S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Call

In this Sunday's Liturgy, we will hear in the Gospel that Jesus, while walking along the sea of Galilee calls Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, as well as the sons of Zebedee, James and John. Jesus called them while they were doing something important -- fishing, their means of livelihood, the "craft" they are good at. And as the Gospel continues, these four men heeded the call and invitation of Jesus to leave their nets and become Fishers of Men instead.

Jesus calls us, and He calls us in the midst of our busy days. He seems to tell us that there is something more important than the thing you are doing (profession, career, etc...); there is something more valuable than the ones you are holding ("nets" of our wealth and preferences); there is Someone more worthwhile to be with than the persons you consider so special in your life. Dear friends, Jesus calls us not so much as to deprive us of the things, activities, and persons we hold dear in our hearts. He precisely calls us so that we can understand the true meaning and worth of those that we hold dear.

We pray then that we be given the grace to respond to Jesus' call. It is the call for transcendence; it is the call for growth. Amen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Baptism is New Life

This Sunday, The Feast of the Lord's Baptism, marks the end of the Christmas & Epiphany season. With this Sunday's liturgy, we go back, as it were, to the Ordinary Time. But it might be beneficial if we ask ourselves what the true meaning of this Feast, of Baptism is to us.

First perhaps is that Baptism means New Life. St. John the baptist baptizes with the baptism of repentance, a turning away from the old self to become a new being. In baptism, something has died in us (sin) and something has sprouted to life in us (grace). We have died to sin so that we will live for God. We are no longer of the world for we are of God. We are a new creation!

Second is that Baptism ushers in a new milestone for us. For Jesus, His baptism marks the beginning of His Ministry, of His life of service. For us also, our own baptisms signaled the beginning of our new life, our personal attempts and struggles to live a life of grace.

As we celebrate this Feast, let us beg then for the grace that we be true and sincere to our own Baptism, that we may live out to the fullest our baptismal vows -- our New Life! Amen.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy "Three Kings!"

This Sunday's Solemnity is not really about the "Three Kings" who are very famous among us, thus naming this Sunday as the Three Kings Sunday. This solemnity is about the Epiphany of the Lord, the Lord Jesus' manifestation of His Divine Kingship and Lordship to all the peoples in the world and not only to the Jews. Hence, the three magi, who are actually gentiles, represent the rest of humanity. And as we hear in the Gospels, these three magi, followed the "Star" that led them to the bosom of the Christ-Child, and upon finding Him, bowed and adored Him. I find it very meaningful that as they were about to leave, they were warned by an angel in a dream not to go back to King Herod, and thus, they set out through another, a new route.

We pray that as we celebrate this solemnity, we may follow the example of the three magi. May we follow the "stars", believe me, there are countless of them in our lives, they who lead us to God. And in finding God, may we worship Him with our whole lives. And like the three magi, may our worship bring about total transformation in our lives -- that we may set out through a "New Way."

Happy Epiphany!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Another year had just ended. And we must admit that the year 2007 had its fair share of struggles and tribulations. But as we look at the year that just passed, we are amazed by the presence of God's grace moving and guiding us all throughout. Even if we suffered and cried, we made it through! We are still alive and (I suppose) happy!

As we start the year 2008, we pray that God's abiding presence will continue to be with us. May we, just like the year 2007, be filled with the consolation that God will always be with us and that His grace and love will see us through!