HOMILY:17th Sunday In Ordinary Time (A) by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

17th A

GOSPEL REFLECTION 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
THE GREATEST TREASURE
by Rev.Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
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GOSPEL: MATTHEW 13:44-52

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

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REFLECTION:

In his book, The Next 500 Stories, Frank Mihalic, SVD relates to us that in 1922, some of the world’s successful businessmen held a special meeting in Chicago. They were a group of high-powered specialists who knew the secret of making money. There was no doubt about where their altar was.Thus their main preoccupation was on making lots of money.But let’s take a look at what happened to some of those men 27 years later:
-Charles Schwab, president of the largest independent steel company, died bankrupt and lived on borrowed money the last years of his life.
-Samuel Insull, president of the greatest utility company, died a fugitive from justice, penniless in a foreign land.
-Howard Hopson, president of the largest gas company, was insane.
-Arthur Cutler, the greatest wheat speculator, died abroad in poverty.
-Richard Whitney, president of the New York stock exchange, was sitting in Sing Sing prison.
-Albert Fall, a member of the President’s cabinet, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.

Frank Mihalic concluded that all these men knew how to make money, but none of them knew how to live. I like this story. It has a powerful message that we may ponder upon. For me, this story is not to condemn riches nor it is something against being rich. I think there’s nothing wrong with material possession. What is in question here concerns man’s values and priorities. What are the values and priorities we “treasure” in life? Is God our first priority or we give more importance to something or someone else? What is the deepest and most important value in our lives? Do we see God as that value? Do we value more the things that the world has to offer? To say that material things are not important in life is hypocritical. Of course, we need money to survive. However, we should never overlook our greatest treasure i.e. God and his Kingdom. “Set your hearts on his Kingdom first…and all those other things will be given you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

In today’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus made his point clear to us that the Kingdom of God is of utmost importance by telling us a couple of parables – the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of precious pearl. Jesus said – “The Kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Mt. 13:44) In order to attain, therefore, that treasure one has to sell everything he has to take possession of the field, thus he has shown how much he values that treasure.

“Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” (Mt. 13:45) Therefore, one cannot possess the pearl of great price unless one sells all that he has, thus to show how much the pearl is important to that person.
This reminds me of that rich young man in the Gospel who claimed to be righteous, and so he wanted to know what thing to do to guarantee eternal life. Our Lord Jesus challenges him to sell everything and give them to the poor and follow him. But he cannot! The instruction to sell all and follow Christ was designed to reveal that the man treasured his earthly possessions more than the heavenly hope, that he would rather maintain his lifestyle than becoming a follower of Christ.

Pope Francis says that the only treasures we should be storing up are the ones that have value in “the handbag of Heaven.” We are but stewards of earth’s riches; when we are so blessed with it, it doesn’t mean that we selfishly keep them to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with material possessions, but if we are blessed with it, then we should realize that there is a real joy when we improve our sense of charity and service. We do not just live for ourselves, but the best human existence is that when we live it in the service of others.

I could only admire Solomon in the First Reading today(1 Kings 3:5:7-12). Solomon was given an opportunity to ask something from God. It was a chance of a lifetime. He could have asked God for material possessions and earthly happiness. But instead, he asked for wisdom, understanding and right judgment. If like Solomon we are also given a chance to ask whatever God could grant us, what are we gonna ask God for?

One thing is sure, our response will reveal which we value most. In the end, if we remain faithful to God and his Kingdom heaven will be our reward. This is the message of the third parable – the parable of the dragnet.It tells us that everyone is being invited to his Kingdom – good or bad alike. But man is free. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” as the saying goes. Only when we constantly thirst to be one with God can we achieve our goal. Our goal should be with God forever -to be part of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, in our journey through life, we need to prioritize this. And all other things of this world are only means to an end, which is the Kingdom of God.

 

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Homily: 26th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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GOSPEL REFLECTION:26th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: AMOS 6:1a,4-7

Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls
and anoint themselves with the best oils;
yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PRAISE THE LORD, O MY SOUL.

Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R/Praise the Lord, O my soul!
*
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, O my soul!
*
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, O my soul!
*

SECOND READING: 1 TIMOTHY 6:11-16

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called
when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
*
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.

*
GOSPEL: LUKE 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied,
‘My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ,

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*
REFLECTION:
In the Lord’s Prayer, our Lord Jesus taught us to ask the Father to give us our daily bread.” The emphasis is clear. He did not tell us to ask God for a monthly, yearly or a lifetime provisions. He wants us to present to God our daily needs. There is wisdom in placing our needs on a daily basis. It means putting ourselves in humble dependence on the Father. We are encouraged to place our trust that God will certainly grant us the grace we need. Furthermore, it is clear that God wants us to come to him all the time which means that we recognize our need of Him so that we may discern a loving and a gracious God each and every single day. Very clearly therefore that our trust and confidence should be placed on a providential God alone and not on material possessions. Material possessions are but fleeting.
“Those who trust in their wealth. And boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him … That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit” (Psalm 49:6-9).
This statement is not anti-rich people. I always say that there’s nothing wrong with being rich. So long as one is aware of the proper use of material possession, then there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, everyone deserves to enjoy the riches of the land. But one should realize that wealth should never be our only concern and main focus in life. One should not be possessed by material possessions. There is always a danger for a person to fall into materialism. Materialism means our main concern and focus are only on wealth and not on spiritual things. One can easily be possessed by it regardless of status in life. It is possible for a wealthy person to not become materialistic. However, a poor person can also become materialistic. Materialism therefore does not rely on one’s status in life for is rooted in one’s desires and one’s outlook in life. Anyone can be preoccupied by material possessions neglecting a much important thing which is our spiritual growth. Let us not place our trust in riches. One cannot attain eternal life by acquiring all the riches of this world.
This Sunday we continue our reflection on the Gospel of St. Luke. You may have noticed that these past few Sunday’s our points for reflection are centered on the material possessions versus spiritual matters. Today , we continue our reflection on this same subject as we reflect on the beautiful parable related to us by our Lord Jesus regarding the Rich Man and Lazarus.
. The Rich Man’s name unlike in the case of the beggar Lazarus was not disclosed to us by our Lord and it maybe on purpose. It teaches us that anyone of us could be that rich guy. The story tells us that that particular rich person was completely insensitive and indifferent to the beggar Lazarus. He manifested not even a slight sign of compassion and sympathy to the sad plight of Lazarus. Not that the Rich Man was a bad person. He was not mean to Lazarus. He in fact even let Lazarus stay near his table that he may enjoy the crumbs that fell from his table. It was his indifference that eventually made him deserving of eternal punishment. There is this so called sin of omission. A sin of Omission is committed when one advertently and freely failed to act or to do something when he can and ought to do. Just like in the case of the Rich Man, he was given an opportunity to be compassionate and to exercise some sense of generosity but he simply chose not to do it. The rich man committed that sin of omission.To be a follower of Christ is not only a matter of not doing anything bad. It is also a matter of doing something good and productive towards other people. On this Year of Mercy, we are being called to do something i.e. to animate in our lives God’s love by our humble service and love of neighbor.
STORY: (Unknown Source) A story is told of an intellectual motivational speaker who just gave a very moving and inspiring presentation to a group of students on the subject of the love of the poor. He did a very good presentation that the audience gave him a long standing ovation. When everything is done. He immediately went towards his expensive car. On his way, however, he was mobbed by a group of very poor beggars. But he just look at them with indifference and drove them away with his annoyed and irritated face.
Matthew 25:35-45
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. ‘Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””

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
*

READINGS:
*

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!
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

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.
*

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.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION:
Alleluia. Alleluia. Though Jesus Christ was rich, yet he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
*

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: 24th Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

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

READINGS:

FIRST READING: EXODUS 32:7-11,13-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
“I see how stiff-necked this people is, ” continued the LORD to Moses.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM:PSALM 51

Response: I WILL GET UP AND GO TO MY FATHER.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R/ I WILL GET UP AND GO TO MY FATHER.
*
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R/ I WILL GET UP AND GO TO MY FATHER.
*
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R/ I WILL GET UP AND GO TO MY FATHER.

*
SECOND READING: 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-17

Beloved:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.
*

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION: 2 Corinthians 5:19
Alleluia. Alleluia. In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL : LUKE 15:1-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said,
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
_____________________________________________

REFLECTION

Have you experienced being lost? Sometimes we feel like our life has no sense of direction at all. We feel emotionally, spiritually , physically, and psychologically lost. We experience some kind of anxieties, loneliness and depression. And sometimes our life is such a mess and fixing it could be the hardest thing to do. If these situations are a common experience, then the Gospel passage for today is but appropriate for our contemplation.
In today’s Gospel text, our Lord is inviting us to place ourselves among those who are lost. The Gospel of today from St. Luke relates to us three parables. I call these parables – the parables of the” Lost and Found” because these three parables seem to follow a certain pattern in style in narrating the stories. The First parable tells the story of the Lost Sheep and is found. The second parable is about the Lost Coin and also found. And the third is the parable of the Prodigal Son – He was lost and is found.
Jesus was not afraid to be identified with sinners, with people who are lost. He mingled with them. He ate with them, He welcomed and treated them like friends. For this reason that he was accused by the Scribes and Pharisees of associating with sinners. This prompted Jesus to relate to them these beautiful parables of being lost yet they found acceptance, love and forgiveness in the end. If we reflect deeply, the parables put more emphasis not on one’s being lost but more on the mysterious love , acceptance and forgiveness of God. These parables tell us how valuable we all are in the eyes of God. Each one of us matter. No one is insignificant. No matter who we are. No matter how little we perceive of ourselves but in the eyes of God we are important. We all have our worth. The Psalmist in Psalm 8:4 wondered about the mystery of God’s love for mankind -it says “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man, that you care for him.” Considering God’s greatness and omnipotence , yet he gave so much importance to man. We have a great God who is mindful of man.
Let us try to examine closely these three parables. In the parable of the Lost Sheep , God was represented by the shepherd. Here we see the concern and compassion of the shepherd over the one who was lost. It was his initiative and diligence that led to the finding of the sheep. “And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulder with great joy.” There’s a clear parallelism in the parable of the Lost Coin with that of the lost sheep. When the woman lost a valuable coin and later found it, she gathered all her friends that they may rejoice. While the parable of the lost son tell us a poignant story of a son who rebelled and have sinned against his father. The father was hurt when he asked for his share of inheritance and he later squandered his fortune in a life of dissipation. But when he experienced all the hardships he realized his own mistake and repented. It is at this point in life that he remembered his loving father and he decided to seek his forgiveness. The father showed here an incredible act of forgiveness and love. Everybody deserves a second chance. Everyone is capable of a radical change , all we need is to open ourselves to the graces of God. God loves us so much. He will never give up on us. He will always seek us with his love. He will never tire. No one is unimportant in the eyes of God. We all have our worth. But we could be that lost sheep, the lost coin or the lost son. But God will always restore our dignity by his immense love and forgiveness.
________________________________________

STORY: The Twenty Dollar Bill (Author Unknown)

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked. “Who would like this $20 bill?”

Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you – but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air.

“Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the
ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?”

Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No
matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

In the end, we may have sinned. We may have made a mess in our lives. But our worth is but the same. We are worth saving. We are worth looking for. All it takes is a sincere repentance on our part. Our identity is that we are God’s children. This is something that we should not forget.

 lost1

Celebrating the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

mary

CELEBRATING THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
8th SEPTEMBER

by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines
*

In my ministry as a priest , I have never doubted Mary’s refuge in times of struggles and challenges. She never fails to give me the necessary strength that I may persevere always. And I owe her so much that despite my own shortcomings and weaknesses she’s always there inspiring me that I may remain faithful to my calling. I love the Blessed Virgin so much and I thank God for giving her to us to be our mother too. Thank you Jesus!
*
Today , we celebrate the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We love the Blessed Virgin Mary and honor her with great reverence and devotion simply because she is the Mother of God. Because of her “Fiat,” God’s plan of salvation was made possible for mankind. In her blessed womb , the Incarnation of Jesus became a reality. It is but fitting that today we rejoice with a grateful hearts to the Blessed Mother for giving us her Son, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
*
“The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy.” » Saint John Damascene
__________________________________________________

(From the Catholic Teaching)
History of the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The source for the story of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Protoevangelium of James, an apocryphal gospel written about A.D. 150. From it, we learn the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, as well as the tradition that the couple was childless until an angel appeared to Anna and told her that she would conceive.
The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Perhaps because of its close proximity to the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not celebrated today with the same solemnity as the Immaculate Conception. It is, nonetheless, a very important feast, because it prepares the way for the birth of Christ.
———————————————————–
But why do we take the Blessed Virgin Mary in such high regard?Let me answer that question by borrowing lines from some of my favorite saints. These holy men and women gave us the most profound insights on the Blessed Mother.
*
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
–Saint Maximilian Kolbe
*
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”
–Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Father and Doctor of the Church
*
“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”
–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
*
‘Mary having co-operated in our redemption with so much glory to God and so much love for us, Our Lord ordained that no one shall obtain salvation except through her intercession.’
–St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
*
“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”
–St. Bonaventure
*
“To give worthy praise to the Lord’s mercy, we unite ourselves with Your Immaculate Mother, for then our hymn will be more pleasing to You, because She is chosen from among men and angels. Through Her, as through a pure crystal, Your mercy was passed on to us. Through Her, man became pleasing to God; Through Her, streams of grace flowed down upon us.” (1746)
–St. Faustina
*
Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
–Saint Maximilian Kolbe
*
“If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit — this prayer has never failed me.”
–Saint Mother Teresa
*
Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.
–Saint Francis de Sales
*
After the love which we owe Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.’
–St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
_______________________________

Let us pray the Memorare

Remember,
O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins my Mother;
to thee do I come,
before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful;
O Mother of thy Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy clemency hear and answer me.
Amen.

HOMILY: 23rd Sunday In Ordinary Time (C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

discipleship2

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

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.
*

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14-17

Response: LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR DWELLING PLACE IN ALL GENERATIONS.
*
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.
*

*
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.

____________________________________________
*
REFLECTION:

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
*
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: 22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time (year C) by Pater Allen Baclor Abadines

humility

GOSPEL REFLECTION:22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time (C)
by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines
*

READINGS:

FIRST READING: SIRACH 3:17-20,28-29

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs,
and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PSALM 68:4-5,6-7,10-11

RESPONSE: IN YOUR GOODNESS, O GOD, YOU PROVIDED FOR THE NEEDY.

The just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R/ In Your Goodness, O God, You Provided For The Needy.
*

The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R/ In Your Goodness, O God, You Provided For The Needy.
*

A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R/ In Your Goodness, O God, You Provided For The Needy.
*

SECOND READING: HEBREWS: 12:18-19,22-24A

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
*
The Word Of The Lord/ Thanks Be To God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION:
Alleluia. Alleluia. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. Alleluia.
*

GOSPEL: LUKE 14:1,7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
*
The Gospel Of The Lord/ Praise To You, Lord Jesus Christ.
__________________________________________

REFLECTION:

STORY (by Wendy Mass)
“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy,sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other wolf is good. He is joy , peace, love, hope, serenity, humility. kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you.”
The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied simply, “The one you feed!”
************************************************
It is evident indeed that there is war going on inside each and everyone of us. It’s a conflict between good and evil, love and hate, and humility and pride. Whoever wins depend upon our own choice. We are free to decide whom do we favor. Are we gonna give in to good or evil, to love or hate and to humility and pride?

It is easy for us to attribute that pride is mostly seen to people who are rich, famous, successful , beautiful and intelligent. But Pride comes in different shapes and forms. There is a danger for every single person to have it to some degree regardless of status in life. Everyone , therefore, struggles from the sin of Pride. It is said that Pride is our greatest enemy and Humility is our greatest friend.

In today’s Gospel text, our Lord Jesus is teaching us a lesson on the virtue of Humility against the background of Pride.

The evangelist, St. Luke relates to us an occasion when Jesus was invited for dinner in a Pharisees’ house.Upon observing that the invited guests at a wedding banquet were competing with each other to choose the seat of honor , he took it an opportunity to teach them an important lesson , i.e. the virtue of Humility. In the Kingdom of God, Humility is an essential virtue. The First Reading of today tells us,”My child, perform your tasks with humility, then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.” (Sirach 3:17)

But what is Humility?
The word “humility” comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, or “from the earth”, since it derives in turns from humus (earth). Incidentally , the word ‘human’ has also some connection with word. Human means from the earth. Therefore, humans are supposed to be always close to the ground for that’s what we are. Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

The definition reminds me of the Chinese proverb: “The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bends.” The closer it is therefore to the ground. Being humble is keeping both feet on the ground.

True humility was demonstrated to us by our Lord Jesus. The ultimate manifestation of such humility was when he accepted death on the Cross. Philippians 2:6-8

6 Though he was God,[a]
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Jesus revealed the virtue of Humility even in life and in death. He served the poor ; he mingled, ate and forgave sinners; he touched and healed the sick and he washed the feet of his apostles. And in humility he accepted death to save us and to glorify the Father.

In our spiritual journey , let us put in mind that humility is the foundation of our spiritual growth. We need to empty ourselves, to let go of our arrogance and pride and to understand that we really have nothing of our own and all that we have are but graces from God. Pope Francis said that “If you wish to be holy, then you better start by being humble.” When St. Augustine was asked about the three Theological virtues he said: “If you ask me which is the first virtue for a Christian, I will tell you that it is humility. If you ask me again which is the second, I will say to you it is humility. If you again ask me which is the third, I will still say that it is humility, and as often as you ask me this question, I shall always give you the same answer.” Humility therefore is the virtue of the strong. It takes a lot of courage to acquire this virtue for it is founded in truth. One cannot achieve Holiness without Humility.
“For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”