Homily:15th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

15th Sunday c 2019 pater

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
15th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Moses said to the people:
“If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God,
and keep his commandments and statutes
that are written in this book of the law,
when you return to the LORD, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul.

“For this command that I enjoin on you today
is not too mysterious and remote for you.
It is not up in the sky, that you should say,
‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
Nor is it across the sea, that you should say,
‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 69

R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

Second Reading Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him, all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

GOSPEL: Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

——————————

REFLECTION:

Today’s Gospel text gives us a very powerful message that could serve us as our guidelines in our day-to-day life. I’d like to give credit to that certain Lawyer in the Gospel. If not because of him, perhaps we won’t have this insightful parable that we may reflect upon. It was that particular lawyer who approached Jesus and asked this question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” There are people who ask a question not because they didn’t know the answer. But because they just want to test other people’s intelligence. And that particular lawyer was one of them. Instead, of Jesus giving him the answer, he made the lawyer answer his own question. The response was in reference to the two greatest commandments and that is the Love of God and the love of neighbor as yourself. Because his real intention in asking a question was exposed, it put the man in an awkward situation, and so in order to save his face he followed it up with another one – “And who is my neighbor?” And in response to this question, Jesus told him a parable-The Parable of the good Samaritan. The lawyer in the Gospel got more than he bargained for. Jesus did not just give him an answer that could be so obvious like “a neighbor is a somebody who lives next to your house or a somebody you know.” But Jesus gives a definition of a neighbor that is something more profound. Something that is worth our contemplation. Something that gives us a reflection on what it is to be a good Samaritan to our neighbor.

We encountered four characters in the story- the man who was attacked by robbers leaving him half dead, a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. Those characters in the story were used by our Lord Jesus to show us extreme contrast and to make a point. It shows us that compassion is expressed beyond the provision of the Law and or tradition. Among the three who were given a chance to do something, it was the Samaritan who showed us what real compassion is. We expect compassion more on the part of the priest and the Levite. But it was the Samaritan and a foreigner at that who showed us the real meaning of how it is to be a neighbor to someone in need. Sometimes good deeds and help come from people we do not expect, like the Samaritan who happens to be a stranger. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is teaching us a lesson that true compassion is manifested in our willingness to become an active participant in the suffering of another person. It means getting involved. True compassion is translated into action, it is not just a matter of emotion. True compassion does not discriminate, it is extended to anyone in need. True compassion emanates from the generosity of a humble heart.

At this point, allow me to share with you a story to elaborate on this point.

Story: (Leslie Wagner): At the Cashier in a Grocery store a woman began to take out some items from the bags when she learned that she was $12 over what she had. When another Shopper behind her handed her a $20. bill. She said, “Please accept my gift.” To which the woman politely refused. She said, “Thank you but I couldn’t possibly accept it.” But the stranger insisted and said, “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.” The woman asked her ” Now, how can I repay you for your kindness?” To which the stranger replied, “You actually didn’t have to, but someday, you may have a chance to pay it forward to another person in need. In that case, a gesture of kindness doesn’t end here.”

Sometimes in our life, we encounter people who showed us some kindness. There may be chances that it is impossible to repay them with the same kindness. What we could do is to pay it forward.

No matter what your status is, poor or rich, strong or weak, educated or an uneducated, there will come a time that you will find yourself at the other side of the rope. That you will also be needing help.

Doctors could get sick and therefore may be needing help from another. Teachers could learn something from a student too. The rich may one day need help from the poor.

“No one is so poor that they can not give something and no one is so rich he has nothing to receive.”
There will come a time that you will understand how it is to be wanting. We could only relate to the suffering of someone when we take the time to understand our own suffering.

Sometimes you know the value of giving because there was once a time that you were the one in need.

As Christians, therefore, we are being called to be more compassionate and more giving. But there are times that our good deeds are not reciprocated. Some people may tend to become so ungrateful but that should not stop us from being kind and generous. In any given situation always go to the side of Charity.

Pope Francis said that the story of The Good Samaritan is not just a parable, it should be our way of life. Our Lord Jesus said to the Lawyer to go and do the same. Now Jesus is telling each one of us to go and be a good Samaritan to one another.

Going back to the question of the Lawyer, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Well, our Lord Jesus provides us a concrete answer i.e. to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is not gonna be easy. The demands are great. It is because we are asking for something that is huge. We are asking for eternal life. So if you wanna live forever, you should love God. But the only way to love God is to show it in the most tangible way and that is to love our neighbors as ourselves.

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Homily: 14th Sunday In Ordinary Time C by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

14th C 2019 pater

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 102

First Reading Isaiah 66:10-14C

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem, you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

Responsorial PsalmPS 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy. 
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule
and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers, and sisters. Amen.

Alleluia Colossians 3:15A, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts;
let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first, say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

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

13th Sunday 2019 pater final

 

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
13th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: Luke 9:51-62

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another, he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus[c] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

_____________________

REFLECTION:

When you receive an invitation with RSVP in it, it means that it is important that you respond whether you plan to attend or not. RSVP is an initialism from French “Répondez s’il vous plaît” which is translated “please respond.” RSVP should not be ignored. It would be inconsiderate to do so. There are people who do not RSVP simply because they do not want to disappoint the host. However, for me, the best way is always to be honest with the host regarding one’s situation. If one cannot make it, he only needs to say so.

In Today’s Gospel text, we receive a very important invitation. The invitation is of utmost importance because it is coming from no less than the Lord himself. This invitation is summed up into two important words – Follow me! An invitation that should be taken seriously and it demands a personal and sincere response. Let us take a look at the reaction of those invited in today’s Gospel text.
One of them expressed his desire to follow the Lord.”I will follow you wherever you go.” The man in the Gospel seemed very enthusiastic to follow the Lord. And the Lord’s reaction was like – Really? Are you really willing to follow me, even if following me requires hardships and challenges? Even if it means leaving the comfort of the home? And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another man, Jesus said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord let me go first and bury my father.” Meanwhile, the third person may have expressed his willingness to follow Jesus but he said to the Lord: “Let me take leave of my people at home.” Following Jesus, therefore, is not gonna be easy. If you choose to say “yes” then your ”yes” should be wholehearted. A response that is whole in such a way that all your obligations in life take a back seat once you committed yourself to the Lord. Everything is subordinated to the Lord including family ties. Yes, the demands are great. Therefore, the Lord’s invitation serves as a challenge. Our Lord Jesus did not water down his message. Even from the very start, he made it clear that following him is never easy. In fact, it requires hardships, challenges, suffering, pain and to some extent even sacrificial offering of oneself. Matthew 16:24 says, Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” In matters of Discipleship, our Lord Jesus did not promise us a rose garden so to speak. Following him, therefore, is a personal decision we make with the full knowledge of the consequences that it entailed.

Some people are tempted to think that the call to discipleship is only for religious, missionaries and clergy. But actually, by virtue of our baptism, we begin to embark on such a journey to discipleship. All of us, Christians are called to follow Jesus. Although, perhaps we might ask – ‘But where are we going?’ Well, sometimes you will be led to a place you least expect or to do a job you don’t wanna do. Like, who would ever think that I’ll be doing my ministry in a faraway place? But in our response to Jesus, we only need to put our complete trust in Him.

There’s a matter of urgency should we respond to the call. Why? Because time is of the essence. No time should be wasted. The moment we say ‘Yes’ to the Lord, then he becomes our Master. We now allow Jesus to take control of our lives. We are no longer here running our own lives and pleasing ourselves. We now live in accordance with God’s will.

We receive the Lord’s invitation to follow him. It is an invitation to all of us to experience the life he lived that we may imitate it in our lives. What would be our response? Will we be able to say, “Here I am Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.” “You are my chosen portion, O Lord.” Psalm 16.Then can we honestly say along with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me?” (Galatians 2:20)

Homily: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (year C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

Corpus Christi 2019 Pater

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – CORPUS CHRISTI (Liturgical Year C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: Genesis 14:18-20

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine,
and being a priest of God Most High,
he blessed Abram with these words:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM:110

R/ YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER, ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.

The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R/You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.
*

The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R/ You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.
*

“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R/ You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.
*

The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R/ You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.
*

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (JOHN 6:51)
Alleluia. Alleluia, I am the living bread of heaven, says the Lord, whoever eats of this bread will live forever. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL: Luke 9:11b-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”
They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
________________________________________________

REFLECTION
A story is told about a man who invited his friend to a Church service – “Friend, please come with us for the Eucharist this Sunday.” But his friend replied, “Oh no, sorry but I don’t go to Mass because the Church is filled with nothing but a bunch of hypocrites!” To which the man said, “Well, in that case, you don’t have to worry because there will always be room for one more.”
What is hypocrisy? It is defined as the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; or pretense. What the man in the story was saying was that the Church is filled with many people with faults and failings, people who are flawed despite their best intentions.
Given that definition of hypocrisy, therefore, as a priest, if anybody would accuse me of being a hypocrite then I could only bow my head and say yes “I am.” Because I am not perfect …I too am a sinner. I am not proud of it…in fact, I am ashamed of it. But I only rely on God’s grace and mercy. Isn’t this the reason why we are a Church? Isn’t this a reason why we have Sacraments? Isn’t this the reason why we go to Mass? Precisely because we are sinners? If we are perfect and sinless then we have no need of the Church nor Religion. In Matthew 9:12-13 – Jesus said: “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Let me quote something from an unknown source – “The Church is not a hotel for the saints but a hospital for the sinners!” As pilgrim people, we need our Church, we need the Sacraments especially the Eucharist to be our food on our journey to achieve our final destination which is perfection. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, it strengthens our love for God and for one another. By our frequent reception of this food, it makes us healthy spiritually, and we establish a better relationship with God and our neighbor.
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ or simply in Latin – Corpus Christi. Today’s celebration is a reminder that at the last supper Jesus gave to the Apostles and to us his very self as food and drink. It was at the last supper when the Holy Eucharist was instituted as a food. Jesus wants us to partake from it. There are these inner longing and deepest desires in us to receive this Bread because we recognize that only Jesus as the Bread of Life can give us real satisfaction. Therefore, the Lord’s invitation to “take and eat” is as relevant even to this date. Unfortunately, still, there are so many people who didn’t realize the importance of the Eucharist in our lives. It is not surprising because even during the time of our Lord many of his followers ended up rejecting him simply because they couldn’t understand his teachings about the Eucharist. In the Gospel of John 6:22-71 our Lord declares that he is “the Bread of Life” He then said that people must eat his flesh and drink his blood if they want to have eternal life. Many rejected this teaching. This was too much strange for many people. His disciples called it “a hard teaching” and they grumbled about it. They did not understand and one by one the people left him. And Jesus asked his disciples, “Are you not gonna leave me too?” But the Twelve remained because Jesus had the teachings of eternal life. The Twelve also did not understand but that was not a reason to leave. Even now, many of us still might not fully comprehend its meaning and importance but it is enough to know that Jesus had the teachings of eternal life. Not being able to understand is not a reason for us to leave and abandon Jesus. Jesus is truly present in Eucharist. John 6: 51, Jesus said “I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever, the bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.”
Bread is the basic food of life without it we cannot live. True to his words Jesus wants to be with us in any possible way. Who could ever think that God in his wisdom could even make Jesus available for us in the form of bread? As you see Jesus was born in Bethlehem, considering the fact that the name Bethlehem in Hebrew means house of bread (Beth – house, lehem – bread). Aside from the fact that Jesus crib was a manger. A manger is a trough or box in a stable, barn which horses or cattle feed. Mangier in French means ‘to eat.’ In Italian Mangia! Mangia! is a reminder for them that it’s time to eat. “Non si vive per mangiare, ma si mangia per vivere.” (One doesn’t live to eat, but eats to live.)
Jesus asked Peter this question, “Do you love me more than these? Peter said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep!” In our case, if we too declare our love of Jesus then we invite others to partake of this life-giving bread. We may be unworthy for the great banquet, but what is important is our willingness to come and respond to the invitation with humility, with love and enthusiasm. When we come unto Christ, how does he nourish us? The Eucharist is indeed a bread that gives life, it is a celebration where we experience overflowing grace, holiness, and richness.

Homily: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

trinity pater 2019

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity (C)
A Reflection: 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 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 a 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.
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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.
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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.”
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The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
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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 caring God. On the other hand, 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.

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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 overwhelmed 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!”
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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: Solemnity of Pentecost by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

pentecost 2019 pater allen

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Solemnity of Pentecost
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: JOHN 20:19-23

On the evening of that 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.”
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REFLECTION:

In the First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul says” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Cor 6:19-20) It is sad when sometimes I hear some people argued this way: “It is my body I can do anything with it.” Or “I’ll do anything whatever pleases me for this is my body.” But this is wrong! Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit – we can not desecrate, we cannot mutilate and destroy our bodies. Somebody resides in it. We should, therefore, take care of it, consecrate it and we treat it with utmost respect and love.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Church invites us to reflect on the role and importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The day of Pentecost was celebrated long before Jesus was born. It was a Jewish celebration just like we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. The Jewish people celebrate Pentecost (Shavuot) in Thanksgiving for the first Wheat harvest, but it was later connected to the commemoration of the Law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the Old Testament, this Jewish observance was known as the Festival of Weeks, or, more simply, Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew). One can find its origin in the book of Leviticus 23:16, which instructs people to count seven weeks or the fiftieth day after Passover. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word “Pentekostos.” which means “Fifty.” It was an important Jewish celebration even during the time of our Lord Jesus. This is simply the reason why the Apostles were gathered in a room, precisely to celebrate Pentecost. What comes at first as the traditional Jewish Thanksgiving observance, turned out to become a more significant event in the life of the Apostles and us as a Church. On that day, the Holy Spirit descended upon them, thus empowering them to fulfill their mission together as a Church. Now we look at the day of Pentecost as significantly the birth of the Church. For on the Fiftieth day after Easter Sunday, God fulfilled His promise to send another Advocate – the Holy Spirit, to be with us until the end of the age. Oh, yes, on the day of Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church.

Pentecost reminds us of such a wonderful gift the Father gave us i.e. the gift of the Holy Spirit. In His homily, Pope Francis says that “The Spirit is given to us by the Father and leads us back to the Father. The entire work of salvation is one of “regeneration”, in which the fatherhood of God, through the gift of the Son and the Holy Spirit, frees us from the condition of being orphans into which we had fallen.” When sin entered humanity, we alienated ourselves from the love of God. We wandered aimlessly and abandoned. But because of Christ’ saving act through his obedience to the will of the Father, our dignity was restored. Once again we become children of God. We are not alone. We are not abandoned. We now have a clear direction in our pilgrimage here on earth. And the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit provides the necessary graces empowering us to do the mission entrusted to us.

I like the word “to empower.” To empower is to give us the strength and the authority to do the mission. Which means that we receive a gift that makes us strong. A gift that makes us equipped for the task. Thus, we receive the necessary graces we need for the mission. There should be no more excuses for us not to do the mission, We are entrusted to continue the mission. A mission to spread the Good News. A mission to tread the path of Christ. And in a way to be a witness of Christ here on earth.

Veni, Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita, imple superna gratia, quae tu creasti, pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus, donum Dei altissimi, fons vivus, ignis, caritas, et spiritalis unction.

Homily: Feast Of The Lord’s Ascension by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

ascension 2019 pater

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Ascension Of The Lord
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: Luke 24:44-53
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 are 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 temple blessing God.
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The Gospel of the Lord/ Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
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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. Every time 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 I am 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 its 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 the offering of his life on the cross. Like to a Lamb, Jesus willingly sacrifices 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 strength. Be bold…be courageous in making the Love of Jesus known throughout the whole world.