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]

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pentecost Sunday: "Renew the face of the Earth!"

We experience a lot of catastrophes in our lives, both natural and man-caused: El Niño, La Niña, floods, typhoons, food shortage, war, epidemics, etc... and many times in our lives we are discouraged and we just want to lurk in the corner in sheer hopelessness thinking that we can do nothing. But tomorrow's Solemnity of Pentecost, the remembering of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the Blessed Mother should, as followers of Christ, change the picture for us. The Holy Spirit is not only with the apostles and the Blessed Mother, precisely, the Holy Spirit is in us!

Dear friends, in the Gospel Jesus told His disciples: "Receive the Holy Spirit." This spurred them on to share the story of Jesus to the ends of the earth, fearless and zealous even amidst persecution and martyrdom. As we celebrate Pentecost, let us ask the Spirit to fortify our hearts and make us courageous in facing whatever concerns that come our way -- H1N1 epidemic, food shortage, corruption, problems, etc... -- with new eyes, with the eyes of the Holy Spirit. And as we are fortified and renewed by and in the Spirit, may we fortify and renew our world. Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ascension Thursday

Tomorrow is Ascension Sunday. We celebrate with great solemnity the Lord Jesus' ascension into heaven. After several weeks of reflecting and praying over the Lord's 'ministry of consolation' to His disciples who were grieved by His death, we remember Jesus ascent into glory.

Perhaps it is helpful if we look at this Solemnity in the light of hope. Jesus ascended into heaven not so much to leave us but to empower us. Remember His words that when the time comes for him to go, "the Paraclete will come to us to help us," and that "He will always be with us until the end of time." Ascension I think is a milestone for all of us as Christians. It is Jesus' constant and living invitation for us to continue His mission: Jesus is no longer here physically to heal, console, forgive, and love... ergo, as friends and followers of Jesus, the Solemnity of the Ascension is the reminder for us to "heal, console, forgive, and love" all men and women in the name of Jesus.

Let us pray then that we become faithful to this mission entrusted to us and that by doing our "mission," we make Jesus Christ more present and alive in our midst. Amen.