Homily: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper(Holy Thursday) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

holy thursday 2019

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Evening Mass Of The Lord’s Supper
The Washing Of The Disciples’ Feet
HOLY THURSDAY
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

GOSPEL: JOHN 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
*
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REFLECTION:

We are now at the height of our spiritual journey as we reflect deeply on the Paschal Mystery i.e. the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. The Liturgy of today takes us on that particular night when our Lord Jesus was about to be betrayed by someone whom he regarded a friend and or a brother. I wonder what’s going on in Jesus’ mind. There must be deep-seated loneliness as the betrayal was coming from a someone dear to him.

Have you ever been betrayed? How does it feel like to be betrayed? Someone describe the feeling like a horrible burning sensation in the chest ready to explode. Considering the fact that betrayal could only be done by someone close to you, someone whom you trust like a family member, a friend, a husband, a wife, or a colleague. The harm done by someone not related to you is not betrayal. Only a someone you personally know, a person you trust or a person you love can betray you. You felt betrayed when someone you trusted stabbed you in the back or lied to. Betrayal occurs in a relationship when someone cheats, lies, hurts and abuses you. Therefore, by the mere fact that the harm was done by someone dear to you, the hurt could be that deep. Betrayal cuts like a double-edged knife.

Jesus was betrayed by one of His own. For a period of about three years, Jesus was with his disciples. He ate with them, slept with them, did the ministry of preaching and healing. During those years they came to know each other. Yet one of them – Judas – betrayed him. Jesus knew it. He had predicted the betrayal already in the past, and that night was different from other nights. For that’s the night when betrayal was to be unfolded. Judas had already arranged a plot with the authority. He sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver.

But how did our Lord react to this? Did He plot something to stop it? Did he think of something and even plan something to exact some measure of revenge? No! Jesus was at peace …all there is in his heart is to do the will of the Father. At the Last Supper, we see Jesus’ humility and service. He did not wallow in despair and anger. He wasn’t even thinking of himself. He was thinking of his disciples, preparing them for a very imminent event i.e. his suffering and death. Yet at that moment of trials, he was even able to wash their feet with humility and love. And on top of it all…that very night, he instituted a wonderful Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has become a sign of God’s Sacrifice, His immense Mercy and Forgiveness, and His saving act. On the night of His betrayal, therefore, Jesus reconciled with us, He offered us forgiveness and even gave us himself in the institution of the Eucharist.

Now we are friends again with Jesus. We’ve been reconciled. Our identity is that we are God’s children. Being God’s children, however, requires responsibility i.e. to always heed his call. It’s a call to serve and to Love. Have you ever wondered why Holy Thursday is also called Maundy Thursday? Where did the word Maundy come from? The word Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which literally means “Commandment” or a mandate (an order). On Holy Thursday, therefore, Jesus gave us that commandment to Love – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) This he showed us not only by mere words but he gave us an example of perfect love and service when he washed his disciples’ feet. He is Lord but he is not afraid to serve. By such gesture, we are reminded to serve as Jesus served and to love as Jesus loved. Jesus will, in turn, say “by this, they will know you are my disciples.”

“For I have set you an example, that you also do as I have done to you.”

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Homily: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

palm 2019

REFLECTION OF THE HEART
PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD (C)
Sunday, 14th April 2019
A REFLECTION: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*
LUKE 22:33-43

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one in his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” They divided his garments by casting lots. The people stood by and watched, the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, ” He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine, they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him, there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
*
REFLECTION:
Today marks the beginning of our spiritual sojourn through Holy Week to the celebration of Easter. We begin our reflection of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. The Liturgy of this Sunday allows us to experience both joy and sadness, success and failure, and victory and defeat. I would say that the Liturgy of the Word could be divided into two parts. The first part brings us joy and triumphs as we reflect on the glorious entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. The traditional blessing of palms, as well as the re-enactment of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, bring us a sense of victory. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, the people gave him a welcome fitted to a King. With the waving of palms in their hands and the singing of ‘hosanna’, they praised God. “And as he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciple began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying; ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.’”
The second part, however, invites us to reflect on the passion and death of our Lord Jesus. This is the reason why, for me, Palm Sunday is both an experience of joy and pain. We are almost sure of what’s going on in Jesus’ mind as he enters Jerusalem. He knew that great suffering and death await him there. He had already predicted several times in the past his impending persecution and death; yet like to a lamb, he willingly welcomed and embraced his fate. The people of Jerusalem must be very excited, they must have heard how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. His preaching and the many miracles Jesus performed must have reached their ears. And so their singing of ‘hosanna’ as Jesus enters Jerusalem must be a declaration of their faith in Jesus as the coming Messiah. “Hosanna” literally means “I beg you to save us.” But soon their faith would be challenged. That old saying in Latin, “Sic transit gloria hominae” (Thus passes the glory of men) proved to be true. How easy for them to have a change of heart. For those very same people who were singing ‘hosanna’ were also the same people who will cry out for his death – ‘crucify him!’
The drama of Palm Sunday reflects the reality of life. Life, as we know, is replete both of experience of joy and sorrow. In fact, we appreciate those moments of happiness because we too have experienced suffering. We rejoice in our victory because we also experienced the agony of defeat. But lest we only focus on suffering and death, the message of Palm Sunday is clear – that in the end is a triumph, life, and glory. The Christ who suffered and died is also the one who resurrected. And his triumphal entry into Jerusalem is a sign of his return in glory at the end of time. Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places, if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
On Palm Sunday we are invited to reflect on the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus. The image of Jesus hanging on the Cross is a reflection of what is there deep inside the heart of God – it is filled with his love for mankind. We are unworthy but Christ in his obedience to the will of the Father took our place and died for us. The Cross of Jesus is a sign of Love and a sign of Life. As we enter Holy Week, we, therefore, enter into the very core of the heart of God. Our deepest longing should not only be a sense of gratitude but a profound desire to change our ways so that somehow we may be worthy of his love.

HOMILY: Third Sunday of Lent (C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

3rd lent c pater

A REFLECTION OF THE HEART
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT (C)
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

First Reading – Exodus 3:1-8a. 13-15

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am’ he answered. ‘Come no nearer’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,’ he said ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.

And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow.’

Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name, I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 103

(R.) The Lord is merciful and gracious

Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12

I want to remind you how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.

These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.

All this happened to them as a warning and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.

GOSPEL: Luke 131-9

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this, he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig around it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’

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REFLECTION:

I have faith in God not because my parents told me.
I have faith in God not because my teachers taught me,
I have faith in God not because my priest convinced me.
I have faith in God because I experience God in my life personally.
I experience his graces
I experience his healing touch
I experience his forgiveness
and most especially I experience his love in my life daily.

It is a personal faith experience.
My faith is a journey and I journey with God.
My faith grows each day and becomes fruitful as I share it with others.
My faith in him grows not only during good times but also during bad times.
My faith in him grows even when my prayers remain unanswered.
So during tough times, hard times, challenging times and difficult times, my faith keeps on growing. Why? Because Jesus is my gardener. I let him tend the soil of my faith. And he let me grow. I have this courage to let him take control of my life. I am in the right direction. And I continue to grow.

Today on the Third Sunday of Lent, the Gospel invites us to reflect on a very relevant message that is in the Parable of the barren fig tree. It is important to reflect on its message because it tells a reality about ourselves. We could be compared to that barren fig tree. The owner of the vineyard represents God. It happened that he had a fig tree planted in his property and he kept on looking for produce but to no avail. So out of disappointment for having no fruit he ordered the gardener to cut it down. Now, the gardener represents Jesus. But he said to the owner to give the tree another chance. Luke 13:8-9″ Sir, let it alone this year also until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

The message actually offers both good news and bad news to us all. It reassures us as it also serves us as a warning. The good news is that Jesus is like that patient gardener. Jesus always gives us second chances. He will do everything and anything to help us grow in our faith. As we all know, Jesus ultimately offered himself on the Cross in order to save us. But a saying still holds true that “You can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink,” This is where the bad news comes in. No matter how much Jesus do. If we keep on wandering far from his graces then he can not do anything. We need to cooperate with his grace. He will cultivate the soil and put manure in it. Yet we need to grow. We need to produce fruits. For, in the end, God’s patience has limits too. If we don’t repent and bear fruit then he will order to cut us down. Luke 13:2 “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Repentance is essential to fruitfulness. Unless we repent…unless we change our mind then we will never grow and become fruitful. We call it metanoia. Metanoia means a radical change of mind and heart. The Parable of the barren fig tree is, therefore, teaching us a lesson on repentance. It is only possible with God’s help. It is possible when we cooperate with God’s grace.

God is a God of mercy, forgiveness, and love. But he is also a just God. Jesus tells us not to wander far away from his love. John 15:9-11 “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

Homily: Baptism of the Lord ( Year C) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

baptism pater

A REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Year C)
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,

John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,
and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you, I am well pleased.”

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Reflection:

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This Feast concludes the celebration of the Christmas season. On Monday we are definitely back to the ordinary time. It is most appropriate that we end up the celebration of the Christmas season with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord because it serves as an affirmation to our reflection of who this child was to us i.e. He is the Son of God.

One may wonder why is there a need for our Lord Jesus to approach John the Baptist for baptism. With our knowledge about the sacrament of baptism, we know that it is being conferred to a person that he may be freed from original sin. Therefore, Baptism is closely linked to the idea of the remission of sins. In the case of our Lord Jesus, however, there was no sin to be forgiven. Jesus, though human like us, is also Divine hence perfect. Why then Jesus asked John the Baptist for baptism?

Our Lord Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew, provided us with an explanation himself. Matthew 3:15, when John the Baptist asked Jesus why he is coming to him for baptism when in fact he was the one who needs to be baptized by him, Jesus replied, “allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” It tells us that what Jesus was saying was that everything is in accordance with the will of the Father. The good news is that we are part of God’s plan and design. We are part of the whole equation. It was not by accident but it was planned. God in his infinite love and mercy wills that we all be saved.

Going back to the baptism of Jesus, it tells us something more profound. Jesus’ baptism is actually part of the Epiphany of our Lod. This is the time when Jesus’ true identity is revealed. At that time, the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard by everyone present that says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) This text is very important because just as our Lord Jesus was to begin his public ministry, it is but fitting that he be introduced properly. Such an introduction should powerfully be declared by a someone who is an authority i.e. the Father himself. No less than the Father affirms Jesus is God. “He is my beloved Son, so listen to him.” It was God’s proclamation of Jesus’ divinity. He is no ordinary person. We now have a tangible idea of who God is in the person of Jesus. And for the first time, the presence of the Trinity was revealed to mankind. Jesus is a manifestation of God’s presence among us.

Now, how is the baptism of Jesus relevant to us today? The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord serves as an invitation to all of us to contemplate on the importance of our own baptism. The Sacrament of Baptism is God’s expression of his infinite mercy and unconditional love. We were given a chance. We were redeemed. Jesus commanded his disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We realized our worth. We are loved. God has restored the fullness of life in us. We gained our dignity back as persons. We regain our dignity as sons and daughters of God.

At the end of our lives, if we remain faithful to the will of the Father, God will say of us all, “These are my beloved children, whom I am well pleased.” Whilst Jesus will say to us all, “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

Reflection: Epiphany of the Lord by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

epiphany pater finale

GOSPEL REFLECTION: EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You Lord, Jesus Christ.

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REFLECTION:

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word ἐπιφάνεια or epipháneia which literally means appearance or manifestation. The name suggests that something was revealed. Something was manifested to bring enlightenment. God manifested himself in the person of Jesus. It is an important celebration in the sense that God has revealed himself to mankind. In a way, we now have a tangible understanding of who God is, in the person of Jesus.

Some people considered the story of the Magi most fascinating considering the events surrounding the nativity of our Lord Jesus. It tells us of their arduous journey in search of a child, the guidance of a star and their offering of the gifts made the story indeed fascinating. But for me, the story is profound, highly symbolical and Theological.

Who were the magi? Very little is known about them. Biblical Scholars claimed they were not kings. They were most probably astrologers or wise men. We do not know how many of them really. People assumed that they were three corresponding to the gifts they offered the baby, Jesus. We do not exactly know the country of their origin except the fact that they were from the East. They were non-Jewish people. And being non-Jewish is highly symbolical too. It reveals to us the universality of salvation that is being offered. The Magi represent the people of the world. They represent each one of us which means that salvation is for everyone.

What about the gifts? What was in the gifts? What made them significant in the story? It was a strange gift for a child. They offered him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Some people might think that the gifts were thoughtless and impractical. Normally, when we think of giving something for a newly born child, we probably consider something for the immediate use of the baby like clothing, baby foods or blankets. However, most Spiritual writers claimed that those gifts were actually appropriate considering the purpose of the gifts i.e. they came to worship. They recognized Jesus to be not an ordinary Child hence the gift to be extraordinary. We read in Matthew’s Gospel that Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’” The gifts, therefore, were meant to honor, adore and give praise to the baby Jesus. These gifts represent spiritual symbols – Gold symbolizes Jesus Kingship. Gold is precious and expensive and fit for a king. Frankincense symbolizes his priestly role. Incense was used in the Temple by priests. The smoke is like prayers that are lifted up to heaven. That sweet smelling smoke was meant to honor God. It is like our offering of praises and thanksgiving to God. And Myrrh, a prefiguring of Jesus’ death and embalming. Myrrh is an expensive perfume used to anoint the body of a deceased loved one. The fact that it would cost them to possess it only to be used to the body of the deceased loved one will show how much they honor and give importance to the departed.
The Church Father Origen said that Gold, as to a King, Myrrh as to the one who was mortal and incense, as to a God. The gifts, therefore, are Theological in nature. It tells us that Christ is King, human and divine.

The encounter with King Herod also tells us something. Herod was an evil king who killed his wife, his mother-in-law, his two brothers-in-law and murdered even his three children on suspicion that they were planning something against him. It is not surprising why the news about the birth of Jesus served as a threat to him. He wanted the child Jesus dead even to the extent of sacrificing innocent lives.
Now, these incidents tell us about the reality that many people will hate Jesus and will do anything to destroy him. But there are also many who will become faithful to him and will even sacrifice their lives for that love.

We learned many lessons from the Magi. The Magi offered Jesus the best that they could offer. Let us also do the same. What gift could we offer him?

First, the gift of a renewed and intimate relationship with Him. How could we achieve this? By knowing him deeply. Reading and contemplating the Words of God in the Scripture could help us know God intimately.

Second the gift of loving one’s neighbor., i.e. establishing better relations with other people. Learning to forgive those who have hurt us. Reconcile with them. Heal broken relationship. It’s the gift of love towards the neighbor.

Third, the gift of oneself. The gift of sincere repentance. Let us acknowledge our own sinfulness. Avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Reconcile with God. It is a gift of the purity of our hearts.

The Magi offered the Child Jesus the best that they could give. As for me, it was not gold, frankincense, and myrrh that gave more meaning and value to the gifts. It was actually the gift of their time and self that made their gifts more precious and special. Likewise, we could turn ourselves to be a precious gift when we give ourselves wholeheartedly in the service of God and of our fellowmen.

The journey of the Magi prefigures our own journey. Like them, we are in an arduous journey here on earth. Our destiny is to be with our Lord Jesus. In the end, heaven will be our reward. At the end of our journey may we be able to say, just like in the words of St. Paul (2 Timothy 4:7) “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

INSIGHTS: TIME by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

time c

INSIGHTS: TIME
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*
What is time? Taking Aristotle’s definition of Time – Time is essentially connected to movement. Time is the measurement of movements. There is time because there is movement. Anything that moves, therefore, have time.
God doesn’t have to move for He is literally everywhere. God is infinite. Ergo, God is not subject to time. Even when we say, “God is the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end),” still we are limiting God. God has no beginning and end. Even the word “Infinite” and “Eternal,” could be limiting God. Many Philosophers have tried to explain God being ‘Timeless’ or outside of time and “Spaceless” or outside space. But the concept of Time and Space in connection with God is simply beyond human comprehension.
A man has no power over Time. As we have no power over change and movement. Thus the phrase “Time and tide wait for no man” indicates that people have no capacity to stop the passing of time. Whether we like it or not, Time goes on. No one has the power to stop the march of time. When Time passes, forever it is gone. It will never come back. Quotes: ” Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” (Source Unknown)
Thus Time could be an enemy or a friend. It depends on how you look at it. It is a choice! Time could be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s a “Quid pro quo” (a give and take) situation. What you give is what you take. Make friends with time because time is an enemy that cannot be defeated. Time only allows being conquered by a friend. To some, Time brings joy, healing, contentment, bliss, and peace. To others, Time brings suffering, agony, sorrow, boredom, worry, and pain.
“As soon as Man is born, he begins to die.” Each second, each minute is a subtraction to our Time. Each passing of a day is time closer to our penultimate destiny which is death. And therefore, Time should never be wasted. Time is God’s most precious gift. Pope Francis says “Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions.”
Spending Time means differently to different people. Do not let bitterness and hatred destroy your Time. When someone hurts you… you may either hold on to hatred and bitterness and to some extent to exact revenge …or to forgive and move forward. It’s a personal choice. Forgiveness like Love is a decision we make.
Life’s greatest challenge is to love even the unlovable, to love even those who hurt you or to some extent even to one’s enemy. It is a Christian challenge.
We are just pilgrims here on earth. One day our time will come. It is inevitable! It is not for us to decide how long or how short our personal journey could be. It is our destiny. One thing is certain though – If it is time for us to go, then off we go. But it is the Love we give away that will make us Immortal.

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8
A TIME FOR EVERYTHING
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

A Reflection: Solemnity Of The Lord’s Birth by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

christmas 2018

A REFLECTION OF THE HEART
Solemnity Of The Lord’s Birth
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: Luke 2:1-16
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an Angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the Angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
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REFLECTION:
Christmas is a season that brings us magic and wonder. As a child, I was always fascinated by the Christmas story i.e. the birth of the child in a manger, the appearance of angels, the shepherds, the magi and the bright star. Listening to Christmas carols also bring me strange joy. Christmas decorations everywhere never fail to bring me a sense of awe. Indeed, Christmas is the happiest time of the year. I am not talking about happiness that is superficial but rather something that is more profound. And it is founded in the awareness of the real spirit that is unfolding before us. We rejoice because it is a season that centers on God, on the child Jesus, on love, and on redemption.
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Christmas is about a God of love. God indeed is great. Can you imagine, despite man’s infidelity, God even sent his only begotten Son for the salvation of the world? ” Because of the birth of Jesus, the God who is not visible to us became visible. We experience the Father’s love through Jesus, We have come to know God deeply through Jesus. Jesus revealed who the Father is to us. Our hearts should be filled with gratitude for we received the most amazing gift of all i.e. the gift of His Son, Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 “For a child is born to us, and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, wonderful, counselor, God the mighty, the father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
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On this blessed night, when we approach the nativity scene adoring the infant Jesus, let us bear in mind that the image of the child Jesus is more than an adorable cute baby boy. That child grew up – the one who came to serve and not to be served, the one who brought healing to the sick, consolation and pardon to the sinners, the one who raised the dead, he proclaimed the good news, who was put to trial, abandoned by his friends, tortured and crucified, died and was buried. But on the third day rose again. All these in order to save us and all because of love. Philippians 2:6 gives us a more profound understanding of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, “Although he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at, rather he emptied himself and taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross.
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Story: (from an unknown source) There is a legend of an African boy called Emmanuel, who was always asking questions. One day he asked the question, “What language does God speak?” No one could answer him. He traveled all over his country to find the answer but did not get a satisfactory answer. Eventually, he set out for distant lands to find the answer. For a long time, he had no success. At last, he came one night to a village called Bethlehem and as there was no room in the local inn, he went outside the village in search of a shelter for the night. He came to a cave and found that too was occupied by a couple and a child. He was about to turn away when the young mother spoke, “Welcome Emmanuel, we’ve been waiting for you.” The boy was amazed that the woman knew his name. He was even more amazed when she went on to say, “For a long time you have been searching the world over to find out what language God speaks. Well, now your journey is over. Tonight you can see with your own eyes what language God speaks. He speaks the language of LOVE!
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My dear brothers and sisters, on the first Christmas eve 2000 years ago, God communicated to us in a language loud and clear His message of love. “For God so love the world, He gave us his only begotten Son.” And with joy in our hearts, let us proclaim these glad tidings as loud as possible to all the people. Let us bring Christ’ message of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.