.
or:
R. Alleluia.
*

SECOND READING: HEBREWS 12:5-7,11-13

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

GOSPEL: LUKE 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You Lord Jesus Christ.

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REFLECTION:

We continue our little sojourn through Luke’s Gospel text reflecting on some important and difficult issues. In today’s passage, Jesus was confronted with a question about salvation. He was heading Jerusalem when suddenly a man came up and asked him this question – “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Seemingly, it was just a simple question answerable by ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But actually there are so many subtext comprising this question. It was a question that could make us reflect on things that are eschatological, meaning issues about heaven and hell, judgment, eternal punishment and heavenly bliss.Yet, Jesus made this an opportunity to teach and to make a statement. Obviously , the man got more than what he was asking for. There are so much going on in this passage. Jesus’ response indeed was profound and worth pondering upon. To the one who asked the question, “Lord, will only a few people be saved,” – he was just simply asking how many will be saved. But Jesus’ response reveals to us that the quantity should not be that much of a concern. What concerns him most is for people to know how could they attain salvation. In today’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus in answering that question managed to give us three little parables. The first parable is about the narrow door. Sometimes it is referred to as the narrow gate. Jesus said , “Strive to enter through the narrow door.” The question would be, “Why would anyone need to strive to enter?” and “Why is the door narrow?” The door may not be literally narrow that it would be a challenge for anyone to enter. It may be just a normal door. But as the gospel relates to us, the fact that many people will attempt to enter that door will make its entrance so challenging. Imagine a huge volume of people trying to make it through the door. What then will happen? It will require so much strength to get through the crowd of people pushing one another. Some won’t be able to make it. Only those who are persistent and strong enough will be able to get through. Entering therefore is not an easy job.
Jesus supported this parable by giving us another imagery – that of a locked door. “After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!” This means that it is not enough for us to know the Lord. It is not enough that we have faith. We need to have a covenant relationship with God, that in the end, God will acknowledge us and grant us entrance to the heavenly banquet. With this , the parable was followed by another imagery and that is the heavenly banquet. “And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.”
While the Gospel of today is teaching us some important lessons in life. It also serves as a warning. Salvation is never easy. We need to strive hard until the end. Salvation is never cheap. It is freely given yet it will require hard work to fully attain it. There is no shortcut to salvation. It requires pains, hardships and sacrifices. In short , it is the way of the Cross. But is there a need to strive? Why would God not make it easy for us? Perhaps the story that I would like to share with you at this point could shed some lights.
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STORY: One Day A Small Gap (Author Unknown)

One day a small gap appeared in the cocoon, through which the butterfly had to appear. A boy, who accidentally passed by, stopped and watched how the butterfly was trying to get out of the cocoon. It took a lot of time, the butterfly was trying very hard, and the gap was as little as before. It seemed that the power would leave the butterfly soon.
The boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a penknife and cut the cocoon. The butterfly immediately got out, but its body was weak and feeble, and the wings were barely moving.
The boy continued to watch the butterfly, thinking that now its wings would spread and its would fly. However, that did not happen.
The rest of its life the butterfly had to drag its weak body and wings that weren’t spread. It was unable to fly, because the boy did not realize that an effort to enter through the narrow gap of the cocoon was necessary for the butterfly, so that the life-giving fluid would move from the body to the butterfly’s wings and that the butterfly could fly. Life forced the butterfly to leave its shell hardly, so that it would become stronger and would be able to grow and develop.
If we were allowed to live without meeting difficulties, we would not be viable. Life gives us challenges to make us stronger.
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Life is a matter of decision we make. We are being challenge to make a choice. The Book of Sirach 15:14 tells us , “He created humanity at the beginning, and left them to the power of their choices. Are we going to take the easy path, but it leads to destruction? Or are we going to take the difficult one but it leads to life?
Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
But who says, it is that easy. There is a need to strive. Everyday is a challenge. We are always confronted with choices to do good or to do bad. To turn towards God or away from Him. We are like being pulled to two different directions. The choice is ours. Even saints find it difficult to heed to the call of holiness. That reminds me of St. Augustine who says , “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.”
As we continue to reflect on today’s Gospel, there are important points that I’d like you to keep in mind.
We are already saved. By the mere fact that Jesus died on the Cross, we are already saved. God gave us a wonderful gift of salvation through the sacrifice of his son on the cross. It was Jesus’ mission to save us by accepting death on the cross. But it is a gift. We are saved by God’s free gift of grace but we have to reciprocate to this grace. God desires all men to be saved. He desires every single person to enter his Kingdom. But God respects our free will. Freedom is the gift that God gave us otherwise we would just be like an automaton.God predestined no one to go to hell, but he can not stop us if we would like to. We need to persevere to claim heaven till the end.

Homily: Twelfth Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION: 12th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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FIRST READING: ZECHARIAH 12:10-11;13:1

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out on the house of David
and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem
a spirit of grace and petition;
and they shall look on him whom they have pierced,
and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son,
and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn.

On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great
as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

On that day there shall be open to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9

Response: My soul thirsts for you, O Lord my God.

O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul thirsts for you, O Lord my God.
*
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul thirsts for you, O Lord my God.
*
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul thirsts for you, O Lord my God.
*
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul thirsts for you, O Lord my God.
*

SECOND READING: GALATIANS 3:26-29

Brothers and sisters:
Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free person,
there is not male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ,
then you are Abraham’s descendant,
heirs according to the promise.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (John 10:27)
Alleluia. Alleluia, My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord, I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL: LUKE 9:18-24

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist;
others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them
and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.

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REFLECTION:

 

Thales of Miletus, a pre-Socratic Greek Philosopher once asked this question, “What is difficult?” To which he replied, “What is difficult is knowing oneself.” But why is “knowing oneself” difficult? Knowing oneself means acknowledging your own strength as well as your own weaknesses. It means acknowledging your beauty and your ugliness as well. It means acknowledging not only the positive but also the negative in you. In such case, knowing oneself is difficult because it is not easy to judge oneself. It is for this reason, therefore that we tend to know ourselves only in the most superficial sense of the word. Socrates’ guiding principle is “Know Thyself!” We can only have a profoud knowledge of oneself if we could be honest and humble enough to see and accept the truth about us.
Why is it important to know oneself? Knowing oneself should be on top of one’s priority. We can never have a clear direction and goals in life if we do not know ourselves. A healthy and succesful relationships with others would only be possible if a person knows himself so well. Getting to know oneself should therefore be established first in order for us to have a better relationship with God, with the people around us and with the world we live in.
In today’s Gospel Jesus invited us to contemplate on his own identity. Jesus was praying alone when all of a sudden he asked his disciples this question,”Who do the crowds say that I am?’ They answered, “John the Baptist, but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient Prophets has arisen.” Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am.” With that simple question Jesus challenges his followers with the most important issue in their faith and spiritual life. One’s response determines how deep one’s faith in Jesus is and it determines one’s maturity in his/her spiritual life.
The same question is now directed to us all. What would be our response? Just like Peter, we could easily say “You are the Christ of God.” Of course , Jesus is the Christ of God , we are exactly right! But prophesing Jesus as the Christ is not enough. There are consequences when we say we believe in Jesus the Christ. When Peter said “You are the Christ of God,” our Lord at once explained to them the meaning of Messiah. Jesus immediately speaks about his impending suffering, persecution and death but in the end is his victory , for he will rise again on the third day. Jesus made it clear to the disciples that if they chose his path it’s not gonna be easy. In fact, it also means carrying one’s cross. This contradicts their notion of a Messiah. He does not come like a knight in shining armor, very far from it. He comes rather like a lamb willing to be slaughtered for the salvation of the sinful mankind. In order for us to know Jesus, well, we also have to understand his sacrifice on the Cross. This is also the reason why he invited us to take the same way of the Cross – “If anyone wants to become my follower, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will save it.”

Going back to the Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am.” If I am to answer that question I would say – “Jesus is my personal Savior. Jesus is a Father, a Brother, a Friend to me. He is my confidant, my strength, my hope and my consolation. It is my experience of him in my day to day dealings with other people that reveals to me who he is.” In times of trials , Jesus is my refuge. In times of struggles, Jesus is my hope. In times of suffering, Jesus is my strength. Jesus is my everything.
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Story (from Frank Mihalic)
Look at it this way. Suppose that you had a favour to ask of someone, not just a small thing but a request that would make a heavy demand on another’s time or energy or pocketbook or patience. Do you just up and ask the first person who happens around the next corner? Or do you think long and seriously, going over the roster of your real friends? Of one thing you can be sure, when you finally single out someone, it always turns out to be the individual you definitely consider to be your best friend. Why? Because you feel that the others are not quite up to making such a sacrifice for you, they don’t love you that much.
Now what exactly have you done to the person by choosing him or her? You have actually honoured this friend by your asking.
Same with God when he puts special Crosses on us – or it seems that way.
*******************************
Our Cross in life is a proof of our relationship with Christ. We are his disciples if we carry the Cross with love.

In the end, the Cross doesn’t really mean just pain, suffering and death- The Cross means Love. The Cross is now synonymous to Love.

When Jesus says Take up your Cross and follow me, He wants us to take up love, choose love as a way of Life.

Take up your Cross daily, choose love daily, when we suffer, we suffer with love, when we toil we toil with love, when we serve we serve with love, when we celebrate, we celebrate with love. Walk in love, walk with love, walk through love

____________________________________________

 

 

Homily: Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

trinity1

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: PROVERBS 8:22-31

Thus says the wisdom of God:
“The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
from of old I was poured forth,
at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no fountains or springs of water;
before the mountains were settled into place,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
while as yet the earth and fields were not made,
nor the first clods of the world.

“When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
when he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
when he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
then was I beside him as his craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race.”
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R/ O LORD, OUR GOD, HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME IN ALL THE EARTH!
*
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place —
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet:
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
*

SECOND READING: ROMANS 5:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: to God who is, who was, and who is to come. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
*

REFLECTION:
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity. Our point for reflection is a bit of a challenge. We are being invited to contemplate on a doctrine that in the end, no matter how much we try , still we won’t be able to get to the bottom of it completely. But we do not worry, God’s nature is supposed to be a mystery. St. Augustine puts it beautifully, “A God without mystery is not God.” In other words, If we can understand and explain God totally then he is not God. God is almighty , eternal , infinite …and our limited mind can never unravel His immensity. Today, therefore, we should first of all accept the fact we are about to reflect on a mystery hence beyond human comprehension. This does not mean that we do not know anything about the Trinity. Nowhere in the Scriptures we could find the word Trinity. However, the Trinity was clearly revealed throughout the whole scriptures. Jesus introduced to us the Trinitarian nature of God. For instance in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, “Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Notice that Jesus used the word ‘name’ (singular) instead of ‘names’ (plural) to tell us that there is but one God. The doctrine of the Trinity tells us that “God is one in essence, and three in person.” There is one God who eternally exists as three distinct persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is One. We do not worship three Gods, but one God in three Divine Person. No one can fully understand nor explain to us the mystery. Only God can make it known to us by revealing himself to us. God revealed himself to us as a manifestation of his love for us. We only reveal ourselves to those we love and to those we want to establish a deeper relationship with. God wants us to establish a personal and intimate relationship with Him. As we discover the mystery of Divine love, we eventually unravel the mystery of our existence, we discover the mystery of our relationship with one another and in the end we understand the mystery of life itself. Trinitarian revelation is God’s revelation of His love for mankind. God is love (1 John 4:16). Love therefore is our origin. Love is our mission. Love is our journey. Love should be our goal. And Love should be our destiny.
Each of us has his/her understanding of God based on our experience of him through one another. For instance, a boy who was physically abused by his own father cannot comprehend a loving and a caring God. On the other hand, a somebody who was given a second chance could easily perceive a forgiving and merciful God. Our task therefore is to make God known by the life we live. We reveal God to others by our love.

********************************************
Mother Teresa had a way where she could introduce God to others by her own personal witness of Him. She relates to us this story. In the story a certain woman could only see a God of pain and suffering. But Mother Teresa was able to impart to her a God of joy and hope.

“I never forget one day when I met a lady who was dying of cancer and I could see the way she was struggling with that terrible pain. And I said to her, you know this is but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close to Him on the cross that He can kiss you. And she joined her hands together and said, ‘Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me’.”

Mother Teresa explained her story by saying, “This is the joy of suffering, the kiss of Jesus. Do not be afraid to share in that joy of suffering with Him because He will never give us more suffering than we are able to bear.”

But she seemed to have struggled with being overwelmed at times. Mother Teresa also said, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle, but I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!”
*******************************************
Somebody said that the Trinity is not a puzzle to be solved but a mystery to be lived. We live a Trinitarian mystery in order for us to be living witnesses of God’s love. Failing to love means failing to know God deeply in our lives. It is good to know that our ultimate destiny is God the Father. God the Son prepared and paved the way for us. And we journey by the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Homily: Ascension of the Lord (B) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

ascension

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Solemnity Of The Ascension of the Lord ( Year C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*READINGS:FIRST READING :ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 47:2-3,6-7,8-9

R/ GOD HAS GONE UP WITH A SHOUT, THE LORD WITH THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET.
R/ ALLELUIA
*
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R/ God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
*
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R/ God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
*
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R/ God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
*

SECOND READING: EPHESIANS 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

GOSPEL: LUKE 24:46-53
Jesus said to the disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you-that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
“And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and return to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the tempple blessing God.
*
The Gospel of the Lord/ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
*
*********************************************************************
REFLECTION
One of my greatest fears is the fear of heights. I am afraid to fly. Ironically, I am a frequent flyer. And I never get used to flying. Everytime I fly in an airplane, I still feel that fear inside. To overcome this fear, I just imagine myself flying with Jesus, much like the Ascension of the Lord. Thinking that Iam flying with Jesus works all the time.
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, this is the time when the Risen Lord ascended to heaven. Jesus leaves this mortal world to be with the Father. This is exactly what comes to mind when we think of the Ascension of the Lord. But Ascension has a more profound meaning than just reflecting on the fact that Jesus ascended to heaven. In last Sunday’s Gospel text, the scene was set during the Last Supper wherein Jesus was saying his so called Farewell Discourse. There was a tinge of sadness in Jesus’ words since he was actually saying goodbye to his apostles. He knew that his hour has come. He was fully aware of his impending death and suffering. But instead of thinking about himself, he was thinking of his apostles. He was giving them the strength that they may be able to bear the imminent suffering. Jesus offered them the gift of peace. He said let your hearts not be troubled. And he promised them that he would send an Advocate that would remind them of all that he has done. Jesus knew that the hour will come for him to depart from this world and go to the Father. His earthly mission is complete. This is the time for him to go back to the Father.And therefore today we celebrate this event of the Ascension. But what is it’s significance and how it is relevant to us today?
First, Ascension may mean the end of Jesus’ earthly mission. But it doesn’t mean just an end but rather it means more of a beginning. It is the beginning of the new chapter of the saving work which Jesus began. Now , it’s time for the apostles to continue this work and pass it on eventually to the Church and it’s members. In the first reading , Acts 1:8, Jesus admonished his disciples to continue his mission – “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Second, Ascension means to glorify the Son of God. Jesus’ mission is fulfilled. The Son of God is triumphant in his offering of his life on the cross. Like to a Lamb, Jesus willingly sacrifice his life for the salvation of the world. Now is the time to give back his heavenly glory. The Father is well pleased and he exalted Jesus. This is best described in the second reading from the letter to the Ephesians, “God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places…”
Third, now that Jesus is exalted by the Father, it allows him to prepare a place for us. John 14:2 , “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
As we reflect on the meaning of the Ascension of the Lord, the question now is – how is this relevant to us today?
First, It means that as followers and as children of God, our task now is to continue the mission of spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. The mission is huge. There are times that we may feel unworthy. We should not worry – ‘let your hearts not be troubled.’ We only have to put our complete trust in Jesus. Jesus may not be with us physically but he never leave us orphans. He wants us to be able to carry this mission out and so he promised – “Behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.” He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us so that we be credible witnesses to the Gospel.
Second, the Ascension of the Lord tells us that we are but pilgrims here on earth and our final destination is heaven. After doing the task of spreading the Good News and that we remain faithful till the end , then heaven is our reward. Jesus wants us to succeed. He wants to gather his flock once again in his Kingdom.
The Apostles were here spreading the Good News of our Salvation 2000 years ago. The mission has been passed on to us. Now it is our turn to do the same. It is indeed a great responsibility. But let us do our part with great faith and great love. But do not forget to always ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, inspiration and strenght. Be bold…be courageous in making the Love of Jesus known throughout the whole world.

 


 

HOMILY: Second Sunday of Easter (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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Second Sunday of Easter/ Divine Mercy Sunday (Year C)
A Gospel Reflection by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
Sunday, 3rd April 2016
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them.

Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.

A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
*
The word of the Lord./ Thanks be to God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 118:2-4,13-15,22-24

(R) GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD, HIS LOVE IS EVERLASTING.
*
Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His mercy endures forever.” (R)

I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped me. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my saviour. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. (R)

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. (R)
*

SECOND READING: BOOK OF REVELATION (1:9-11a,12-13,17-19)

I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus.

I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said, “Write on a scroll what you see.” Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with the right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld. Write down, therefore, what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.”
*
The word of the Lord./ Thanks be to God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
(R) Alleluia, alleluia!
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe! (R)
*
GOSPEL: JOHN 20:19-31

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
*
The Gospel of the Lord./ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
*

REFLECTION:
Today we celebrate Second Sunday of Easter. On the Second Sunday of Easter we continue our reflection on the risen Christ. But this is also a day, in particular , that we are being invited to reflect on the immensity of God’s mercy and love as we also celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. When we say Divine Mercy , we mean to say it’s God’s infinite mercy. His mercy, love and forgiveness are greater than sin, suffering and death. It means our salvation and life eternal. And it means Christ’s victory as well as our own. This Sunday’s Gospel text helps us to understand the reality in the mystery of this Divine Mercy. It is clearly stated in today’s Gospel message. Divine forgiveness, peace, mercy and love are the keywords underlying the message of John. The Gospel relates to us that our Lord Jesus appears before the apostles. Very noticeable in this particular text is the image of Jesus who is so quick to assure his disciples of his peace and forgiveness. I could only imagine how those disciples must have felt at that time. They confined themselves in a room out of fear, desperation and shame. One of them, Judas betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver and it is easy to condemn him for his action but on that most trying moments in the life of our Lord, the rest of the apostles did not do too well either. They abandoned our Lord Jesus in times when he needed them most. We could even recall how Peter professed that he would lay down his life for Jesus. But Jesus knew that he would even deny him three times when put to the test. It was only John the beloved who was seen all the way to calvary. And so the disciples knew that they were no better than Judas who betrayed our Lord. It happened that during Jesus appearance to the disciples, Thomas was not present for some reasons. And when he was told about the risen Lord, he said . “Unless I see it for myself, and can touch his wounds I will not believe.” We can’t blame Thomas , his reactions were actually valid. He wants proofs. How can one easily believe such story of one rising from the dead? But when he finally encountered the risen Lord , he gave us a beautiful declation of faith – “My Lord and my God.” Against this background of doubts and lacking faith, later on the disciples manifested deep expression of faith. They became courageous and bold. They continued the mission of Christ of spreading the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Eventually , except for John they suffered the same fate as their Master. And so on this encounter of the risen Christ , Jesus manifested that he perfectly understood how his disciples must have felt at that time. He knew the guilt and the shame the disciples were keeping in their hearts. It was in this situation that our Lord Jesus assured them of the gift of Peace. Several times the word “Peace” was mentioned in the Gospel. The nature of “Shalom” or “Peace” of Christ in its purest sense means joy, tranquility of the soul and in its more profound sense , it means healing and reconciliation. Just like what St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians (1:20-22)
“20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”
Jesus himself is the source and author of Peace. “Peace I give to you, not as the world gives; do I give to you.” The Peace of Christ means more than offering reconciliation, it is salvific, it gives life and it brings us back our dignity as Children of God.
As we continue to reflect on the Risen Christ and the Divine Mercy, we are being invited to always desire and ask for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love. Divine Mercy Sunday also invites us to put our complete trust in Jesus and to imitate his mercy in our lives.
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
“Jesus, I trust in you!”