Month: November 2015

[video] A Quick Peek inside the Seminary

Today’s our Provincial Day, and we in the Missions Group of the Seminaryo ng Don Bosco thought of coming up with a video presentation which will give people a glimpse of what our “life inside the walls” looks like. 

Br. Jerome Quinto, SDB gathered fragmented images of our community activities over the past years and transformed them into just one beautiful reflection of what our community motto stands for: My Life for my Sheep (Jn 10:15) .

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“Do whatever He tells you”

Lest we forget, we begin today the first day of the novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception.  One of our brothers in the community delivered this sermonette earlier this evening. 

It is our desire that this piece will get us into the fever of preparing ourselves for the solemn feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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“I am the Immaculate Conception” Photo courtesy of http://www.ignitiumtoday.com

Growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with my father since he was always away pursuing rebels in the mountains. He was a military officer.

Each time he gets to come home, it is almost certain I will get into trouble with him. Even at the slightest fault, he takes out his shiny belt and hit with precision my behind. But then, “mama of perpetual help” always comes to the rescue and pacify everything.

Undoubtedly, I am more of a mama’s boy. When she spoke, there was 99% probability rate that I would obey. Her gentle words of scolding could easily bring me to tears and repentance. I love her very much. Sadly, I only spent 21 years with her since she passed away shortly after my 21st birthday due to lung cancer. But as I look back at the beautiful moments I had with my mother, it brought me to one of the scenes of the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”

The scene depicts Jesus running around while Mama Mary does her household chores, Jesus loses balance and falls. Then, Mama Mary, terrified, quickly comes to the aid of the young Jesus and checks Him for injuries. What a lovely sight to behold to show us the love of a mother! To have a mother is one of the best gifts we could ever have. And despite the loss of my biological mother, God has given me the gift of a spiritual mother. This gift we all share as we belong to one covenantal family which we call the Church.

All of us have experienced the love of a biological mother especially when we get into trouble (whatever kind of trouble it may be). Our mothers hasten to our aid and make sure that we are okay or we will be okay. In this same way, this is actually what Mama Mary does for us, too, especially in the spiritual aspect.

We can look at the scene where Jesus falls as an analogy for each of us. We are here because we try our best to live our consecrated lives the most faithful that we could. But there are really times when our shortcomings get the better of us—whether it involves struggles with the vows, community life, or the ministry—in one way or another, we stumble. But though we may stumble, we must get up, heal our wounds and move forward.

We can assure ourselves that in these difficult moments, certainly, Mama Mary will run hastily to our aid—to encourage us and assist us to make a leap of faith… And once we are back on our feet, Mama Mary lovingly reminds us of what it means to believe in Christ Jesus – “Do whatever He tells you” John 2:5.

Mag-intay, Magmatyag Maghanda

Unang Linggo ng Adbyento
29 November 2015

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Kapag may yumao tayong kapatid, masarap marinig ang komento mula sa maraming patungkol sa yumaong “Handa siya nang kunin siya ni Lord!” Graphics by Prenovice Jonas Lacson.

Mga kapatid, sa tulong ng byiaya ng Eukaristiya, makintal nawa sa ating ang panahon ng Adbiyento ay isang panghabang-buhay na disposisyong ipinapakita natin sa ating araw-araw na pamumuhay. Kapag may yumao tayong kapatid, masarap marinig ang komento mula sa maraming patungkol sa yumaong “Handa siya nang kunin siya ni Lord.”

Kung ang panahon ng adbiyento ay panahon ng paghihintay. Hindi ba’t parang out of place ang panahong ito sa buhay natin?

Aminin natin, marami sa atin ang hindi komportable sa paghihintay. Ilan nga ba sa atin ang magpapa-huli sa appointment, dahil sa isip natin, “Baka mahuhuli din naman ang katagpo ko–mabuti nang siya ang maghintay kaysa ako.”

Isang konkretong karanasan ng paghihintay ay masasalamin natin sa kasaysayan ng mga Israelita sa Unang Pagbasa ngayong Linggo. Sa loob kasi ng napakaraming taon, naghihintay ang mga taong ito sa sugong darating na manggagaling sa lipi ni Haring David.

Si David ay namumukod tangi sa lahat ng mga naging hari ng Israel dahil sa kanya mismong buhay masasalamin ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa Kanyang bayan. Kung kaya naman nang ihayag ng Panginoon sa pamamagitan ni Propeta Jeremias na dumating na ang araw kung saan ang kanilang inaasam-asam ay mapapasakamay na nila, marahil, hindi masukat ang kaligayahan nila.

Sa ganito ring pagkakataon inihahambing ang ating sarili. Mayroong inaasam-asam ang ating mga puso. Mayroong hinihintay na dumating. At mayroon ding hinihintay, ngunit ipinapanalangin nating hindi na sana dumating. Ngunit ang paghihintay, ang pag-aasam-asam ng mga Israelita ay ginanimpalataan ng isang katiyakang hindi man kailanman lumimot ang Panginoon sa Kanyang pangako.

At hinahamon tayo ni Propeta Jeremias na magtiwala sa Salita ng Diyos, inaanyayahan niya tayong tumaya sa katapatan ng Panginoon.

Sa simula ng pagpapahayag ng Mabuting Balita ngayong Linggo, mapapatanong tayo, mabuting balita nga bang talaga ito? E bakit parang nananakot? Magkakaroon daw ng tang sa araw, ng ugong sa lupa, at daluyong naman sa dagat. Ngunit ang intensyon ni San Lukas sa pagpapakita ng kagimbal-gimbal na sitwasyong itong mangyayari sa hinaharap ay upang sa pamamagitan nito, ma-ihayag sa atin ang kagalakan ng mabuting balitang darating na ang ating hinihintay, ngunit kalakip nito ang isang babalang kailangan nating maging palagiang handa.

Hindi natin alam kung kailan ang eksaktong oras ng pagdating. Nagbigay lamang siya ng mga tanda. Kaya kinakailangang maging mapagmatyag, maging mapagmasid, maging laging handa.

Huwag daw tayong masyadong malibang sa aliw na handog sa atin ng mundo, sa panganib na huwag nang intindihin ang pagdating ng Panginoon.

Sa ikalawang pagbasa, binigyan ng konkretong mukha ni San Pablo kung paano nga ba dapat tayong maghanda ng ating mga sarili–magsimula tayo sa isang disposisyong nanggagaling sa ating puso.

Sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabuhay ng mga bagay na natutuhan natin sa kanyang aral, binubuksan natin ang ating sariling tanggapin ang Panginoon sa ating buhay. Hindi lamang sa darating na kapaskuhan, ngunit, sa Kanyang muling pagbabalik sa sanlibutan.

Ang panahon ng Adbiyento ay panahon ng pagmamatyag, ng paghihintay, ng paghahanda. Ngunit nagkakamali po tayo kung iisipin nating apat na linggo lang ito sa ating kalendaryo. Na kapag nasindihan na ang lahat ng kandila sa ating korona ng adbiyento, hihintayin ulit natin ang susunod na korona sa susunod na taon.

Mga kapatid, sa tulong ng biyaya ng Eukaristiya, makintal nawa sa ating ang panahon ng Adbiyento ay isang panghabang-buhay na disposisyong ipinapakita natin sa ating araw-araw na pamumuhay. Kapag may yumao tayong kapatid, masarap marinig ang komento mula sa maraming patungkol sa yumaong “Handa siya nang kunin siya ni Lord.”

Sana, sa pagdating ng Panginoon, ganito rin ang masabi natin sa ating sarili, “Lord, handang handa na po akong harapin Kayo.”

Signs of the Kingdom

Friday in the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time–B
Luke 21-29-33

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A Fig tree stands tall in the wilderness, it signifies the change in season.  Image courtesy of  http://copiosa.org/

Our first reading re-acquaints us with Daniel’ vision of the four beasts. We heard that they had strange appearances, one had four heads while the other was even sporting ten horns.

They are simply scary!

But toward the end of the proclamation, we heard that the beasts were all wiped out—The Son of Man riding on the clouds of heaven finished them off.

Most Bible scholars agree that these four beasts signify the forces that lorded over Israel—and eventually, their utter destruction.

Hence, the first reading brings us to a greater realization about a future kingdom of God which “will have no end.”

This good news dovetails with the message of our Gospel today: Our Lord Jesus speaks of signs.

Here, allow me to borrow the thoughts of the Jesuit priest James Martin. He says, and I quote, “Jesus met people where they were by communicating with them in ways that they could understand by speaking their language … he used images of the things they knew—seeds, birds, wheat, clouds, water.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus spoke of the fig tree—and the changes that happen to it to signify that the season is changing.

He asks us to learn from it—Insofar as the Kingdom of God is at hand—and we ought to be conscious of the signs that point us to this.

 Jesus assures that everything is fleeting, short-lived, momentary. Except for one thing: His Word!

Let us beg Jesus—the face of the Father—that we, who nourish ourselves with His Word, and partake of His Body may not just become instruments in putting an end to the beasts that persecute the little ones, but become beautiful signs ourselves that will attract more people to His Kingdom.

Download: Merciful like the Father

A confrere asked me late last night for the copy of the reflection which Br. Juvelan Samia, SDB shared last week on the forum on the Jubilee of Mercy. And since Br. Juvelan gave me the go signal to share it, I gladly said yes.

Those who may be interested to procure the reflection could just click this link: Merciful Like the Father in order to download a pdf copy of the file.

In this regard, in behalf of the FIN students of Theology, I’d wish to invite those interested to attend the second “Talakayan” which will feature the scientific, philosophical and spiritual reflections on Laudato Si which will be presented by Br. Oliver Bautista, SDB.

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FB graphics for the Advent Season

In a matter of days, the Advent season is already here. The Church makes us experience a different feel of the liturgy, which is concretely manifested in the colors of the vestments of the priest and even in the altar cloth. The Gloria will be absent for the next four Sundays and the ubiquitous symbol of the season–the advent wreathe–comes into fore!

Since life on-line is enriched by our life in the off-line context, we follow this stream as well. Prenovice Jonas Lacson brings us these four Facebook cover photo graphics which are not just mere eye-candies, for they mean to make us recognize the various liturgical aspects of the Advent season, excite our hearts to really prepare as we commemorate the coming of our Lord Jesus into the world as a human person, but more importantly, they ought to prepare us to welcome Him to our hearts.

As before, please feel free to download, use and share to your friends in Facebook. And together, let’s help in evangelizing the cyber continent!

wpid-wp-1446847534495.pngNovember 29, 2015  I  First Sunday of Advent

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December 06, 2015  I  Second Sunday of Advent

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December 13, 2015  I  Third Sunday of Advent

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December 20, 2015  I  Fourth Sunday of Advent

Mamma Margaret

Today, 25 November, we commemorate Venerable Margaret Bosco, mother of St. John Bosco.

In the life of Don Bosco, we could get a glimpse of how Mamma Margaret contributed to his formation as a devout Christian, and even a saintly priest. She taught him how to cultivate a strong devotion to our Lady, and showered him with all paternal love, considering that she raised him alone since he lost his father at a tender age.

I was gladly surprised that the parish priest in my very own parish, Fr. Rey, is a devotee of Mamma Margaret considering that he’s not a Salesian. This made me realize how saints are not mere “private properties” of the congregations from where they came from for they are owned by the Church at large.

Fr. Rey narrated to us how he sought her intercession when his own mother got sick just this year. And while they relied on medical interventions to treat his mother, he still considers how Mamma Margaret’s intercession proved beneficial in her recovery.

When we visited him last week, we brought a book on the life of Mamma Margaret. And when he told us that he plans to have a stampita made in her honor, I quickly volunteered to be of help. Thanks to Br. Jerome Quinto, SDB, for whipping out a classic stampita look!

Like how Mamma Margaret assisted her son Don Bosco in taking care of young people of their time who considered the oratory their homes, may she continue to intercede for the young people of our age, especially those who consider the religious and priestly vocation.